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OVOX vs iZotope VocalSynth 2 (Which is Better?)

Vocals are the instrument that everyone has at all times. Unless you’re a trained vocalist, however, you probably don’t have the best grasp on your singing, or understand how to use it in a musical sense. This is where vocal effects come in. With tools like vocoders, talkboxes and more, musicians (like Daft Punk & more) have shaped their voices into other-worldly leads, angelic pads and beyond.

Waves OVOX and iZotope’s VocalSynth 2 are the most well-known vocal FX suites out there. In this article, we’ll look into which is best for you and your setup.

Waves OVOX vs iZotope VocalSynth2 (TL;DR Answer)

VocalSynth2 is a much better option for simplicity and provides a greater deal of synth sounds as well as better FX units. However, OVOX is much cheaper, gives you far greater control and includes a range of modulation options you don’t get with VocalSynth. Get VocalSynth for simplicity. Get OVOX for nuts and bolts, under the hood control.

Both plugins can sound identical to each other, and there’s not too much difference between the two in terms of sound and creative possibilities.

With OVOX you’re getting more modulation control (you can modulate absolutely anything), better presets, and much more in-depth control over formants, pitch & other controls that affect the tone of your vocals. This comes at the trade-off of fewer synth modules, more CPU issues and 16x the HDD space needed.

OVOX also has a live detection mode that allows you to trigger a series of note when your vocal take hits them. So you could trigger a chord every time a B note was hit for instance.

With VocalSynth2, you have a larger amount of synth modules, better sounding FX units, a more simplistic design, with great utility features like MIDI lock (lock your voice to MIDI chords) and worse presets. This all comes with a lower CPU hit, and a higher price tag.

If you want simplicity for live performances and on the fly beat-making, go with VocalSynth2. If you want to control everything and pay less, go for Waves OVOX.

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Waves OVOX

Compatibility: Windows, macOS, VST, AU, AAX, 64-bit only
Price: $149 (usually on sale for $29)


Pros

✅ Incredible MIDI mapper that tracks your voice live and can trigger multiple notes at a key you select. For instance, triggering a chord every time you hit a B and an E when signing.

✅ Insane modulation ability, with 9 modulators and an easy drag & drop to control anything

✅ 6 FX modules and a built-in EQ for professional processing

✅ Great control over formants, speed noise, tune & modules that affect the tone of your sound.

✅ Hundreds of presets from Grammy-winning artists

✅ Ability to use in standalone mode

Cons

❌ UI can feel cluttered

Waves OVOX is one of the most well-known vocal FX suites, with countless features such as harmonizers, vocoders, and more.

You get 6 modulate-able FX units: AutoPan, Chorus, Compression, Delay, Distortion and Reverb. These can all be modulated by the 9 customizable modulators. The modulators can be set up as LFOs, sequencers, ADSR and ODR envelopes.

In addition to an FX Processor, OVOX is also a vocal-controlled synthesizer. This means that the plugin takes your vocals and processes your existing vocals with synthesizer techniques and tools.

One of the coolest things about OVOX is the MIDI note mapper, which detects your voice’s pitch in real-time and allows you to trigger certain notes when it hits a certain pitch. So, for instance, if you wanted a Bmaj7 chord to play when you hit the B note in your singing, you can set OVOX up to do this.

This essentially lets you control your voice in ways that are absolutely impossible in the real world. With a lot of modulation options, hundreds of presets as well as a MIDI-out feed, OVOX is an incredibly powerful VST plugin.

vs2 all modules on

iZotope VocalSynth 2

Compatibility: Windows, macOS, VST, AU, AAX, 64-bit only
Price: $199 or $9.99 Rent To Own


Pros

✅ XY Matrix for quick fades, and transitions when performing vocals

✅ 5 vocal synthesis modules to choose from, real-time tuning & the option to use them all at once

✅ 7 stompbox FX used to warp, distort & change the tone of your sound

✅ iZotope Neutron and Ozone integration

✅ Great utility controls including gating & much more

✅ Simple and intuitive to use

Cons

❌ A good amount of presets are too busy and over processed

❌ Synth engine isn’t super advanced

VocalSynth 2 is a much simpler take on vocal synthesis – your audio input goes in one side, through optional pitch correction, into 5 synthesized processing modules. The mixed output then goes through an FX section and can be then mixed together in the output module.

