Vocal Presets: 4 Simple Plugins That’ll Make Any Vocal Shine

Vocal Production
Vocal Presets: 4 Simple Plugins That’ll Make Any Vocal Shine

If you've spent any time in your DAW, you know that crafting the perfect vocal sound can be a complex endeavor. The good news? Vocal presets are here to make your life a lot easier.

But, how can you best use this useful feature found inside most DAWs and what should you keep in mind as you use them?

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore what vocal presets are, why they’re so useful, and which ones are worth your attention right now.

What are vocal presets?

Vocal presets are pre-configured settings for vocal processing plugins. They tend to use a combination of reverb, compression, EQ, and other audio effects saved into a single preset.

Producers use them to apply preferred settings to their vocal tracks and instantly achieve a professional sound without having to adjust each parameter individually.

Oftentimes, engineers will use a certain preset as a starting point, and then tweak to match the vocalist’s tone and desired sound.

Why they’re handy

Here's 10 free vocal plugins we love.

Here's 10 free vocal plugins we love.

The convenience of vocal presets cannot be overstated. For beginners, it saves the headache of having to delve deep into the technicalities of each effect.

Even for the seasoned producer, presets offer a quick starting point for further customization.

They provide an effective way to achieve a consistent quality across your vocal tracks swiftly.

Isabelle gives her top vocal mixing tips.

Isabelle gives her top vocal mixing tips.

Are vocal presets the same as vocal plugins?

The terms “vocal presets” and “vocal plugins” are sometimes used interchangeably, but they are different animals.

Vocal plugins are software units designed to perform particular processing tasks, like adding delay or adjusting pitch.

Vocal presets are the predefined settings you load into these plugins. Think of plugins as the instrument and presets as the sheet music.

Why use vocal presets?

There are a number of great reasons to lean on your vocal preset folder, whether you’re trying to lock in your sound or save time.

Maintain a consistent sound

One of the main reasons to use vocal presets is to achieve a consistent quality across various songs and projects.

If you hit upon a particular combination of settings that works well for your genre or vocal style, you can easily apply it to future tracks.

This creates a recognizable sound that your audience will come to associate with your music.

Vocal presets are great workflow enhancers.

Streamline your workflow

Vocal presets are also great workflow enhancers.

Whether you’re a hobbyist or a full-time producer, time is of the essence.

Much like a DAW template, presets allow you to focus more on the creative aspects of your music by taking care of the technical details.

Here's how plugin presets make vocals sound huge!

Here's how plugin presets make vocals sound huge!

Where to get the best vocal presets?

Vocal presets achieve consistent quality across various songs and projects.

By now you’re wondering where to get your hands on these preset gems.

Many plugin manufacturers provide their own bespoke presets and some DAWs like Ableton and Logic come pre-loaded with a versatile set of vocal presets to get you started.

A preset is just a starting point

Start making your own vocal presets. Read - <a href="https://blog.landr.com/vocal-chain-8-essential-mix-elements-for-vocal-tracks/">Vocal Chain: 8 Essential Mix Elements for Vocal Tracks</a>.

Start making your own vocal presets. Read - Vocal Chain: 8 Essential Mix Elements for Vocal Tracks.

You may have noticed that a cottage industry of preset makers has sprouted up online, offering preset packs for sale with stock plugins already dialed in.

While some of the presets are likely well made and work well on certain vocal takes—be wary of the snake oil marketing behind some of these preset pack makers.

It’s worth asking yourself whether a preset pack made with stock Ableton or Logic Plugins really was used by Justin Bieber or Drake (spoiler, it almost surely was not).

The reality is that every voice, vocal part and song arrangement around a vocal part is different.

Every voice, vocal part and song arrangement around a vocal part is different.

A soft vocal over an acoustic guitar will demand different EQ cuts and boosts than a rap vocal over booming 808s and blaring hi-hats.

That’s why a one-size-fits-all approach with a certain preset won’t always fit the various EQing and mixing techniques a vocal part needs.

So, don’t be fooled into spending a ton of money on presets you could have easily dialed in yourself.

That money could go towards buying actual third-party plugins instead (and get you closer to actually using a plugin that Drake or Bieber used).

