When an artist endorses a plug-in and puts his name on it, it comes with the promise that it’ll bring all the artist’s signature sounds and effects to your studio. Just like Clearmountain’s Domain, Eddie Kramer’s Edstortion or Waves’ CLA plug-ins, for example, The Sauce carries the name of a music idol, in this case DJ Swivel. It’s an all-in-one vocal mixing tool, with various processors for sweetening and enhancing your vocal tracks. What does it have to offer?
DJ Swivel The Sauce
DJ Swivel, who is best known for his work for Beyoncé, Chainsmokers, Coldplay and Jay-Z, has released The Sauce. The multi-effects plug-in is designed to give your vocal tracks that chart-topping edge. Its various effects sections are tailored to vocals, but can of course be used on other types of signals, as well.
For whatever reason, the effects aren’t clearly named. Instead of familiar terms like chorus, flanger or reverb, the plug-in’s GUI offers culinary-themed labels like Flavor, Sugar & Spice, Squeeze and Smoke. DJ Swivel calls The Sauce a “vocal seasoner”. Sounds fancy, but what do these effects actually do?
Vocal multi-effect plug-in
Flavor is a pitch and formant shifter with a mix control. Spice has two distortion algorithms: mild and hot. Sugar offers chorus and flanger effects. Squeeze is a one-knob parallel compressor with two levels of aggressiveness. The Smoke knob lets you dial in one of three convolution reverbs: room, plate and hall. There’s no control over any parameters except the reverb mix. Finally, Drip is an analogue modeling delay. Once you get past the tasty labels, everything starts to make much more sense – there’s hardly any voodoo going on here.
What’s interesting, though, is that these effects can be applied to three multi-band layers. This allows you to process different frequency ranges independently. The Sauce also includes a spreader for enhancing the stereo width. Lastly, the plug-in offers an overall mix knob and some output filters.
One thing which many artist-endorsed signature products have in common is a premium price tag. Looking at the Sauce’s features and the competition from plug-ins like ToneSpot Voice Pro, does its price of nearly USD 150 seem reasonable? That’s up to you to decide.
Price and compatibility
DJ Swivel The Sauce is now on sale at Plugin Boutique* for USD 99. The regular price is USD 149. The plug-in runs on Windows 7 and up and macOS 10.11 and up in VST3, AU and AAX formats (64 bit). A trial version is available.