We here at ProAudioLand are always excited to bring our guests the latest and greatest products the professional audio industry has to offer. Whether it’s Fender’s 2013 electrics or Dunlop’s latest pickups, you can rest assured that PAL has you covered! Today, we’re going to take a look at TC-Helicon’s line of VoiceTone single pedals that offer a slew of specific effects made especially for vocalists. If you aren’t too aware of TC-Helicon, they are essentially a sub-division of the better known Canadian based TC-Electronic who focuses more on processors and pedals for electric instruments, along with a few other pro audio products.
Each VoiceTone single shares many of the same components: a clean, quiet mic preamp that the company touts rivals high-end touring mixers, a strong die-cast metal chassis, rubberized base to keep the box from slipping, studio quality analog to digital conversion the same high-quality processing featured on their flagship VoiceLive 2. I personally use their Harmony GXT on a regular basis and once I got the hang of some of the more awkward controls, it became an essential part of my live repertoire. In fact, that infamous learning curve (let’s just say even after a few months, I still keep the manual nearby) might have been the inspiration behind these pedals.
While my Harmony GXT features more than its fair share of effects such as doubling, added harmonies, pitch correction, reverb and the like, these VoiceTone singles are looking to streamline the process – and confusion – by having each pedal focus on only a few select effects. There’s no sense in paying for the entire set of features when all you really wanted was some distortion and pitch correction in your vocals, right? True, this probably won’t attract those already happy with their VoiceLive 2 but I’m fairly certain that TC-Helicon was looking to gain new customers that had never used a dedicated voice pedal before with these. For one – they’re not nearly as intimidating as their bigger boxes. They also focus on more mainstream effects that most singers wouldn’t mind adding to their skill set, such as C1 HardTune and its ability to easily recreate T-Pain style auto-tune on a professional level.
All that aside, one of the more exciting features that these single vocal pedals offer over their predecessors is their ability to function with TC-Helicon’s MP-75 Microphone. Using the mic’s thumb switch allows you to turn each effect on and off without having to keep looking at the box itself thanks to the patent Mic Control circuit featured in each VoiceTone single pedal. You can also chain multiple VoiceTone singles together and control each one independently or turn them all on or off in combination. Alright, now that you know the background behind these pedals, let’s check them all out individually.
One of the more robust pedals of the VoiceTone single line, the Mic Mechanic is essentially a compact vocal toolbox inside a compact, easy-to-use pedal that offers effects that every singer can use.Notable features include top quality TC-Helicon reverbs, delays and pitch Correction, adaptive tone for the perfect mix, simple controls, easy to use instant effects and a rugged, all-metal construction. With Mic Mechanic you get tried and true combinations of the Reverbs and Delays from TC's renowned VoiceLive series. These are classic sounds designed to enhance and complement the natural timbre of your voice, making Mic Mechanic the direct response to the singers who say ‘I don’t want to change my voice. I just want to sound great.’ Reverb is the essential vocal effect, loved by all singers and used in practically every venue and recording studio in the world. Picked from the flagship VoiceLive series, the lush Reverbs in Mic Mechanic surround your voice with a great sense of space, small or large. From short slapback echoes to long repeating phrases, Delay adds that special something to your vocal sound. Use the Tap Tempo feature and time the delays to match your music perfectly. Auto Chromatic Pitch Correction gently guides you towards the true note you’re singing. When you’re just a bit flat or sharp, Mic Mechanic steps in and gives you a little or a large nudge in the right direction. It can be transparent or used as an effect, whichever you like. Mic Mechanic automatically adjusts EQ, Compression, De-Essing and Gating providing you with great tone all the time. Get a great vocal sound regardless of your sound system or sound tech.
Natural harmony sound, ease of use and now, ultimate affordability are yours in VoiceTone H1. Pros and hobbyists alike can achieve fuller-sounding vocal performances with this sturdy vocal harmony pedal. Notable features include the ability to add one or two voices of realistic harmony to your voice, a high-quality signal path and a tough, die-cast enclosure. Pure vocalists can use the H1’s key selector to dial in specific harmonies that fit exactly with the scale of your songs. Singers slash guitarists can take advantage of the H1’s guitar sensing ability which enables the box to automatically find your songs key with the strike of a chord. Mic-Control offers remote on/off via TC-Helicon MP-75 microphone.
