Vocal harmoniser pedals

Discussion in 'Pedal Pushers Forum' started by Ian Jordan, Jul 16, 2018.

  1. Ian Jordan

    Ian Jordan Gretschie

    107
    Oct 14, 2012
    Coggeshall England
    Do any of you use a vocal harmoniser pedal? I know there are lots of them on the market these days, some more basic than others. I like the look of the more simpler ones as I am quite lazy about spending hours setting things up. The ones that I have been looking at are the TC Helicon Harmony Singer (but this only has reverb, and no delays built in), and the Boss VE-2.

    Do any of you have first hand experience of either of these units, or can recommend pros and cons of any others.

    Thanks

    Ian
     
  2. kjmac

    kjmac Gretschie

    222
    Mar 7, 2018
    Omaha, NE
    I have a friend who has the Boss pedal and he really likes it. His is real simple and it produces one harmony voice based on the chords played on the guitar. He usually sings the verses in solo voice and kicks in the pedal to harmonize on the choruses. Nice little unit
     
  3. gtttrrr

    gtttrrr Synchromatic

    Age:
    51
    775
    Dec 7, 2011
    United States
    Any recommendations to fix horrible singing altogether? Only thing I have found to date is to unplug any mic near me, or stop at the third beer so I don't attempt. :oops::D:cool:
     
    ishtar and Howard hughes like this.
  4. Frank_NH

    Frank_NH Synchromatic

    755
    Mar 25, 2013
    Lebanon, NH
    I used to have a TC Helicon Play Acoustic pedal. It had inputs for both guitar and microphone, and a mind-blowing array of harmonizing options. The vocal harmonies were quite good too and tracked your voice with excellent precision.

    One of the issues with these pedals is that it uses your guitar input to determine what the harmony voices should be (major, minor, key etc.), so you can't really use it without the guitar providing this input. This works quite well for strummed songs like "Take It Easy", but can get off track if your guitar playing is more complicated. Nevertheless, it's a great pedal for the solo artist playing at a coffee house that wants some vocal harmonies to support the chorus. I should mention that the pedal does much more, such as adding effects (reverb, delay, etc.) to your vocal and guitar, hence you can use it for gigging without using the harmonies.

    I sold the Acoustic Play pedal because I decided to simplify my acoustic rig, but I wouldn't mind getting another TC Helicon vocal effect pedal for some vocal effects (delay, reverb) and minor pitch correction. :rolleyes: The Mic Mechanic looks like a good option for this purpose.
     
  5. LivingMyDream

    LivingMyDream Country Gent

    Years ago, I bought a TC Helicon Voice Live pedal. It was a lot of fun to play through, and, at the time, adding a second pedal to allow the Voice Live to track the guitar, and add a tuner was quite helpful. I still use it for singers to add a little extra quality to their voice, even though I do the backing harmony. When I'm alone, it's pretty fun to use the harmonies, even though I know they've gotten a lot better on the updated Voice Live units - I think they're up to Voice Live 3 now, and you don't need the additional side pedal to track the guitar to get the right key for the harmonies.

    They're a more expensive option, and if you want to get deep into the capabilities of the Voice Live, then there is a significant learning curve. I got mine as a used unit, and I've had fun with it, and helped a few marginal singers to sound better.
     
  6. TV the Wired Turtle

    TV the Wired Turtle Gretschified

    Jul 25, 2009
    so cal
    I've been performing weekly for the last 6 yrs using the TC Helicon voice live II w a Shure 55 super. I use the harmonizer but not for harmony :) Instead I place a basic harmony below any intelligible pronunciation so it ends up working as a track thickener w an indistinct chorusing effect. I stomp on it as a song rises and the stage volume increases (cymbal builds,overdrive,etc) but stomp it off as the next verse continues and rely on basics processes like echo, compression,eq,etc.. I also have a vocal doubler setting ready that helps me if I cant hear my monitor mix over the arfing drummer, but otherwise wont use it because it sounds like I am suddenly singing from several directions on the stage :) Kinda funny cause band members start lifting their chins up and squinting their brow in a quandary... I dont have a comfort zone to sing w ghost harmony voices, too silly to me. ...yet. I'm just now getting used to playing w the Oceans 11 pedal on that puts fundamental shimmer pads layered on the delay tails of my guitar playing.
     
  7. loudnlousy

    loudnlousy Friend of Fred

    Age:
    53
    Oct 18, 2015
    Hildesheim, Germany
    We used to use a Digitech vocalist for the backing vocals of our Heavyrock Boygroup "The Bengels".
    It works perfectly and sounds super-real. There are even diferent singing -style that you can chose from.
    You should sing very clean and with as little vibrato as possible then the result is really incredible.
     
  8. Charles Conner

    Charles Conner Gretschie

    Age:
    77
    223
    May 19, 2016
    Maryland
    I've used the TC Helicon Voicetone H1 for a few years. It's very basic and has no effects or pitch correction. You can set it automatic or to the key you will sing in and choose the combination 1 or 2 harmonies you want, 3rd and/or 5th above and/or below. Using manual operation, it can be set for some different modes to create the proper intervals (Ionian, Mixolydian, etc.).

    I have mine built into my pedal box and set on automatic so it follows the playing/chords of my guitar. I mostly keep it set to give me a 3rd above and a 3rd below along with my singing when I step on the pedal. You can also do some Everly Bros. songs by yourself using one 3rd above.

    A lot of musicians don't like the use of harmonizers and say they sound terrible every time they hear them used. It didn't take me long to know why. If you sing just a little bit off pitch, that error you make is increased just as the higher harmony note's frequency is increased (of course I never have that problem. LOL). The trick is to listen to the higher harmony notes created while you are singing. EDIT: As loudnlousy said "avoid vibrato and slurred notes".
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2018
  9. TV the Wired Turtle

    TV the Wired Turtle Gretschified

    Jul 25, 2009
    so cal
    You have to run the guitar through it, and it changes perfectly for you. Cant just sing through it and hope it follows. The Voicelive II that is :)
     
  10. Charles Conner

    Charles Conner Gretschie

    Age:
    77
    223
    May 19, 2016
    Maryland
    I forgot to say that in the automatic mode of the H1, the guitar needs to be running through so that the unit knows the key or chords to follow. Even though the guitar is in tune and I'm playing the correct chords, if I sing moving a note off pitch, the output is off pitch and the higher harmony notes seem even further off pitch. There is no pitch correction in the H1 . I've learned to listen to those higher notes and it has helped me become more precise with my singing.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2018
  11. Ian Jordan

    Ian Jordan Gretschie

    107
    Oct 14, 2012
    Coggeshall England
    I appreciate all your input everyone. From reading all the above comments I think that using a harmoniser pedal sparingly for a little extra effect seems to be the way forward. I suppose that if you use a Bigsby every 2 bars during every song, it's effect is diminished because the audience gets used to it.

    All I need to do now is decide between Boss, TC Helicon, or Digitech by the looks of things.
     
  12. swivel

    swivel Synchromatic

    568
    May 13, 2018
    PNW
    I have the Digitech Vocalist Live. It's pretty good. My buddy has one that looks more like a guitar pedal, but I dont know which, it's not good.
    The Digitech requires a signal from your guitar, so a cable out of your tuner or etc, that is how it knows minor from major etc. It "hears" what you are playing.
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice