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Have you always wondered why your vocals are always sounding light?
Sometimes you listen to other songs and you compare them with your own and you just feel like the are are “thin” and not so strong?
Or most times when singing with your band, you just feel like there is no harmony among your vocals?
Well… this is probably the case because it takes a bit of work to get all those vocals and instruments to really work together.
But don't despair…
What you really need is a vocal harmonizer.
As a performer or singer in a band or a group, you need a vocal harmonizer to transform and tweak your vocals.
This will help give your vocals that feeling of being “full” and sounding pleasant.
But choosing a good vocal processor is a bit confusing and might cause you some stress.
There are so many things you need to consider before getting the right pedal for you.
In this article, we will be looking at the top 5 vocal harmonizer pedals in the market today, things you need to consider before you make a purchase and how to get the best out of your latest purchase.
Our Top 5 Best Vocal Harmonizers 2018
What is a Vocal Harmonizer Pedal?
A vocal harmonizer is an effects unit that raises or lowers each note you play or sing by a preset interval.
What this does is that, this unit helps to effectively correct your pitch while singing or playing the instrument.
Now check this out…
We all know how difficult it might be trying to sing on key or even singing on the same pitch with a band mate.
This is where a vocal harmonizer pedal comes into play.
Here are some of the advantages of using a vocal harmonizer
- It provides you with the necessary effects that will take your vocal sounding from “meh” to “awesome”
- It gives your vocals that feeling of being full with that chorus effect
- It add this vocal harmony effect to your vocal recordings
- If you sing with a band or as part of a duet group, using a vocal harmonizer will really make your vocals sound much more professional.
Things to Look for when choosing a vocal harmonizer pedal
1. Make sure it is a real vocal harmonizer
Although this might sound obvious, you want to make sure that you get a pedal that actually is a vocal harmonizer.
This is because there are other pedals you might get whereby the harmony feature is a part of the pedal and not the main focus of the pedal
Doing this and you will only end up with an effect box that does not serve you well.
2. How good is the pitch shifting effect?
Also you want to make sure that the pedal you get actually has good pitch and gender shifting effect.
This simply means that it can effectively raise or lower your pitch while singing
Also gender shifting your vocals means that it can easily harmonize your vocals by adding a male or female vocal layer.
3. It should be easy to use
Finally you want something that is very easy to setup and use.
No use getting something that has a very complicated setup process and takes a lot of time to use.
A vocal harmonizer is a small pedal that is very portable and as such should be easy to use and setup.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is vocal harmony in Music? Vocal harmony simply means the simultaneous occurring of pitches, frequencies and chords during a performance or when singing. This helps to make your vocals or instruments sound so much more pleasing.
- How does a vocal harmonizer work? It works by simply taking your vocals or instruments and then lowers or raises the pitch as it passes through the microphone. This then sends the pitch altered vocals to your speakers or studio monitors.
- Do I need a vocal harmonizer? This is a bit tricky to give a specific answer to. The truth is that using a vocal harmonizer depends on a couple of things. The most important one is if your perform a lot of live shows and if you have backup singers. If you are on your own, then you will definitely need a vocal harmonizer to back up your vocals when singing.
- Are there good vocal harmonizer apps and plugins? While the pedals mentioned in this article are hardware, there are very good vocal harmonizer plugins and apps that you can use. Here is a good harmony plugin that you can use when recording vocals. And if you are looking for an app for your phone, then here is an awesome app.
- Can a vocal harmonizer make me a better singer? This is one question I get a lot and the simple answer is No. A vocal harmonizer (software and hardware) will make an already good singer sound better. But it will not take a bad singer from wack to awesome. Even with a vocal harmonizer, you still need to get your singing game right.
The Top 5 Best Vocal Harmonizer
1. TC-Helicon Harmony Singer
This is one of the most popular and widely used vocal harmonizers today. It is also a favourite vocal harmonizer for singer because of the features that come with it.
It usually adds one or two voices of realistic harmony to your vocals which is guided by your guitar.
