9 Best Vocal Processors for Live Performance

In Electronics, Radio & Audio by cerilleLeave a Comment

What is the best vocal effects processor? Our team have tested the best vocal processors available

Product reviews of the best vocal processors

We spent more than 70 hours on 30 different vocal processors that we found readily available on the market.

We wanted to select the top performing high quality models from the rest.

In the end we found the TC-Helicon VoiceLive Vocal Processor to be the best.

It has a heavy-duty exterior, is simple to operate and results in a high-quality sound output.

The Behringer U-PHORIA UMC202HD Audio Interphase is th%e most affordable vocal processor on our list.

It still features a high quality build and an USB interface for recording both the microphone and guitar.

Read on to learn more about the other high quality vocal processors on our list.

Behringer U-PHORIA UMC202HD Audio Interphase – 98%

 

The Behringer U-PHORIA features a 2×2 USB interphase. This enables the user to record the microphones and other musical instruments such as guitars and pianos.

Behringer U-PHORIA UMC202HD Audio Interphase
  • 2x2 usb 2.0 audio interface for recording microphones and instruments
  • Audiophile 24-bit/192 khz resolution for professional audio quality
  • Compatible with popular recording software including avid pro tools*, ableton live*, steinberg cubase*, etc.

This voice processor can be used with voice recording software such as ableton live and Steinberg Cubase.

It features MIDAS preamps as well. We found them to be effective at producing an enhanced sound quality.

However unlike the TC-Helicon VoiceLive Vocal Processor, this one doesn’t come with a very strong and sturdy exterior.

 

Pros
  • High quality sound output.
  • Features a USB interface for recording the microphone and music instruments.
Cons
  • The exterior is not very durable.

 

Alesis NanoVerb Digital Effects Processor – 97%

 

The Alesis features 16 different programs each of which comes with 16 different variations. In total it has 256 presets which provides the user with plenty of options.

Alesis NanoVerb Digital Effects Processor
  • Everything you need - 16 programs with 16 variations each for a total of 256 presets
  • Be in control - Analoge wet/dry mix control; adjustable input and output gains
  • Professional sound - Minimised signal patch for optimal sound quality; signal/clip LED control for easy visual monitoring

It has a rugged durable metal case which makes it able to withstand falling.

However, we found that the Alesis digital effects processor uses a 2 pins mains which means that in order to effectively use the equipment, there should be a compatible power supply.

 

Pros
  • Rugged and durable exterior.
  • Comes with up to 256 presets.
Cons
  • Uses 2 pins mains which is not very common.

 

Boss VE-1 Echo Voice Processor – 93%

 

The Boss VE-1 features 7 different types of ambient effects. These effects also come with adjustable settings which enables the voice processor to thicken the sound effect as well as perform pitch correction.

The AC battery allows for easy transportation and users can use it in many different settings.

Boss VE-1 Echo Voice Processor
  • Seven types of ambience effects with adjustable settings for your voice
  • Double-tracking effect to instantly thicken your vocal sound
  • Enhance effect and Pitch Correct (including hard-tuned “electronic voice” sound)

It also comes with inbuilt memory capacity enabling the user to switch between different settings.

The downside is that with the batteries, the Boss VE-1 uses up the charge quite fast and can become unresponsive which would be quite inconvenient in the middle of a performance.

 

Pros
  • Has 7 different adjustable ambient effects.
  • Features pitch correction.
Cons
  • Uses battery charge fast.

 

TC-Helicon 996004005 Vocal Effects Processor – 90%

 

The TC-Helicon allows the user to connect between the mic and mixer. It comes with a high-quality signal path and is simple and intuitive to use.The mic has a simple control on and off switch for easy use.

TC-Helicon 996004005 Vocal Effects Processor
  • Bring studio doubling to live performance
  • Connects between mic & mixer
  • High quality signal path

This vocal processor creates a nice doubling effect. It is also easily adjustable in case the user wants more effects while causing the high notes to sound clear and crisp.

The output however will go off sometimes and we found that we needed to plug and unplug it from the mains for it to work.

 

Pros
  • Simple and intuitive to use.
  • High quality output.
Cons
  • Output goes off sometimes.

