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Vocal Acrobatics

TC Helion’s Voice Live Touch is a remarkable sample station unit that will make vocal performances a little bit special…

The Voice Live Touch is one of TC Helicon’s family of live vocal harmony processors, designed to make the life of the gigging vocalist a lot easier. But it does much more than just vocals. With clever application, users can turn a one-man show into a full-blown orchestra.

The first thing that’s obvious with the Voice Live Touch is that it’s preset heaven. At around 200-odd presets, there are numerous ways to treat a vocal or any audio source, as a matter of fact. Once the initial (yet unashamed) novelty of being instantly transformed into Darth Vader on a hangover has worn off, it is clear that the Voice Live Touch offers more than just the potential to transform any normal human being into a voice artist.

INSTANT CONTROL

The product advertises itself as a vocal FX unit that is mic-stand mountable for instant live control over vocal performances. The sturdy black box is compact enough to throw into a kit bag, and is very well-made to take the demands of on-the-road gigging.
Its unique VLOOP Performance Vocal looping and intelligent control over vocal effects and harmonies through external instruments are the central features. Pretty much anything can be plugged into it via various connections.

It’s interesting to see what the Voice Live Touch can do in terms of helping the quality of a live performance, especially for beatboxers and the likes. The methods used for strengthening vocals are pretty standard — doubling, delays, compression, reverbs, octaves and where needed, a bit of autotune. The Voice Live Touch has all of these effects readily available and it’s funny what a touch of each of these can do to transform a performance and make live showcases sound closer to their studio counterparts.

All the parameters can be tweaked to suit performances, while the tempo of the delay can be adjusted to fit in with the tempo of the songs. The user can also choose octaves above or below the original audio lead for the harmonies. There are choices of reverb and delay styles, and the amount of FX used can be adjusted to fit with the main audio feed.  Each of these effects is easily activated at the touch of a button on the front face of the unit. The buttons are suitably large, so the user’s aim during a performance doesn’t have to be sniper-like, and the display is a good size too and easily viewable in a dark location.

GET CREATIVE

When it’s time to get a bit creative with the harmonies, there is the option of running four variations alongside the original audio lead. To aid in this process, the Voice Live Touch will automatically choose the right key to keep things tight. The only time the auto key function suffers is when it tries to work out musical parts that are too complicated or changeable. Other than that, it generally gives a good result.

Another effect that ties in with this function is the autotune. If the vocal performance isn’t up to scratch, the Voice Live can adjust it to bring everything into key. Sensitivity to pitch correction can be adjusted in the FX menu.

To navigate to the various options available on the Voice Touch Live is quite simple: just tap the associated button, which will lead to the various sub menus. For those looking to change any of the effects or levels, holding down the relevant button generally reveals a user-friendly menu. For more system control and choices, holding down the mix button either once or twice unveils the advanced options.

The vocal FX functions available to use are great, but there are also looping functions which once again are easy to incorporate and use in performances. The Voice Live comes with 30 seconds of looping time; those feeling brave can double it by turning off the ‘Undo’ function. Dropping in and out of record mode is easy and can be controlled either via the red touch-pad button or through assigning that function to one of the foot pedals. This type of looping FX is similar to the kind of thing that Jamie Woon does so well in ‘Spirits’ and Beardyman does in his live show.

Verdict

Price   £415.00
Contact   tc-helion.com
Build Quality
  9.0
Ease of Use   8.0
Features   9.0
Value for Money   9.0
Sound Quality   9.0
Hype  

A beatboxer’s heaven — literally everything needed in one box to make vocals stand out. And it can also be used in any genre or for any type of performance.

Gripe  

If over-used, can become a bit OTT.

Conclusion  

A great box that goes beyond just vocals. A must for any creative performers or DJs.

Overall Score   8.8/10