Bring exceptional atmosphere and texture to your vocal mixes with Aspire the world’s first vocal plug-in to control a voice’s ‘breathiness.’ Aspire allows users to add or remove the air or ‘breath’ surrounding their vocal recordings without affecting the harmonic content. This gives users the ability to blend scintillating tones over delicate singing, or to tone down overly scratchy vocal takes. Aspire is a great way to match a vocal quality to a performance style and discover new ways to express yourself. Get familiar with Aspire through this brief video walkthrough.
What is Auto-Tune Aspire?
Aspire is a vocal effects plug-in that gives users full control over the ‘breathiness’ of their vocal takes. Aspire uses a custom approach to noise processing that modulates the textural air of an audio signal without having any effect on its pitch or harmonic information. This highly intelligent audio processing is still relatively new to the production and mixing world, and users have only just begun to scratch the surface of its full potential.
But just how does noise processing work? And how can this form of signal processing improve the presence and quality of your vocal recordings? Read on to find out.
Noise Processing Explained
‘Noise’ refers to the information surrounding an audio signal’s primary transients. An easy way to understand this is to think of the hum or buzz on an electric guitar amp, or the sound of a bow scratching along a violin string as it’s played. These types of noises are usually removed in the mixing process to help generate a clean and clear overall mix. However, there are instances where noise plays a vital role in enhancing a mix element’s character. The most common mix element that benefits from noise processing is the human voice.
When we sing or speak, air passes over our vocal chords, and contributes to the overall texture and timbre of our voice. During the mixing or recording process, we often need to properly adjust this area of a vocal take in order to fully optimize its clarity. At other times, a vocal recording might be overly present, and contain intense amounts of sibilance that distract from its essence. Aspire is specifically designed to focus its processing solely on the air surrounding a vocal take, meaning users can match the intensity of their vocal with their overall mix dynamic with quick, meticulous control.
Who is Auto-Tune Aspire For?
Aspire provides an extremely unique and valuable vocal effect plug-in that can be used for a long list of recordings – musical or otherwise. ‘Breathiness’ in a vocal is a crucial quality to have control over and this can be applied to practically every style of vocal. Whether you’re trying to accentuate the husk in a subtle jazz vocal, or need to decrease the rasp on a heavy metal scream, Aspire is the ultimate tool for you. Aspire gives users four voice processing options to choose from: Soprano, Alto, Baritone, and Instrument. These modes each treat your vocal according to their respective frequency response and resonance.
Even though Aspire features an incredibly forward-thinking technology, it’s also designed to be universally accessible. Anyone from novice to professional creatives should have little trouble getting accustomed to the controls in Aspire’s user-friendly interface. Users can also capitalize on Aspire’s generous range of stock presets to kickstart their vocal mixing process.
And while Aspire is primarily designed as a vocal effect, it can also be utilized for a wide variety of other mix elements. Aspire sounds great over melodic components like guitars, synths or brass. Alternatively, Aspire can also be used to liven up or lighten drums, shakers, and other percussive elements.
How to Use Auto-Tune Aspire
To utilize Aspire, simply open an instance of the plug-in on the channel or track you wish to treat. Auto-Tune Aspire works in two primary modes: Increase and Reduce. Each mode comes with a specific set of user controls and applications:
- Tracking – Controls the rate at which the processing affects the incoming audio signal. Higher values work best on dull or muffled audio signals.
- Increase – Sets the overall level of processing placed on the incoming audio signal. Higher values equate to higher levels of breathiness and air.
- Frequency – Places an EQ notch or scoop at selected regions in the frequency response for a cleaner, more precise processing. This control can be incredibly useful for filtering out muddy unwanted lower-mid frequencies.
- Q – This control determines the width of the notch of your frequency EQ. Higher values equate to a narrower notch.
- Gain – This dial allows users to set the dB level of their EQ scoop or notch. Higher values will boost frequencies, while lower values will scoop them out.
- In Decrease mode, users have access to just two controls on the interface: Tracking and Reduction. The tracking control works the same way in Increase and Decrease modes. The Reduction dial determines the overall amount of noise reduction placed on the vocals. The higher the value, the more air is removed from the incoming audio signal.
Users can also make use of Aspire’s built-in spectrometer for real-time visual feedback on how their processing affects their vocal takes. Use the white line as a reference for your incoming audio signal, and the red line for reference on your processing.
It’s been said that the greatest vocalists of our time know exactly how to utilize their breath to dynamically express their emotions. With Auto-Tune Aspire, you can ensure that your vocal effortlessly breathes through your mix.