Today I want to share my experience with the updated plugin from iZotope called Nectar 4. If you’re not familiar with Nectar, it’s an all-in-one vocal mixing processor that packs a punch with its Reverb, EQ, compression, delay, and now, voicing and backing features. In this blog post, we’ll explore the new modules in Nectar 4 and answer the burning question: Should you upgrade from Nectar 3? Let’s dive right in!

Auto Leveler – A Game-Changer

One of the standout features of Nectar 4 is the Auto Leveler. It’s a new addition to the plugin and functions much like Waves Vocal Rider. It automatically adjusts the vocal’s volume based on the input level, ensuring a consistent and well-balanced sound.

But here’s the real magic: the Tame Noise section within the Auto Leveler. This feature is a game-changer! It doesn’t just focus on the vocal itself; it intelligently tames unwanted noises like breaths, lip smacks, and other distracting artifacts. The result? A cleaner, more natural-sounding vocal that doesn’t require as much heavy-handed compression.

Backer – Adding a Creative Twist

Nectar 4 introduces the “Backer” module, and it’s a colorful addition to the plugin’s lineup. This module adds a backing vocal layer, and it does so with a creative twist. You can choose from different modules that remind me of the playful style of Native Instruments.

The Backer module allows you to control the blend, tone, and octave settings. While it may take a bit of experimentation to get the hang of it, you can create some interesting effects and even generate backing vocals to complement your main vocal track.

From a creative standpoint, this module opens up endless possibilities, whether you want to add a touch of depth or experiment with unconventional vocal effects.

Voices – Harmony Made Easy

In Nectar 4, what was once known as Harmony in the previous version has been revamped as “Voices.” And boy, does it deliver! The Voices module does an excellent job of creating harmonies and additional vocal layers that sound remarkably close to natural voices.

To make the most of this feature, make sure to set the correct key for your song (C minor in our case), and the pitch detection works wonders. It’s a significant improvement from Nectar 3 and even outperforms other popular pitch correction tools.

But the real fun begins with the presets. Nectar 4 offers a range of presets that demonstrate what this module can do. From unison to harmonies, these presets can transform a solo vocal into a full choir-like experience. It’s a fantastic tool for adding depth and richness to your vocals.

The Front Page – Quick and Easy Tweaks

After running the Vocal Assist feature, Nectar 4 defaults to a user-friendly front page. Here, you can swiftly adjust various aspects of your mix. The “Shape” section acts like an EQ, “Intensity” handles compression, and you have instant access to the “Voices” and “Backer” modules through a simple knob. Additionally, you can fine-tune the width, reverb, delay, and dimension.

This front page streamlines the mixing process, making achieving the desired vocal sound a breeze. Plus, there are options for different styles, such as singing, rap, and speaking, catering to a variety of vocal needs.

Nectar 4 vs. Nectar 3 – Is it Worth the Upgrade?

Now, the burning question: Should you make the leap from Nectar 3 to Nectar 4? The answer depends on your specific needs and preferences.

Nectar 4 offers several enhancements, including a more intuitive front page, improved pitch detection, and standout features like the Auto Leveler, Backer, and Voices modules. If you value convenience, creativity, and efficiency in your vocal processing, the upgrade may be well worth it.

That said, Nectar 3 still holds its own and can produce outstanding results. If you’re on a tight budget or content with your current vocal processing capabilities, sticking with Nectar 3 is a perfectly valid choice.

In conclusion, iZotope’s Nectar 4 is a powerful tool for vocal processing and mixing. It brings new creative possibilities to the table while enhancing essential features. Whether you’re a seasoned producer or just starting your music journey, consider Nectar 4 as a valuable addition to your toolkit.

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