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Anderton

DigiTech Vocalist Live 4 (VL4)

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Don't you just LOVE BBS software? I started the review and copied over some of the excellent posts on the VL4 that were in the VL2 thread, and something happened during one of the copy operations that nuked the VL4 thread. So I'm starting over...major apologies to those who had submitted such great tips, I'm really sorry the BBS killed them. I'll try to see if there's some way to recover them later tonight.

Anyway, back the VL4, which thankfully was not programmed by the same people who did the BBS software! The image shows an overview of the piece. You'll note there's a MusIQ switch to turn off the function that ties harmonies to your guitar playing, which means you can specify particular scales and keys. You'll also notice four footswitches instead of the two on the VL2: Effects, Harmony, and preset up/down.

The other obvious difference is that there are a lot more editable parameters -- you'll see the familiar DigiTech "matrix of parameters" printed on the front panel. You have five knobs to tweak these (AFAIC a big improvement over the one knob/increment-decrement button approach), and three mix knobs.

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Given how much people liked the VL2, and how much of the basic functionality of the Vocalist Live series we covered in the VL2 Pro Review, I think these are the main questions we need to address regarding the VL4:

1. Despite the added sophistication, is the VL4 easy to use?
2. Does it hit the "sweet spot" of price, features, and flexibility?
3. Is the extra functionality compared to the VL2 worth the higher price?
4. Despite it being intended for live use, can it work in the studio?

Let's investigate further. My band EV2 is going to have a rehearsal in a few minutes, so I plan to set this up and see what happens...I'll keep posting photos until then.

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Here's a close-up of the MusIQ switch section. If you turn it off, the harmony no longer tracks the audio input from your guitar, but you can enter a key and scale, like A Major. Of course, we'll be getting more into this later.

I've also attached an image showing the four footswitches, and also, the three mix controls for vocal level, harmony level, and guitar level.

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Okay, I'm going to go set it up now. I've decided to do this without looking at the manual just to see how far I get smile.gif I'll report back when the rehearsal's over.

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Well, one thing I found out right off the bat: The ability to specify a scale is really handy. There are a couple tunes we do that pretty much stick to a key, so programming that in removes any variables. Also, you can save the key as part of the preset.

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Quote Originally Posted by ihateyouguys View Post
Question for anyone who can answer it:

Can the effects from the guitar effects section be applied to the 'guitar thru' signal?
As far as I can tell, no...guitar thru is just to pick off the guitar signal then send it along to your subsequent amplification system.

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Craig,

Thanks for all your hard work. It really makes a difference to a lot of people. Bummer about the BBS problem. Now I am really glad I printed out the VL2 Thread (about 100 pages) a few nights ago.

I have a question regarding "hiss" reported by a few people using the VL4. Have you encountered the same problem?

I have read the manual a few times and found it interesting that when it comes to setting the guitar level we are encouraged to get green LEDs flashing but when setting the vocal input level on page 7 it says, "Sing into the mic while gradually turning up the Vocalist Live 4 Mic/Line Input Level knob until the Vocal Signal LED lights amber most of the time." On page 13 it goes on to reaffirm this and adds, "and only briefly turns red on the very loudest vocal sections. The Vocalist Live 4 will normally prevent the vocal harmonies from clipping, even when the LED is red, but for optimum voice quality the LED should turn red only briefly or not at all."

I have a Fishman Aura Imaging Blender and in the Aura troubleshooting section it mentions that "Hiss" can be caused by the input level being set too low and can be corrected by increasing it slightly. Could the same gain structure issue be the source of the hiss reported by some people using the V L4? In other words, could the hiss be coming from the vocal input level actually being set too low?

Your thoughts would be appreciated.

Thank you.

Michael

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I don't know which posts were deleted, but you may be able to find them for awhile on google's cache. Just search for DIGITECH VOCALIST LIVE 2 - NOW WITH CONCLUSIONS AND VIDEO CLIPS! Page XX and you'll find it there. But be sure to do it ASAP because the cache could be overwritten soon with the new spider results.

