Forget Auto-Tune…this new thing sounds like just the ticket for your basic run-of-the-mill starving Americana solo artist
You all know about Auto-Tune software….basically makes Popeye sound like Susan Boyle. And can turn a rapper into a songbird. Maybe Taylor Swift uses it in concert; or maybe not. So tonight I was scanning some headlines in a musical instrument trade publication website (yes…a boring life I lead) when this press release caught my eye:
Victoria, Canada /Music Industry Newswire — TC-Helicon is renowned for delivering the best tools for enhancing vocal performances and VoiceTone Harmony-G XT is no exception. With improved harmony technology and the reverb taken from its big brother, VoiceLive 2, Harmony-G XT improves vocal tone and provides pro effects and vocal harmony controlled by naturally playing guitar.
Now some of you may very well know TC-Helicon and their products. I stumbled into their booth at the NAMM show earlier this year and was blown away when this lone female singer-guitarist used their magic electronic box to turn herself into Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. The artificial harmonies were on the money and I walked away wondering if any professional folks use this on stage or in the studio.
Specifically designed for the singing guitarist, VoiceTone Harmony-G XT marries the simplicity of the original Harmony-G with state of the art processing right from VoiceLive 2. Whether creating vocal harmonies that automatically follow guitar input, smoothing vocal performance with the live engineer effects or applying one of the 18 combinations of specifically tailored combinations of effects, Harmony-G XT can transform any vocal performance into a fully produced masterpiece. VoiceTone Harmony-G XT will be available at dealers in early December 2009.
When I sing it sounds somewhat like Ray Wylie Hubbard mixed in with Tom Waits, so this product does indeed interest me. Since I live far from the folks I usually make music with, I’m wondering if maybe I get this contraption, run it through Cakewalk and produce an electronic simulation recording that I can upload, blog about and then sell…or give away for free.
A wealth of new features make Harmony-G XT a better-sounding and easier-to-use vocal effect foot-pedal:
• Improved NaturalPlay guitar-controlled harmony algorithm
• Front-of-house quality reverb algorithm and selection of styles from VoiceLive 2
• Selection of four overdub-style doubling effects with two more doubling voices available
• Reworked FX presets offer even more utility across music styles
• USB connection for easy software updates, tips, and preset backup using the included VoiceSupport applet
• Adaptive harmony gate added to Tone for a cleaner mix
• Easy manual selection of Scale & Key for singers without an instrument or horn players
Now this is trouble…I have no clue what reverb algorithm is, let alone an adaptive harmony gate. I’m thankful for the easy software updates but applets confuse me. Why doesn’t “NaturalPlay” guitar sound natural to me?
TC-Helicon claims to be the only pro audio company “100% dedicated to the performance needs of singers.” Every vocalist should know there is a dedicated group of engineers, researchers and product specialists based in Victoria, BC, Canada that spend every waking moment of their working lives listening, talking, singing, and interacting with singers and those who have passion for the singing voice.
Well there you go. Bless the folks at TC-Helicon for looking out for all of us helpless, technologically challenged, finger pickin’, song singing, coffee house performers. Anybody have any experience with this stuff and willing to share? I’m sort of curious.