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  • ‘Shamefully’ the DigiTech Vocalist Live 2/4 does not have MIDI as if it did this would be more of a no brainier decision, however it does not have MIDI plus I already own three harmonizers:

    DigiTech Vocalist VR
    TC Helicon VoicePrism
    TC Helicon VoiceWorks

    I was pretty fired up about the new DigiTech Vocalist Live 2/4 but now TC Helicon has come out with the “HarmonyControl Guitar” to muddy the waters and confuse the issues somewhat, so I’ll try and put this into some perspective:

    The TC Helicon HarmonyControl Guitar seems to provide the equivalent of pitch to MIDI plus a proprietary addressing of “Enhanced Scale Mode” for the VoiceWorksPlus, VoiceLive, and VoiceWorks. It’s not wholly clear what other proprietary “enhanced" modes there are for these three units, nor why the TC Helicon VoicePrism should seem to be excluded.

    The TC Helicon Harmony Control Guitar itself does not take into account the pitch you are singing, and it may or may not have the equivalent of the "knowledge" algorithms in terms of chord progressions etc as claimed of DigiTech's musIQ.

    I have had several email chats with the brains behind the musIQ and have been assured that if I was to use my guitar synth with my VoiceWorks I still would not get the functionality of the Digitech units in terms of voice-leading and related harmony accuracies due to the musIQ both using the vocal input and some sort of ‘intelligence’ to assess general chord patterns.

    Here is what TC Helicon has to say about the HarmonyControl Guitar:

    The HarmonyControl reads your guitar playing and tells your MIDI equipped harmony processor how to sing "the right stuff". If you've ever used Key and Scale harmony, you'll know it works wonderfully for a lot of songs, but now you can add even more harmony songs to your repertoire while you focus on playing and singing your best with HarmonyControl | Guitar. Previously, only MIDI keyboard players had the ability to create spontaneous harmony parts but now it lies in your hands too. HarmonyControl | Guitar is a big step forward for performing guitarists.

    All you do is connect HarmonyControl between your guitar and pedal board or amp. Your pure guitar tone is unaffected; it's as if HarmonyControl wasn't there. A supplied high-quality MIDI cable connects to the harmony processor you've already set up as usual with mic and PA connections. As you play normally, HarmonyControl deciphers the chords in your music and sends it to your harmony processor through MIDI. It's working all the time so that when you lift the bypass on your processor, harmonies flow forth instantly.

    Versatile
    HarmonyControl is compatible with a wide variety of harmony processors by TC-Helicon and others. Of course, our VoiceWorksPlus, VoiceLive, and VoiceWorks have extended features that make the harmonies even more musical. If your harmony processor has a MIDI input, it's likely HarmonyControl can give you the effortless musical control you've always hoped for.

    Features:
    -Enhanced Scale Mode: Scale presets are enhanced because HarmonyControl constantly adjusts the scale to work with the chords you play.
    -Guitar-controlled Chord Mode: Select a chord mode preset on any of these products and your guitar can supply the chords in real-time.
    -Listen Key/Scale: Set the key from your guitar.
    -Auto detect: connect the MIDI in and out with the supplied MIDI cable and TC-Helicon harmony products are automatically recognized so you get the enhanced features
    -Guitar mute: allows guitar to control harmonies without being heard - great for a cappella sections
    -Guitar Tuner: Easy to read note and pitch display keep your licks in tune
    On/Off Button: Returns your harmony processor to its original function.


    The question then becomes, at the least for those who already own one of the three TC Helicon units that it’s promised to have enhanced functionality with, does the Harmony Control Guitar provide the functional equivalence of DigiTech's musIQ or is the Harmony Control Guitar simply a knee jerk competitive response to DigiTech's superior product?

    Given the Harmony Control Guitar approximate 50% lower cost over DigiTech Vocalist Live 2, plus the fact that it has MIDI, it would seem it could a very viable alternative to the DigiTech Vocalist Live 2 and perhaps even more so over the DigiTech Vocalist 4.