The E1 offers singers the signature echo and slapback effects that evoke classic songs while putting effects control at their feet. Now, high quality, immersive echo effects for the stage are no longer just for guitarists. Notable features of the E1 include a wide range of echo effects for more depth in your vocals, the ability to set the echo times to the song tempo via tempo tapping of the footswitch along with a high quality signal path and tough, die-cast enclosure. From Rockabilly-style tape slap echo to trance-inducing long echo trails timed to your song’s tempo, the E1 can excite your vocals and your audience more than ever before. And best of all, it’s easy to use; leave it on one setting throughout your performance or change it up for different songs. When it’s time to talk to your audience, clear, dry banter is just a footswitch tap away.
The X1 brings a modern down and dirty quality to live vocals with tinny megaphones and sharp vocal distortion effects under any singer’s control. The X1 can easily create modern-sounding megaphone and intense distortion effects with the press of a button. Also included are filtered telephone effects for good measure. The filter control adds smart EQ band limiting to your voice in case a rough performance needs some smoothing. Notable features includes three different megaphone and telephone effects, two distortion type, the amplifier effects and a drive control that modifies distortion for added customization. Whether you need to punctuate a word, phrase or an entire song with an effect, the X1 intensifies your vocals with its wide range of filtered and distorted sounds. Simply load one of the pre-set styles, tap the footswitch and you’re ready to go. From there, the Drive and Filter controls can be modified to suit your voice or the song. Kick it on, kick it off, you’re in control!
If you happen to be big on reverb for your vocal performances, then the R1 is the pedal for you! This box adds studio reverb polish to your live vocals by offering pro acoustic spaces from lush halls to tight ambience. Now you can bring studio reverberation to a live performance by simply connecting the R1 between your mic and mixer. Included reverb styles include Hall, Plate, Theater, Club, Room, Studio, Ambience and Arena. With reverb algorithms ported from TC-Helicon’s flagship VoicePro processor, VoiceTone R1 is capable of surrounding your voice in a warm ambience. Initial reflections, decay time and tail tone have been optimally balanced in the eight pre-set reverb styles so you can find the perfect sonic pillow for each song.
Doubling has been used since the beginning of modern popular recording and for good reason – it adds tons of depth! It’s probably the single most used effect in recording besides reverb and now you can add that same thick, lush effect to your live repertoire! The D1thickens your live vocals with realistic doubling emulations, octaves, and detune effects in an easy-to-use pedal. Doubling is no longer strictly for the studio with the D1! Doubling styles include Tight, Loose, Group, Detune, Thick, Octave Up, Octave Down and Shout. The doubling effect in VoiceTone D1 incorporates TC-Helicon’s research into differentiating pitch-shifted voices from your lead voice to produce convincing group unison vocal effects. Single and multi-voice natural doubling styles are available including octave shifted variants, classic fixed detune effects and even a group shout for extra fun!
We’ve all heard this one before – that infamous auto-tune! From the wildly popular HardTune effect to subtle pitch correction and gender manipulation, VoiceTone C1 opens up new vocal territory in an easy-to-use stompbox. From mild to wild with just one press of a button! VoiceTone C1 has clean, transparent correction capability with unique control of musical input via the guitar input if desired. When transparency isn’t your bag, cranking the attack and gender controls will turn the C1’s pitch correction into the robotic modern effect heard everywhere. And like the rest of the pedals in the VoiceTone line, you can chain this baby with the rest of them for added vocal effects. Check out the landing page here for a vocal demonstration!
Like a personal audio engineer, the VoiceTone T1 reacts to your voice and applies studio dynamics and EQ to bring out your best tone. Now you can get studio-quality vocal tone without the hassle! VoiceTone T1 adapts studio-quality compression, de-ess and EQ to your individual voice to bring out your most exciting vocal tone. The multiband EQ compares your vocal frequencies to an ideal target and brightens and removes mud accordingly while the compressor works to keep your voice sounding smooth whether you’re right on the mic or farther away.