 

Boss VE-2 Vocal Harmonist Pedal – 90%

The Boss VE-2 features high quality effects as well as real time vocal harmonies.

It is simple to use. A solo singer can set the equipment manually to create harmonies by making use of a dedicated panel knob.

Sale
Boss VE-2 Vocal Harmonist Pedal
  • Real-time vocal harmonies and high-quality effects in an affordable, easy-to-operate pedal
  • Auto Harmony function automatically detects chords played on a connected guitar and generates perfectly matching harmonies, even during mid-song key changes
  • Solo singers can create harmonies by manually setting the song key with a dedicated panel knob

This vocal processor allows the user up to 24 harmonies to choose from as well as other variations. It can be used on different music instruments. The auto harmony function detects the chords on the guitar and creates matching harmonies.

The main downside is that you can only use two-part harmony in all the major keys. The drivers for recording with the PC are not very simple to install as well.

 

Pros
  • Simple to use.
  • Features up to 24 harmonies.
Cons
  • Installing drivers for using with the PC is not very simple.

 

Boss Boss Roland VE-5 Vocal Performer – 82%

 

Similar to the Boss VE-2 Vocal Harmonist Pedal, the Roland VE-5 is very simple and intuitive to use.

It is diverse and allows the user to use it on different music settings from live performances to recording. It also features good quality effects as well as some great precepts.

Sale
Boss Boss Roland VE-5 Vocal Performer
  • Easy one-touch operation
  • Six types of high-quality vocal effects inherited from the VE-20 – Reverb, Delay, Double/Harmony, Dynamics, Pitch Correct, and Tone/SFX
  • Phrase Looper adds impact to real-time vocal performances, including harmonizing and layered beatboxing

The resulting quality of sound is clear and crisp.

However, we found that after using it for some time, restoring it to factory settings seemed to affect the performance.

 

Pros
  • Simple and intuitive to use.
  • Diverse vocal processor.
  • High quality design with a strong and sturdy exterior.
Cons
  • Restoring to factory settings affects the performance.

 

TC-Helicon VoiceTone Harmony G XT – 80%

 

This vocal processor has a unique flagship technology that stacks 2 more voices. It features a heavy-duty exterior and is simple to use.

The TC-Helicon takes in the sound from the voice and guitar and creates the right harmony for a high-quality sound output.

TC-Helicon VoiceTone Harmony G XT
  • Natural play guitar-controlled harmony algorithm stacks up to 2 more voices from our flagship processor
  • Listens to guitar and Voice to create the correct harmony parts
  • 6 reverb/delay combinations for vocal and Guitar input

It features 10 memories with 2 variations of each and also has an integrated guitar tuner allowing the user to adjust between the guitar and the voice automated compressor. This results in a good quality sound output.

The main drawback is with the harmonies. They are not very easy to use and in case they go above the normal voice range could result in low quality output.

 

Pros
  • Simple to use.
  • High quality build.
Cons
  • Harmonies are not very easy to use.

 

Boss Audio VE-20 Vocal Performer Multi-Effects – 80%

 

This vocal processor has good vocal effects. Users can instantly add harmonies and vocal layers to the singing.

It is a diverse tool allowing the singer to add pitch correction resulting in a high-quality output. You can also add distortion, strobe or radio to the sound as well.

Sale
Boss Audio VE-20 Vocal Performer Multi-Effects
  • Specialized effects for vocalists, including Harmony, Double-Track, Dynamics, Reverb, Delay, and more
  • Create the total of 3-part harmonies and layers
  • Realtime pitch-correction tools

The user interface is simple to control and requires no programming. All you will need to do is to add the requires settings and start singing.

The feedback feature which sends information through the foldback however interferes with the quality of the sound.

 

Pros
  • Simple to use.
  • High quality design.
Cons
  • Feedback feature affects the quality of output.

 

TC-Helicon VoiceLive Vocal Processor – 68%

 

This vocal processor is diverse. It enables the user to harmonize the sound while also allowing for looping.

It also features hundreds of presets for easy programming and makes it possible for the user to access the effects directly.

