Harmony Central Forums
Announcement
Collapse
No announcement yet.

12271738

Collapse



X
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • #31






    Quote Originally Posted by geckoland
    View Post

    Whinersmusic,



    I'm the one who liked the chipmunk persona! But it was my kids that liked it. I haven't yet used it in a gig ... But regardless, I agree that we all use these units in different ways and appreciate different aspects of them, and these forums have been very tolerant of that, which is a good thing.



    I have been reading these posts on hiss with some confusion because I have not had any problems with hiss. I used to own a Helicon VoiceLive, and I don't find the hiss any worse on either of my Vocalist Live units compared to the VoiceLive, although I have not done A/B tests. The following comment you made has shed some light on this for me ...



    I always set my mic level so that I am tickling the red on the loudest sections, and I have not heard the distortion that you are speaking of when I kick my harmonies on. I tried turning my mic level down so that it was just tickling the green as you do and turned up my PA to compensate - sure enough, the hiss got a lot louder as I expected. If it was like this all the time, I would be complaining too! But like you say, even with the hiss at this level, no one would notice in a live situation.



    I think the problem you are having is not the hiss, but the distortion you are hearing when you turn your mic gain up to the proper level. Where is this distortion coming from? What are you connecting the output of the VL 4 to? Is it possible you are over driving your mixer or something (if so, did you try turning down the sensitivity)? Do you hear this distortion on the headphone out as well?



    I have to admit, the output of the Vocalist Live units is quite hot. I have read some posts where people are hooking the output of their VLs to pre-amps (i.e. where they used to send their old mic signal), but the output of the VL is already pre-amped so this is unnecessary.



    Geckoland




    Hey Geckoland - just wasn't able to look up your name from before while writing the last item. Here is more elaboration. Levels are somewhat subjective of course but I'll say, I've tried bumping it up and lowering it off. When I get a nice green on the voice (no harmony) everything is pure and strong. But, kick on the harmony switch, and the level goes up and distorts or clips - not a lot but there is clipping. This is why I think there is a boost in the unit. It just isn't as pure and, when comparing to the TC Helicon not as good. The Helicon also has distortion/clipping issues but you can control the harmony level with much more precision including each level independently. I have found the edge comes as you engage harmony and I think there has to be something going on there. The analogy I make is to your back up singers (if they were live) eating their mics where they should back off a bit. You can't really control if they eat the mic from the mixer just force them to back off - the Helicon can do that kind of adjustment.



    If no one else is hearing it then it could very well be my unit I suppose. I got a lemon TC Helicon actually so nothing would surprise me. I have two VL 2s at the moment and both do it though as does the VL 4 but you have some extra control on this unit that is not available on the VL 2.



    Here is my philosophy on sound levels: generally you want a reliable level on the loudest point of your vocal - just below distortion. You have to leave the headroom on the mixer or you will peak beyond the threshold and distort. If you bring your level up too high for the moderate to low bits, you will regret it on the louder passages as you clip. Some mixers and recorders are better at advance alerting of clipping than others and you can make a better assessment of where to land.



    You do want to push it as close to the edge as you can always. I've been playing with the levels since I got the unit and, on recording and through headphones, it's just not as good as it should be. This is true on the recording monitor and then listening on the playback. I mean here, it could be the mixer phones so I tried recording and then playing back on other units live and through phones. The hiss is present always but, your vocal will mask a lot of the hiss - as does your guitar sound on guitar levels too. My issue is on the quieter passages - pauses etc, that's where your level will not be high enough to mask the equipment noise itself.



    I'm using power cleaned AC and can tell the difference between the units just right from the get go. Especially if you take your mic direct into the board and not use the unit vs. going into the unit and to the board.



    I am talking subtly to some degree but it is there to my ears. The hiss, of course, being different to the distortion/clipping issue.



    If no one else reports in about these, then you can assume it's me I guess. I mentioned going back to the demo at the DigiTech website. I hear it there as well when the harmony is on during the demo. I am currently listening to a song at my computer. Everything is fine ... no issues. When I listen to the DigiTech demo, I get the clipping on the audio ... it's not there when the dude is talking about the unit but is there when he adds his harmony demos.



    So perhaps it's the audio clip itself or still just me. Anyway, try the objective test of mic in/no unit vs. mic in/with the unit and I predict you will pick up the extra machine noise. It's all about quality in and out and anytime you add something you do get more noise but, that can be corrected or amended to the positive with higher end materials et al.



