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What vocal FX are you using?


Bobby1Note

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Hi guys and gals,

 

I'm curious; what specific vocal FX are you acoustic acts using? For example, if you're using reverb,,, then, what type of reverb? (Hall, plate, spring, etc)

 

Are you using a single FX processor for guitar AND voice? If not, why did you switch to a dual-engine type, or separate processor for voice? How would you rate the impact of that move? Marginal,,, or major impact?

 

If you're simply using a mixer with FX, (no external device) then which FX are you selecting, for guitar and voice?

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I just use the hall reverb on my PA board for guitar and voice. My Yamaha head also has a compression knob, and I use that as well. My little Soundcraft board doesn't have that, so I only use reverb on that one.

 

I've been considering getting something like the Helicon VoiceTone Create XT. Not that I want a zillion effects, but rather something where I can find a good mix and "set it and forget it." More than just board reverb. Some of the crazier effects may be fun for an occasional song as well.

 

I'm not at all interested in pitch correction or the canned harmonies (I hate the sound of those).

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Thanks guys. I'm curious, because I want to make a quantum leap from where I am now. I've been paying more and more attention to "pro" vocal tracks lately, and I find there's a subtle, yet huge difference between the real "pro" vocal set-ups,,, and the tons of amateur and semi-pro videos I've watched on Youtube.

 

Listen to this Moody Blues track for example, and listen to the balance of the mix, as well as lead vocal as it progresses from start to finish.

 

 

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i use a very slight bit of reverb on the guitar depending on the room as to what type of 'verb... and i tend to run my vocal mic with a very slight delay, just enough to thicken it up... sometimes reverb sometimes not... again it depends on the room... i really like the reverb on the tc helicon gxt...

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I'm about to spring for one of the T.C. Helicon units too. I tend to run a lil' reverb on guitar and vocal delay as well, but there's just something missing, and I can't quite put my finger on it.

 

A lot of the reverb processors used for "Live" sound, just don't seem to have the ability to place the vocal "within the field". For an extreme example, lets take an arena reverb. It sounds like you're singing from the back of the arena (very cheezy). Some of the really good reverbs can place you "within that space", while still maintaining a strong degree of "presence". That's a part the sound I'm after, and I'm not sure where to look. That's probably in the domain of studio reverbs, like the Bricasti M7 or Lexicon PCM 960, or the big Eventide units..

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if you can, give a listen to the reverb in the tc helicon... it has another function that allows you to layer your mic signal live which fattens up the sound as well... i havent really found the harmony voices to be that bad either but then i tend to use them at a fairly low level just to give it a little texture... almost inaudible but enough to flavor the sound and used sparingly... i guess one could crank them up and run the pitch correction and get a mechanical or artificial sound but i havent found that to be the case as i use it...

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i about forgot, but there are times when i run a very slow and extremely light chorus effect... not a noticeable, rush but more like making the tone swim just a bit in and out... almost a subconscious effect... it gives a bit of a different texture to your tonal palette...

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TC- Helicon voicelive play gtx both guitar and mike go through it, tend to just leave it on one setting rather than have a different one for different songs as they demonstrate on the videos for it. It has lots of different reverb options I choose bright plate. I do use the harmonies sparingly but the do tend to fill out my solo performances.

cheers steve

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TC- Helicon voicelive play gtx sounds good to my ears. I do change up the presets each song and toggle the harmony on/off automatically through midi commands in my backtrack. I agree with the "less is more" thinking, making sure not to overuse harmonies, and keeping them at a subtle level below the vocal.

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When I was doing an acoustic gig, I used an Alesis nanoverb with nice results. I don't remember the setting, but a medium length tail just loud enough to be heard. The setting was used on guitar and voice both.

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Bobby--Im using the GTX and I really like it--but there are a few effects i miss from my old set-up. The pedal has so much in one pedal that its kind of "Jack of all trades, master of none" For acoustic guitar. For vocals I could not be happier.

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Bob Dey, I've got an old MicroVerb II laying around, and it sounds awesome on some guitar tracks. I believe I read somewhere, that Tommy Emmanuel also uses one of those for guitar.

