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TC Helicon VoiceTone Single R1 & VoiceTone Single C1 Review

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Double Review Of The VoiceTone Singles Series: R1 And C1

Yes, this is an article about the TC Helicon Voicetone Single s series. Before you even open your mouth I'll admit it: There have been moments where I may or may not have showed a bit of a partial bias towards TC Helicon. It was purely unintentional, I promise. Now before you go brushing this article off as another one written by a stark raving mad lunatic who does nothing but praise TC Helicon in all their brilliance hear me out: I find it difficult to not like things that just work. Without further adeau, I present you the TC Helicon VoiceTone R1 and its stablemate the VoiceTone C1. But wait you say! [Gasp!] He's...he's doing two products in a single review. Yeah, that's right in a bit of a departure from the norm this is a special double header TCH product review.

Introducing The TC Helicon Voicetone Vocal Effects Pedal Line

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Those of you arriving late to the party [slackers] may not be familiar with the TC Helicon VoiceTone pedal line the Voicetone R1 (Red) and Voicetone C1 (Blue) represent 2 of the 7 stomp box Singles line that are chain-able effects pedals for vocals. Each pedal represents a single effect such as reverb, pitch correction, compression etc. and feature sturdy little stomp boxes with onboard mic preamps and intuitive analogue controls. The beauty of the lineup is the simplicity. It's a refreshing departure from some of the other more complex menu driven offerings from TC Helicon and others which is not to say sometimes you may not want that. You do. However think of it more as everything you want and none of what you don't. Do you just need reverb? Get the Voicetone R1. Pitch correction, Megaphone, Reverb and Doubling? You get the idea. Go to Voicetone Singles Series  for the full lineup.So the task at hand was a full test of the TC Helicon Voicetone R1 and C1:

Testing The TC HELICON Voicetone R1

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The R1 like the rest of the Singles lineup features the typical I/O setup of Mic in/signal out with USB port for firmware upgrades. Standard here too is wall-wart power supply which once I had 4 pedals chained together due to the standard plug orientation as opposed to the sideways style effectively blocked over half the plugs on my power supply. Fortunately, TC Helicon does offer a special "singles connect kit" that links up to 4 pedals together you can check out here. I would probably recommend it if nothing else but to save your sanity. As with the others the Voicetone R1 comes equipped with a signal/clip led, effect in/out foot switch with status light, mic gain control and a micro switch to remotely enable/disable mic control from the TC Helicon MP-75 microphone.

From an effect control standpoint the R1 has but two dials: Reverb type and Dry/Wet mix. Of the former the R1 comes with 8 different types: Hall, Plate, Theater, Club, Room, Studio, Ambience and Arena. With the Voicetone R1 plugged into my signal chain with the others I initially dialed up the Room effect with dry/wet mix centered. For my rehearsal space which is relatively live this initially proved to be a bit but I was struck at how naturally non mechanical the reverb sounded. Once I dialed the mix back to about 1/3 to find the sweet spot I was actually impressed. It's clear that TC has clearly done their homework in regards to reverb algorithms and come a long ways since the earlier days of the original TC VoiceLive which I have been adamant about not putting in the closet - yet. That may well change with the Voicetone R1. Of the other reverbs I found theater to lend itself especially well to big slower tempo tunes and gave the vocals the ability to breath and shimmer. In fact there's really nothing here you won't be able to find a use for.

Testing The TC HELICON Voicetone C1

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Order directly from The Vocal Gear Store - Click HERE

The Voicetone C1 is an interesting little bugger and represents TC's take on hard tune and pitch correction and will give you anything from mild pitch correction to some pretty crazy T-Pain style vocals. In addition to all the I/O of the Voicetone R1 the Voicetone C1 also features a 1/4" instrument input in support of pitch correction through guitar input. On board the Voicetone C1 are 3 rotary controls: Pitch Correction Mode, correction hardness, and gender. Pitch correction can be selected by specific key or chromatically. Inserting a guitar input thereby overrides the selected mode. Pitch correction hardness controls how severely the unit reacts to approximate the vocals at the correct pitch. The softer the correction the more natural the sound. Dial it harder if you want to be Cher - "Do you Believe". I promise I won't tell. Finally, a gender control allows for a neutral "normal voice" setting with lower and higher voices on opposing sides. Admittedly this is where things can get pretty weird. So go wild.

Now let me be honest I'm more of a straight up singer kinda chap and I'm not huge into live vocal pitch correction. I worry about anything that could pose the potential to take away from what makes a live performance, flaws and all. I may have even not so many years ago been an elitist classically trained choir boy with a private university music scholarship who thought pitch correction was for amateurs. But I digress I may as of late become more accepting. The question for me with the Voicetone C1 was can it take already good vocals and give them a bit of extra polish? In a word yes. But it really depends on what you are trying to do vocally. It goes without saying you can't polish a turd. However feed the Voicetone C1 something reasonably good and I can say with confidence with the scale set to chromatic I saw some fairly transparent correction with the harness control around 1/4. I was concerned that even a low setting the Voicetone C1 might be too grabby at the pitch but it turned out the C1 could play nice. This came to light during my last 3 hour intensive rehearsal session. While battling a cold my voice was beginning to tire towards the end of the intensive giving me some minor spotty pitch issues but I was surprised to find switching the Voicetone C1 in significantly cleaned things up. It was perfect mind you nor should it be expected to be but I was nonetheless pleasantly pleased.

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Order TC Helicon 996008005 Singles Connect Kit Vocal Effects P rocessor from The Vocal Gear Store NOW! Click HERE

WRAP UP

PRO: Bottom line another two easy to use vocal stomp boxes from TC that give you excellent results out of the box, R1 reverb is rather excellent, C1 can actually play nice

CON: Chunky power supplies consume strip space and singers sanity, the connector kit is moderately expensive at $50, a mounting board or case that turns into a pedal board would be nice

Contacting TC-Helicon
www.tc-helicon.com
TC-Helicon Vocal Technologies
1075 Pendergast Street, Suite 204
Victoria BC V8V 0A1
Canada
(800) 565-2523

Review by Travis North

*This product review is a courtesy of The Modern Vocalist World and is endorsed by The Vocalist Studio International.

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Guest Harry7139

  

As a solo acoustic act I find the TC Voicetone R- 1 to be an excellent solution for replacing the rather dull sounding reverb that you may typically find on smaller personal PA's from time to time. Often I run my whole system on battery supply only (JBL EON ONE Compact) as I hate carrying all the extra extension cords and adaptors around and the extra wire mess that comes with it. At first I was a little concerned with the 12 volt power requirement and lack of phantom power supply - as I use a Shure Beta 87a condensor mic for vocals - but I am able to use the phantom power from the JBL so no problem.  I also use a Volto 9 volt power supply to power my Fishman ToneDEQ guitar processor. The 9 volt Volto supply easily powers the R-1 as well as the Fishman ..... so no plug-in adaptors needed. The best part is being able to switch it on/off with my foot as I certainly don't want reverb on as I interact with the audience.... Very cool :)

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