    I guess, bottom line, I'm saying we are getting a bit of what we pay for. If the unit were double in price we'd have more absolute studio quality. That's where I hear a difference in the Helicon - it's got to be better parts I'd say.



    I hope that helps define my opinion or mind set vis-a-vis my earlier comments on how people can take reviews. I'd say I'm someone who doesn't want to hear any extra hiss or clipping at all on a recording. Live is a bit different and even forgiving - you can get away with so much more. But, when something is preserved for a long time on a CD, then you don't want the perfect take ruined because of the equipment limitations.



    As more people work with the unit, please let us know your take on the "quality" . There will no doubt be a trend on reactions. Right now my vote would be to track real harmonies or go for the Helicon if you are wanting to get the best studio audio recorded possible.
    Keith (The Whiners)
    Sample using the VL 4 in a LIVE scenario ... Hear The Whiners using the VL and TC Helicon Harmony G units combined for harmony in recordings at The Whiners Web

    Comment


    • #32
      The fact that the VL4 has scalic modes etc like its predecessors, and yet has no MIDI access, unlike its predecessors, is going to be a major frustration for anyone that uses sequences and wants to reduce footswitch tap-dancing (that's me for example).



      Also Anderton's views of leaving the VL4 on for an entire tune and thus using it more as vocal enhancement does not apply well to a lot of pop / rock / jazz ensemble harmony styles. Clearly a lot of lot of pop / rock / jazz ensemble harmony styles require the harmonies to be rather notable and to be engaged / disengaged in a timely and repetitive manner (lots of tap-dancing wih the VL4).



      I am likely to still buy one because I really appreciate the MusIQ, but it really pisses me off they left out MIDI.



      It's also kind'a dumb they do not have a rack-mount version given the number of live performance users that already have an FCB1010 etc and/or use sequences or other MIDI control thus do not want more boxes clogging up precious stage real-estate. Also the extra setup / tear-down time of more non-rack mount devices on the floor and the higher risk of theft / damage as compared to rack-mount.



      Perhaps DigiTech's market analysis pointed to an ease-of-use simple floor-unit. However the Fender VG Strat fails for a similar reason in that Fender / Roland left out the 13 pin hex output so you cannot access guitar synths! One might assume Fender / Roland left out the 13 pin hex output so as not to compete with the Roland-Ready Strat. However DigiTech does not appear to have similar concerns in that there is no other DigiTech device (at least not yet) that would compete with the VL4, if the VL4 did indeed have MIDI.



      That is unless of course DigiTech plans on bringing out a rack version and they want to "save" MIDI to maximize the rack version's marketing appeal (speculation).



      In any case I do not think it is very likely that DigiTech left out MIDI on the VL4 due to pricing concerns given that such MIDI implementation exists in the other DigiTech harmonizers. As such I think it was a big marketing boo-boo to leave out MIDI on the VL4.



      Perhaps some insight into DigiTech's marking-think can be gleaned by comparing the RP 350 to the GSP 1101. Both rather new and both sharing a lot of common internals, however the GSP 1101 has MIDI and is rack-mount, the RP 350 is bereft of MIDI and is a floor device.



      We have all seen the marketing plan of bringing out various simpler floor units, and then at a later date bringing out a rack-mount "plus" version, however even if DigiTech is going to do this it does not excuse no MIDI on the VL4, albeit such a rationale might excuse it on the VL2.



      If there soon will be a rack-mount and MIDI capable VL4 as done in a similar marketing fashion to the RP 350 / GSP110 then I guess we will all have our answer! You know, I think I might just wait and continue to use my TC VoiceWorks rack-mount, after all it still has a few things going for it (alas no MusIQ) such as superior effects, more realistic harmonies and harmony hold - a very fun feature!

      Comment


      • #33






        Quote Originally Posted by Chumly
        View Post

        Anderton's views of leaving the VL4 on for an entire tune and thus using it more as vocal enhancement does not apply well to a lot of pop / rock / jazz ensemble harmony styles. Clearly a lot of lot of pop / rock / jazz ensemble harmony styles require the harmonies to be rather notable and to be engaged / disengaged in a timely and repetitive manner (lots of tap-dancing wih the VL4).




        Yes, what I'm doing is yet another way to apply the VL4. The context is that it's just me on Digital Les Paul and Brian Hardgroove on drums, with a big, hard rock type sound. Brian also sings, so basically, that's the heavy lifting for harmonies...the VL is there mainly to make my voice sound better








        I am likely to still buy one because I really appreciate the MusIQ, but it really pisses me off they left out MIDI.