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Since we lost some posts, I'll re-post some questions/comments:

1) What is the desired way to share a VL4 across two guitars, each with different downstream amp paths? Right now, I am thinking install an A/B switch downstream (on the guitar thru output) and just unplug and replug the two guitars. Anyone got a better idea?

2) Any way to route un-processed vocals to your board's monitor channel, short of splitting the signal before it gets to the VL4?

3) What exactly is stereo about the stereo outputs? Near as I can tell, its a straight splitter.

I wish the VL4 had separate "guitar thru" and "vocal thru" outputs. That would be nice. They assumed that people would be using the VL4 as a mixer. I'd rather not. It would be nice if the sound guy could bring up the harmonies (eg) without my having to bend down and adjust the mix.

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Thanks Anderton for starting this review... and even though is early in the review, can anybody upload some demos of the vl4 and how it sounds?

Hope this could happen! soon....

Thanks wave.gif

Omar thumb.gif

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Michael,

Regarding the "hiss", in the VL4, I assume you've already tried engaging the ground lift switch? My Guitar Thru cable gets sent to my Super Chorus stompbox and then to my PA system.

I'm hooked into a Roland SA-300 which is a 350 watt stage amp with its own mixer. I do get some background noise but it appears to be from the Super Chorus' modulations. Nothing I haven't heard before. Anyway thanks for posting this. My VL4 is still on backorder but I already have the VL2 and think it's great. So far I am not inclined to cancel my order based on what I've read. That could change though!

SoloArtist

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Quote Originally Posted by ihateyouguys

View Post

I don't know which posts were deleted, but you may be able to find them for awhile on google's cache. Just search for DIGITECH VOCALIST LIVE 2 - NOW WITH CONCLUSIONS AND VIDEO CLIPS! Page XX and you'll find it there. But be sure to do it ASAP because the cache could be overwritten soon with the new spider results.

 

Wow, thanks...but unfortunately, the cached version only goes up to page 18. Oh well. The one thing I can say is that everyone on these threads has been so helpful, I'm sure that any information people need will re-appear.

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Hi SoloArtist,

My VL4 is on back order too. I was referring to hiss reported by one of the members in the VL2 thread regarding his VL4.

From everything I have read and it has been a lot there is NO WAY I am not getting this thing. It seems to be a truly remarkable piece of equipment. I am just curious if others have experienced the same hiss he had reported.

My initial response to him was to mention the ground lift switch and he said it helped with hum but did nothing with the hiss. He did say that how he set the Gate did seem to have an affect on it but I am most interested in learning if increasing the mic input level has any affect on reducing the hiss.

By the way, it was not reported as being a major problem, especially live. More of a concern in the studio.

Also, he did mention he was using power line conditioning and his system was clean in terms of doing an A/B comparision using mic into his board (no hiss) versus mic into VL4 (hiss).

Anyone else experiencing a similar problem? Have you found any work around solutions? Any constructive feedback on the matter would be appreciated.

Thanks.

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Quote Originally Posted by Omaha View Post
Since we lost some posts, I'll re-post some questions/comments:

1) What is the desired way to share a VL4 across two guitars, each with different downstream amp paths? Right now, I am thinking install an A/B switch downstream (on the guitar thru output) and just unplug and replug the two guitars. Anyone got a better idea?
I think what you want is a variation on "effects loop" technology. I would advise a DPDT switch, mounted in a box, with six jacks. Hopefully the attached schematic will do the job for you! It switches the source guitar to the VL4 Guitar In, and the destination amp from the VL4 Guitar Thru.

2) Any way to route un-processed vocals to your board's monitor channel, short of splitting the signal before it gets to the VL4?
If there is, I haven't found it.

3) What exactly is stereo about the stereo outputs? Near as I can tell, its a straight splitter.
The harmonies are output in stereo.

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Quote Originally Posted by Michael Angel View Post
I was referring to hiss reported by one of the members in the VL2 thread regarding his VL4.

