Introduction iZotope Nectar 3

Nectar 3 vst Ever since its debut in 2010, Nectar has firmly secured its spot in both casual home recording setups and top-tier studios. Its reputation is built on the ability to deliver professional-grade results in mere seconds. The latest iteration, Nectar 3, takes a bold step forward, integrating iZotope’s revolutionary machine learning, inter-plugin communication, and signal processing technologies. In this feature guide, we’ll delve into these enhancements and more to ensure you make the most of this versatile plugin.

Nectar 3 VST Overview

Introduction Zotope's Nectar 3

Upon launching Nectar 3, you’re greeted by a default setting featuring three modules – Pitch, EQ 1, and Compressor 1. This serves as a basic starting point, incorporating a high pass at 40 Hz and subtle compression. The modules line up horizontally across the GUI, and their sequence is customizable. Beyond the initial trio, a range of additional modules tailored for vocal processing, such as Delay, De-essing, Dimension, Gate, Harmony, Reverb, and Saturation, can be seamlessly added to your chain. Click on any module to open its unique GUI in the main window.

Introduction Zotope's Nectar 3

With this array of modules at your disposal, selecting a starting point may seem daunting. Nectar 3 provides refined presets, ranging from practical (Background Noise Removal, Increase Vocal Clarity) to the extravagant (Robo Army, Elephants But On Mars). Alternatively, utilize Vocal Assistant to intelligently generate an optimized starting point for your specific vocal track.

iZotope Nectar 3 Vocal Assistant

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Consider Vocal Assistant your extra pair of trusted ears. It offers two helpful options: Assist and Unmask.

Assist Nectar 3 vst

Powered by machine learning, Vocal Assistant identifies and adjusts level inconsistencies, timbre variations, resonant peaks, and harsh frequencies automatically. It tackles these issues by configuring EQ nodes, eliminating bothersome sibilants, and suggesting compression settings. You can align the overall sound aesthetics with one of three Vibes (Vintage, Modern, or Dialogue) and choose from three Intensities (Light, Moderate, or Aggressive). The Assist feature accelerates the process, allowing you to concentrate on adding your personal touch.

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Masking, a common mix issue, occurs when the perception of one sound is influenced by another in a shared frequency range, often leading to reduced clarity and a sense of ‘mudiness.’ Nectar 3 introduces Unmask to counteract vocal masking. This feature identifies sources besides your vocal track for comparison—utilizing Relay plugin or Nectar 3 instances in the processing chain of other elements. Attach the Relay plugin or Nectar 3 to the desired tracks, select Unmask in Vocal Assistant, and witness all selected sources directly within Nectar 3.

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Choose a track for Unmask to work its magic. If masking is detected, a static EQ is applied to carve out spectral space for the vocal. The Relay plugin, an innovative example of inter-plugin communication, dynamically updates its display.

Pro Tip: Leverage Nectar 3’s integration with other iZotope plugins for a comprehensive production overview, connecting vocals with Neutron 2, Visual Mixer, Masking Meter, Tonal Balance Control, and Insight 2’s Intelligibility Meter.

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Dynamic EQs

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Highlighting Nectar 3’s enhancements are two dynamic frequency modes that adapt intelligently to your vocals: Dynamic Frequency and Dynamic Gain modes. These modes respond to changes in harmonic frequency content and input levels, respectively. Click on a node, or add your own, and explore the Dynamic menu to toggle these features.

Pro Tip #1: Use Dynamic Frequency Mode on a high pass filter to track the first harmonic of a vocal, dynamically eliminating undesirable low-end rumble while preserving character.

Pro Tip #2: Employ Dynamic Frequency Mode on a Bell filter to track and reduce harsh vocal resonances.


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While Vocal Assistant and Dynamic EQs excel at corrective enhancements, the Harmony module adds a creative flair to your vocals. The Voice XY Pad Controller, a grid-like area, provides an intuitive platform for generating vocal harmonies. Click anywhere on the grid to add a new voice, select the interval via the drop-down menu, and set a custom key. The vertical position on the pad controls volume, while the horizontal position determines stereo placement, facilitating an efficient workflow for creating harmonies.

Pro Tip: Activate MIDI mode for precise control over harmonies using a MIDI controller, found in the bottom right of the GUI.

This concludes our introductory tour of Nectar 3, offering a glimpse into its new and improved features. While there are many more modules to explore, we hope this guide serves as a solid starting point. If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments below.

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