MV’s Plugins has introduced MIDI Choir, a freeware real-time pitch shifter effect for 32-bit VST plugin host applications on Windows (also works in standalone mode).
MIDI Choir is a polyphonic MIDI pitch shifter, or in other words, a plugin that changes the pitch of the processed audio signal according to the MIDI notes on the input.
When loaded as a send effect, it can be used for layering a number of re-pitched copies of the original signal, resulting in some rather decent sounding fake choirs. The pitched notes will sound more artificial as you move away from the root note, which is not really surprising. Obviously, it’s not possible to turn a soprano vocal into a realistic sounding bass. However, the results are generally decent enough for creating simple harmonies and backing vocal tracks.
Even though MIDI Choir was developed for use on vocals, it can also work as a very interesting creative effect for synths, acoustic instruments, or even drums. The results will often be slightly glitchy and lo-fi, but in a good way.
The setup process can be more or less complicated, depending on the host applications routing capabilities. I’ve made MIDI Choir work in no time in MuLab, thanks to MuLab’s powerful modular editor. Things will probably be far less straightforward in hosts which don’t support MIDI note input on AUX channels.
All things considered, MIDI Choir is a rather pleasant surprise and a great addition to the freeware plugin market. Hopefully, a future update will make it compatible with 64-bit plugin hosts on Windows, as well as Mac-based host applications. Until then, 64-bit Windows users can use the standalone version of the effect as a workaround.
MIDI Choir is available for free download via MV’s Plugins (4.97 MB download size, ZIP archive, 32-bit VST plugin format for Windows).