It has a unique reverb effect with three different styles which helps in making your vocals sound so much better
It has an adaptive tone which is very perfect for EQ, compression, de-essing and for gating
It is very portable and very easy to setup and use.
It has momentary and latched harmony modes that are used for precision control
1. It is a great and affordable vocal harmonizer
2. It is a good choice for solo performers and singers
3. It is very light, portable and easy to use
1. Initially you may have some tracking and calibration issues which can be corrected using the online manual
2. Digitech VLHM Vocal Effects Processor
This is an ideal choice for you if you like performing live. Made by Digitech, it can add up to 2 additional voices of natural harmonies using it’s unique pitch detection technology, MusIQ.
It has an advanced double effect technology with intelligent ducking that helps to keep your harmonies smooth and without any distortions
It comes with a built in guitar tuner for easy tuning of your guitar
It has a new advanced feedback suppression with 12 filters that gives you options to tweak your settings to how you like them.
It has a vocal phrase looper which can be used for about 70 seconds with unlimited overdubs for giving your vocals that sweet harmony like the pros
This is an ideal choice for you if you are a solo singer and require backup vocals.
1. It has an amazing sound quality
2. It has a wide range of effects that is useful when doing a chorus effect
3. It has easy to use knobs and controls for fine tuning your vocals
1. It comes with an outdated software
3. TC Helicon Effects Processor
Made by the well respected musical equipment brand TC Helicon, the Harmony G XT vocal processor is a great choice.
It has a naturalplay guitar controlled harmony algorithm that can easily stack as much as 2 vocal harmonies.
One unique thing about this bad boy is that it can easily listen to your guitar and vocals and recreate the harmony parts needed.
It has 6 reverb and delay combination effects to add some spice to your vocals
It has 10 presets with A/B options which allows you mix and set your settings as you need.
It comes with a USB connectivity port for downloading updates and a VoiceSupport app for managing your presets.
1. It has a great tone and double feature
2. It is an excellent vocal processor for singers
3. It adds “weight” to your vocals and can be used as an excellent vocal backup
1. It does not have an extra ¼ inch port for connecting a footswitch
4. Boss VE-2 Vocal Harmonizer
This is a multi effects vocal processor pedal wide a wide range of effects to enhance your vocals.
It can add real time harmonies and high quality effects to your vocals and instruments in an very affordable and easy to operate pedal.
It has an auto harmony function that can easily detect the chords being played on your guitar and add the corresponding harmony
It has a dedicated panel knob that you can use to set the key of the song creating sweet harmonies
It has a very user friendly interface with easy to use knobs and controls for quick tweaking and setting up of your harmonies.
1. It has a user friendly interface with easy to use knobs and controls
2. It has a natural sounding harmony effect
3. It is great for use when practicing and for live shows
1. It has a poor ergonomic design
5. TC-Helicon VoiceLive 3
This is a high end and expensive vocal processor that delivers awesome vocal harmonies when used.
It has a new harmony voicing effect feature and includes more unique effects such as the vocoder and synth for awesome harmony effect
It has a multi looper that helps you easily create your verses and chorus while singing.
It has special dedicated outputs for connecting your stereo PA, guitar and studio monitors
This is an ideal and perfect choice for you using to take your singing and stage performance to the next level.
1. It has a wide range of special effects and features
2. It has multi track looping for sharp, full harmonies
3. It has special dedicated output ports that lets you add other media devices and instruments
1. It is an expensive and high end pedal
2. You might experience feedback issues which can be corrected by making sure you test it out in venues before use
How to Use a Vocal Harmonizer
Here is a Youtube Video showing you how to setup and use a vocal Harmonizer
While most people might dispute using a vocal harmonizer on your vocals, I think it really has no place talking about it.
As singers, we need everything that can enhance our vocals and make our stage performance an absolute hit.
All the vocal harmonizer mentioned in this article are of high quality and the best vocal harmonizers in the market today.
Is there anyone I left out? Please leave it in the comment box below