From everything I have read and it has been a lot there is NO WAY I am not getting this thing. It seems to be a truly remarkable piece of equipment. I am just curious if others have experienced the same hiss he had reported.
I didn't have hiss issues with the VL2. I've only used the VL4 in a band rehearsal context, and if there was hiss, the guitar and drums did an excellent job of masking it smile.gif However, I do hit the levels fairly hard, and that may be the solution - just turn up the gain. As I record audio examples of the VL4, it will go under the microscope a bit more and we'll see what we find.

I don't know how the metering in the VL4 works, but many LED meters will "hold" transients for a short period of time. So, even a 2 ms spike that you would never perceive could end up indicating an overload condition. Although LEDs are useful, I still end up adjusting my ear, and using the LEDs to confirm.

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I ended up using the VL4 during rehearsal today, and found it both simple and difficult to figure out. Simple because it was easy to set up, and get a good major 3rd harmony happening. I turned off MusIQ as the song was pretty basic, so the harmonies were perfect whether I played guitar or not.

The difficult part is that there are a lot more options! For example, I've never encountered a "Persona" parameter before so I really did need to crack the manual to find out what this was all about. There are a LOT of novelty/totally out there sounds along with the usual suspects, and I bet some of them are really useable once you figure out a context. I didn't find the Unison option like on the VL2 immediately, but I'm sure it's in there somewhere...I just added some chorus and short pre-delay.

It appears to me (and someone from DigiTech is welcome to chime in if I'm wrong) is that the VL4 is designed for two major contexts:

1. As a super version of the VL2 with presets, more options, pitch correction, more algorithms, etc. In other words, a major league voice tweaker for live use.

2. An "all-in-one" box where a solo performer can do the above vocal tricks, but also add in guitar processing. For my purposes, I'm not going to get rid of my GNX3000 or PODxt any time soon in favor of the effects in the VL4, but I would imagine this could really simplify life for a lot of live performers.

One thing is clear: With the VL2, I used it more or less as a set-and-forget box. I plan to exploit the VL4 much, much more for the band.

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To those that already have the VL2 or VL4:

Sorry if these seem like silly questions.

I have fellow band members poo-pooing the idea of the VL2 or VL4 on the basis of "poor sound quality ie: electronic, artificial sounding....even though they have never heard one or even read any of the reviews.
I'm convinced from what I've read in these threads that they're ok, especially live.
But just for some additional reassurance before I spend the bucks for something my band won't want to use:

For live band use, is the quality of the harmony vocals good?
On a scale of one to ten, how would you rate them compared to "real" live
voices?

Also, How much of a problem do you encounter, if any, when the guitar needs to stop playing chords to play riffs and such. Say for a Power Trio type band with only one guitar. I'm trying to figure how much of a problem this would be in the context of the songs we do and how often it would even happen compared to when harmonies are needed, but that's pretty difficult to calculate especially since I play bass. I know it would depend on the particular song etc....I just mean in general.

Lastly, how preoccupied does someone in the band need to be regarding when to hit the footswitches on and off? Who does this in your band? If you have a front person/vocalist only do you make them responsible? Wouldn't that detract from whoever is responsible's ability to "be part of the show" so to speak?
Just wondering how others handle this. I can't help but see this as a potential nightmare that could take SO much of the fun out of playing.

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Caveat on these comments: I am the lead singer/guitar player in a working classic rock cover band. I've had the VL4 for a couple days, and have experimented with it for a total of about six hours in my studio at home. I haven't used it with the band yet, and I haven't run it through our full PA (just my little Marshall AS50R practice amp).

Quote Originally Posted by pickinatit View Post
For live band use, is the quality of the harmony vocals good?
Compared to what? It really comes down to the band. If you have three or four good singers that can consistently hit their harmonies, I wouldn't bother with the VL4.

But my experience is that that's pretty rare. Most bands are lucky to have one decent singer singing leads. In those cases, the VL4 seems like a great option. Its not going to be the equal of having a cadre of pro's singing backup, but for the average working band, its going to be a huge improvement over where they are currently.