    Comment


    • Somebody please...:

      I was just wondering, how would this system work with an acoustic nylon-stringed guitar that´s miked with an external mic? How to connect, I guess I shouldn´t just plug the "normal" mic to the guitar-in jack? And what about a condenser mic that requires phantom power?
      Finnish heavy metal band The Evolution: myspace.com/sorrowland

      Comment


      • Well to compare the HarmonyControl that Helicon is coming out with, against the Digetch is not really a comparsion. The H/C unit takes info from the Guitar and puts it into MIDI for the Harmonizer to do its job, it is not a harmonizer. The pitch correction and Harmonies all come from the Harmonizer. The H/C unit is just an added tool for Harmonizers that have all the cool stuff on them. The real set back for me as you said is no MIDI on the Digitech. So if there is a software update or improvement with the Helicon product, you can download it right into your equipment. This is a huge plus for your equipment. That is not posible with the digitech. I suppose you would have to buy the newer version product. Not only will be able to use keyboard MIDI with the new H/C you can now add Guitar. We shall see how good this new product is this summer.
        The American people will never knowingly adopt socialism. But,
        under the name of 'liberalism,' they will adopt every fragment of the socialist program,
        until one day America will be a socialist nation, without knowing how it happened."

        - Norman Thomas (US Socialist Presidential Candidate)

        Comment


        • I doubt that DigiTech plans any updates for the VL2 as it is designed to do a specific job and does it very well...I've yet to encounter any bugs or malfunctions, and if you need more functionality, then I suppose the VL4 is the answer to that.

          As to MIDI, as I've mentioned I've fed the VL2 with synth audio and it's tracked as well as it does with guitar...I still don't quite understand why DigiTech keeps hammering on using it with guitar, although I suppose it is indeed optimized for guitar and maybe they're concerned about someone feeding in some off-the-wall synth patch, then coming here and posting that the VL2 doesn't work
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          • The TC Helicon Harmony Control Guitar itself does not take into account the pitch you are singing, and it may or may not have the equivalent of the "knowledge" algorithms in terms of chord progressions etc as claimed of DigiTech's musIQ.


            After working with the unit as much as I have, I can only conclude there is some type of intelligence. What brought this home to me was playing a tune in E, where I strum chords in the verse. The harmony was of course spot on. But then there's a place in the song where the dynamics go way down, and I'm just hitting alternate E and G notes (not chords, notes). Yet the harmonies still came out okay, as if I was hitting a chord.

            My guess is that the VL2 "remembered" that I was playing in the key of E, and when it didn't have multi-note data to go on, simply figured "okay, if he's playing only an E, he must be singing against an Emajor as every other time there's been an E it's associated with an Emajor." I could be wrong, but whatever they're doing, the VL2 has "covered" for me when just playing single notes.

            I'm sure it would be possible to find a musical context that could confuse it, I just haven't found one yet.
            Simplicity, my new album project, is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

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            • I must say thank you this is a great topic and it is helping me make an informed decision.
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              • Anderton,
                I recall you mentioning on this thread earlier that the VoiceLive 2/4 appears to make use of some sort of intelligence - predictive / interpretive / contextual, I’m not sure.

                What I am most interested in is whether the new TC Helicon HarmonyControl Guitar follows in the same footsteps, or whether its intelligence stops at the concept of “Enhanced Scale Mode: Scale presets are enhanced because HarmonyControl constantly adjusts the scale to work with the chords you play.” What’s your guess?

                I speculate that the TC Helicon HarmonyControl Guitar does not have an equal level of intelligence as it relates to predictive / interpretive / contextual, and I am certain the TC Helicon HarmonyControl Guitar cannot assess the vocal input in the manner claimed by the authors of musIQ, as the HarmonyControl Guitar does not accept a vocal input, and there is no 2 way MIDI data between the HarmonyControl Guitar and the three most supported TC Helicon units (VoiceWorksPlus, VoiceLive, and VoiceWorks). You see, if there was 2 way MIDI throughput, you could argue the vocal input could affect the HarmonyControl.

