CALLING ALL SINGING GUITAR
players! You deﬁnitely want your vocals to
sound as good as your guitar, and plenty of
vocal processors are here to help.
|TC Helicon’s VoiceLive Play GTX is optimized for singing guitarists, and also includes convincing guitar processing.
Popular “vocal helpers” include the Boss
VE-20 and VE-5, TC Helicon VoiceLive
series, DigiTech Vocalist series, Electro-Harmonix Voice Box, and TASCAM TA1-VP
(co-designed with Antares). These typically
provide pitch correction and other effects
(delay, doubling, dynamics control, reverb,
EQ, de-essing), and the specific effects
roster depends on model and price point.
Although they’re stage-friendly—especially
TC Helicon’s VoiceLive Touch, which can
mount on a mic stand and does looping—
you’ll often ﬁnd these kinds of vocal processors in studio racks.
DigiTech debuted vocal harmony control from your guitar (plug in your
play, done—no need to set scale or key),
and their Vocalist Live 5 and Vocalist Live
3 incorporate that technology. Both offer
guitar tuners, and Live 5 includes reverb,
chorus, and ﬂ anger for guitar. TC’s VoiceLive
Play GTX, designed speciﬁcally for singing guitarists, provides dedicated
processing and vocal processing. Again,
vocal harmonies key to your guitar playing.
|DigiTech’s Vocalist Live 3 provides pitch correction and generates vocal harmonies that follow your guitar playing.
TC Helicon’s VoiceTone line breaks vocal
processing down into seven ﬂoor pedals
dedicated to speciﬁ c functions: pitch correction, doubling and detune, reverb,
intelligent harmony, etc. They also exploit the
real-time effects control switch offered by
TC’s MP-75 mic. Don’t underestimate this
mic. It ﬂatters my voice, and might ﬂatter yours, too.
iPad-based processing is another hard-
ware option, and IK Multimedia leads that pack with their iRig Mic—a complete
age including mic and processing software
that you can augment with additional down-
loads. It’s inexpensive, but highly effective
|iZotope’s Nectar is a comprehensive vocal processing plug-in.
For studio DAWs, there’s a plethora of plug-
ins for vocals. Pitch correction is included
with Apple Logic Studio, Cakewalk Sonar,
Cockos Reaper, Magix Samplitude, MOTU
Digital Performer, PreSonus Studio One
Pro, Propellerhead Reason, and Steinberg
Cubase. However, you can also buy individual plug-ins such as Antares
Celemony Melodyne, Waves Tune, and iZotope Nectar (a vocal strip that includes
correction and tons of presets.
Waves also makes the excellent Vocal
Rider—not a processor per se, but a time-
saving plug-in for mixing that smooths out
vocal level inconsistencies. Their Artist
Series plug-ins also include quite a few
vocal processing options. And don’t over-
look Toontrack’s EZmix 2, which provides
“plug-and-play” presets for multiple instruments, including vocals (however, it
include pitch correction).
Most DAWs include dynamics, EQ,
delay, and reverb plug-ins, which are as
applicable to voice as other instruments.
Sonar even includes a vocal effects strip
optimized for voice. And while Universal
Audio’s series of powered-plug-ins aren’t
speciﬁcally for voice, they offer several plug-
ins that emulate the vintage gear used on classic vocals, such as the LA-2A
compressor and Pultec equalizer.
Get the picture? If you want to take your
vocals to the next level, check out some of
these hardware and software options. You
might be surprised at how easily they can
take your voice from so-so to “wow.”