One other consideration is that the VL4 will allow you to get new material performance-ready much more quickly.

Also, How much of a problem do you encounter, if any, when the guitar needs to stop playing chords to play riffs and such. Say for a Power Trio type band with only one guitar.
Good question. I don't know the answer. But I will say this: I had heard that the VL4 struggled with fingerstyle, preferring chords to glean the key. I tested that, and found that it actually did a pretty good job. Plus, depending on the harmony voices you are using, it may or may not be a disaster if it misses a key change (or is late).

Lastly, how preoccupied does someone in the band need to be regarding when to hit the footswitches on and off?
In our band, I'll be operating the VL4. As I said, I'm the lead singer.

Playing around with it, I think I prefer the "hold the switch down to engage harmonies" mode, rather than toggle mode. But I'll wait until we have a few gigs with it to finalize that decision.

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Regarding pitch correction, I am curious how it works with harmonies.

The section of the manual dealing with PC is simple enough. From what I can tell, in the real world, you will set it to "CHROM"atic scale, set the window parameter to 99, set to rate to 30, and set the amount to 99. From what I could see, those were the settings that Digitech used for all the presets that had PC turned on.

But how does that effect harmony voices?

For example, p19 of the manual lists a bunch of harmony options, among them:

U - Unison. Creates a copy of the lead vocal.
UC - Unicon corrected. Creates a copy of the lead vocal with pitch correction.

That's where I get confused. Suppose you have PC turned off on a given preset, but select the "UC" harmony. Is only the harmony voice corrected (leaving the original vocal unaltered)? If so, what parameters are used for the harmony pitch correction?

It also says : "Turning on ...pitch correction requires the use of a harmony voice".

Suppose I turn PC on, but have all harmonies off. What happens? Is pitch correction occurring? Is it a blend of the natural signal and the processed signal?

I am also sending this question to DigiTech directly. I'll post any response I get.

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I've been corresponding with DigiTech on these questions. Here's what I've learned:

The harmonies are generated after the pitch correction occurs. Therefore if you have pitch correction turned on, the harmonies will be corrected automatically:

"Raw Vocal" --> "Pitch Corrector" --> "Harmony Generator"

But I was never able to get an answer to how the UC harmony works. If I have PC turned off, and am using the UC harmony, what happens?

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Quote Originally Posted by Michael Angel View Post
Hi SoloArtist,

My VL4 is on back order too. I was referring to hiss reported by one of the members in the VL2 thread regarding his VL4.

From everything I have read and it has been a lot there is NO WAY I am not getting this thing. It seems to be a truly remarkable piece of equipment. I am just curious if others have experienced the same hiss he had reported.

My initial response to him was to mention the ground lift switch and he said it helped with hum but did nothing with the hiss. He did say that how he set the Gate did seem to have an affect on it but I am most interested in learning if increasing the mic input level has any affect on reducing the hiss.

By the way, it was not reported as being a major problem, especially live. More of a concern in the studio.

Also, he did mention he was using power line conditioning and his system was clean in terms of doing an A/B comparision using mic into his board (no hiss) versus mic into VL4 (hiss).

Anyone else experiencing a similar problem? Have you found any work around solutions? Any constructive feedback on the matter would be appreciated.

Thanks.
Gottcha! Hum or Hiss, if its audible it needs to be corrected. I've switched to condenser microphones which of course take phantom power right from the VL2. I had to adjust the gain and nearly everything else because that thing howled like a banshee when I started singing!

Regarding our backordered VL4's, I'm willing to take a chance even if I read something negative here. We may actually not experience what someone else has. If we do, well, back it goes! So while I read everything here, I don't assume I will have the same problems as there are variables according to equipment and acoustics.

Thanks,

SoloArtist

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Quote Originally Posted by Omaha View Post
If I have PC turned off, and am using the UC harmony, what happens?
Answering my own question based on DigiTech's e-mail, the answer is that you get a straight unison without any pitch correction.

