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Best Vocal Processors

Top 5 Best Vocal Processors (September 2021)

This is a guide to the best vocal processors on the market today. Every vocal processor out there will tell you how good it is and how great the features are. But do they work as claimed? There have been a few vocal processors that have come out that have been really spectacular. However, not every vocal processor is going to be suitable for everybody. This write-up is going to be a general guide for vocal processors. Highlighting some of the more popular vocal processors, to help you out.

Vocal Processing & AI

Over the past few years, robotics has been taking off in the music production world. Recent advancements have allowed a new breed of vocal processors to emerge, which are no longer simply recording devices. These vocal processors have been designed to use machine learning and artificial intelligence. Allowing them to find a wide range of vocal characteristics, such as pitch, timbre, formant, and more. Then using those characteristics, they alter the way the vocals are recorded. By doing this, these processors aim to make the vocal sound more natural and human. Rather than simply mimicking the sound of another musician.

A Buyers Guide

The best vocal processors are those that have a wide range of functions. While remaining easy to use and where the user can intuitively control them. Your vocal processor should be able to process a range of musical sounds and effects. Which can include pitch correction, volume and/or tone adjustments, vocal loops, and dynamic processing.

If you’ve been looking for the best vocal processor and are not sure where to start. This review will help you make the right decision. In this guide, we'll provide you with a better idea of what to look for when buying a vocal processor. As well as what features to expect. We'll also show you some of our favorites.

TC Electronics Singles VoiceTone E1 Image

TC Electronics Singles VoiceTone E1

  • ✔ A wide range of echo effects are available
  • ✔ Mic-control feature allows remote on/off via MP-75 microphone
  • ✔ Can be chained with other VoiceTone singles
  • ✔ 13 Delay Styles

This is a sturdy foot pedal that seems to be of the highest quality.

TC Electronics Singles VoiceTone E1 - Read Review See The Latest Price On Amazon Now

The TC Electronics Singles VoiceTone E1 looks cool and is easy to use since it doesn’t have too many weird effects you won’t use anyway.

This is another one trick pony that basically only does different kinds of echoes and lets you change your tone and make it dry or wet. It’s good to have if you’re performing in a place with poor acoustics and you want it to sound as if you’re singing in a church.

The company which is TC Helicon generally need no introduction when it comes to discussing vocal effects technology, as they’ve been pioneering the industry since the early 2000’s when the company was initially founded. TC Helicon was recently acquired in 2015 by Music Tribe, who is the parent company of Behringer, Bugera, Midas, Turbosound & Klark Teknik.

None the less, in the 19 years that the business has been in operation, they’ve managed to produce several well-known effects units, including the VoiceTone series (which the E1 unit is part of), alongside other series such as the VoiceLive series. We’ve constructed our product review of the VoiceTone E1 in a way which not only talks about its unique features, but also includes high-quality images, demonstration videos and informational videos.

The right control knob is used to adjust the level of dry (raw input) and wet (echo) signal; Hence, turning this over to the left will provide less echo in the final mix, and turning it over to the right will provide more echo in the output mix. The middle control knob ‘Feedback’, controls the length of the echo repeats. The left control knob is used to select 1 of the 13 different delay styles, which include slapback/flutter echos, non-tempo matched echos, timed echos, special effects echos and much more.

The Voicetone E1 has an extremely useful feature where users can control the E1 directly from their microphone, which is called Mic Control™.

Finally, it has a large footswitch which is used to engage and disengage the unit’s effects, especially useful during a live performance, where you can engage and disengage the effects easily, without having to bend down. Therefore, if you’re looking for a unit which offers a lot of delay/echo styles and settings, the VoiceTone E1 is a fantastic solution for you. Lets not forget, as with all of TC Helicon’s products, the VoiceTone E1 comes with a 3-year warranty.


TC Helicon Perform V Image

TC Helicon Perform V

  • ✔ Hundreds of pre-made sounds to choose from
  • ✔ TC Helicon App to program Perform V with new presets
  • ✔ Auto-chromatic pitch correction
  • ✔ Has a built-in microphone

Provides an easy-to-use experience and a lot of functionality for the price

TC Helicon Perform V - Read Review See The Latest Price On Amazon Now

Controls

TC Helicon are known for producing easy to use products, and the Perform V does not disappoint in this area.

Let’s talk about the specific controls:

The unit has all of its main controls located on the front of the interface, making it easily accessible for vocalists during a performance.

On the left, we have the Double, Reverb and Echo buttons, which each provides 4 types of the effect. Not only this, but you can hold the buttons to do further editing to these default effects.

On the top, we have a ‘Set’ button, to engage automatic microphone input gain, allowing for a very easy mic setup. Additionally, there’s a ‘Tone’ button, which engages TC Helicon’s Adaptive Tone functionality, which essentially allows the unit to automate the use of EQ, Gating, Compression, and De-Essing based on your voice.