        MIDI would have been convenient, but do read my posts about using other instruments with the VL2. It's a workaround, but the audio out from a MIDI-driven synthesizer provides the same basic functionality as MIDI. The only real negative is you can't just take a MIDI out from your interface and plug it into the VL, you have to translate it to audio first.








        It's also kind'a dumb they do not have a rack-mount version given the number of live performance users that already have an FCB1010 etc and/or use sequences or other MIDI control thus do not want more boxes clogging up precious stage real-estate. Also the extra setup / tear-down time of more non-rack mount devices on the floor and the higher risk of theft / damage as compared to rack-mount.



        I don't have any inside knowledge, but I suspect the MusIQ technology will show up in studio-oriented rack units as well.








        Perhaps DigiTech's market analysis pointed to an ease-of-use simple floor-unit. However the Fender VG Strat fails for a similar reason in that Fender / Roland left out the 13 pin hex output so you cannot access guitar synths! One might assume Fender / Roland left out the 13 pin hex output so as not to compete with the Roland-Ready Strat.



        I honestly don't think that was the issue, as I'm sure Roland/Fender doesn't care which of their products you buy as long as it's their products. I see perhaps the same forces as work as with the VL: Wanting to make a non-intimidating package optimized for live use, and capable of appealing to a less technically-sophisticated user.



        Someone from DigiTech can correct me if I'm wrong, but what I see is that DT wanted to bring out a unit optimized for live performance because, TC's VoiceLive aside, it's a wide-open field and there's nothing like the MusIQ feature. There are already plenty of rack units that take MIDI in, and so it's a much tougher field to compete in. Speaking personally, I have a VoicePrism that works fine in the studio, but the VL4 is a far better choice to take out on a gig.








        Perhaps some insight into DigiTech's marking-think can be gleaned by comparing the RP 350 to the GSP 1101. Both rather new and both sharing a lot of common internals, however the GSP 1101 has MIDI and is rack-mount, the RP 350 is bereft of MIDI and is a floor device.



        Good point (although the RP 350 does have USB). I think that MIDI is still thought of as more of a "studio" thing. It certainly wouldn't benefit me when gigging, but would when using the VL in the studio...although again, it's called the Vocalist Live, not the Vocalist Studio, which I think indicates their intention. It may be that they felt including MIDI would muddy the waters about whether the VL was a live or studio device, as well as provide a further point of confusion.



        As a tweakhead I agree it would be nice to have the MIDI option, assuming it didn't add too much to the price. But I think DigiTech really wanted to be able to walk into a bar and see some singer/songwriting with a phobia about techology happily generating harmonies, and designed the unit with that target market in mind. I'm sure there will be more sophisticated options in the years ahead, given the success of the VLs.
        N E W S O N G ! To Say 'No' Would Be a Crime (Remix) is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

        Subscribe, like, and share the links!

        Comment


        • #34






          Quote Originally Posted by Chumly
          View Post

          It's also kind'a dumb they do not have a rack-mount version given the number of live performance users that already have an FCB1010 etc




          I've been thinking a lot about those sorts of questions, and I think I have the answer.



          I think DigiTech did a wonderful job emphasizing simplicity. Clearly, the "sweet spot" they designed for is the solo performer who will run his own sound from the stage. With that in mind, the VL4 is perfect.



          In my case, I'm not quite that guy. I play in a band and we have our own sound guy that runs the board from the audience. Big difference.



          But to really take advantage of that, the VL4 would have to be significantly different. And significantly more complicated.



          In the end, I think we can each look at this and think of a set of features we would like to add or change. It is to DigiTech's credit that they maintained the discipline to keep the design simple.



          You want a midi-capable, rack-mountable harmony generator? Helicon has it. But that's not what the VL4 is all about.

          Comment


          • #35
            Hey Everybody,



            I agree with everything being said here, especially Keith's insights on how one application, i.e. recording holds higher demands for sound quality than let's say, a live performance.



            I am currently in the middle of recording a demo CD with the BOSS 1200CD. Would I use the VL2 in this application? Probabaly not but I will try doing an alternate track with my vocals using the VL2. Artists are not afraid of experimenting but when our music is preserved on a CD, we don't want to wince over the results years later! I mean what's the point of recording then? Bad recordings have a way of coming back to bite you.



            I am primarily looking to use these units for live performances. As my name implies, I show up alone. Sometimes I may have the luxury of a backup vocalist who also plays the harmonica on breaks but that's about it. No road crew or sound guys. So anything that I can do to make myself stand out in the crowd, (in a good way that is!), is worth looking into.