The 5 synthesis modules: Biovox, Vocoder, CompuVox, TalkBox and PolyVox can be mixed and adjusted individually, allowing for almost infinite processing options. The modules can additionally be adjusted in real-time with the XY matrix, which opens another world of possibilities

In addition to this, VocalSynth also offers 3 different processing modes. These are Auto, MIDI and Sidechain. Auto is the default mode, that will listen to your audio and process it in real-time. MIDI mode lets you control your vocal pitch and harmonies with MIDI, also in real-time.

Lastly, the Sidechain mode lets you feed two audio sources to any of the VocalSynth 2 modules to play off each other and create interesting if unrealistic dynamics and movements.

Extremely simple and intuitive to use, iZotopes VocalSynth 2 is an incredibly creative tool for vocals and more.

Why Would I Choose OVOX Over VocalSynth 2 and Vice Versa?

With two plugins that, on the surface seem to do the same things, what would make you choose one over the other? Let’s look into the features of these two awesome VST plugins more in-depth!

Sound Quality

The sound quality for both of these plugins is very dependent on your input audio. Both Waves OVOX and iZotope VocalSynth 2 sound very clean and there’s no noticeable lack of quality for either plugin. That being said, vocal processing can easily make any mistakes, breaths, and other artefacts more audible, so starting with a good vocal track can be key to getting good results!

Both of these plugins are for unnatural robotic sounding vocals. If you’re wanting more of a natural tuning, then AutoTune or Melodyne might be a better pick for you.

OVOX

OVOX has a similar sound quality to VocalSynth2 and it relies heavily on your source signal to sound good. As long as it’s noise free and you have a decent mic, it will produce stellar results.

There are unfortunately only 2 synth modes on OVOX, giving you a smaller range of sounds to choose from.

However, one cool feature OVOX has over VocalSynth is the MIDI mapping. Everytime your voice hits a certain note, you can tell OVOC to automatically trigger chords.

This can give you some really funky sounding vocals and inject a lot of unique qualities into your tracks, automatically!

OVOX Sound Example

VocalSynth2

The sound quality on VocalSynth2 is fantastic. (provided that you have a great sound source, with minimal background noise).

Each mode has a different flavour and you can combine each of them to create a wall of synth vocals.

This is benefitted even further with amazing gating tools, a rack of 7 effects and even a MIDI locking mode (which you can use to lock your voice to chords or melodies you’ve written)

One benefit VocalSynth has over OVOX is the real-time tuning ability. It can detect your voice and the key of the song in real-time, without you having to do anything!

Vocalsynth Sound Example

Presets

When it comes to presets, OVOX wins over iZotope. iZotope’s VocalSynth features an array of great presets, made by big producers, but you don’t get as many as OVOX and a lot of them sound over-processed.

OVOX, however, has hundreds of presets from artists like Cardi B, Beyonce, Bon Iver, and more, giving you a lot to work with. Additionally, the presets bundled with OVOX have been designed to sound great out of the box (we’re sure VocalSynth’s have too, just OVOX’s are more consistently good).

With both plugins, there are of course better presets than others, with a few feeling a bit like filler content, but that’s usually expected… you’re not going to like everything.

waves ovox presets

This is especially the case with VocalSynth2. There are some presets that just get the creative juices flowing extraordinarily well, but there’s also a bunch that feel over processed and too busy.

Modulation & FX

When it comes to modulation, OVOX is much better than VocalSynth2. Other than some very simple modulation and the XY performance tool, VocalSynth pretty much has none. OVOX has 9 modulators, that can be set up in any way you want them, be it LFOs, Sequencers or anything else.

These modulators can be bound to anything with a simple drag & drop, opening up a whole new world of sonic possibilities. You can really go to town with sound design here and create exceptionally unique patches.

The FX sections of both plugins are quite comparable to each other. With OVOX offering 6 effects, while VocalSynth2 gives you 7.

  • For OVOX the FX included are:
    • AutoPan
    • Chorus
    • Compression
    • Delay
    • Distortion
    • Reverb
  • For VocalSynth the FX included are:
    • Distort
    • Filter
    • Transform
    • Shred
    • Delay
    • Ring Mod
    • Chorus

If we’re just talking FX, we prefer VocalSynth 2 over OVOX. Not only because it has more FX modules, but because they’ve decided to use more creative effects, not just basic mixing utilities.