Which still makes me wonder why there is a "U" setting and a "UC" setting...It makes no sense.

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Quote Originally Posted by Anderton View Post
I didn't have hiss issues with the VL2. I've only used the VL4 in a band rehearsal context, and if there was hiss, the guitar and drums did an excellent job of masking it smile.gif However, I do hit the levels fairly hard, and that may be the solution - just turn up the gain. As I record audio examples of the VL4, it will go under the microscope a bit more and we'll see what we find.

I don't know how the metering in the VL4 works, but many LED meters will "hold" transients for a short period of time. So, even a 2 ms spike that you would never perceive could end up indicating an overload condition. Although LEDs are useful, I still end up adjusting my ear, and using the LEDs to confirm.
I'm the dude with the hiss comments. I've tried the gain and loop adjusts but find you will get distortion as you raise it up to the green/amber levels - this when harmony is kicked in. I posted more about this on the old thread and believe that DigiTech has programmed in a boost of sorts (akin to some effect pedals when you stomp on you get a boost on level). That makes level adjustments very critical.

I went back and listened to the on-line demo of the unit and I can hear some of this in that demo actually. It's just a clipping of sorts when the harmony is on. It's especially noticeable with the VL 2 and an issue beyond hiss. Try the test yourself. Set up your level with no harmony and it will sound fine. Sing your favorite tune. Then engage the harmony and sing it again - you'll hear the boost and subsequent distortion. Playing with compression et al can help to some degree but you will find you have to lower your levels at the unit to avoid this altogether. What I've found is this: guitar signal needs to be green green green ... vocal level needs to be just nudging green as in mild green flicker not constant or amber.

RECORDING AND HISS
When I refer to hiss I am talking recording here. I expect as quiet a signal as possible and when you can hear the unit over and above room noise it is not a good thing. So, I think I'd conclude that the TC Helicon is better when it comes to recording from the hiss standpoint. I said about a 3 or 4 as opposed to 5 or 6 for the DIgiTech (where 10 is horrible and 1 is quiet).

I guess everyone has their own threshold where it becomes an issue but I have done demos using the Helicon and now with the VL 2 and VL 4. Both the DigiTech products are giving off more hiss without even starting anything. You can hear it on the quiet parts of songs or really when you just bring up the pots.

I especially find the gate opening and closing on the VL 2 very annoying - you don't have the same control of the gate as on the VL 4. I'm finding I can't use the compressor/gate at all when recording with the VL 2. With the VL 4, I've been trying the gate control at different settings but I mentioned in a previous post how the sweet spot isn't quite there. It rasters in 10s (I posted 20s in the old post by memory error). So the mid ground between 40 and 50 would seem better than 40 or 50 dead on but you can't get there in between. A lot of my material goes form loud to quiet and it's at the quiet points that you get the bad stuff coming in such as the gate opening and closing off from your guitar playing. This from "off-the-floor" demos.

LIVE NO ISSUES
However I want to reiterate that live ambiance covers virtually all of this. No one is going to notice any of the problems using the unit(s) live.

I'm being very picky on the recording aspect since I feel most listeners will not expect to hear hiss at all in your demo (like you used to get on cassette demos). The digital age has spoiled a lot of people myself included. I'm curious whether everyone else will agree/disagree when they get into recording with these units. Maybe I'm being overly critical.

In side by side test with DigiTech vs. Helicon, the Helicon is quieter. Same set up for the tests using SM 58 mic. In fact, when you read the specs on the two units (much more info is supplied for the VL 4 to compare with), it does read as better for the TC Helicon. I think the TC Helicon people have a stronger background with making "recording rack mount units" in this field and that may account for a tougher (higher) standard.

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Quote Originally Posted by SoloArtist View Post
Gottcha! Hum or Hiss, if its audible it needs to be corrected. I've switched to condenser microphones which of course take phantom power right from the VL2. I had to adjust the gain and nearly everything else because that thing howled like a banshee when I started singing!

