Layer, Fix, and Manipulate Vocals with iZotope Nectar 3 | Reverb Software Pick With Penelope Antena

Today, Cambridge-based music software firm iZotope is releasing the third edition of their benchmark vocal processing tool with iZotope Nectar 3. Building upon the features of the first two editions, Nectar 3 offers even more creative and corrective effects processing tools for the adventurous musician and mixing engineer.

iZotope Nectar 3
Buy Now on Reverb

Nectar 3 is an immersive vocal suite that expands with your music productions. A one-stop program for past, present, and future vocal sounds, Nectar 3 features corrective and creative dynamic EQs, compression, harmony and pitch tools, a de-esser, delay, saturation, reverb, gate, dimension, and now comes stocked with the award-winning Celemony Melodyne 4 Essential.

To truly demonstrate this powerful and unique musical assistant, we reached out to contemporary Belgian electronic artist Penelope Antena. Daughter of the French electro-samba pop pioneer Isabella Antena, Penelope has crafted her own world of harmonic vocal stylings, colors, and textures throughout her catalogue of work, mainly by using iZotope's Nectar and VocalSynth processors to achieve these stunning sonic layers.

For this feature, Penelope composed an acapella version of James Blake's "Measurements," off of his 2011 self-titled album. Created entirely with her live vocals combined with iZotope's Nectar 3, Penelope recreates this song with layered polyphonic vocal textures to dramatic effect.

Below, Penelope walks us through her process of making this track, "Measurements."

I started out by laying the vocal harmonies. I recorded vocals on an audio track first, then played the harmonies on a MIDI keyboard.

Using Nectar 3 as a MIDI instrument and selecting MIDI in the harmony plugin of it, I shifted the formant ever so slightly to make it sound lower and deeper. Then, I added a slight delay and reverb, giving my harmonised vocals a synthetic feel.

Then, I recorded the lead vocal, pitched it using the pitch corrector capsule. The pitch corrector sounds very natural, with almost no bend or audible pitch-shift. I EQ'd and compressed the main melody to make it stand out in the mix.

I tried to give a very wide and stereo feel to the back up vocals, using the great chorus capsule and the pan in the harmonies plugin. I shifted the formant to make them feel like different voices.

For more dimension in the song, I added drone-like layered harmonies, flying over the mix, using the Reverb and Delay plugins very wet with effects.

Nectar 3 comes in standard version, student version, or as a part of the newly released iZotope Music Production Suite 2, which is also available in a student version, and the new Vocal Chain Bundle. The iZotope Music Production Suite 2 features more than 30 innovative and inspiring software tools to invigorate your music productions and help them stand out: Nectar 3, Celemony Melodyne 4 Essential, RX 7 Breath Control, RX 7 Standard, VocalSynth 2, Insight 2, Ozone 8 Advanced, Neutron 2 Advanced, Tonal Balance Control, iZotope Relay, and more.

Reverb Exclusive Presets
iZotope Nectar 3 | Penelope Antena
Free on Reverb

Reverb Exclusive Track
Penelope Antena - "Measurements"
Free with Nectar 3 or Buy Here

For more information on Penelope Antena, check out her Soundcloud page here.

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