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TC-Helicon VoiceWorks
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TC-Helicon VoiceWorks

Vocal Processor from TC-Helicon belonging to the VoiceWorks series

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songboy songboy
Published on 11/18/09 at 10:52
The main effects in this unit are Vocal Harmonizing, voice doubling, pitch correction,  Chorus effects, Some high quality reverbs, delays with tap tempo ability, a compressor, 3 band EQ and a Gate.
Yes, these effects can be edited through a downloadable plugin off of TC Helicon's website. 
Yes, it is designed to be placed in a Effects rack. 
Well, its analog in the sense that it takes in your voice but the insides are all digital.  No tubes in this guy.
It has an XLR and a 1/4" input.  Balanced 1/4" outputs, S/PDIF in/out, Midi in/out/thru and a pedal jack input.



UTILIZATION

Using just the hardware unit by itself, the editing can be a little bit of a pain.  Its hard to really focus on one tiny LCD screen to accomplish a lot of work.  Thankfully they have the Computer Plugin that makes is so much easier to do. 
The general setup is somewhere in the middle between Easy and Hard.  It has a lot of options to mess with, especially when dealing with harmonies.  You definitely need to read the manual to get a feel for this guy.  I also highly recommend using the computer plugin.  Its almost a necessity. 
The original manual, or Quick setup guide, doesn't give you nearly enough info to really open this unit up.  Since its release, TC has uploaded a new, more in depth manual to its website.  You need to download this.  It is clear enough, but be prepared to do a lot of reading and learning if you want to master the Voice Works.


SOUND QUALITY

This is strictly for vocals.  I have never tried to put another instrument into it and have no real need to ever try. 
TC Helicon is famous for there work with Vocal Preamps and effects and this unit stands up to that reputation.  I don't think my voice has sounded better than when I use this unit.  The mics are faithfully reproduced and the Pre amp is very transparent.  I also want to mention that it generates little to no noise into the signal chain. 
The presets are fun to start off with, but if you really want to use this device, especially the harmonies, you need to program it.  If you don't, your harmonies will sound off.  You need to tell it what key, or what progression you are following.


OVERALL OPINION

I also own the Pedal that operates the unit.  Having the foot pedal is my absolute favorite thing.  You can use it to switch between patches, tap tempo effects and do something really cool...Harmony Hold.  Basically you sing a note and have the harmonies come in.  You hold down on the pedal and the harmonies hold their notes as you go on to others.  What a brilliant Idea.  It really adds a lot when doing a show and you are the only one that can sing. 
What I like least is the amount of time you need to spend learning this device.  Its not an unbelievable amount of time, but it has a decent learning curve.  But in the end, the time you spend will be worth every minute.
The precision and quality is spot on.  The reverbs are spectacular and the harmonies are extremely nice.  A lot better than I expected actually, especially for the female reproductions. 
No, this is the first harmonizer I have really used.  As for reverbs and delays, yes, tons of them.  For vocals, this unit provides the best I have used so far.
If something happened to this unit I would be very sad.  At that point though, I would buy the new Voice Works Plus, just because of the added options. 
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