Singers often get left out, at least when compared to the toys heaped on guitarists and keyboardists. But vocalists looking to add effects and loop their vocalizations can now do so in one box, all attachable to a mic stand.

TC-Helicon has an intriguing-looking gadget they’ve unveiled for vocalists, just in time for the summer NAMM trade show in Nashville, Tennessee. Called the VoiceLive Touch, it’s an all-in-one processing and looping box. TC are no stranger to vocal effects, with the recent, compact (and akwardly-named) VoiceTone Create XT and the hefty, stompbox-style VoiceLive. What’s different here is that the resulting gadget is small enough to hook onto a mic stand, without sacrificing built-in audio I/O, and that you get looping and effects with a touch-ready performance interface. (If you still like triggering on the floor better than operating things with your hands on the mic stand, you can couple it with a foot switch.)

Looping includes 30 seconds of sample time, 25 separate loops, and integrated onboard effects. To make it easier to use in performance, there are convenience features like touchable preset recall, favorites, and an easy “talk” bypass switch. Effects include tempo-synced delays, harmonization, reverb, and the usual EQ / compression / de-ess, so you can go a bit wild or stick to the basics.

The touch-membrane control layout screams the 1980s to me (as a child of the 80s myself), but the functionality looks really strong.

I/O is generous, too, with guitar in and thru, USB for audio connections to the computer, an aux in for other devices (like an MP3 player), and MIDI input for controlling harmonies from a sequencer or keyboard (or something else). To me, the combination of TC-quality effects, looping, and all that I/O ought to pretty easily justify the US$695 list; the bigger question is whether the kinds of vocalists who want to do this kind of looping have already gotten used to a looper from another vendor (like Korg or Roland/BOSS) that they prefer, and whether the looping features can compare.

If there are any especially creative vocalists out there in the CDM readership (or if you know anyone we should know), please do get in touch; I’d love to talk to you about live vocals and effects with this and other tools.

In the meantime, if you want a little hype to go with your info, TC have put together a video displayed after the jump that’s spot-on in the vein of those Apple – Jonathan Ives product unveilings. (The word “magical” doesn’t come up, however. Funny that vendors catch on now; I remember watching Apple’s vids in this style over a decade ago.)

Product details:
VoiceLive Touch [TC Helicon]

  • http://dmlandrum.noisepages.com/ Darren Landrum

    That video told me nothing. How about an actual demonstration with a good vocalist using the more advanced features?

  • locks

    Give that thing to Reggie Watts and show us the results!

  • http://saturnneversleeps.com Rucyl

    Need to see a live demo of this! I'm pretty happy with the Kaoss pad for vocal looping but it requires extensive soundcheck to get the levels right, and can make vocals sound tinny sometimes.. $695 seems high, unless the end result is bangin, then it would be totally worth it. I kinda like being able to trigger/loop samples AND loop a live signal with one machine though..

  • furnhusch

    Not to be a hater, but that video made me distrust the product. I want to see it being used, not cherished by bespectacled blowhards.

  • J. Phoenix

    Nice one. I have a strong suspicion I'll be seeing this one onstage by the end of the year. Might even take a lil bit of market share from the Boss RC-50.

  • http://cooptrol.com cooptrol

    A very bad ad agency behind this, no doubt..

  • Griotspeak

    The thing that tc missed is that apple almost always has footage of 'it' being used in a way that would seem to support the claim being made by whoever is speaking, I saw this yesterday and was pretty excited until I saw that video.

    Having calmed down a bit, I am interested only in seeing how the interface works.

  • Damon

    I like the knock-around-able look of it. I believe off road music technology is the future.

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    I think it's just too new. Anyway, I like the idea of getting Rucyl and/or Reggie Watts to test it. So we can do some proper, non-marketing video footage… better anyway. And we can pit it against the Korg and Boss. My sense is that they'll each probably be useful for different reasons.