            Here's the kicker. I used the VL2 for the first time in a live performance earlier this month. Whoa. You should have seen the heads whirling around when I kicked in those harmonies! Mind you I had already been using a mixer with reverb and delay plus DR-3 Drum & Bass Machine so my stuff isn't that dry. However the VL2 made all of the difference in the world because my vocals are what drive the performance. I don't think it was any coincidence that they booked me into 2008 right after that! Thank God, I was willing to take a chance and try something new. Sometimes that's really more of the problem than the equipment. Trying something that we are not familiar with. I'm willing to jump in. I've taken a few things back that were junky, namely Digitech's RP whatever model guitar processor. It kept cutting off my instrument's signal. Should have seen how fast that got returned to the store. Like the next day! However, I didn't let that jade me from trying their VL2 which has been the best upgrade to my sound next to switching to a recording studio quality condenser microphone. Well, that's just my 2 cents worth.



            Bless everyone here!



            SoloArtist
            SoloArtist

            The New Eclectic Sound Experience-Join Up!: Martin Owner's Club Day 2009
            www.mariejmiczak.blogspot.com

            Comment


            • #36
              Then I read the comment where someone asked if anyone had figured out how to do Beach Boy harmonies yet, and the light bulb went on: Do the voice a capella, and throw everything the VL4 has at it! I have a rough patch that sounds pretty good...I think it's going in the right direction.





              Can you elaborate on that for a bit on how to get it that way?

              Comment


              • #37
                Thank you for the kind responses guys!



                I have done a live high-tech solo act for 30 years (I started with the TB303 / TR 606 to four-track tape).



                I use a laptop now as do many of my compatriot solo acts (and duo acts). Thus patch change data and other real-time MIDI controllers are easily implemented and are more comfortable / simpler than tap-dancing with toys all over the floor.



                I understand what DigiTech was aiming for, but in doing so they left out the middle-ground people like me that do use MIDI live, and don't have a lot of stage-floor real-estate. As mentioned it could not have cost much more to implement MIDI into the (at present flagship harmonizer) VL4.



                Thus I see the VL4 as perhaps more of a marketing success than a success of flexible implementation, the Vl2's non-MIDI status is more understandable re: cost / friendliness.



                I do really dig the MusIQ, and yep I own the TC VoiceWorks (as already mentioned), in fact I have been using harmonizers live on my vocals since the DigiTech ISP33B came out.



                Including my VoiceWorks I still own three vocal harmonizers and have owned a total of five including the venerable ISP 33BB.



                I have used them all for live use only, so I am in the position of having a lot of experience in what makes a good live unit (marketing aside)!

                Comment


                • #38
                  i dont really know everything this thing does, but as someone who isnt a great singer, but wants to do some recording possibly with some vocals, will this, or anything else out there, automatically "pitch correct" when you hit an off note?

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Some great info here!
                    Monthly Podcast: http://fuzzballrecordsradio.tk/

                    Or Quixotic Rage myspace info here

                    Band web page: http://JMBess.googlepages.com/home

                    Studio web page:http://JMBess.googlepages.com/fuzzballrecords

                    Great trades with: Stazinish, Silverring233, sirkonks, Facing Failure, yuantian, simplestargazer, Juan M, jcloud, and you can check my ebay account for more!

                    Comment


                    • #40






                      Quote Originally Posted by Anderton
                      View Post

                      MIDI would have been convenient, but do read my posts about using other instruments with the VL2. It's a workaround, but the audio out from a MIDI-driven synthesizer provides the same basic functionality as MIDI. The only real negative is you can't just take a MIDI out from your interface and plug it into the VL, you have to translate it to audio first.




                      While yes it's true that I could program a series of chords into my sequences (taking into account the apropos inversions and voicings etc) for the VL4 to follow, if I am going to go to that much trouble, I can simply feed this as real-time MIDI data to my VoiceWorks as it has a MIDI chord recognition mode.



                      On the downside however the VW's MIDI chord recognition mode is not as sophisticated as the VL4's MusIQ but it certainly gets you out of the static scalic / chordal modes that have received some justifiable criticism as of late.



                      I would not buy the VL series with the expectation of feeding it sequenced synth audio, too much work for too little gain over the VoiceWorks with sequenced MIDI chord data. And/or the VoiceWorks with sequenced MIDI patch change / controller data!