 

It's the Vocal FX that really intrigue me however. There's no doubt in my mind that I'm going to buy one of TC Helicons' harmonizers,,,,probably the VoiceLive II,,,,, but will that be enough?

 

I recently bought a Lexicon MX-400 which I have yet to try out. I don't have the manual for that unit (store demo), but I'm sure I can download one. I may try dedicating that unit to the lead-vocal channel., and use my consoles' built-in FX for guitar, or, for back-up vocals in a band-setting. I've also got a DigiTech RP-250 guitar FX processor, which I have yet to try with an acoustic guitar.

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Steve and Mike,,, you both went with the G-TX Play units;,,, do you ever feel that you should have went with a separate "guitar FX" unit, or, are you entirely happy with the built-in guitar FX in the G-TX Play?

 

 

It is definitely a learning curve for me and at the moment I am just getting ready to go and perform and have just packed my zoom guitar effects as I am still not comfortable with the gtx's , having said that I am way behind Mike who has obviously spent the time and effort to make his work. When it quietens down a bit I am going to spend a proper amount of time to make the most of it and hopefully dump any other pedals. Soundwise its great for vocals, certainly all I would ever need and much more. The biggest problem I have with it is feedback, but I am working on that.

Cheers Steve

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Steve and Mike,,, you both went with the G-TX Play units;,,, do you ever feel that you should have went with a separate "guitar FX" unit, or, are you entirely happy with the built-in guitar FX in the G-TX Play?

 

 

No, I didn't feel the need for a separate guitar FX unit. Prior to the TC VL play GTX, I used a Digitec VL4 harmonizer and it had just chorus and verb for the guitar. Since I'm playing an acoustic, I don't go crazy with guitar effects. Having said that, there are some cool guitar effects in the TC box, and I have been using some of them in certain songs.

 

I am a minimalist with gear. Mic, guitar, PC, into the TC unit and out to the PA. I don't even feel the need for a mixer since the TC box handles my guitar, mic, and backing tracks.

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I don't have trouble with feedback usually, but there were some guitar settings that would cause the A string to get too lively. I got a sound hole cover, and all is well now.

 

 

Apologies to the Op for a little side track - Mike my feedback problem is not the guitar, I think its the room sensor mikes that the unit has built in and I can't seem to turn them down or off, as I don't use IEM and obviously I have a guitar running through it to obtain the right key. I am sure the answer is there, but last night I had the speakers a good 12 ft to the side of me, high and level and still got a hint of it. Like I said, I need to find more time to figure it all out.

To the Op - after reading this before I went out last night, I decided to have a bit of fun and used the unit to lower my voice by a whole octave and sang "Wondering Star" certainly got the audiences attention and amusement. I might build in the occasional novelty song using some of the more extreme settings just to break things up

Cheers Steve

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Apologies to the Op for a little side track - Mike my feedback problem is not the guitar, I think its the room sensor mikes that the unit has built in and I can't seem to turn them down or off, as I don't use IEM and obviously I have a guitar running through it to obtain the right key. I am sure the answer is there, but last night I had the speakers a good 12 ft to the side of me, high and level and still got a hint of it. Like I said, I need to find more time to figure it all out.

 

 

The room sense mics are only passed through the headphone jack, they are not passed through the XLR output jacks. Are you connecting to your PA from the headphone jack?

 

Check the mic gain knob on the side, and the mix menu. Are you using a dynamic mic? Make sure your mic is set to dynamic on the setup screens.

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Voicelive 1 with harmony control guitar.

Thickening

Compression on lead vocals but not harmonies It gives less impression that it's following so close

just enough reverb that you can tell there's space

Need to mess with delays but I don't have much extra time these days

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The room sense mics are only passed through the headphone jack, they are not passed through the XLR output jacks. Are you connecting to your PA from the headphone jack?


Check the mic gain knob on the side, and the mix menu. Are you using a dynamic mic? Make sure your mic is set to dynamic on the setup screens.

 

 

Cheers Mike didn't know that about the rooomsense, I am using teh TC Helicon mike with the built in control. Will have a fiddle am sure I will solve it. Thanks for your help.

Steve

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