Best Vocal Processor For Live Performance
A vocal processor is a device that can modify the voice with a multitude of effects to change its pitch, range, clarity, or special effects. Whether you are performing live or in a studio, you need to enhance the quality of your performance and also add as well as manipulate the existing effects.
These devices are generally small, compact, and light in weight and boast several features like echo, reverb, loop, voice gender manipulation, and much more. Some people feel the use of vocal processors can be the easy way out for singers and performers, as the performance or the voice isn’t natural and is somewhat artificial, as it is enhanced with effects with the help of technology.
Thus, the use of voice processors is a little controversial. There are many modes to enhance the performances, and not all vocal processors provide all of them.
There are a lot of vocal processors available in the market today and I have handpicked and listed best 10 here in this article. Let's move on to the list now.
Table of Contents
- 10 BEST VOCAL PROCESSOR REVIEW
- 1. TC-HELICON EQ - BEST VOCAL EQUALIZER
- 2. ROLAND VT-4 - BEST VOCAL PROCESSOR FOR RECORDING
- 3. TC-HELICON PERFORM V - BEST VOCAL PROCESSOR FOR PITCH CORRECTION
- 4. BOSS VE-20 - BEST VOCAL EFFECTS PROCESSOR
- 5. TC HELICON 996356005 - BEST LIVE VOICE PROCESSOR
- 6. TC HELICON VOICETONE C1 - BEST STAGE VOCAL PROCESSOR
- 7. BOSS (VE-8) - BEST SINGER EFFECTS PROCESSOR PEDAL
- 8. TC HELICON MIC MECHANIC 2 (996014001)
- 9. TC HELICON VOICELIVE TOUCH 2 (996358005)
- 10. BOSS VE5RD VOCAL PERFORMER EFFECT PROCESSOR
10 BEST VOCAL PROCESSOR REVIEW
1. TC-HELICON EQ - BEST VOCAL EQUALIZER
Let me start my list of the best vocal processor with the TC-Helicon VoiceTone Harmony G-XT. This vocal processor automatically generates vocal harmonies through an input signal.
It is designed to enhance musical performances by providing harmony generation, reverb, delay, automatic chromatic pitch correction, compression, and doubling effects.
The processor is based around 10 programmable presets. These programmable presets are available in 5 banks with variation A and B. You can easily build up the programmable presets using several features.
You can easily switch between the A and B variations with the left footswitch. The G-XT features loads of effect for you to choose from like, hall reverb, room reverb, echo, slap, and combination.
The device gives you a couple of harmony voices to choose from, Voice 1 and Voice 2. The Voice 1 offers higher, high, low, lower, bass, and octave up harmonies whereas Voice 2 has the same options, but replaces the octave up with octave down.
G-XT has a Tone button that with a single press adds a combination of EQ, de-essing, gating, and compression to smooth out the voice.
If you press it twice, it will start the automatic pitch correction which either works with the key of the chords you’re playing on guitar or from a manually selected scale. It also comes with VoiceSupport software that is designed for backing up user presets and installing updates to the pedal.
Customization of the presets is easy, these will come handy for you in live performances. The vocal processor offers great variations and features, but the variety of features can also be a problem if you haven’t acquainted yourself enough with this device.
2. ROLAND VT-4 - BEST VOCAL PROCESSOR FOR RECORDING
Next up in my list of the best vocal processor is taken up by the Roland VT-4 vocal transformer. The VT-4 features four front panel sliders for pitch, formant, balance, and effect mix. According to a user-specified key, the vocal processor has a central dial for Auto-pitch, which provides soft or hard quantization of your vocals.
The Formant control is helpful for adjusting the tonal construct of the vocal, using which you can make a male vocal sound like there are female BVs behind and, presumably, vice versa. The VT-4 uses new direct MIDI, which makes it very versatile.
The three modes of the VT-4 are robot, megaphone, and the main vocoder mode. The robot mode gives a monotone robotic tone with four variations and, the megaphone mode gives you megaphone-like quality to your voice.
The vocoder effect gives you a little more musical take on the previous robot patches, and the sound effects are bright and coherent. The vocal processor is a compact box that consists of a mono/stereo output on 0.25-inch jacks, MIDI input, microphone input on XLR and mini-jack, and USB input.
The VT-4 is designed to operate on vocals, although it has proved to be a handful while using other signals such as drums as a modulating signal. But if you require creating interesting and unusual vocal sounds, it is perfect for you. The device is powered by 4x AA batteries and has 5-hour battery life.
3. TC-HELICON PERFORM V - BEST VOCAL PROCESSOR FOR PITCH CORRECTION
TC-Helicon Perform V is a best vocal processor for singers who are looking for a microphone-mountable vocal effects processor. The Perform V includes a microphone pre-amp with switchable phantom power, automatic pre-amp gain setting, and a tap-tempo button for setting the delay time.