                On the DigiTech units, any thoughts on how important the vocal input is in terms of harmony decisions relative to chord considerations (outside of the obvious & conventional responses)?

                Do you know of any way to isolate the musIQ process so as to see how altering the vocal input changes its response (outside of the obvious & conventional responses)?

                To clarify, I’ve been told by the musIQ designers via email that the vocal input plays a part in deciding the harmony output beyond what you would normally expect in more conventional harmonizers, but I can’t think of any to demonstrate in isolation how this would be true. Can you?

                Charbobs,
                Yup I’m well aware of what the TC Helicon HarmonyControl Guitar is, and yes you can indeed make comparisons in the context of the three most supported TC Helicon units (VoiceWorksPlus, VoiceLive, and VoiceWorks). This is exactly what I have done if you read my post carefully.

                I do agree that no MIDI on the DigiTech Voice Live2/4 is a disappointment, and I also made mention of this in my post.

                As to your views on using “keyboard MIDI with the new H/C” I am not certain that you can, do you know this for sure? If so, this might presumably allow the “Enhanced Scale Mode” as per the three most supported TC Helicon units (VoiceWorksPlus, VoiceLive, and VoiceWorks).

                Comment


                • What I meant to say was that the Harmonizers from Helicon will work both from the Keyboard and now with Guitar with the HarmonyControl Guitar that will be out shortly. I dont know at this point if the new H/C will work with a keyboard output. If so cool. I have a Vocalworks Plus and also a Keyboard player in the group so I am very fortune to not do a bunch of extra work with my Harmonizer due to the fact I can MIDI out of his Keyboard. I really love the harmony sound I am getting so I am going to stick with it. I am waiting for the H/C Guitar to be out, so I will be able to use either or in case one is missing.
                  The American people will never knowingly adopt socialism. But,
                  under the name of 'liberalism,' they will adopt every fragment of the socialist program,
                  until one day America will be a socialist nation, without knowing how it happened."

                  - Norman Thomas (US Socialist Presidential Candidate)

                  Comment


                  • What I am most interested in is whether the new TC Helicon HarmonyControl Guitar follows in the same footsteps, or whether its intelligence stops at the concept of “Enhanced Scale Mode: Scale presets are enhanced because HarmonyControl constantly adjusts the scale to work with the chords you play.” What’s your guess?


                    I really have no idea. But I would guess that if they're using the same technology as musIQ, there will be a lawsuit Not that aren't ways to solve the problem without infringing per se, but all bets are off until you can place the two side by side.

                    To me, the VL2 is actually a very mysterious little box. I really don't know how it does what it does, but I DO know what effect it has on my voice!
                    Simplicity, my new album project, is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

                    Subscribe, like, and share the links!

                    Comment


                    • On the VL2, the XLR and Line Level outputs are clearly described in the manual as carrying only the vocal signal. That is, the guitar signal only goes out on the "Guitar Thru" line and the other outputs are strictly the vocals. On the VL4, the manual doesn't specifically mention what the outputs carry, but in the "Common Setups" section it shows that both the XLRs and the Line Outs carry both the vocal and guitar signals. Can anyone verify that this is the case? Wouldn't that be a serious drawback to the VL4? I would certainly want to be able to have a pure vocal signal without it being mixed with the guitar. Maybe there's some way around that, but I can't figure out it out from reading the manual

                      Comment


                      • KrustyKlown,
                        Trust me, there is no way DigiTech would have such a signal path as the exclusive routing for the outputs, you’ll be able to assign them independently. Assuming you have interpreted the manual correctly (rather questionable!) that you can indeed mix them.

                        Anderton,
                        I’ve decided to buy the DigiTech Vocalist Live 4 and keep the TC Helicon VoiceWorks for the following reason:

                        To the best of my knowledge the DigiTech Vocalist Live 4 is unable to do really cool / wacky special vocal effects (such as have the vocal pitch micro-tonally controlled by my guitar synth) whereas the TC Helicon VoiceWorks is up to the challenge in that regard, however the DigiTech Vocalist Live 4 would appear to be easier to have generate more accurate / convincing harmony notes in real time.

