This plug-in can take your vocals back in time.
Item: Waves, The King’s Microphones, DAW Plug-in
Price: $99 (US), £69 (UK)
Mic Rating: 4/5
At A Glance: The King’s Microphones, by plug-in designer Waves, is designed to recreate the sound of three vintage broadcast microphones dating back to the 1920s and 1930s. The microphones modelled by the plug-in were originally used exclusively by the British royal family for speeches on important occasions. The software is designed to recreate the original frequency responses of these microphones and allow you to superimpose these over your own recordings made on your usual studio microphone. It works with all major DAW platforms and on both Mac and PC.
High Notes: The plug-ins interface is clear and easy to use. You can quickly select between the three different models and instantly hear the differences between them. It also offers three proximity settings for each microphone model, allowing you to alter the sound depending on how close the vocalist would have been to the microphone. Without having access to the original microphones, it is hard to say how accurate the models are, however the sound quality is impressive and vocals do genuinely feel as if they have been recorded though a different microphone. As such, it would no doubt be useful both for voiceover artists looking for a vintage sound as well as singers looking for a special effect.
Off Pitch: If you only plan to use the plug-in very occasionally, it is possible to emulate the sound of a vintage microphone (albeit less accurately than the plug-in does) using a combination of eq and distortion effects that most users will already have included within their DAW software. This could make the $99 hard to justify for some – especially if you are unlikely to use the effect that often.
Audio Demo: Coming soon
VoiceCouncil Reviewer Says: One big advantage of using a plug-in to replicate the sound of a vintage microphone over recording with a vintage mic in the first place, is that it allows you to change your mind afterwards without needing to re-record your vocals. You can also just activate the plug-in for specific parts of the song that you want, such as particular verses, lines, or even harmony parts. Overall The King’s Microphone’s is probably not a vocal plug-in you will use every day, however it does produce a unique sound that can be very effective when used on the right song.
Manufacturer’s Website: Waves