The Czech Republic-based Audified has put out some intriguing products of late, including the Mix-Checker plug-in and the Synergy R1 hardware reverb. More recently it has released TNT Voice Executor, a relatively inexpensive plug-in designed for processing vocals—sung or spoken—when you need a quality processing chain but don’t have time to build one from scratch using individual effects.
The name TNT refers to TNT Studios, whose owner Tomas Trkal helped create the plug-in with Audified. Voice Executor was designed to be plug-and-play: Simply select a Preset and apply it to your audio. The available effects include compression, EQ, highpass filtering, a noise gate, distortion, delay, and limiting. Which effects you get depends on the Preset. There is very limited parameter control, and you can’t modify any of the presets.
With its simple, yet limited interface, TNT Voice Executor offers instant vocal processing for music and spoken word production.
A pull-down menu at the bottom center of the rack-style GUI lets you select from the 35 available presets, which are arranged in four categories—Rap, Vocals, Speech and Special. The Presets have descriptive names such as Male Vocal Clear and Female Rap Aggressive.
Only three global parameters—Input level, Drive, and Output level—are available, and these settings remain the same when you switch between Presets. Input level is the most consequential of the three because the higher you turn it up, the harder it hits the compressor and the more compression is applied to the signal.
You can see the amount of Gain Reduction you are getting in the horizontal LED-style meter on the lower right, which supplements the vertically oriented Input and Output level meters. The Drive knob, which is somewhat confusingly named, is actually a wet/dry control for the overall multi-effects patch, and thus is also quite significant.
PRESET AND FORGET
On the upper right of the GUI, you see what looks like eight effects on/off buttons, but they are actually just indicator lights that show which effects are active in the current Preset. You cannot turn individual effects on and off within a Preset, which is a shame. It seems like that would have been easy to accomplish and would have afforded the user a little bit more control. Except for the amount of compression and the overall wet/dry balance, your only control over the sound comes from which Preset you select. Fortunately, they are generally good sounding and useful.
The caveat for TNT Voice Executor’s entire concept is that its one-size-fits-all patches cannot address the particulars of your audio as specifically as effects that you set up manually. This is especially true in the case of the delay, which is included in several of the Presets. You can’t control the delay time, the plug-in doesn’t sync to host tempo, and there is no wet/dry balance specific to the delay. As a result, those Presets are virtually useless.
THE GOOD AND THE BAD
Still, TNT Voice Executor fulfills its mission of providing good quality, easy-to-apply vocal processing. It could be especially useful to people who don’t have a deep knowledge of audio processing, but who are working on spoken-word projects such as videos and podcasts, as well as music production. However, if you have any level of studio chops, you’ll likely find the lack of parameter control to be ultimately frustrating.
Quickly dial up useful vocal processing. Includes settings for speech and singing. Metering. Good sounding effects. Well-priced.
Few parameter controls. Individual effects can’t be turned on and off within a Preset. Presets can’t be modified and saved. Delay presets virtually useless.
Mike Levine is a composer, producer, and multi-instrumentalist from the New York area.