Sale
TC-Helicon VoiceLive Vocal Processor
  • Renowned TC-Helicon Vocal Effects, Harmony and Looping
  • Hundreds of song & artist inspired presets
  • RoomSenseTM mics guide your harmonies to the music around you

The exterior of the Helicon VoiceLive is made from a thick metal. This ensures that in case it was dropped, it could handle the shock and still continue to function as normal.

However, we didn’t like the feedback feature as you will need to input the correct settings to get the right results.

 

Pros
  • High quality metal build.
  • Simple to operate.
  • High quality effects.
Cons
  • The feedback feature is not the best.

 

Frequently asked questions

What Is Vocal Processors?

A vocal processor is a device that is used when recording music or singing live. It takes the sound signals and adds different effects which significantly improves the quality of the sound and vocals.

All musicians, even the best at their game will have times when their vocals will be off. This doesn’t mean waiting until you achieve the right pitch. Simply perform your best and make use of the vocal processor to make the right adjustments. What comes out of it is high quality sounds.

What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Vocal Processors?

One of the main benefits of using vocal processors is that they are able to correct the inconsistencies in the pitch.

When singing, the pitch will often vary based on the air intake in the lungs.

The vocal processor takes the sound signals and makes it more consistent.

They are also able to add in extra effects to the voice which can make even a novice singer sound like a professional. In other words, the quality is greatly improved.

Vocal processors can be used as an aid when performing live on stage to create loops, multiple part harmonies and phases.

One of the main disadvantages with vocal processors is that they need someone with at least some background of how they work to be able to use them effectively.

Some models also lack the harmonize feature.

The best quality vocal processors are expensive equipment. Research is required to be able to make the right choice.

This high cost keeps most interested and potential buyers away from taking full advantage of its capabilities.

Getting the wrong equipment can also push things a bit too far the other end which would result in the voice sounding a bit unnatural.

This again emphasizes on the need to get the right equipment through proper research.

What’s the Approximate Price Range for Vocal Processors?

Depending on the quality and model, the prices for vocal processors can range anywhere between £100 and £1500.

What Should I Look for When Choosing a Vocal Processor?

The first thing that you want to look at when choosing a vocal processor is the sound quality.

It should be top notch. The equipment should also be in a position to suit your singing style.

For example, if you want a robotic sound, the vocal processor should be able to provide you with this.

The same is true when looking for an alien sound. All this while giving clear and crisp output.

The vocal processor should enable the user to work with different music instruments such as guitars, microphones, pianos, harmonicas just to mention a few.

It should also come with different effects such as compression, EQ, subtle reverb and pitch correction.

For the user, the equipment needs to match the sound of play. While group singers can achieve different pitches, a solo singer should be able to rely on the vocal processor to deliver the right back up such as being able to generate harmonies or loopers.

Musicians will often find the need to regularly use the vocal processor. This puts the equipment at risk of being dropped. This is why the vocal processor requires a strong and sturdy exterior to be able to withstand any eventual drop.

A good quality vocal processor needs a powerful mic preamp. It helps to improve the quality of the sound as well as making it more audible.

Pitch correction is another important feature. This also helps to improve the quality of the sound making the user sound more professional.

Look out for extra features as well such as ease of use, phantom power support, warranty or unique voicing.

What Is the Best Vocal Processor? Why Is It the Best?

The Boss VE-2 vocal harmonist pedal is the best vocal processor.

It offers real-time harmonies as well as high-quality effects. This equipment can also be used with different musical instruments.

Which Is the Best Vocal Processors for Live Performance? Why Is It the Best?

The TC-Helicon 996004005 voicetone D1 is the best vocal processor for live performances. It can connect to the mixer and the microphone and features a high-quality signal path.

Which Is the Best Voice Enhancer for Singing? Why Is It the Best?

The Soundmagic vocalist processing tool software is the best voice enhancer for singing.

It has unique and innovative double design that takes sound and expands it in 3D.

Why Should I Buy Vocal Harmonizer?

A vocal harmonizer can be an invaluable addition to your music studio.

It works by taking audio, recording it all while harmonizing while playing or singing. It harmonizes the different pitches as you play the music.

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