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Best Vocal Effects Pedal For Reverb, Harmony & Tuning

Published: Tue April 30, 2013  News Feed

Best Vocal Effects Pedal For Reverb, Harmony & Tuning

By Hugh McKenna

The Best Vocal Effects Pedal

Guitar effects have been around for a long time allowing the axe men to switch on fuzz, chorus and delays at will. There's no need for those show boaters to hog the light any more as now vocalists can get in on the act as well.

Of course it makes perfect sense for vocals to have a dedicated FX unit, in most genres they are the focal point of the song. Also every voice is unique and requires careful treatment to ensure it finds it's place in the mix and stands out when needed. Apply a big delay for the chorus, a hushed harmony for an intimate verse or simply turn up to the gig with the perfect sound in your pocket.

Live Vocal Treatment

TC Helicon have a range of different stompbox, tabletop and rack effects for the artist looking to get a bigger and better sound live and on record. Their flagship Voicelive 2 combines a staggering amount of effects, abilities and processes into one.

Inputs for Mic, Line & Guitar (In and Through), 1/8" Aux Input, MIDI In, Out & Thru
Get up to 8 harmonies and 4 voices of unison for a truly gigantic vocal sound! These can be freely generated or controlled by MIDI, guitar, MP3 or any audio source.
Pitch correction for any style, from extreme T-Pain settings to subtle nudging.
Creative effects including distortion, megaphone, old radio & guitar FX.
More subtle processing like simply delays, reverb and EQ also feature. Allowing you to get the fundamentals of your vocal sound right, then get creative with looping and processing.

Check out the choir sample below to hear just how natural the harmonising and effects are, as well as some subtle and not so subtle examples of pitch and effects processing.

The Voicelive 2 is designed to be used live and built to survive life on the road, delivering your signature sound no matter what venue and can even help out on the 50th date of the tour when perhaps your voice isn't quite the same as it was on the 1st day.

Being such a versatile and reliable beast it has gathered fans in just about every musical genre imaginable, pop, rock, metal, country, hip hop and of course beatboxers are big fans of it's more out there features. Here's a small selection of the artists using TC to do more live and enhance their sound.

Pure Vocals - Practice At Home And Take Your Sound To The Stage

For the dedicated singer it's important that your effects unit covers the essentials such as reverb, delay, EQ, pitch and light modulation. Equally important is that you get warmed up and practiced before the show, so loop features and headphone outputs can be a massive help too.

Roland have you well covered on all counts with their range of vocal processors. The VT-12 visualises pitch, provides a metronome for timing, two inputs to practice with a teacher/student, built in exercises and a record function to listen back to how you did. On top of this it comes with a book of lessons from Berklee School Of Music.

Once you've practiced your voice and got your scales down then the VE-5 and VE-20 vocal processors are the perfect accompaniment on stage and in the dressing room. They both offer the core FX any vocalist needs as well as some great creative alternative tones and looping.

The main difference between the two units is that the VE-5 can be stand mounted and battery powered while the VE-20 is a stompbox. So the VE-20 is ideal if you're intending on getting creative with the looper and the VE-5 is very portable, use it on a table top at home, mic stand on stage and unplugged in the dressing room or on the tour bus. Get an idea of just what's possible with the Boss Vocal Processors in this clever demo from Dub FX.

For Vocal Practice
Roland VT-12
Roland VT-12
Voice Live Play
TC Helicon VoiceLive Play
For practice at home or lessons the VT-12 is ideal, showing your exact pitch visually and delivering a metronome for timing. A number of lessons come built in to allow you to practice alone, the record function captures your performance and lets you play back to hear how you did. If you'd prefer to learn by singing along then the vocal cancel function on the Voice Live Play will suit you perfectly. When practice is over then tuning, harmonies, EQ and FX give you powerful tools for getting your stage sound right before you get to the gig.

Effects For Guitar Playing Vocalists
VoiceLive Guitar
TC Helicon VoiceLive Play GTX
TC Helicon Harmony Singer
TC Helicon Harmony Singer
£270 £145
Like the standard VoiceLive Play the GTX has looping, harmonising and voice cancel features. On top of this is a guitar input and dedicated guitar FX/amps for a one stop shop to get both your guitar and vocal sounds for stage. With tons of tones on board you can browse by genre and get the right sound for every song. If you're a function/wedding band then the GTX can lighten the load with Aux Input for playback and all the sounds you need to cover songs in one box. Plus if the bassist can't sing to save himself then draft in the harmoniser for those big pop choruses. Built on similar technology tot he GTX the Harmony Singer gives you harmonies (that can be guitar triggered), vocal reverb and a sound sweetener. Trigger it for impact during a song and don't rely on the sound man to get your voice sounding right.

Stage Vocal Solutions
Voicetone Mic Mechanic
TC Helicon Voicetone Mic Mechanic
Boss VE-5
Boss VE-5
£116 £189
Pitch correction, reverb, delay and simple EQ/Dynamics control, don't put up with bad sound again. A straightforward solution to so many stage problems.
All the essentials with reverb, EQ and added creative FX for those special moments in the song. Clip it to your mic stand battery power for the ultimate on-stage convenience.

Finding Your Voice - Get Creative With FX
Voicetone Create
TC Helicon VoiceTone Create XT
TC Helicon VoiceLive Touch
VoiceLive Touch
Boss VE-20
Boss VE-20
£149 £415 £195
Contain many of the more creative effects from the Voicelive 2 including modulation, reverb, distortions and the Hardtun feature used by Kanye West. Hours of fun to be had and plenty of opportunities to mix things up on stage. A real powerhouse, with the range of FX you expect from a flagship VoiceLive product but the added genius of touch screen capabilities. Get inspired in the studio, arrange presets ready to trigger live and then tweak in real time for a perfect performance. Masses of creative effects, reverb, harmonies and a looper from an iconic stompbox manufacturer. Boss know how to put together a pedal and the VE-20 is no exception. Check out the Road Test below where the VE-20 is put through it's paces live and Abe goes through some of the special features.

Individual Effects

Up to now we've largely covered the best multi-effects vocal processors. However there are a range of individual pedals, covering Reverb, Harmonising, Compression and more. Just like a guitarists simply stomp when you need your sound to take off, clamp down or leap out the speakers.

TC Helicon Vocal Pedals
TC Helicon Delay
TC Helicon Delay
TC Helicon Hardtune
TC Helicon Hardtune
TC Helicon Doubler
TC Helicon Doubler
TC Helicon Adaptive Tone
TC Helicon Adaptive Tone And Dynamics
TC Helicon Reverb
TC Helicon Reverb
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