Ease of Use & UI

Look & Feel

waves OVOX modulation
izotope vocalsynth modulation

Both OVOX and VocalSynth 2 are very modern looking VST plugins. They feature a well-laid out, intuitive and colourful interface that’s easy to navigate, use and isn’t overwhelming upon first use.

Between the two, VocalSynth 2 has the upper hand. This is purely because VocalSynth is a much simpler plugin than OVOX, making it much easier to navigate and use.

One of the only gripes we have with OVOX is the UI, it feels cluttered with the sheer amount of options and features on display. We appreciate that nothing is hidden on different screens or drop-downs, but on the first open, OVOX can be intimidating.

The trade-off however is far greater control over your vocal takes, so take our opinion with a grain of salt.

Preset Management

Unsurprisingly, as it is with most modern VST plugins, both OVOX and VocalSynth feature very intuitive and easy to use preset managers. Both plugins let you create new presets, recall previous ones, and even highlight the presets you like the most.

In 2022, plugins like these are pretty much expected to come with a great preset manager, and it’s awesome to see that both OVOX and VocalSynth 2 deliver this!

Which is More CPU Friendly?

VocalSynth2 is more CPU friendly than OVOX. OVOX is far more prone to increased CPU load and more dropouts when compared to VocalSynth2, where CPU problems are virtually non-existent. You could mitigate this CPU load with track freezing etc. but it’s a bit of an annoyance.

On lower-end systems, the amount of features OVOX has can add up to quite a demanding plugin. That being said, the CPU load entirely depends on how much processing you’re doing with these plugins.

If you engage everything and have VocalSynth 2 run on a busy mix, lower-end systems will start to have issues. The amount of CPU load will vary based on what you do with the plugins, but at its core, OVOX is a bit more CPU demanding than VocalSynth 2.

What Specifications Do I Need To Run OVOX or VocalSynth 2?

Waves OVOX specs:

  • OS: macOS 12.1 and earlier, Windows 10 & 11 64-bit
  • CPU:  AMD Quad Core, Intel i5/i7/i9/Xeon/M1,
  • System Memory: 8GB (16GB recommended)
  • HDD: 16GB of free space
  • Format: AU, AAX, VST2, VST3, 64-bit only

iZotope VocalSynth 2 specs:

  • OS: macOS High Sierra (10.13.06) – Big Sur (11.6) (No M1 Support), Windows 10 64-bit
  • CPU:  AMD Quad Core, Intel i5/i7/i9/Xeon/M1,
  • System Memory: 8GB (16GB recommended)
  • HDD: 2GB of free space
  • Format: AU, AAX, VST2, VST3, 64-bit only

Which Takes Up The Most HDD Space?

VocalSynth2 takes up less HDD space than OVOX, with a small install of 1GB + the iZotope Product Portal (500mb or less). OVOX however is a much heavier install of 16GB, taking up a lot more of your HDD space.

The 16GB install of OVOX seems a bit overkill, seeing as there are no samples included with the plugin and we’re not sure that there are even 16GB worth of presets included. Where that 16GB comes from is unknown, but you’ll have to make sure you have that freed up on your HDD?

You’ll need to download both the Waves and iZotope product portals to install and active each plugin.

Which is Better Value for Money – OVOX or VocalSynth 2

OVOX is better value for money than VocalSynth2, offering a greater deal of presets, more modulation customisability at over a 1/3rd of the price. You don’t get as many vocal synth engines as VocalSynth, but you do get a lot of ability for an extremely low price.

When it comes to value for money, you have to look at what you need in addition to what’s on offer. You might look at OVOX for the number of features it has, but if you’re not planning on using the Modulation section, or want a simpler plugin, you might want VocalSynth2 instead.

Verdict

VocalSynth2 is a much better option for simplicity and provides a greater deal of synth sounds as well as better FX units. However, OVOX is much cheaper, gives you far greater control and includes a range of modulation options you don’t get with VocalSynth. Get VocalSynth for simplicity. Get OVOX for nuts and bolts, under the hood control.

Both of these plugins are fantastic, so whichever you get doesn’t really matter. Try out both the trials and see which one you like the most.

The sound and functionality you’re going to be able to get out of both are virtually the same. Apart from the increased modulation ability in OVOX – and the 3 extra synth modules in VocalSynth – there’s really not a great deal of difference between the two.

Hopefully, we’ve helped you make the decision on which of these is for you, so you better get to making some bangers! Moreover, Want to choose the best audio plugins for your studio? Check out our in-depth IZotope vs FabFilter comparison.

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