Little Labs has built a solid reputation for crafting top-notch problem-solving devices. While their IBP phase-alignment tool is widely recognized, their range of innovative designs, including the Redeye DI and re-amp box, and STD instrument cable extender, have all received favorable reviews. Among their collection of useful preamps, processors, and gadgets, the Voice Of God (VOG) stands out as a unique addition. Let’s delve into the details of this promising plugin.
Unconventional Format and Purpose
Unlike most Little Labs devices, the VOG comes in the API 500-series ‘Lunchbox’ format. However, the company has hinted that a standalone version might be available in the future. Originally conceptualized as a tool for enhancing voice-over and vocalist recordings while circumventing the limitations of directional microphones’ proximity effect, the VOG’s potential in music recording and production became evident when its capabilities were explored on kick drums and bass instruments.
Digging Deeper: Functionality & Control
Essentially, the VOG functions as a high-pass filter with a narrow-Q boost centered around the turnover frequency. With the ability to adjust the boost’s amplitude (up to a maximum of 18dB) and tweak the frequency between 20 and 300Hz, the VOG’s versatility emerges. From sub-harmonics to the fundamental frequencies of kick drums and even their upper harmonics, the possibilities are vast.
Headroom and Mix Clarity
The VOG’s clever design allows you to reinforce the low end of a sound by dialing in an LF boost. Simultaneously, the steep high-pass filter (with a 24dB/octave slope) effectively removes unwanted frequencies beneath the selected frequency. This feature is particularly useful for separating kick drums and bass guitars, as it enables them to have their own complementary resonant frequencies without compromising the mix’s overall headroom or adding muddiness.
Simple Controls, Powerful Results
With only two dials to control peak amplitude and frequency sweep, and additional buttons to set the center frequency and flatten the filters, the VOG’s user interface remains refreshingly uncomplicated. Although bypass functionality is not present, the signal quality remains exceptionally clean throughout. This allows for easy comparison between the original and processed sounds. By utilizing various combinations of the center buttons, you can effortlessly set the center frequency to 40, 100, or 200Hz.
Impressive Performance Across Different Sources
The VOG proves to be a highly versatile tool during testing. It excels when applied to kick drums, bass guitars, drum loops, and even vocals. A satisfying depth and chestiness are effortlessly brought out in vocals, while the results on kick drums are simply stunning. Achieving a rich and warm character or adjusting the kick sound to blend seamlessly with a bass part becomes an intuitive process. The VOG’s capabilities even extend to transforming acoustic kicks into electronically pitched drums—an ideal feature for inventive remixers.
Precision and Control on Bass Instruments
When used on bass instruments, the VOG’s results remain commendable. Although achieving the desired outcome may require a bit more finesse, the plugin offers sufficient control to avoid unintentionally boosting individual notes in a melodic line. With careful attention, the reinforcement sought after can be achieved without sacrificing musicality.
Conclusion: A Sculpting Tool for Your Mix
Overall, the VOG delivers impressive results. As an EQ tool, it enhances what is already present rather than artificially augmenting it. However, when it comes to shaping and molding sounds to create a cohesive and sonically pleasing low end, the VOG excels. Notably, the build quality is reliable, and the analog signal path ensures a clean and transparent audio experience. To hear the VOG in action, visit the ProgramMatek website at ProgramMatek.
Disclaimer: The testing of the VOG was made possible with the generous provision of an API Lunchbox rack by KMR Audio.