Next to the ‘Tone’ button, we have the ‘Anti-Feedback’ button, which as you can imagine, engages an algorithm to automatically prevent feedback from occurring. This is especially useful if you’re a solo performer and you have your speakers positioned behind where you’re singing from, which would usually cause feedback, but not with the Perform-V.

And then on the top right, there’s a ‘Pitch’ button, to engage auto-chromatic pitch correction, and a ’48v’ button, to activate phantom power, to power a condenser microphone.

On the right side of the TC Helicon Perform V interface, there are three buttons which can be used to assign your customized presets, which you can integrate from the TC Helicon Perform V mobile app (available for iOS and Android).

At the bottom, there is a ‘Talk’ button which disengages all effects, to allow for vocalists to speak to the crowd in-between songs, without any distracting vocal effects being heard.

Located on the back of the interface are all of the connectivity ports, including (from left to right), a power input jack, mini USB input for device updates, an auxiliary input, a port for an external pedal, and finally 1 x microphone XLR input & 1 x microphone XRL output port.

In addition, the Perform V can be used in a more, hands-off approach, with its ability to integrate with the TC Helicon MP-75 microphone or the MCA100 Mic Control Adapter, to convert any microphone. All of these solutions allow for external ‘Mic Control’, so you can roam around the stage whilst engaging and disengaging effects.

Also, there may be times when a hand-operated vocal effects unit is not ideal, i.e when you have an instrument in your hand, and because of this, you can add a ‘Switch-6‘ accessory foot pedal to let your feet take control instead.

Main Features

  • Mic-mountable vocal processor
  • TC Helicon App to program Perform V with new presets
  • Hundreds of pre-made sounds to choose from
  • Doesn’t require WIFI or Bluetooth
  • Has 4 x Double, 4x Reverb, 4 x Echo types as default
  • 3 customizable preset storage locations
  • HIT function to build intensity in your performances
  • Auto-chromatic pitch correction
  • Adaptive Tone feature, for automated EQ, Compression, Gating & De-Essing
  • Anti-feedback algorithm works in the background
  • Has a built-in microphone
  • Provides 48v phantom power
  • Ability for remote control, using MP-75 & Switch-6 (explained below)
  • Designed and built in Canada
  • 3-year warranty program

Setbacks

  • The unit features bright lights (behind the buttons), and although this increases the visibility, it also can be a little distracting at times if you have sensitive eyes… if only there was a dim button.
  • Mic stand clip that comes with the unit is small and may be difficult to fit onto some microphone stands.

TC Helicon VoiceSolo FX150 Image

TC Helicon VoiceSolo FX150

  • ✔ Compact and lightweight
  • ✔ Mounts easily on a mic stand
  • ✔ Built-in three‑band EQ, voice tone processing and reverb
  • ✖ External PSU is less than ideal in a live situation

This vocal processor doesn’t offer any fun guitar effects, but it simply includes an equalizer and reverb plus volume control.

TC Helicon VoiceSolo FX150 - Read Review See The Latest Price On Amazon Now

If you have no idea why anybody would want their voice to sound like a robot, or don’t get why you would want automatic harmonies added to your singing when you can just have a friend sing them, then this might be the vocal processor for you.

The quality seems to be decent, in the sense that it doesn’t seem to break down very easily, but there is one thing we’ve noticed in several reviews, and it is that the volume is unusually low, which can be devastating if you’re playing in a band and are trying to make yourself heard over electric guitars and drums. But if you are singing with acoustic guitars that aren’t that loud, it should work, or even if you’re two backup singers singing acapella.

A good thing about it is that you can attach it to your mic stand, which is very convenient.

As we mentioned previously, this vocal processor doesn’t offer any fun guitar effects, but it simply includes an equalizer and reverb plus volume control. It’s basically a mixer that you as a singer can control easily yourself.

The front panel functions as a three‑channel mixer and is dominated by a series of white back‑lit buttons, a master volume control and a data knob with indicator LEDs around it. If a channel does not have an input connected, its lights glow more dimly. The controls are used for setting levels, adjusting the reverb and tweaking the three‑band EQ, and the currently active level or EQ button shows blue so you always know what you are adjusting. The first two channels have mic/line inputs on ‘combi’ connectors, on which the use of a jack automatically switches the input to line sensitivity. Channel one’s jack input is also designed with a high impedance so that it can double as an instrument input.

Both of the mic inputs can have phantom power applied by means of a global switch on the rear panel, which also houses the two mic/line inputs, a thru XLR for channel two, and a main output that can be switched to carry the full mix (including the aux input and any added effects) or the output of channel one only. The PSU also connects here, and there’s a small power button along with a mini USB port, which is provided for firmware updates.

