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If you’re looking to create a live acoustic experience as enticing as the Sirens, but are a soloist, then a vocal effects processor may be just the tool you’ve been seeking. Sitting as a mid-point accessory between the microphone and the PA system or sound board, a vocal effect processor allows for real-time vocal editing, to create a more dynamic, immersive performance and audio experience.
Vocal effects processors serve multiple functions, but as the name suggests there are two main features: adding effects and processing vocals. These compact components come preprogrammed with effects such as voice doubling, echo, and reverb. The device can also run voice correction, pitch control, and many contain harmonizers which will create a multi-part harmony out of one vocalist.
These units are super easy to use and bring a level of professional engineering that would otherwise require a highly-skilled sound engineer at the mixing board. Except, even then, a human could probably not keep up with the speed of digital processing. These components bring studio effects to a live performance, as well as help unlock on-the-fly vocal creativity.
1. TC Helicon VoiceTone Correct XT
TC Helicon has one mission at the core of their company: making products that amplify the most beautiful instrument – the human voice. Their equipment is expertly-crafted and suited specifically to the demands of amateur and professional vocalists alike.
The VoiceTone Harmony-G XT is a solid performing unit works to blend your voice and instrument together, helping you stay in tune, sound brighter, and avoid feedback.
Toggle between six reverb/delay combinations for vocal and guitar input, and layer on harmonies over your track. Cycle easily through ten configurable presets. Use this unit as a digital vocal coach and real-time sound engineer in one.
This set includes two, six-inch right angle patch cables, and six Dunlop guitar picks.
PROS: Auto-chromatic pitch correction works to keep the singer in pitch, the way a metronome works to keep a musician in time. A ton of effects, from harmony choices, to doubling effects, reverb, tone control and more.
CONS: Could be complicated for entry-level users.
2. BOSS VE-20
BOSS has been engineering ultra premium sound equipment, basically forever. Their tried and true, road-tested and musician-approved components are a welcome addition to any performer’s equipment setup.
The VE-20 is feature-rich and value-packed. Loaded with effects like distortion, strobe, and radio, this unit will create a dynamic performance. Coupled with a plethora of vocal effects, the VE-20’s vocal processing is second to none. Quickly fire up layers of harmonies or on-the-fly pitch correction for stunning vocal purity.
PROS: Tons of features, easy to use, and is battery operated or plug-in powered.
CONS: Takes some getting used to, but then it becomes second nature.
3. TC Helicon Mic Mechanic 2
The TC Helicon Mic Mechanic 2 serves one purpose more than the other; here we are getting more effects than processing. The Mic Mechanic 2 comes pre-loaded with multiple reverb and echo effects. One key asset of this stompbox is the auto-adjust gain feature; the Mic Mechanic always keeps the mic power up without distorting the sound quality.
PROS: Feature-rich, a supreme asset for vocal effects while on stage.
CONS: Best used in tandem with another vocal processor rather than solely on its own.