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How to Thicken Vocals with Doubling Effects in iZotope Nectar

Hi, welcome back to the Nectar vocal master class.

This time, we’re looking at doubler, and showing how we can thicken vocals up in Nectar.

Now, in the old days, we just used to sing it again on another track, and pan it a bit off to one side until it sounded great, and that’s what we’ve done on this track. It’s always good to lay more than one vocal down, and I’m just going to play you what we’ve done.

Here’s Lizzie’s first vocal.


And here, she’s gone through the whole track again and sung exactly the same thing again, no harmonies, just another take.


And we add those two together…

[vocals, doubled]

Now, what we can do is we can send one left and we can send one right.

[vocals, doubled and panned]

But that sounds a bit strange, so we’ll put them back in the center where they were.

[vocals, doubled, centered]

On this vocal, on the second line, we’ve now got the doubler switched on so I can show you it in action. If you see there we’ve got one and two, that’s because we’ve chosen two voices. We could have four voices, but I’m going to choose two voices for now, and we can send them as wide as we want, and we can make them as loud as we want.

So let me start bringing them in and you’ll hear it happening.

[vocals, adjusting doubler]

So what we can do then is we can just take this down a bit, the bottom end.


There’s the center.

Now you’re going to hear this effect used a lot these days. They use it in stuff like Glee, Country stuff, and lots of pop records. This is a really cool feature which is used a lot.

Now we can go on and make even more variation, where for instance, we change the pitch and we can change the delay time. The delays sit on nothing at the moment, but if we push them back a bit…

[vocals, adjusting delay and pitch]

You hear that now. Put them back in again.

And the pitch as well, we can take those wide.

That’s really detuned now. So we can do all those variations, but there’s another really cool feature on here called variation, and what it does if you add it in, you’ll see these little nodes here. They start to vary the pitch. The more you do it, the more they vary the pitch. You can see them swinging around now.

So if we just…


So if you do a subtle thing, about twenty percent…


Here’s the original.

Lovely stereo sheen on the voice now.

The great thing is, we have this EQ as well, which means we can make it very shiny.


Add some more bottom end in.

What we can also do then is we can change the pitch, we can take them up an octave, chipmunk style.

[vocals, chipmunk doubles]

That’s actually quite useful when you’re doing a group. I’m going to do a group in a second. Take the backing vocals, put them across all the backing vocals to make them sound huge.



Now let’s hear that in the track.

[vocals with doubles]

There’s the original.

Let’s hear it in the track now with all the instruments in.


A lot of width in there now, and obviously if we push the track harder and push the vocal higher, it would have more prominence in the track.

Now let’s move on to the backing vocals. Let’s listen to them now.

[backing vocals]

So let’s just take this down to the doubler.

Now as you can see, I’ve got four voices in there. We’ve got some variation. Now here’s the original.

[backing vocals]

And as you can hear, it’s making a big difference. Let’s take the limiter and the reverb off and listen to it with just doubler just for a second. So here it is without.

[backing vocals, no reverb or limiter]

Get in there.

Hear it again. That’s with it. So there’s a couple of things to notice on this, which I didn’t have on the solo. I’m in polyphonic mode now, which means I can’t vary the pitch, only the delay here, because if you try to do variation of pitch, of course it would sound really weird at this moment, because we’ve got so many vocals coming through, and it’s polyphonic, so it would sound really odd.

So we have a polyphonic button, which we switch on when we’re using it on groups.

[backing vocals]

We can make it big.

And notice, we’ve still got the variation slide activated, so we will get some variation on the sound.

[backing vocals]

Make it sound very chorusy there. I want it much more natural.

So the EQ is really helping.

There’s the original.

With the reverb back in.
Put the limiter on.

You might want to put the gate on this, because you can hear the spillage of the backing vocals coming through the cans, so you might want to try the gate to cut that out.

[backing vocals]

Let’s try that again.

[backing vocals]

We’re going to pull that back a bit.

One thing to note here is I don’t want to change the input gain, because that would change the reaction of the gate, because the gate is having its threshold set at the input level. So if you want to get the gain out of it down, let’s use the output.

[backing vocals]

So make sure that’s not snapping, I want to make sure it’s a nice long release time.

[backing vocals]

Nice and clean now, so let’s hear it in the track.


So there we are, using doubler on solo and group vocals to get some very nice vocals in the mix. Thank you for watching.




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