I remember vividly my first encounter with singers. I do not mean my mum humming the lullaby or my sister screaming some unworldly (and not in a good way) notes. I mean listening to the voice of professional singers and understanding the extent of their craftsmanship. When I discovered my own, I was always aspiring to sound as good as them but never seemed to come even close to their level.
This caused frustration and insecurity to the point where I refused to sing, on the whole. It was until I discovered that the world of perfect voice is not as transparent as it seems, that a lot of singers use vocal processors in order to sound as good as they do. While possessing some inherent potential and vocal skills is necessary, it’s important to note that these devices are not magical solutions (sadly). Nevertheless, they can enhance your sound and considerably enhance your overall performance.
Whether the gods themselves gave you that ethereal voice or you are just a normal human being with good vocals, you have to have the best vocal processor. This article will give you all the information you will need and list down some of the best deals on the market, so keep on reading!
What’s The Best Vocal Processor
|TC Helicon Play Electric Vocal Effects Processor||(4.9 / 5)||Check on Amazon|
|Boss VE-20 Vocal Performer Multi-Effects Pedal||(4.8 / 5)||Check on Amazon|
|Roland AIRA Series VT-3 Voice Transformer||(4.8 / 5)||Check on Amazon|
|TC Helicon VoiceTone Harmony-G XT Vocal Effects Processor||(4.8 / 5)||Check on Amazon|
|TC Electronic Singles VoiceTone E1 Vocal Effects Processor||(4.7 / 5)||Check on Amazon|
What is a vocal processor and why would you need one?
A vocal processor is an electronic device that adds effects to your vocals, perfects and equalizes its pitch, or touches it up with harmonies. It is basically a studio-quality tone shaping in the form of a stompbox or a rackmount unit. A good vocal processor can make you sound like a real professional and ensure that nothing is out of tune (if that is not what you are looking for).
Many purists might try to convince you that using a vocal processor is cheating and you do not have the right to utilize it. However, they are wrong. Pitch perfection is something even the best vocalists will use in certain scenarios. No matter how good you sound, sometimes you need more reliability, which this unit can provide (this does not mean that if you have ethereal vocal capabilities, you still have to buy this unit). Plus, not everybody wants to merely rely on pristine vocals.
Many musicians employ effects as part of their performance, which, more often than not, defines their genre. A vocal processor will allow you to sound like a male/female, a robot or an old radio, almost anything you could think of. This gives you a great deal of versatility and opens up the doors of sonic possibilities. Modern music is quite acceptable as it embraces experimentation and innovation. That is why you should alter your vocals the way you want. A vocal processor makes that process much easier and delivers opportunities in a small metal chassis.
What is more, no matter how good your mic is, it might still change your sound a bit. Sometimes, these changes are so significant that the overall performance is ruined. In order to avoid such a detrimental turn of events, many musicians employ vocal processors as preamps. They can make sure that your vocals are not ruined, but rather enhanced and improved. They do not let your sound get lost in the mix, amplify the inaudible parts and tone down the louder ones.
Out of all the opportunities that a vocal processor can provide, the one that stands out the most is the ability for solo performers to sound like a band. This is a great opportunity especially if you want to be the star yourself. This unit will add the background vocals, let your instrument sound different for each and every song and emulate almost any sound possible. If you are a solo performer, you should definitely try playing with this device. After all, spending money on a vocal processor is a small price to pay for the results you can achieve. Just go for it and turn the potential of your music into a masterpiece that will change the world!
The features of the best vocal processor
As a guitarist or a singer, you likely understand the significance of paying attention to the minutiae when it comes to electronic equipment. Even the smallest characters can impact the device’s overall performance. Therefore, there are specific criteria that a vocal processor must meet to be considered the best on the market. In this regard, let’s explore some of these parameters and determine your essential requirements when it comes to pedals of this type
As we have discussed above, pitch correction might be the very reason why you will consider purchasing a vocal processor. This feature perfects your vocals and balances out any uneven parts. The resulting sound is way more uniform and professional, which is what most of us are going for. Plus, sometimes your voice does not want to be perfect regardless of your capabilities. One way or another, pitch correction is a very helpful feature to have on hand no matter where you perform (on stage or in the studio).
Now, for the performance to be complete, your guitar and your vocals should always be in sync with each other. A vocal processor can achieve this easily if it has the ability to “read” the harmonies of your instrument and shape your vocals accordingly. This way the overall sound will be perfect (no exaggeration, I promise) and extremely tailored.
Looper and Presets
Let’s start with the looper. This feature allows you to record your voice, overdub and play it while you sing another part. This adds a significant amount of richness to your sound and touches it up with uniqueness. Looper is a great option if you want to be different and stand out among other performers.
Now, whether you have the looper or not, it is always a good option to have presets on hand. The ability to record your voice or just remember your favorite settings makes it easier to perform on stage and find that perfect spot in a blink of an eye. Nobody wants to spend ages tweaking before the gig. A preset will be a perfect solution to that issue.
The majority of the vocal processors are also multi-effects pedals. They offer an abundance of vocal effects, including different types of delays, echoes, reverbs, and even distortions. This once again adds up to the versatility and allows you to sound different every time. The best vocal processor should have this feature, otherwise, it will be difficult for it to compete with its rivals.
Tone Shaping Options
Whether it is a vocal processor or any other effects pedal, you should always be able to shape your tone to your preferences. Be it your own voice or the effects, it is a good option to modify different parameters of it. This means that even the simplest vocal processor should have the Level knob. This will set the volume of the unit and make sure that the overall output is even. What is more, a Blend knob will be your lifesaver if you use a lot of vocal effects. It will mix up your dry and wet signals and let your original sound stand out. Last but not least, there is no such thing as unnecessary EQ. If you are meticulous about your voice, you will need all three of these in your vocal processor.
We have successfully gone ventured in the world of vocal processors. We have discussed some of the best deals out there and outlined their advantages and drawbacks. We have also emphasized all the qualities the best vocal processor should possess and dived into some important technicalities. Hopefully, this was enough to understand this device to its core and grasp what to do with it. I tried my best to provide you with all the information you will need without boring you too much. My journey ends here. The rest is yours to decide. Do not be afraid to experiment with your voice and do not let anyone dictate how you should sound. You are the one and only king of your vocals and rest of us have no say in the matter. Go out there, grab the pedal of your dreams, and let the wonderful possibilities fill your soul with uniqueness. Good luck!