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In-depth Feature:  TC Electronic PowerCore: Filtroid & Voice Modeler
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Voice Modeler In Use

Voice Modeler
Running a recorded voice through the Voice Modeler preset patches give you a fairly good idea of what it is capable of from the subtle enhancement added by the doubling and breathiness of 'Air Phattener' to complete transformation like the ghostly sixth sense whispers of 'I see dead people'. The overall impression is of a full toolbox with all you'd need (apart from auto tune style pitch correction) to tackle the mechanics of any vocal performance. Each of the six effects has many different styles to choose from, many of which are designed to respond directly to a voice's dynamics and most are given appropriately descriptive names so you know what you are getting into. It's easy to check what each style for any of the effects does by setting the amount to 100% and getting the full monty, it's then just a case of easing the percentage down until the effects sounds like a natural part of the voice. Doing A/B checks is a cinch as, besides the global bypass switch, each effect can be turned on and off individually.

The Resonance effects can be nicely subtle when used like a broad EQ to put a bit of body into a sound although it's the Spectral effect that provides all the useful boosts and cuts for the variously defined frequency bands be they for opening up the top end of the sound or reducing the irritation factor in particularly honky voices. The Breath control is very useful for putting a nice bit of intimate high end airyness in when needed but if you want phlegmy, tracheotomy or dental suction they are all there - we kid you not.

Growl is something else again, while used sparingly it can lightly roughen the edges of a too-smooth voice, on the more extreme settings it will make Kylie (Minogue) sound like Rod Stewart rubbing his tonsils with sandpaper to cure a sore throat.

One of the uses of the Voice Modeler will be for creating doubling effects from a single voice which is easily done by making a copy of it to another track and applying some of the processing to make it sound reasonably different from the original. The Inflection effect can bring in a different kind of doubling in some of its styles similar to a harmoniser effect but there is much more variability to Inflection than that and there are some gender bending styles that mess with the formants to change male to female and give a delicate female voice a huge pair of cojones.

As with just about every other device that attempts to undertake radical pitch shifting the results can often leave something to be desired if piled on and can be obviously artificial if heard high in a mix. Used with care and moderation, however, there are a load of musically useful opportunities to be had, not to mention a myriad of weird effects if you feel like throwing care and moderation out the window.

  • VoiceModeler example

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