As expected, the sound quality doesn’t disappoint, with both clarity and level living up to expectations — in monitor applications you’ll run into feedback well before you run out of monitor level. If you overcook the input level, the Vocal Tone button will flash red as a warning. The reverbs sound pretty good (though you need to keep the level dialled back as it can quickly become excessive), and is also a useful EQ range. Switching in the Vocal Tone brightens up the sound in a pleasing way, and also scoops the mids slightly, but does also make feedback more likely.

Having reverb built into the monitor also helps and it means that you can use more of it if it helps you perform better without the reverb being sent on to the FOH system. TC are known for their high‑end reverb algorithms so it came as no surprise that these actually sound very good. It’s certainly good enough that you may choose to use the onboard reverb as your main vocal effect and then send the effected vocal to the FOH mixer. The Mic Control option is also very useful if you have a compatible microphone to allow remote effect switching, while the flexibility of signal routing also makes it possible to combine your own effected vocal with a monitor mix coming from the desk, so you can set up a ‘more me’ mix very easily.


Boss VE-2 Vocal Harmonist Vocal Stompbox Image

Boss VE-2 Vocal Harmonist Vocal Stompbox

  • ✔ Automatically generates the correct harmony as you perform
  • ✔ Enhance button to improve your vocal definition
  • ✔ USB audio function, record straight to your computer
  • ✔ 12 harmony types to enrich your vocal performance

It’s simple, offers rock solid performance as well as reliability.

Boss VE-2 Vocal Harmonist Vocal Stompbox - Read Review See The Latest Price On Amazon Now

The likes of DigiTech and TC Helicon have professional vocal processors that are aimed at singer/guitarists, and now Boss has got in on the act with the new VE-2, which can take an input from your electric guitar to control your harmonies – something that wasn’t available with its previous VE-20 and VE-5 models. Now, Boss is a company that needs no introductions when it comes to vocal harmonizer pedals, vocal effects pedals or general music equipment. They’re famous for creating high-quality music equipment, which are designed and built to last for a lifetime.

Although Boss is under pressure by brands like TC Helicon when it comes to harmonizers, they are still holding their ground. Boss VE-2 is a cost-effective, simple, but also one of the most agile vocal harmonizer pedals out there. Let’s take an in depth look and see what it’s really made of.

The VE-2 offers 12 different harmony types to add to your own voice, each featuring one or two voices above and/or below it, plus a switchable variation option with more voices for richer harmonies. The pedal also comes with several vocal improvments such as delay, reverb and compression with or without frequency correction. We personally think that the Boss ve-2 sounds fantastic, particularly if you use it subtly, lowering the balance knob settings, so that it accompanies the main vocal, but doesn’t drown it out.

Right from the start, it’s perfectly clear the VE-2 is a vocal harmonizer pedal and not much more. Boss has other models which are far more dynamic and multi functional, but this one was designed to deliver the core of this effect. Even so, they did include basic reverb and delay effects. You can’t modify them too much, nor are there many types to select from. You can simply select either one, or mix the two of them. That being said, the quality of the pedals build is on that standard, somewhat expected Boss level.

The Boss VE-2 also has an interesting function, called ‘Auto Harmonist’… This is fantastic for singers who want to connect an instrument to the VE-2 such as a guitar, as the unit senses and detects the chord progressions used, to work out the musical key that the vocals should follow… Absolutely fantastic if you have key changes in the song, as this unit is able to listen to the change in chords (mid-song) and then adapt the harmonies accordingly.

For all the troubles of navigating the crowded control interface, your reward is a very solid core performance. We are talking pretty organic tone even when you go crazy with harmony modes. Built in delay and reverb are okay, but nothing to write home about. With that said, they won’t stand out as artificial if used lightly. When it comes to tracking, things are great.

The unit’s ‘Enhance’ component gives the singers immediate access to dynamic and subtle frequency correction at a touch of a button. The button specifically adds compression and analyses the vocal tone to automatically filter certain frequencies and boost others, helping to give a more refined, studio-quality sound.

The vocal harmonizer pedal has little trouble following you through complex chord progressions. Dropping it into hybrid mode yields some fairly interesting results. Depending on your settings, having that manually set key can help a lot. What matters the absolute most is that the vocal pedal tracks perfectly fine even in this mode. In essence, Boss VE-2 is everything it claims to be. Nothing more and nothing less. That is something we can appreciate.

Overall, we really like the Boss VE-2 unit. As we mentioned, not only does it provide a simple to understand interface with easy-to-use controls, but its delay, harmony and reverb effects actually sound pretty good. At the end of the day, Boss VE-2 represents a fairly affordable alternative to more complex designs out there. It’s simple, offers rock solid performance as well as reliability. We’d love to see a better organized control panel, but that is not too big of a deal all things considered.

