Best Vocal Processors for Recording

(Last Updated On: April 6, 2021)
Singer recording song with vocal processor in the studio.

Even if you have already done acoustic treatment in your recording room and have carefully selected the microphones for your vocal recordings, you would still find your raw vocal recordings not fit for public consumption and mass production. Why? Because you still need to engage in the vocal processing to come up with an impressive vocal recording that you can market or broadcast online.

You will also need vocal processors to add harmonies and alter your voice to make it great to listen to. But what is this vocal processor? 

Well, a vocal processor is a device that harmonizes and enhances the quality of your voice. Moreover, although the basics of vocal recording are very much the same whatever recording system you are utilizing, you would still have plenty of options when it comes to choosing the vocal processor you will use.  

The Best Vocal Processors in the Market Today

Vocal processors have several functions; yet, the two main functions of vocal processors are processing vocals and adding effects. Vocal processors are also compact devices with preprogrammed effects like echo, voice doubling, and reverb. Moreover, it can quickly run voice or pitch correction and feature harmonizers that can furnish multiple-part harmony for your vocal recording. The following are the top choices of vocal processors in the market today:

1) TC-Helicon VoiceLive 3 Extreme

The TC-Helicon VoiceLive 3 Extreme is the VoiceLive 3’s extreme version. It provides added functionalities that include increased looping time of up to five hours, and it can play backtracks when you need to. Moreover, it features a performance recorder for your live streaming audio output via your USB Flash drive. 

The TC-Helicon VoiceLive 3 Extreme also offers an impressive vocal sound using next-generation effects, harmony processing, and tonal quality. Furthermore, it provides complete guitar sound through the TC electronic stompbox effects, flexible output configurations, and amp tones.  

This vocal processor’s features also include varied vocal effects like loops, reverbs, delay, harmonies, hard tune, filtering, synth/vocoder emulation, chorus, gating, flanger, etc.


2) BOSS Acoustic Singer Effects Processor Pedal (VE-8)

If you are the kind of singer who also plays guitar, you should consider the Boss VE-8 Vocal Processor. It comes with a competitive edge over other choices because it offers top-notch recording quality. 

Moreover, it is user-friendly with vast options of effects that allow you to expand your creativity and achieve incredible real-time professional sound and harmonies each time you sing or perform. Besides, it is perfect for traveling artists who need a vocal processor that is lightweight and compact. 

The VE-8 comes with chromatic pitch correction for real-time vocal fine-tuning. It also features a vocal doubling effect and looping effect. Plus, it helps you hard-tune electronic voices for a more enhanced one-person show.


3) TC-Helicon EQ Effects Pedal (996000905)

If you’re looking for a vocal processor of top-notch quality, you should consider the TC-Helicon EQ Effects Pedal (996000905). This vocal processor comes in a pedal form and is a favorite of many vocalists. It is designed to improve your tone and vocal harmony. 

TC-Helicon 996000905 features enhanced effects and harmony technology that can significantly improve your vocal rendition. It comes with the VoiceLive 2 vocal effects, designed to analyze your vocals and guitar sounds. Additionally, this software fine-tunes the vocals with that of the guitar’s chords to create the right harmony parts. 

You can use the TC-Helicon 996000905 during studio recording. Moreover, you can also use it for your live performance as a vocal processor. It is easy to operate using your foot, enabling you to run it without necessarily interrupting your performance. 

Besides, it has a sturdy design that lets it handle your foot’s stomping and weight. You can also update its software using a USB connection. It comes with six reverb/delay combinations for guitar input and vocals. It also features ten presets with A/B options.


4) Tascam TA-1VP Rackmount Vocal Producer Processor

If you are looking for a vocal processor that comes with Auto-Tune Technology, you should consider the Tascam TA-1VP Rackmount Vocal Producer Processor. It is one of those vocal processors equipped with Auto-Tune technology. As a vocal processor, it can help you polish your sound when doing a recording. 

This vocal processor is also co-developed with Antares Audio Technologies. It is a rack-mounted processor and comes with a mic preamp, de-essing, compression, and mic and tube modeling. Additionally, it is perfect for live performance and recording. It also comes with a top-notch XLR microphone input on its front panel while providing the mic with the needed phantom power.

Tascam TA-1VP features balanced TRS outputs and input found on its rear panel. It also includes a Double Track out for mimicking doubled vocals. Moreover, it features easy-to-use blocks, each with meters and dedicated buttons to let you see what is happening to the audio signals. One more thing is that it comes with an Auto-Tune module for correcting your pitch.


5) TC Helicon Vocal Effects Processor

The TC Helicon Voice Processor comes with loads of features and options. It is easy to operate and lets you process vocals in your studio or live performance to produce perfect pitch and harmony. With its user-friendly interface (VoiceLive Play), you can make awesome sounding music with impressive vocals and remarkable acoustic guitar effects. 

Its simple interface along with its stompbox design, allows you to use it with ease without distracting you during your performance. Moreover, it’s very portable and easy to carry around. It also lets you utilize your guitar to control and enhance voices while enhancing your performance’s natural harmony. 

The TC Helicon Voice Processor features incredible reverb, mic preamp with low noise, and minimal mic feedback. Besides, it comes with over 200 preset sounds for singing along with. If you want to keep it simple, this vocal processor would be an excellent choice for you.


6) Roland VT-4 Voice Transform

Roland VT-4 belongs to the top vocal processors in the market today. It is known for creating incredible formant effects and great-sounding musical pitches. With its use, you can tweak your voice from female to male and vice versa in real-time. It is also easy to operate, as easy as flicking a switch or turning a knob. 