There’s nothing wrong with using a preset pack, or downloading a vocal preset from a preset marketplace—just be wary of what’s being sold to you and remember it’s a starting point.

Head audio engineer at LANDR, Al Isler, gives his expert advice on vocal EQ.

Head audio engineer at LANDR, Al Isler, gives his expert advice on vocal EQ.

The best vocal presets right now

In my opinion, the best vocal presets usually come in the form of a plugin that’s already been engineered to sound good and is easily dialed in—not a pack of presets purchased for stock DAW plugins.

Many plugin manufacturers have dedicated a ton of engineering resources to build one-knob plugins with simple interfaces that producers of any level can use to quickly dial in their sounds.

So in this list, I’ll share some great plugins that already come with both impressive vocal presets and powerful controls.

1. LANDR FX Voice

LANDR FX is a simple but versatile plugin that comes with excellent presets.

LANDR FX is a simple but versatile plugin that comes with excellent presets.

Let’s start with LANDR FX Voice, a plugin that offers a broad palette of vocal presets designed to suit various genres and moods.

LANDR FX voice comes with an incredibly simple one-knob interface and dozens of presets that we’re built by the professional audio-engineer team here at LANDR.

You’ll find vocal EQ presets that easily let you dial in settings used to produce top 40s pop sound, trap and hip-hop or good ol’ fashioned rock’n’roll.

You’ll also find a number of presets for reverb, delay, vocal effects and more. You really can build an entire vocal chain using a handful of LANDR FX Voice plugins.

Best of all it comes with any LANDR’s plugin bundle subscription or as part of any LANDR Studio plan—which also includes access to 30+ premium plugins, unlimited AI mastering and unlimited distribution.

2. VocAlign Project 5


If you work with multiple layers of vocals you likely know how difficult and time-consuming it can be to align each layer and make sure everything is sung together and to the beat.

VocAlign is a game-changing time saver that many professionals lean on to use to smart algorithms to automatically align vocals to a lead take.

This plugin makes it effortless to time-align your backing vocals or harmonies, and its presets can help you achieve a tight, professional sound in no time.

3. LANDR Studio Plugins

Here&#039;s everything LANDR Studio has to offer.

Here's everything LANDR Studio has to offer.

Another option is the LANDR Studio Plugins suite, which offers a myriad EQ, effects, compressors and more, each boasting collections of presets that’ll make any vocal shine.

Try S-Quick strip, MixBox or Valves to chisel your vocals with these EQs, or add smart compression with Korvpressor.

If lo-fi is your style, LANDR Studio includes Baby Audio TAIP which is a well-loved plugin for adding tape-inspired crackle and warmth to any vocal part.

Studio also comes with a handful of great effects like Arturia RevPlate which re-creates a legendary plate reverb sound that sounds awesome on vocal parts.

All these plugins come with incredibly user-friendly interfaces and provide a wide range of tonal options, from subtle to in-your-face.

4. Free vocal presets in your DAW


Don’t underestimate the power of the presets that come with your DAW’s stock plugins.

🧠 Hot tip

Learn how to dial in your own presets by learning how to EQ vocals!

Remember, the vocal presets sold on preset marketplaces are always entirely built using the stock plugins found on your DAW of choice.

So there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to dial in your own vocal presets—save the ones you like and keep using them.

Much like a DAW template, you can always save a vocal chain you liked and used in subsequent projects.

Not to mention that many DAWs come with presets pre-built for their stock plugins—Ableton’s effect racks are a good example.

Often, these are designed by sound engineers and can be surprisingly effective. Plus, they’re free and readily available.


There you have it—four ways to get great plugins loaded with presets that will help you achieve vocal excellence.

When it comes to vocals, presets are more than just shortcuts; they’re invaluable tools that can help you start producing consistent great-sounding music.

Keep experimenting, keep creating, and let those vocals shine.

Alex Lavoie

Alex Lavoie is a drummer, music producer, songwriter and marketing professional living in Montreal, Quebec. He works as a staff writer at LANDR by day and writes indie post-punk tunes in his band UTILS while moonlighting as drummer for folk-rock outfit The Painters. Connect with Alex Lavoie on LANDR Network!

@Alex Lavoie

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