                        Now if the DigiTech Vocalist Live 4 was rack mountable and had the MIDI implementation of the later TC Helicon units I would be blissed, but alas DigiTech not only put the thing on the floor but provided no MIDI access.

                        Comment


                        • KrustyKlown,

                          You know, I never even thought about it until I seen your post, one would only assume that the guitar could be separated from the vocals as with the VL2. As you stated, the VL4 manual shows on common setups that the guitar and vocal signals are sent to the mixer even when you utilize the guitar thru option (page 9). Like yourself, I can only assume this is indeed an error in the manual.

                          I would guess one of the main reasons of having the guitar signal included in the output mix would be to monitor the guitar, lead vocal and harmonys via the headphones. This would be great for individual practice, but would suck for studio or live performance if it could not be altered. It's hard to imagine that this is how the "better" model is designed, so I'm thinking it's a manual error or the only way you can eliminate the guitar from the mix is with the guitar mix knob on the top of the unit, regardless of how it's setup.

                          Comment


                          • Hey, was my question too stupid, or too difficult to answer? Mr. Anderton?

                            I was just wondering, how would this system work with an acoustic nylon-stringed guitar that´s miked with an external mic? How to connect, I guess I shouldn´t just plug the "normal" mic to the guitar-in jack? And what about a condenser mic that requires phantom power?
                            Finnish heavy metal band The Evolution: myspace.com/sorrowland

                            Comment


                            • Apologies for being a bit off topic but this may be of interest to those already in possession of harmonizers (such as myself). I had a chat with TC Helicon about their upcoming HarmonyControl Guitar and it seems to confirm my speculation that it can’t be the equal of DigiTech’s VL2/4 musIQ in terms of intelligence.

                              Chumly: I have a Brian Moore i2.13 guitar and an Axon AX100SB guitar synth. Correct me if I am wrong but the TC Helicon HarmonyControl is the same as my guitar synth plugged into my TC Helicon VoiceWorks, right?

                              TC Helicon: Correct, except that the guitar synth provides the exact notes you are playing, whereas the HarmonyControl sends chord information.

                              Chumly: Correct me if I am wrong but the TC Helicon Harmony Control provides the same functionality as a keyboard transmitting MIDI into my TC Helicon VoiceWorks, right?

                              TC Helicon: Same as above.

                              Chumly: In both of the above cases I would think that MIDI chord harmony detection would be the most useful for live performance, right?

                              TC Helicon: In chord and scale mode it should be approx. equally useful in live situations.

                              Chumly: The TC Helicon Harmony Control cannot take into account the pitch of the voice because it does not have an audio input for voice, right?

                              TC Helicon: HarmonyControl only receives the guitar signal and transforms it into midi information.

                              Chumly: Can the TC Helicon Harmony Control take into account the context of the chord progression or is it limited to only the actual chord being played at the time?

                              TC Helicon: It is limited to the chord being played. However, the VoiceWorks will find the appropriate notes in chord mode

                              Chumly: And most importantly does the TC Helicon Harmony Control equal or surpass the “DigiTech Vocalist Live” with its “MusIQ” functionality?

                              TC Helicon: Whether it is equal to the Vocalist I cannot say. We of course believe that our product is great, and certainly more flexible than the solution offered by DigiTech.

                              Chumly: How much is the TC Helicon Harmony Control to sell for and when will it be shipped?

                              TC Helicon: It will be available in august and will have a MSRP of EUR 190 excl. VAT.

                              Comment


                              • Could somebody tell me if the Harmony quality of the digitech compares to the Helicon? Those of you own both would be of a great service here. Thanks
                                The American people will never knowingly adopt socialism. But,
                                under the name of 'liberalism,' they will adopt every fragment of the socialist program,
                                until one day America will be a socialist nation, without knowing how it happened."

                                - Norman Thomas (US Socialist Presidential Candidate)

                                Comment













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