Review: UAD Little Labs VOG (Voice of God)
Easy to use
Many functions, no one trick pony!
Can add body/presence that wasn’t originally included
Is essentially just an HPF with a peak resonance
Proximity Effect as a creative tool
So what is this infamous Voice Of God module everyone is talking about? Essentially, The VOG (Voice Of God) module for 500 series by Little Labs is basically a high pass filter with a resonance peak (Essentially a big boost at the cutoff frequency) and it was conceived with voiceover work in mind. This module, which has been accurately modeled by Universal Audio for their UAD 2 platform, was for adding the perception and “power” of the proximity effect (when more bass frequencies are present due to the relationship of the distance between you, the source, and the microphone). Radio DJ’s use this to their advantage and could drastically and dramatically change the tone/tambre of the vocal/instrument. Many voiceover actors and ADR performers also use the proximity of the microphone to accommodate whatever the performance/scene calls for.
The plugin version, modeled by Universal Audio, is just as useful and great sounding as the original analog counterpart. Using it is as easy as 2 buttons and 2 dials. From the top you have 2 simple to understand dials, being Amplitude and Frequency. The “Frequency” knob easily allows you to sweep the range of frequencies (User chosen/defined) and the “amplitude” control allows you to dial in exactly how much would be added to the signal. The only confusing thing to keep in mind, is that the range from low to high (frequency and amplitude) is reversed on the dials, in other words the lowest frequencies start at 10 and the higher ones max out all the way to 1.
Next we have the frequency range controls. The combination of these 2 switches (not including the “Flat” switch) determines the “Center” frequencies and completely interacts with the range of frequencies adjusted by the “Frequency” knob. This is the most confusing aspect to this plugin in my opinion, although a quick glance at the UAD Manual and all confusion is brought to an end. For example, with the “40″ button in green and the “100″ in red, the frequency rage is between 50 – 180 Hz as opposed to leaving them both green, which would limit the frequency range between 18 – 60 Hz. Please refernce the manual with any questions first, they always have the answer
In use I could find plenty of ways to use it. On a wimpy kick drum, dialing in between 60 – 100 Hz and it was as though I had a brand new kick drum. I normally parallel compress my kick, but this think had it kicking (Pun intended) on it’s own! It gave it a surprising punch that I thought I’d have to create artificially to achieve. I also ended up using it on a weak sounding, badly recorded snare. I thought I’d have to replace it because I wasn’t receiving enough body (Energy) that I was looking for. A quick switch to both controls to red and i was able to dial in very easily the body/crack the snare need to sound powerful enough to cut through. I also used it to mimic/imitate a vocal recorded on different days in different rooms with different microphones. Sometimes you have to be a mad scientist in order to make things sound workable, and this thing can pull some mircales out of it. Knowing it was created for voice over work, I took 3 verses on the same song all recorded differently and I match the tone/tambre of the person from the take that I liked the most. This thing is great, it takes the guess work out and makes something as simple as proximity effect a very effective mixing tool.