Regarding our backordered VL4's, I'm willing to take a chance even if I read something negative here. We may actually not experience what someone else has. If we do, well, back it goes! So while I read everything here, I don't assume I will have the same problems as there are variables according to equipment and acoustics.

Thanks,

SoloArtist
An excellent point. When you read lots of reviews you do get some wild differences don't you? Some people will hate it while others will praise it. I guess that's why it is good to describe what you do with the items and what you like or expect. It becomes easier to gauge whether or not you are reading someone of like mind or not. A recent comment to one of my posts talking about chipmunk settings confirms this where the person uses the setting in his gigs for kids. I had said "what a waste" but there is a good example of where having it available is a value for someone else!

I have to say though that I have found the gang here to be generally tolerant of everyone's "thing" and in no way making one feel like they are stupid for doing something or not knowing something. Very nice!

The discussions back and forth are also great as it helps a process that we all go through on new pieces of gear.

Cheers to 'ya'll!

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Quote Originally Posted by pickinatit View Post
I have fellow band members poo-pooing the idea of the VL2 or VL4 on the basis of "poor sound quality ie: electronic, artificial sounding....even though they have never heard one or even read any of the reviews. For live band use, is the quality of the harmony vocals good?
I'll give you analogy: The harmony voices are to real voices as electronic reverb is to real reverb. In other words, yes, you can tell the difference and most of the time, no, it doesn't matter.

I use the VL4 not to replace band members, but to fill out and enlarge my own voice. As a result the harmonies are mixed fairly low and because my "real" voice is the dominant part of the mix, they sound fine.

Also, How much of a problem do you encounter, if any, when the guitar needs to stop playing chords to play riffs and such. Say for a Power Trio type band with only one guitar. I'm trying to figure how much of a problem this would be in the context of the songs we do and how often it would even happen compared to when harmonies are needed, but that's pretty difficult to calculate especially since I play bass. I know it would depend on the particular song etc....I just mean in general.
I've been very surprised about how when I drop back from chords to single notes, the harmony follows along. I asked one of the designers about this, and he said that the unit has some degree of "memory" that is constantly looking at the signal from the mic, the guitar, and the history of the chord progression. In my own situation, when I'm playing off-the-wall leads, I'm usually not signing so it's not a problem. But I have been pleasantly surprised at how well the VL units handle harmonies when the "song data" drops out for a bit.

Lastly, how preoccupied does someone in the band need to be regarding when to hit the footswitches on and off? Who does this in your band? If you have a front person/vocalist only do you make them responsible? Wouldn't that detract from whoever is responsible's ability to "be part of the show" so to speak?
Most of the time, for me it's a "set and forget" issue...turn it on, leave it on for most (if not all) of the song.

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Quote Originally Posted by Omaha View Post
Regarding pitch correction, I am curious how it works with harmonies.

The section of the manual dealing with PC is simple enough. From what I can tell, in the real world, you will set it to "CHROM"atic scale, set the window parameter to 99, set to rate to 30, and set the amount to 99. From what I could see, those were the settings that Digitech used for all the presets that had PC turned on.

But how does that effect harmony voices?

For example, p19 of the manual lists a bunch of harmony options, among them:

U - Unison. Creates a copy of the lead vocal.
UC - Unicon corrected. Creates a copy of the lead vocal with pitch correction.

That's where I get confused. Suppose you have PC turned off on a given preset, but select the "UC" harmony. Is only the harmony voice corrected (leaving the original vocal unaltered)? If so, what parameters are used for the harmony pitch correction?

It also says : "Turning on ...pitch correction requires the use of a harmony voice".

Suppose I turn PC on, but have all harmonies off. What happens? Is pitch correction occurring? Is it a blend of the natural signal and the processed signal?

I am also sending this question to DigiTech directly. I'll post any response I get.
The unison (U) voicing has no pitch correction – so if you hold a note that’s 10 cents flat, the unison voice will be flat as well. Note that this unison voice will still be decoupled from your lead vocal, and the type and amount of decoupling can be adjusted with the Voice Styles and Style Amount controls in the harmony row. So you have quite a bit of control over the type of voice doubling if you like to play with that sort of thing.

