For quite some time I’ve been wanting to add a hardware effects unit to my live show exclusively for vocals. While Ableton is an incredible live tool I don’t want to be fiddling with pixels while I sing (scream). Although I could have a dedicated MIDI controller set up just for my vocal effects I don’t want to complicate my set up further as I already have a controller for synth/drum parts and Ableton is running a HD video in sync with the live show. I’m a huge fan of TC-Helicon. If your a reader of the blog you know Voicemodler for Powercore was my favorite plug-in and I recently picked up a Voiceworks Plus in my studio. I had my eye on Helicon’s live voice boxes for a bit but honestly they seemed a little pricey and complicated or too large. I am at my very limit as far as suitcase weight goes. I overlooked a January Namm announcement they made for a box they are now selling called the Voicelive Play. What I really like about this box is that I can set up presets, name them and click through them easily as my show and songs progress through a live set. The great feature that made be buy the unit is the HIT button. Basically it’s a second layer of effect(s) that you turn on for say a chorus or break. Watch the smartly produced aka easy to watch and learn from online manual above to get into everything this $250 box can do. If your a Sound on Sound subscriber you can read their review of the Voicelive Play here: link. See you at the show!
“Whether you’re at the top of the charts – or just a dreamer with a microphone, VoiceLive Play gives you hundreds of song & artist presets to choose from, helping you create amazing vocals. Featuring automatic backing harmonies, vocal double tracking, pristine EQ and compression, lush reverbs, hard-tuned robo-voice – all the the goose-bumps-on-your-arm effects that make today’s Billboard hit vocals “pop”. If hundreds of presets wasn’t enough, you’ll be able to download new and exciting artist presets each month for free via VoiceSupport.” – tc-helicon.com
My TC Electronic Powercore PCI recently died. I became quite in love with the TC-Helicon VoiceModler plug-in. After some research and contacting the company I discovered their Voiceworks Plus hardware unit contained the same algorithms. I was able to get a “B-Stock” unit from NovaMusik for $350. It’s an amazing piece of kit. It does do exactly what the Voicemodler plug-in did and a lot more. More importantly it does it clearer, brighter, sharper, bassier and with zero CPU load or latency. I know this little review isn’t the new VoiceLive Rack but my point is Helicon makes really good products for vocals. I don’t believe the VoiceLive Rack has the modeling stuff but nevertheless if it’s anything like their other products it should be great on your voice. Maybe this unit has some tricks the Voiceworks doesn’t? I’m also starting to think I need to bring one of these units on the road with me.
“VoiceLive Rack combines a transparent, digitally controlled mic preamp, a full suite of adaptive pre-effects, and TC-Helicon’s industry leading, complete vocal effects path to produce any vocal sound you’ve heard or dreamed of. Now, whether you’re constructing a giant vocal track for your latest tune or mixing front-of-house at today’s tour stop, VoiceLive Rack delivers the vocal magic.” – tc-helicon.com
I was watching a comedian on TV the other night. He was saying it’s going to be funny when old people listen to hip hop. Since there is a generation into now it it’s only natural eventually they will grow old, reminisce, play and “sing” the songs. That fact alone is worth a blog post. I mean it’s going to be rediculous no? My TC Powercore has been on it’s last legs lately. There are a few key effects in it I really don’t want to live without. I contacted TC Helicon and what I am looking for is also available in their Voiceworks Plus unit. Off to Youtube to see a few videos and I came across the video above in which the performer uses a Voiceworks. He’s also covering one of my all time favorite songs Only You by Yaz. Time is a strange thing don’t you think? Where’s my bucket list again…
“Only You” is a ballad written by musician Vince Clarke. He wrote it while with Depeche Mode, and offered it to them when he was leaving. They declined, and Clarke recorded it after forming the duo Yazoo with Alison Moyet. It was an instant success, hitting number two in the UK, and charting in the U.S. (number sixty-seven, Billboard Hot 100), a feat only attained by one other Yazoo single (coincidentally, that single was “Situation,” the original UK B-side of “Only You”). “Only You” also made the U.S. Adult Contemporary chart at number thirty-eight.” – Wikipedia
As I am a person who thinks my most valuable instrument is my voice I’m always keen of vocal processors. One area where for the most part have left my voice dry is during a live performance. I plan on changing this at least for some songs. I may want to keep the processing and button pushing out of the laptop. This TC Helicon VoiceLive Touch box is in the running. Are there any others I should be looking at?
“I’ma let you finish watching this demo, but the TC Helicon VoiceLive Touch is one of the greatest stand-mount vocal processors ever made. Yeah, I know, we’re not usually ones for hyperbole, but this harmony generator and vocal sweetened with built-in looper is really something else. And given the fact that it’s the only stand-mount vocal processor, it’s not such an outlandish statement.” – gearwire
The VoiceJam app for iPad was the centerpiece of my performance at TekServe a few months ago. They recently updated the app. The main new feature is a plug-in architecture and the first available plug-in the C1.
“The version adds In-App purchase of a VoiceTone C1 plug-in for adding the HardTune effects along with a long list of other features, improvements and fixes.” – tc-helicon.com
There are a few Loopers for iOS but the newly released VoiceJam from TC-Helicon is my favorite. WIthin the first hour I recorded some really cool stuff with it. The demo video above will give you a good idea of what’s possible with one exception. They don’t mention that if you use an iRig or similar device you can record drum machines or whatever “line in”. I used my iPhone into the iPad and FunkBox to lay down a beat, Beatbot for some synths and recorded some vocals. It was very fun almost to the point I will say this is a musicians iOS killer app.
“Traditional audio loopers constrain you to a single loop. While they often make it easy to build up a great phrase with each new layer and track, they never make it easy to go anywhere with the original idea. VoiceJam encourages you to expand outwards, giving you the tools to create a complete musical performance with all the dramatic structure of a fully mixed composition.” – tc-helicon.com/voicejam
I can tell that people in my own generation are employed as Industrial Designers. A lot of new products tug at my heart strings. Just look at the new Voicelive Touch from TC Helicon. 80’s membrane? Yes I want please. Getting past the simple hardware button gearlust it’s a vocal processor and looper. Considering I sing on almost all my songs, play live often and have become obsessed with the iPhone App Everyday Looper this should be my fortay. I also use the TC plug-ins daily so… The promo video… oh no…
Apple? I’m confused. I actually saw the Voicelive over at Peter’s Create Digital Music and noticed some comments about the promo video. Pretty hilarious. That’s not to say this could be an awesome little box. I’ll wait for a few homebrew YouTube videos before I decide to go try one out myself.
Combining best-selling vocal effects, VLOOP™ performance vocal looping and a uniquely addictive ‘touch’ interface, VoiceLive Touch is truly the first instrument for your voice. VoiceLive Touch is the perfect companion for any vocalist whether you sing live or record in the studio. It can easily be mounted on a mic stand or put next to your computer or keyboard. – tc-helicon.com