Online Review: Pandora RealTime, Prosoniq.

Prosoniq, audio software producer in Germany, introduced some time ago Pandora RealTime, a hardly known but very strong plug-in tool to enhance leading vocals to a more prominent level. For example needed when the leading vocal was recorded or mixed too low leveled, compared to the surrounding instruments and backing vocals. With Pandora RealTime, you can  put the leading vocal a bit more in the foreground. Or push it back a little more, when recorded or mixed too loud. We review the realtime plug-in version here. Prosoniq will come up later with the "real thing".

There is a more radical use of Pandora RealTime.  Let's describe this usage as: "Get those leading vocals completely out of the way, so I can sing my karaoke". Basically, this was not what Pandora RealTime was developed for, but this usage is more and more practiced, as we hear in the industry.

For "karaoke use", Pandora RealTime has it's limits. If you try to "kill" the vocal too strong, the rest of the music gets weird and distorted. Some experimenting is needed here. But: if you use Pandora RealTime with care, you can obtain very interesting results.

In plain English, this is what Pandora RealTime technically does. While playing the recording, the Pandora RealTime plug-in analyses the recording in real-time, and filters out those frequencies that correspond with the human voice of the lead vocal. You can alter the frequency range, Pandora RealTime has to watch, with sliders. If male of female, Pandora RealTime will catch the leading voice and filter it out of the recording as effectively as possible. The spin offs of leading vocal in reverb will not be removed completely, but that is no too bad. It will support your voice while singing karaoke or doing a cover in the studio. Please pay the copyrights, thank you.

The screen capture below shows the Pandora RealTime interface on the right. The red dots in the monitoring window are the frequencies being filtered out.

*Click image to see true proportional image. It will appear in separate window.

You will need a rather fast Mac to do the job. My 9500/200 PowerPC with 96MB RAM (normally not so shy when it comes to the more heavy plug-ins) choked totally on this plug-in. In our Stable Studio we have faster machines (level G3 233 Mhz), and there it went well. The screenshot and  testfiles (belowe) were produced there, thank you Roel Toering.

The best way to get an impression of Pandora RealTime is listening to the two MP3-copies of the oroginal testfiles below. The first one is the original recording, the second one after being altered with Pandora RealTime plug-in. You will clearly hear the difference. The files are not streaming: download completely (403K per file) and play with your MP3 player.

Sample original recording without Pandora

Sample recording after being altered by Pandora.

Conclusion: if you need a tool that can rearrange the volume of leading vocals in a finished recording, get Pandora RealTime at the website of Prosoniq. It will even help you producing karaoke ready files for the fun or more serious goals. I'd like to give this plug-in an 8 on a scale of 1 (very bad) to 10 (excellent).

More detailed product info can be found at the website of Prosoniq.

All reviews in are written by Peter J. Bloemendaal. All rights reserved.

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