The corrected unison voice (UC) is not only decoupled according to the Voice Style, but is also lightly pitch corrected as well. Basically you’ll find that if you hold a note that’s a little flat or sharp, the UC voice will move to the correct pitch in a natural way. The actual pitch correction parameters used for this voice (and all the harmony voices) were chosen to keep the harmonies sounding natural.

The lead vocal is never processed with pitch correction when Pitch Correction is off. *So if you have UC voicing, and pitch correction off, you’ll hear your own pitch as the lead voice and the lightly pitch corrected unison voice when you turn on the harmonies.

No matter what the setting is on your harmonies, or whether they are on or off, turning on Pitch Correction will cause your lead voice to be fully pitch corrected – there will never be a blend of your natural and pitch corrected signals. If you want this kind of doubling, you’d probably use the UC harmony voicing. * *

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Quote Originally Posted by Omaha View Post
Caveat on these comments: I am the lead singer/guitar player in a working classic rock cover band. I've had the VL4 for a couple days, and have experimented with it for a total of about six hours in my studio at home. I haven't used it with the band yet, and I haven't run it through our full PA (just my little Marshall AS50R practice amp).



Compared to what? It really comes down to the band. If you have three or four good singers that can consistently hit their harmonies, I wouldn't bother with the VL4.

But my experience is that that's pretty rare. Most bands are lucky to have one decent singer singing leads. In those cases, the VL4 seems like a great option. Its not going to be the equal of having a cadre of pro's singing backup, but for the average working band, its going to be a huge improvement over where they are currently.

One other consideration is that the VL4 will allow you to get new material performance-ready much more quickly.



Good question. I don't know the answer. But I will say this: I had heard that the VL4 struggled with fingerstyle, preferring chords to glean the key. I tested that, and found that it actually did a pretty good job. Plus, depending on the harmony voices you are using, it may or may not be a disaster if it misses a key change (or is late).



In our band, I'll be operating the VL4. As I said, I'm the lead singer.

Playing around with it, I think I prefer the "hold the switch down to engage harmonies" mode, rather than toggle mode. But I'll wait until we have a few gigs with it to finalize that decision.
Just wanted to comment on the singer engaging the harmony. I'm assuming here you are also not playing while singing. You might find it a little weird and I'd be interested in finding out. I'm finding that the harmony behaves (or misbehaves) and I do have to be careful how I strike chords while singing. Often, a complex chord is an issue in the harmony as is singing over (memory seems more like 10 secs than "30 secs). So, I think you might find, that being the singer and not in control of how the chord is played, may cause some issues until you can coordinate with the player who is tied into the unit. This is an interesting scenario to deal with and one where using keys may be better for you. Anyone else dealing with that?

I have also found that the locking toggle switch is giving me grief since I can't view the light on/off at the floor while singing. I've had harmony on when I didn't want it and vice versa. So, the VL 4, having the option of toggle or no toggle is a good option. The non-toggle keeps it clear. If your foot is on the switch you know you've got harmony on.

I'm going to investigate if I can defeat the toggle on the VL 2 (no doubt voiding warranty while I do it) but it will be worth it to have the non-toggle thing going on.

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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 ...

Quote Originally Posted by whinersmusic View Post
Try the test yourself. Set up your level with no harmony and it will sound fine. Sing your favorite tune. Then engage the harmony and sing it again - you'll hear the boost and subsequent distortion. Playing with compression et al can help to some degree but you will find you have to lower your levels at the unit to avoid this altogether. What I've found is this: guitar signal needs to be green green green ... vocal level needs to be just nudging green as in mild green flicker not constant or amber.
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

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Geckoland, I think you're on to something with the hiss aspects...I don't have a problem with it either, but hopefully, I'll get to take some measurements and get something quantitative.

The other comment of yours I found interesting is: "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."

