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Producing a Funky Track with OVox: Walkthrough + Presets

Feb 05, 2020

OVox can mimic the role of instruments in any production. Listen to how we’ve used OVox to construct a funky R&B track and get all the tips, tricks and presets to explore the plugin for yourself.

By Or Weisinger, OVox Product Designer, Waves Audio

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Producing a Funky Track with OVox: Walkthrough + Presets

The OVox Vocal ReSynthesis plugin can do more than wild vocal FX; it can also mimic the role of other instruments in a production. In this walkthrough we’ll use OVox to create the building blocks of a funky R&B track, so you can hear just how versatile and creative this plugin is.

We began the production with a funky drum loop that you can hear below, something similar to the groove you’d find on a Vulfpeck track, or “Lose Yourself to Dance” by Daft Punk.

1. Mouth Bass

With the drums sounding tight, we turned to OVox to create a bassline and complement the groove. Since basslines are naturally monophonic, it’s quite common to develop bassline ideas by humming them in your head. OVox takes this to another level by transforming these mouthed melodies into rich, deep bass sounds just by humming into the plugin. You can use the formant filter to create organic, human bass sounds, and combine these with the built-in synth for seriously fat low-end tones.

Listen to what we came up with:

To create this Mouth Bass sound with OVox, simply:

  1. Set the root note and scale of your song in the plugin.
  2. Shift the Tone of the OVox oscillator an octave down (-12 semitones).
  3. Choose a fat waveshape.
  4. Bring the Formant down a little.
  5. Use the EQ and Tone knob to adjust the color to your taste.
  6. Optional: Use the second OVox unit to generate higher harmonics and add noise to emphasize the “mouth” vowels.
Instrument Rack

2. Vocal Pads

Next, we wanted to add in some vocal pads to fill out the song and add some movement. Using OVox’s Note Mapper, you can generate polyphonic sounds using your voice. The settings on the Note Mapper can be extremely versatile, and different settings can provide inspiring voice-animated synth pads or electronic choirs.

Here’s what we created:

When working on Vocal Pads with OVox, it’s helpful to begin as follows:

  1. Turn the Note Mapper on, and select the root note of your song.
  2. Select either a Factory Map from the “Chords” categories that you like, or create your own Note Map and save it in the plugin.
  3. Use the Tolerance Time control on the upper toolbar to determine how fast new notes are generated (you can also quantize this setting to your host tempo).
  4. You can use the OVox Unison control, or the built-in effects (Chorus and Auto-Pan) to create richer and wider sounding pads.
Instrument Rack

3. Electronic Lead Vocal

When it came to creating a topline vocal, we chose a Vocoder type sound and used the MIDI notes to guide its melody—something similar to what you hear on “Doin’ it Right” by Daft Punk. When the Note Source (upper toolbar) is set to Auto, OVox will automatically pick up the notes from your voice, but incoming MIDI notes can take over. You can also use MIDI CC to modulate different controls on the plugin.

Have a listen to what we came up with:

There are two ways to set up this Vocoder effect:

1. Either:

  • Open OVox on an audio track with the vocals you wish to use
  • Create a MIDI track and send it into OVox
  • Make sure “Note Source” is set to MIDI or Auto

Note: Some DAWs (e.g. Logic) don’t allow routing MIDI into an audio track. In that case, you can open OVox as a “MIDI Controlled Effect” as follows:

2. Or:

  • Open OVox on a MIDI track
  • Create an audio track and in the DAW, route it into OVox’s Sidechain input
  • Inside OVox, set the “Voice” source (upper toolbar) to Sidechain
Instrument Rack

4. Electronic Backing Vocals

Now that we have the groove, melody and lyrics, our final production element is the backing vocals. Because we want the backing vocals to complement the sound of the lead vocal, not distract from it, it’s effective to use a different timbre of voice.

Instrument Rack

The Formant Filter in OVox controls the characteristics of your voice. Apart from producing the vowels and the movements of the mouth cavity, the human formant consists of information about the size of the vocal folds. It’s a super-powerful tool in changing the personality of the voice. In this track we chose to use the Formant Shift to make the voice sound feminine. We also shifted the oscillators an octave up to sing in ranges unreachable otherwise.

Have a listen to the backing vocal result:

And here is the full song we made using OVox:

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Want more on OVox? See how you can produce unique vocal FX.

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