Build Quality:4.9 out of 5 stars
Hardware:4.8 out of 5 stars
Electronics:4.8 out of 5 stars
Sound:4.8 out of 5 stars
Value:4.9 out of 5 stars
Average:4.8 out of 5 stars

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Pros:

  • Extremely versatile
  • Offers an abundance of features
  • Interactive
  • TonePrint effects

Cons:

  • Looping time (15secs) might not be enough for everybody
  • It is a bit hard to find the perfect settings (due to all the scrolling you have to do)

As we move forward and enter more deeply into the world of technological advancement, we come to witness the fact that effects units are becoming more and more sophisticated. They seem to encompass even more features than they used to, and more often than not we encounter “all-in-one” deals. What I mean is that the majority of scrupulous, modern pedals can basically do it all – you invest in one unit and get the advantage of playing around with several. Such a tendency is especially noticeable with vocal processors.

They are not merely tools for enhancing your voice. They can do way more than that. Of course, you can find more rudimental members of the family as well, but we can’t satisfy ourselves with simplicity. Not today. This article will deal with something that is the opposite of primitive or basic. TC Helicon Play Electric is an ultimate vocal processor for those of you who are willing to escape the superficial limits set by nature and society and step into the world of endless possibilities.

This fella is capable of refining your sound and vocals simultaneously and accompanying your performance like a real professional. If you take your singing seriously and want to explore the extent of your own capabilities, then you have to try this one out. Keep on reading and I will provide you with all the necessary details!

Features

Huh, TC Helicon Play Electric has so much to offer that I don’t even know where to start or what to say. But I will do my best to gather my thoughts and sort the information you’re looking for in an orderly manner. Well, I guess we should start with the basics. This fella combines a vocal processor with a multi-effects device. Not only does it provide you with the ability to mess around with the qualities of your vocals, but it also lets you add countless effects to your electric guitar.

TC Helicon has included proprietary and legendary effects from TC Electronic, such as Flashback Delay, Corona Chorus, Hall of Fame Reverb, and so on. They have also made sure that Play Electric was compatible with TonePrint and could get the best use out of its virtues. It wouldn’t be a decent vocal processor if it didn’t include some vocal effects. Luckily, here we have HardTune, Transducer, µMod, Harmony, Double, Delay and Reverb that can be added to your own voice for interesting and vibrant results. Not only that, but we also have a number of amp emulations for maximum versatility.

Moreover, this puppy offers over 170 presets that can be utilized in their original shape or modified with desired effects. You can always create your own on the fly. Play Electric adjusts the key automatically so that your harmonies are perfectly in tune with your instrument. It offers adaptive EQ, compression and gate that refine your sound and vocals perfectly. It also includes a looper, HIT function (unleashes a number of possibilities), TALK feature that bypasses all the effects and lets you talk, as well as RoomSense and mono/stereo operation. Play Electric has a USB input for audio streaming along with an AUX for connecting your phone. Let me warn you that you’ll unveil even more properties as you start playing, so get ready for that. This puppy is truly limitless!

Controls

Before we move on to discussing the basic controls, let me propose a suggestion I always make with such devices. Due to the abundance of features, it’s impossible to cover all the hidden parameters, which is why you should definitely scrutinize the manual (it’s 70 pages for a reason). It will help you understand the unit and learn everything about its features.

Let’s start with footswitches. Up and Down (first two) are in charge of scrolling through presets, activating the looper and setting key/scale (this, of course, requires specific motions). But if we’re being honest, you’d better get an optional Switch 3 for looper if you want to get the maximum usage out of this feature. The third footswitch, i.e. HIT lets you add effects to the current sound, enter TALK mode or set the tap tempo. In the middle of Play Electric, you’ll find a control knob and two arrow buttons, which can be used for scrolling through presets or navigating in different menus. Back and Store are quite self-explanatory. On top of the pedal you’ll see an LCD display with 6 soft buttons. All of them are straightforward. Setup and other menus might seem complicated in the beginning, but you’ll get the hang of them after some practice.

TC Helicon Play Electric Sound

Play Electric from TC helicon becomes even more interesting in terms of sound. The presets it offers can basically cover any sound you might think of. They range from subtle, usable ones to crazy, non-conventional variations that can only be employed if you have that weird style. But, in my personal opinion, you can always mix and match and find the sounds that suit your performance the most. What is more, the combination of Play Electric’s and TC’s effects, as well as amp simulations unleashes a massive amount of possibilities.

You can easily steep your guitar with beautiful chorus or reverb, and maybe add some harmony or distortion to your vocals. Of course, the choice is yours. While the looper is wonderful, the recording time is limited. But if you use this tool only occasionally, I don’t think you’ll have any problems with this one. Play Electric has jaw-dropping sonic qualities, very useful EQ and other tone-shaping options. I can’t help mentioning how beautifully it can track your sound and adjust the key. Your guitars and vocals will come off as a one, unified body.

Conclusion

I have a feeling that I could say way more about TC Helicon Play Electric. But I would have to write a whole book in that case. It’s always amazing when devices are so versatile that they can’t be entirely covered within one article. The good thing is that we managed to include all the necessary information that you’ll need to make a decision. You’ll learn about the rest in practice. Good luck!

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