                      Now if I did a solo keyboard act, and I could dedicate enough of my left hand and an audio out to the VL series perhaps, then again I use a Brain Moore i2.13 and an Axon AX100, so I have a MIDI chord out and could trigger my VoiceWorks, the only problem being the VoiceWorks does not have MusIQ! My understanding (I have not tried it) is that the VoiceWorks does not behave as well as MusIQ with singe line solos etc as transmitted from the AX100 but it has been done by some I chatted with!



                      Naturally my comments are related to me as a guitarist / singer doing a solo act!

                      Comment


                      • #41






                        Quote Originally Posted by Anderton
                        View Post

                        I honestly don't think that was the issue, as I'm sure Roland/Fender doesn't care which of their products you buy as long as it's their products. I see perhaps the same forces as work as with the VL: Wanting to make a non-intimidating package optimized for live use, and capable of appealing to a less technically-sophisticated user.




                        You may well be right as to the no concern about competition between the RR Strat and the VG Strat however I find it a bit tough to believe that someone would be so scared off by the presence of a 13 pin connector so as not to buy the VG Strat, but by the same token not be scared off by the modeling itself. I think it's another example of unnecessary dumbing down by marketers when you take into account the cost of the VG Strat.



                        That's why I said perhaps the VL2's lack of MIDI can be justified from a marketing point of view but not so readily the VL4's!

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Hey guys,



                          Anderton wrote, "I use the VL4 not to replace band members, but to fill out and enlarge my own voice."



                          I am very interested in doing the same thing. Setting aside the use of the VL4 for creating traditional harmonies, what setting have you found useful to simply make your singing sound better live?



                          By the way, Anderton, would you mind elaborating a bit on how you are using the VL4 to fill out and enlarge your voice?



                          Thanks.

                          Comment


                          • #43






                            Quote Originally Posted by Chumly
                            View Post

                            While yes it's true that I could program a series of chords into my sequences (taking into account the apropos inversions and voicings etc) for the VL4 to follow, if I am going to go to that much trouble, I can simply feed this as real-time MIDI data to my VoiceWorks as it has a MIDI chord recognition mode.



                            On the downside however the VW's MIDI chord recognition mode is not as sophisticated as the VL4's MusIQ but it certainly gets you out of the static scalic / chordal modes that have received some justifiable criticism as of late.



                            I would not buy the VL series with the expectation of feeding it sequenced synth audio, too much work for too little gain over the VoiceWorks with sequenced MIDI chord data. And/or the VoiceWorks with sequenced MIDI patch change / controller data!



                            Naturally my comments are related to me as a guitarist / singer doing a solo act!




                            I see, I was referring more to if you wanted to use the VL4 in the studio in addition to live. BTW when I tested this out I didn't worry about inversions and such, I just hit straight tonic-3-5 block chords and the VL took care of the harmonies. Even with my suggested workaround, remember that feeding audio into the VL4 is just to give it "data" about the key and scale - there's not a one-to-one correlation between notes that are input, and what you get out.
                            N E W S O N G ! To Say 'No' Would Be a Crime (Remix) is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

                            Subscribe, like, and share the links!

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              I fully understand "there's not a one-to-one correlation between notes that are input, and what you get out." There isn't with the VoiceWorks in MIDI chord detection mode ether. Although you can do so in MIDI Note mode with the VoiceWorks! This is something that the VL units cannot do, you cannot "play" your voice from MIDI.



                              Specific voicings and inversions must have a different effect on outputted harmony notes with MusIQ however else it would not be able to tell the difference between an Am and a C6 for example. With MIDI chord recognition on the latest TC gear, specific voicings and inversions may also produce different outputted harmony notes.



                              Granted the ability to produce more varied voicings and inversions is the keyboard's forte and not so much a concert pitch tuned 6 stringer! I am getting GAS for the next generation of MusIQ / Rackmount / MIDI / Higher quality algorithms!

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                LATEST BACKORDER NOTICE ON THE VL4!



                                Here we go again. I just got another backorder notice from MF saying my VL4shippment is being pushed ahead by 30 days! They're not even giving me an actual date anymore.



                                The last promised time was October 26th. They said my order would be filled with their last invoice. Anybody else get this notice from MF or know what's going on? I did get the $399.00 price and they also sent a $20.00 discount coupon which I applied to this order so I'm not angry but a bit frustrated.



                                Thanks,



                                SoloArtist
                                SoloArtist

                                The New Eclectic Sound Experience-Join Up!: Martin Owner's Club Day 2009
                                www.mariejmiczak.blogspot.com

                                Comment













                                Working...
                                X