The vocal processor has a great user-friendly interface with all the main controls located on the front of the interface, making them easily accessible.
It gives you 3 presets that you can use via dedicated number buttons. The Perform V also features a built-in RoomSense microphone that allows for practice without connecting your stage mic and is also auto harmony.
The pre-sets can be categorized by song, style, or artist, and you can get up to 4 additional effects using the Perform V app, including megaphone vocals, ‘hard-tune’ pitch correction, and the intelligent harmony generation.
The rear panel of the device has input and output XLRs for a balanced microphone in and a balanced out. It also has a 0.25-inch pedal jack, 3.5mm aux jack, and a mini USB connector that allows you to update software updates or for direct computer connection. On the left side of the front panel, there are the double, reverb, and echo buttons.
On the top, there are set, tone, anti-feedback, and pitch buttons. On the right are the 3 pre-set buttons. Overall, it has got all the features of any top-notch processor, but yet comes with an inexpensive price tag.
4. BOSS VE-20 - BEST VOCAL EFFECTS PROCESSOR
Next up in this list of the best vocal processor comes Boss VE-20 vocal effects processor. The VE-20 is small enough to fit in your pocket, but is loaded with features that will enhance your vocal performance.
The device has a couple of pedals and looks like two regular Boss guitar pedal stomp-boxes, and has a whopping 30 pre-sets along with 6 effects. The 6 effects provided by the VE-20 are dynamics, pitch correct, tone/SFX, double/harmony, delay, and reverb.
The reverb effects and modulation are great and have a lot of parameter adjustment to provide you with exactly what you want. Between the pedals, there are 4 LED lights to indicate power, harmony on/off, loop play, and loop recording status. A large LED display above the pedals shows the name of the pre-set.
On the left side, there is an Exit button that returns you to a previous screen or cancels a function. Next to it is the phrase loop on/off button and status LED.
On the right, is the menu button that lets you into editing sounds/pedal setup and a reverb level button for quick access to the global reverb return level. The left pedal controls the phrase looper with up to 38 seconds available.
The onboard looper is a single track, overdubbing style looper, which if stopped once, deletes the recording. It has an intelligent transient detection system that makes it easy to keep things in time. Overall, the VE-20 is a great vocal processor for you if you are looking to have a lot of effects from a compact box with an onboard looper.
5. TC HELICON 996356005 - BEST LIVE VOICE PROCESSOR
If you are a stage player, then check out this best vocal processor, TC Helicon VoiceLive Play. TC Helicon is one of the best names in the vocal processor’s market, and this product being the 3rd TC Helicon product in this list is testimony to the brand value.
This vocal processor squeezes a lot of power into a multi-pedal format. It is a user-friendly device that is a combination of a looper pedal and a multi-effects unit. The pedal consists of a couple of sections, the three footswitches on the bottom portion of the pedal, and the LCD screen, buttons, and dial on the top portion.
The footswitches on the bottom section of the processor are metallic and spaced far enough apart so that you can tap them easily. The upper section consists of the LCD screen and the 6 buttons that surround the LCD. The buttons are for the genre, setup, effects, favorite, practice, and mix.
On the rear panel there are, an XLR mic input, stereo outs, a 3.5mm auxiliary in, a micro USB port, and a spot for an additional control pedal. The processor offers you vocal effects and a looper pedal.
The vocal effects include delays, reverbs, harmonies, transducers, HardTune, doubling, harmony effects, and μmod. You get 235 pre-sets and can combine these effects into the pre-set.
The looper functions are easy to use and the loop time is 15 seconds or 30 seconds. But the looper isn’t very helpful as you can’t store the loops.
The built-in RoomSense microphones can pick up ambient noise from the room, and this can be used to inform the key or scale used for harmony and HardTone effects. The VoiceLive Play is a great vocal processor and it’s a bonus to all performers.
6. TC HELICON VOICETONE C1 - BEST STAGE VOCAL PROCESSOR
Joining the list again, the TC Helicon VoiceTone is a stompbox with great features like HardTune effect, subtle pitch correction, and gender manipulation.
The pitch correction can be selected by specific key or chromatically, inserting a guitar input thereby overrides the selected mode. Pitch correction hardness controls how severely the unit reacts to approximate the vocals at the correct pitch.
This best vocal processor boasts a transparent and clean correction capability along with great control of musical input via the guitar input if desired. You can turn the C1's pitch correction into the robotic modern effect, by cranking up the attack and gender controls.
The VoiceTone C1 is simple to use and you can always change the style or the amount of effect.The TC Helicon VoiceTone C1 features 4 great processing pedals, which allow you to deliver scintillating performances. It is the ultimate combination of tone and simplicity. The processor delivers the sound of the optimum order.