ABSOLUTELY!! I always felt one advantage of a pro review is how it's easy to get turned on to different applications. One quick example: I've been working on a song called "Try" with the band, and there's a place where there's a vocal more or less in isolation. It seemed that whatever guitar part I put behind it just didn't work. If it was powerful, like the rest of the song, it overshadowed the vocal. If I pulled back on the guitar, it sounded weak compared to the subsequent parts.

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.

The VL4 is so similar to the VL2 yet so different...so many more possibilities.

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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.

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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!

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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 smile.gif

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.

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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.

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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

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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?

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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)!

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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?

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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

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Quote Originally Posted by Chumly View Post
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.
Well I've agreed 100% with everything you've said thus far Chumly, but I have to disagree with you here. There are maybe a handful of people on this forum (you and myself included) who are remotely interested in guitar synthesis or midi guitar. Modeling, on the other hand, has become much more prevalent, especially in the popularity of digital amp/cabinet modeling and effects. There simply aren't too many guitarists looking to play Hammond B3s on their guitar. They want variety in guitar-related sounds. Other than midi control and guitar synthesis with the 13 pin, you're only guitar-based options for use with 13 pin are Roland's VG series, and at a grand for the newest unit there are much cheaper options out there for guitarists looking to simply have different guitar modeled sounds. (Variax, for example). I see Fender's VG Strat simply as a response to Line 6's Variax series, though they missed the boat with regards to flexibility and editing capability compared to Variax.

As for the VL2 and VL4, I agree that it's disappointing that they don't have midi, and as such I won't be buying because I don't want to clutter the stage with more stuff either, but I still believe that somewhere down the line we'll be seeing a midi-capable rackmount VL unit. But I'm guessing that will be a couple of years away.

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Craig A.,

I'd be interested in your review of the VL4 pitch correction vocal quality.

I suspect the reason the pitch corrected main vocal sounds "chorused" and slightly electronic is that it is electronic...it's a Unison Corrected Voice...not your original.

No matter how low you set the correction, your entire voice still "goes through the processor" and emerges as a UC voice.

Result: kind of electronic and "faky". This works fine for many types of songs, such as rock or alternative rock, etc.

But many of my tunes are quieter, simpler tunes where the vocal needs to sound natural and warm and "acoustic". I just cannot get the pitch correction to correct me and pass the voice through without a little electronic edge. Kind of like a slight chorus with a very short "slap delay"...giving kind of a "tiled bathroom reverb" sheen to it almost.

What do you find, Mr. Anderton?

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Quote Originally Posted by neuro-feed View Post
Well I've agreed 100% with everything you've said thus far Chumly, but I have to disagree with you here. There are maybe a handful of people on this forum (you and myself included) who are remotely interested in guitar synthesis or midi guitar. Modeling, on the other hand, has become much more prevalent, especially in the popularity of digital amp/cabinet modeling and effects. There simply aren't too many guitarists looking to play Hammond B3s on their guitar. They want variety in guitar-related sounds. Other than midi control and guitar synthesis with the 13 pin, you're only guitar-based options for use with 13 pin are Roland's VG series, and at a grand for the newest unit there are much cheaper options out there for guitarists looking to simply have different guitar modeled sounds. (Variax, for example). I see Fender's VG Strat simply as a response to Line 6's Variax series, though they missed the boat with regards to flexibility and editing capability compared to Variax.

As for the VL2 and VL4, I agree that it's disappointing that they don't have midi, and as such I won't be buying because I don't want to clutter the stage with more stuff either, but I still believe that somewhere down the line we'll be seeing a midi-capable rackmount VL unit. But I'm guessing that will be a couple of years away.
If tech-phobia plus traditionalism are in fact ingrained into the modern guitarist, they may be a doomed species as it relates to the evolution of modern music, if so it would be an irony considering it was modern electronics that gave the guitar its popularity in the first place!

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Hey guys...
can anybody upload a video or audio file to see/listen the vl4 in action??

Mine is backordered and I would like at least to see it in action.

Thanks wave.gif

Omar thumb.gif

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