  • NJ

    I have two issues… something about it looks gimmicky to me, and I question the analog to digital signal under the hood…

    TC, from everything I've ever read, REALLY has issues with unnatural sounding digital dampening in their other units, and though the onboard compression here might take care of some of that – can the effects be stacked in a usable way? *Clarity* is a huge issue for vocalists, at least in my experience. Phonics. Annunciation. The look and build of the unit (is it plastic? Rubber?) might just be polish on a hoopty, I'm just not sure about this box.

    I'll still give it a try though! I agree with you PK some user videos might be a game changer for this unit, and I second what Darren mentioned about showing us the more advanced features

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    Well, right. The idea is right. Sound can't be judged until you have it in your hands. It combines enough hardware that it *could* be worth the price — but sound is key.

  • Axel

    "When you get it into your hands, you just wanna touch it…"

    I'm not thinking about an FX box right now ;-)

    Seriously, if there was a competition how little information you can pack into a three minute long clip TC would have a strong contender here.

    I'm looking for a vocal FX box, but the price of this unit is a bit too steep for me. I think I'll go with the Boss ve-20. Also, I'm quite sure I don't want to stare at a touch screen when I'm in the center of a stage trying to communicate.

  • Michael

    I despise these kind of ads. Could easily be an ad for tampons or BP for that matter.

  • 23fx23

    yeah that clearly looks at an apple commercial.

    Tc are really bad on advertise, and custommer service had not been the best over the past.

    (i own a konnekt24, pocoX8, and used finalyser).

    still even really expensive one must admit it really sounds usually, but for sure they have to make clear demos over such shamy ad..

  • http://www.myspace.com/k1ru six.fingered.chyld

    this box will assist me when i'm speaking tongues, also, i can use it to block snakebites whilst i handle them.

    that vid must've been aimed to aspiring cult leaders mostly.

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  • Jamie

    Um…pretty sure this is intended as a teaser ad, especially looking at all their other videos and how the in-depth ones are rolled out as the products start hitting shelves. Excited to see this in use as well, but more importantly, to try it in person.

    Seriously, the things people get bent outa shape about, you'd think TC-Helicon just ran over your cat.

    Oh yeah, and NJ, they do tell you what the product is made out of in the video, it's not plastic.

  • http://www.doctorobvious.com Mark

    30 seconds of sampling? Really? The Boss RC50 has more like 50 minutes and costs less. Of course, it doesn't integrate many effects…

    What I want is a combo of a RC50 and a Line6 pedal, perhaps in table top form like this. I'd pay for that.

  • nick

    that video would hands kill all chances of me buying this. that guy with the glasses should never utter the word "sexy" again and learn how to speak with a hint of truth in his voice before ever pitching a product again.

    that said, i've been fiddling with this kinda thing for awhile now and i can assure you that an inexpensive fx and a looper or my recent purchase of a line 6 dl4 would get you much better bang for buck.

    but to be fair IF it sounds good and the fact that the body is METAL pehaps will yield a demo.

    i agree let reggie watts kick this thing around(it's like tc saw his show and then greedily "brainstormed" the voice live) but i doubt little more than the fx would be of interest to watts. his setup of the of the dl4 and 2880 is hard to beat.

    plus if this encourages people far less talented than reggie to beatbox shoot me now.

  • nick

    @jamie: clearly, you work in marketing.

    question: shouldn't a teaser actually offer something of value to entice the consumer? this ad runs over it's own cat.

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    Easy, folks. It's just a video. Surprised at the response. We'll get some hands-on time… no one likes marketing videos generally, anyway. (Also: yes, I'll try to talk to Reggie Watts. But there are other vocalists, too! Or I should say, good vocalists; most people have vocal chords. Not a rare thing.)

  • ohmy

    It is obviously a joke intended to play on the ubiquitous iPad promo video.

    Give them a little time.

    Excellent for buskers and wedding singers. … and maybe John Mayer.

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  • leMel

    Okay, another video is now up for this harmonizer/looper, a 10-point feature rundown. The Roland VP-7 suits my needs a bit better (no looper there), but I do like this product too – nice combo. http://www.tc-helicon.com/voicelive-touch.

  • d-man (affiliated)
  • emmad

    where to buy one???