7. BOSS (VE-8) - BEST SINGER EFFECTS PROCESSOR PEDAL
If you are acoustic guitar player, then this Boss VE-8 Acoustic Singer Effects Processor pedal is for you. The VE-8 is a versatile device that produces studio-quality vocal processing owing to its variety of features. It features a wide double stack body that brings a lot of that classic Boss reliability.
The device has separate sections for vocal effects and guitar effects along with a good looper. The top panel of the device is home to a lot of controls. The 3 footswitches of the device control the device.
The first footswitch operates a chorus effect for guitars and can also mute the signal and call up a tuner when you press and hold it. The second is used to turn vocal harmonies on and off, but can also bypass all the vocal effects if you press and hold it. The third footswitch controls all the looper functions.
For your guitar sound, the device provides you reverb and a chorus, but you also get tremolo, delay, and phaser. Vocals also get the “enhance effect” that improves clarity with what sounds like a combination of compression and EQ.
The looper is well integrated, and is equipped with 80 seconds of recording time as well as the ability to loop guitar and vocals independently.
The Boss VE-8 is an asset for every performer on stage, especially for the acoustic guitarist. It a great device and is undoubtedly one of the best harmonizers in the market.
8. TC HELICON MIC MECHANIC 2 (996014001)
This vocal processor is known for its high-quality reverb and echo features. It possesses essentials for every performance like reverb, echo, and TC-Helicon's Adaptive Tone technology that intelligently and effectively tweaks compression, EQ, pitch correction, de-essing, and gating to improve the resulting sound while performing.
To give you more control, the processor gives you 3 echoes and 3 types of reverbs. The reverbs types are room, hall, and studio. The Mic Mechanic 2 has three control knobs, a button, and the main footswitch. The left knob is used to choose between the styles of echo, which are tape, digital, and slap back.
This knob also determines the level of echo applied to the output signal. The middle knob is used to select the style of reverb, and also to determine the level of reverb applied to the output signal.
The right control knob is used to engage or disengage and adjust the balance of auto-chromatic pitch correction, which is applied to the output signal. The device has an intuitive and simple input and output section featuring an XLR mic input and output, and a USB port that is used to update the system.
The Mic Mechanic 2 is a great device with a bag full of features, yet it is very easy to operate. It is recommended for everyone who is looking for a reverb and echo unit that also provides pitch correction, EQ/compression, and gating.
9. TC HELICON VOICELIVE TOUCH 2 (996358005)
This versatile vocal processor does almost everything, starting from effects, three-part harmonies, pitch correction to a variety of looping effects. The top panel of the Touch 2 consists of 9 large buttons, a Slider FX control strip, touch surface, and a back-lit screen showing all the information.
The buttons are assigned for effects like edit, store, set up, mix, home, effects, voices, and loop. The slider is for the various functions, like delays. The Hit button is used for the toggling of different effect combinations. The Touch 2 enables you to edit deep effects as well and homes 200 pre-sets.
The main connection to the vocal processor is present on the rear panel. It has a stereo mini-jack socket on for connecting headphones, a stereo mini-jack input for feeding in backing tracks, a standard XLR is for the microphone input, and a mono XLR line out.
It also consists of a couple of TRS jacks that allow for stereo operation. A jack socket optional for the footswitch, a MIDI input connector for MIDI keyboards or other controllers, and a USB cable for connecting to a computer.
The tap button is used for feeding the temp of the song in real-time and the edit button displays the preset-editing screens. The device is easy to operate and is equipped with the TC's established adaptive EQ, compression, de-essing, and gating.
The Touch 2 is overall, a must-have for all artists who want more loop effects on stage, as the processor has a DJ-like feel to it by providing a wide array of loop effects.
10. BOSS VE5RD VOCAL PERFORMER EFFECT PROCESSOR
Coming to the end of this list of the best vocal processor comes the Boss VE-5 vocal performer processor. The VE-5 is a unit that is fun-to-use, versatile, and powerful enough for a professional vocalist. The compactness of the device allows as a desktop-style effects processor but can be attached to a mic stand.
It is perfect for use in live performances because of its one-touch operation. The 6 vocal effects on offer are reverb, delay, tone/ SFX, harmony/ double, dynamics, and pitch correct. The VE-5 almost has a built-in phrase looper that allows you to layer and create harmonies in real-time.
It is a compact device with limited keys thus the user-interface is very easy to navigate. But, don’t be fooled by its size because the processor us solidly built and gives optimum results. The combination of front-panel buttons with a central data knob makes tweaking effects settings a doddle. It’s all you want as a live stage performer.
The Boss VE-5 Vocal Performer is very popular and offers the control and key effects you will need at your fingertips, in a reliable and easy-to-use format. It’s affordable and gives you great sound quality.
This was my list of the best vocal processor along with their features, pros and cons. I hope this list will help you choose amongst the best vocal processor available in the market.
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