WNAMM09: New Floor Processor For Vocalists

US TC-Helicon launch the VoiceLive 2      26/01/09

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5:48 mins

WNAMM09: New Floor Processor For Vocalists

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The TC Helicon range of vocal processors seems to get more and more powerful. The fact that it can actually real-time process an audio input from guitar or keyboard (MIDI) or now a stereo audio input and analyze it to extract the chordal information and apply that to a voice harmony generator of up to 8 parts, is a bit mind-boggling. The TC Helicon algorithms are really doing some amazing work. The new VoiceLive 2 pedal has all this and more – with discrete effects, switchable via dedicated foot pedals, USB audio interface built in for direct vocal recording, chunky floor-friendly construction and loads of other nifty bits. Sadly this was not a production model and we couldnt get a demo, but product manager Tom Lang gave us some great information. Available May 2009, priced at around $799 (minimum advertised price). Here's the rest of what the company have to say about it...
VoiceLive 2 boasts many advancements including new NaturalPlayTM harmonies, offering singers control of up to eight harmony voices from their guitar, MIDI keyboard or MP3 player. Simultaneous stompbox-style or preset foot-switching allows vocalists to engage and layer the six effect blocks, which include a new, more lush reverb, tap tempo delay, natural doubling, T-Pain pitch shifting, distortion and megaphone effects. The one-touch adaptive tone algorithm automatically controls studio-quality compression, EQ and de-essing to produce the perfect vocal sound quickly and effortlessly. Accessing the many new features of VoiceLive 2 while standing is now even easier. A unique digitally-controlled mic-preamp allows singers to set mic-gain without having to bend down. A widescreen LCD display and ergonomically designed extruded aluminum curve chassis keeps singers connected to their effects without strain or discomfort. VoiceLive 2 ships in March 2008 at a retail price of EUR 740 excl. VAT.
"VoiceLive 2 is a giant leap forward in the evolution of vocal effects," says TC-Helicon CEO Kevin Alexander. "There have never been more compelling reasons for singers that have experienced the benefits of controlling vocal harmony and effects in performance to upgrade. Also, because it's so easy to use, any singer can go to entirely new levels of creativity and control."
Vocalists who make use of vocal effects to captivate their audience have numerous new features available to them with VoiceLive 2. Wide vocal harmony pads can be created through a combination of eight harmony voices, four additional overdub voices and the live Choir effect that emulates the complex chorusing created by large vocal ensembles. Harmonies have never been easier to produce, regardless of a singer's instrumentation. The NaturalPlay algorithms are specifically designed to analyze real-world playing styles to arrange musically appropriate harmonies. Vocalists who don't play an instrument have the option of controlling harmonies from MP3 tracks played through the stereo auxiliary input or they can easily select the key and scale during performance and store them for use later.
Ease of use was paramount in designing VoiceLive 2 for real world performance situations. Performers can choose between stompbox-style control of the six effect blocks, or recall complete presets via the ten illuminated metal footswitches. A wizard feature helps vocalists find a specific vocal sound by using description tags such as "distorted lead", and "2 voice harmony". The centerpiece of the product is a widescreen LCD screen that is bright and legible from a standing position, even in difficult lighting.
The DSP in VoiceLive 2 has five times the processing power of a typical floor processor. This allows simultaneous use of all the effects including adaptive EQ, compression, de-ess, gate, pitch correction, µMod, delay, reverb, 8 voice harmony, 4 voice doubling, choir, T-pain style pitch effect, transducer, and distortion. Even with the heavy processing requirement of this vocal signal path, there is still room for a dedicated guitar effects block that provides compression, EQ, reverb, and detuning for acoustic guitar players.
VoiceLive 2 makes use of TC-Helicon's acclaimed adaptive tone feature found in several of its VoiceTone products. Tone listens to the singer and adjusts EQ, compression, and de-essing to make their voice sound smooth and studio produced. A new Auto-Gate removes background noise and gives singers more gain before feedback. VoiceLive 2's back panel includes professional level stereo XLR and 1/4" outputs, digital I/O, MIDI, auxiliary input, headphone output, as well as USB for back-up, upgrades, and interactive support.
To ensure a comfortable and low-effort integration into a singer's performance, VoiceLive 2 includes several new ergonomic industrial design features. The extruded aluminum curve is designed to place footswitches at angles natural to your feet. Push buttons are recessed for protection and accidental footpresses. Finally, an integrated soft-touch handle on the bottom of VoiceLive 2 makes for easy carrying to and from a gig.

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