The Roland VT-4 is perfect for processing vocals to make multiple vocal effects simultaneously. These effects include various modern and retro options along with reverb echo to produce a unique sound. Moreover, it comes with a pitch correction feature to help you fine-tune your vocal pitch. 

This vocal processor also provides you the option of plugging your keyboard into this processor to produce multiple-part harmonies that come with voicing in real-time. It also runs on AA batteries, or you can power it using a USB cable. Moreover, it is very portable and convenient to carry around to your gigs and performances.


7) Boss VE-20 Vocal Performer Vocal Processor

The Boss VE-20 Vocal Performer Vocal Processor is a top-notch choice if you are looking for the best guitar effects pedal choice for guitarists and singers. It is simple enough to operate, and even newbies can operate it. It offers a high-quality vocal processor that is durable and sturdy for long-lasting usage. 

It comes with dual pedals that are big enough for easy use. With its bigger pedals, you won’t be missing them when you got so engrossed in your performance. 

The Boss VE-20 Vocal Performer is undoubtedly a quality vocal processor that delivers various features: double-tracking, reverb, pitch correction, and many other features. Besides, it is a versatile performer you can rely on to create great harmonies. It is also perfect for those who sing while playing their guitars. 


8) TC Electronic Singles VoiceTone E1 Vocal Effects Processor

TC Electronic Singles VoiceTone E1 comes with the reputation of being a great option if you are looking for a simple and easy-to-operate vocal processor. It comes with studio-quality tools, and it is rather like an effects pedal than a vocal processor. It delivers around 13 different delay types and echo types. Moreover, it includes tap, slapback, and some special ones. 

It also comes with feedback control. Besides, it comes with an analog switch that provides its vintage feel. Combined with the natural vocal harmonies, it will indeed produce great results. 

TC Electronic Singles VoiceTone E1 comes with a tap tempo that sets the effects rhythm. The mic preamp inside this device works perfectly and does away with the impurities that the mic may cause. The downside of using this processor is that it doesn’t provide any presets. Despite its simplicity, this pedal processor is definitely interesting to tinker with.


Factors to Consider When Purchasing A Vocal Processor

If you want to zero in on the right vocal processor for your needs, you need to be cognizant of the essential factors to consider when choosing a vocal processor. Here are some of the crucial factors you need to consider when buying a vocal processor:

Harmonies

The best processors in the market today always have some commonalities, i.e., they also can create several vocal harmonies. This ability to create vocal harmonies is critical in any live performance and is a prerequisite for a vocal processor, whether you will use the vocal processors for studio recording or live performance. 

With this capability to add harmonies, you can create harmonies and combine guitar inputs to enhance your voice’s harmony and pitch to harmonize with your instruments. 

Some vocal processors feature Smart Harmony that automatically adds backup vocals to make the singing rich and thicker. This feature makes the singer’s weak voice bigger and stronger. Moreover, different processors also come with varying vocal effects and harmonies. Your choice, of course, depends on your needs.

Auto-Tune Feature

As a singer, it will be useful to find a vocal processor with an Auto-Tune system. With the Auto-Tune feature, you can deliver perfect pitch vocal rendition during your live performance without your audience noticing that you are using an Auto-Tune during your performance. The top-of-the-line vocal processors will surely come with this feature to provide you with a better vocal rendition to your performance. 

Of course, you can’t rely heavily on Auto-Tune to deliver good performance. Yet, with this feature, you can ensure that your vocal rendition will not go off-the-key.

Guitar Effects

When selecting a vocal processor, it will help to choose something that offers voice and guitar effects. You should also know what these guitar effects consist of. Some vocal processors can harmonize your guitar chords and alter your guitar or keyboard sounds by adding the right notes to match the chords you are using. 

Moreover, most vocal processors come with other features like delay, reverb, and built-in equalizers. They may also come with hilarious guitar effects like robot voice, radio voice, etc. Besides, they may come with a looping feature that would enhance your guitar performance.

Looping and Vocal Effects

The right vocal processor will allow you to have perfect control over delay/reverb, EQ, and other essential effects when you play or sing. However, the average processor may come with only the core effects. Yet, if you want something more, you need to go for the versatile models, like the ones mentioned above, which come with more effects options like a vocoder, alien, synth, robot, and many other effects. 

It will also help to go for something that can soften or deepen your voice via formant shifting. With this feature, you can always keep your vocal outputs on key. You can also set some backups even if you are engaged in a one-person show. 

It will be useful to go for something with a guitar effect. For example, if you play and sing, you will find this effect handy, for you won’t be needing another device for your guitar, which makes everything less complicated.

How Can You Maximize the Use of Vocal Effect Processors?

If you are a one-man show when you perform, then the vocal processor will be the right device for you. It will allow you to process your vocals during your performance to create a more dynamic performance and a more immersive experience for your audience. 

The vocal effects processor will be very useful if you are desirous of processing vocals and adding effects. Likewise, they are very compact and come with pre-programmed effects like voice doubling, reverb, and echo. 

Thus, you can also correct voice pitch with their use and harmonize the vocals and the instruments. Vocal processors are also easy to operate and are handy to carry around anywhere you will perform.

Conclusion

If you think that the artists whom you idolize always sing on key, you are mistaken, for many of them are using gadgets and devices designed to enhance their vocal performances. One such device is the vocal processors that come with the Auto-Tune feature. With this type of device, they can feel confident in their singing and still sound good even if their vocal cords are already overworked.

So, if you are a newbie singer, you also deserve to sound good when you perform. You also don’t have to miss any note nor sing out of key even if your vocal cords are already overworked. You can achieve such a high level of performance if you utilize vocal processors. With the vocal processor’s use, you can enhance your vocal rendition and still wow your audience even if your vocal cords are already fatigued. 

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