Not only does the unit sound good, but it provides a good amount of variety for singers to play around with and find their favourite sounding tones and configuration combinations, which can be saved and referenced instantly simply by utilising the unit’s 3 preset memory banks. As far as who the VE-2 is ideal for, Boss have made a great decision in not only providing interface controls to control the musical key settings, but also in providing the auto harmony function for singer/songwriters who want to plug in their instruments instead.


TC Helicon Harmony Singer 2 Image

TC Helicon Harmony Singer 2

  • ✔ Superb reverb effect
  • ✔ Easy to use controls get you up and running in seconds
  • ✔ Adds one to two voices of realistic vocal harmony
  • ✔ Adaptive Tone for perfect EQ

The Harmony Singer is a compact harmony pedal that is highly rated.

TC Helicon Harmony Singer 2 - Read Review See The Latest Price On Amazon Now

If you’re an instrument player, you’ve probably heard of the company TC Electronics, as they are quite famous for their high-end guitar effect pedals like looper and overdrive pedals. TC Helicon, their subsidiary, seems to follow this tradition with some excellent vocal processors and some of the best vocal harmonizer pedal (spoiler alert: this isn’t their only product on my list).

The Harmony Singer is a compact harmony pedal that is highly rated. It is similar to the Harmony-G XT, but stripped down of extra features in favor of portability. It carries the same smart harmony effect that follows after guitar chord changes, but in a smaller foot print that is easier to carry and setup. It is simply the practical choice for singing guitarists who are looking to add harmonies without having to audition actual singers or carry bulky equipment.

TC-Helicon is probably one of the most popular brands when it comes to harmonizers. It’s not hard to see why when you take a look at Harmony Singer. This pedal features a compact yet a rigid body that can withstand use on and off the stage with ease. The top of the vocal pedal is where all of your controls are at, however, the front and either side is where you will find all the I/O ports.Right and left panels feature the instrument input and thru ports.

What’s awesome about TC Helicon Harmony Singer would have to be how intuitive the controls are. You will see three aligned knobs on the top panel which include Harmony, Level, and lastly Reverb. Harmony knob allows you to decide between four different types of voices, all featuring far and close setting. The range of the harmonizer effect is two voices above or below the input signal, with all of the other combinations available. When it comes to the Reverb feature, you’ve got four different options for this effect.

The pedal listens the chords you play and tracks your guitar, maintaining a perfect pitch. It’s simple to connect and set up, although it’s best if you keep it at the front of the chain if you have multiple pedals.

When the time comes to plug this vocal harmonizer pedal into your rig to give it a spin, you’ll pleasantly surprised by the resulting sounds. The first thing that catches your attention is the tone. It doesn’t present as being robotic like some other vocal harmonizers do, and it actually has a softness to it. The Close mode is a bit aggressive and in your face, but there are definitely applications where it works. The Far mode is a lot more subtle but still every bit as efficient.

At the end of the day, TC Helicon has created yet another great package for those who need little more girth in their music. The pedal works well, is very accurate and most importantly, simple to use. There are some quirks, but those are far from being a deal breaker.


What to Look for When Buying A Vocal Processor?

There are so many great vocal processors available on the market today, and some are expensive, and some are reasonably priced, but finding the best one that suits your needs is the most important thing. Sometimes it’s cheaper to just buy an inexpensive and decent vocal processor (the cheapest one that’s of good quality), but if you really want to make the most of your vocal capabilities you need to spend some money to get the best.

What is a Vocal Processor?

In simplest terms a vocal processor is software that changes the way your voice sounds. It is also said to smooth out any rough edges or any unwanted sounds, making you sound better overall. In the digital era, you have many ways to produce high quality music these days, like through MIDI tracks and other software. But if you are a new musician, it can be hard to convey your thoughts and ideas, and to bring out a full scale, heavy sound from your voice. A vocal processor can help you do that. This software can have a profound effect on your voice. For some, it brings out their full range, making it sound much more natural than it was before. For others it brings out their whispering voice and gives them a deep, powerful voice that they couldn’t do without the Vocal Processor.

How to Hook Up A Vocal Processor?

Learning how to hook up your Vocal Processor is like learning a new skill. If you have a new tool, you have to figure out the best way to use it. To get a good idea of what kind of equipment you need to use, the best thing to do is talk to someone that uses it and ask for tips and advice. To do that, click here and do the first thing on the list: get in touch with the creator of the vocal processor you are interested in. The reason why you want to ask them questions is that you are going to learn something valuable. You are going to be able to understand the tools better, and you will be able to take advantage of them. If you do this, the learning process is less painful

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