TC-Helicon Play Electric

Electric Guitar and Vocal Multi-effects Processor, with Auto-tracking Vocal Harmonies, Guitar Effects, and Built-in Looper
TC-Helicon Play Electric image 1
TC-Helicon Play Electric image 1
$349.99
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TC-Helicon Play Electric
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For Top-notch Vocals and Guitar Tone

Between your electric guitar, your voice, and the TC-Helicon Play Electric processor, you've got everything you need to put on a stellar performance at your next gig. Plug in your guitar and select an outstanding amplifier emulation and effects taken from TC's VoiceLive and TonePrint series. Plug in your vocal mic and let the Play Electric act as your own personal sound engineer, with automatic intelligent control over compression, EQ, de-essing, and more. Whether you're a supporting member or the leader of your band, you'll love performing with the TC-Helicon Play Electric.

TC-Helicon Play Electric Guitar/Vocal Processor at a Glance:
  • Complete solution for guitar amplifier models and effects
  • More than amazing vocal harmonies
  • Built-in looper for creative practice and performance
Complete solution for guitar amplifier models and effects

From classic British amp emulations to modern high-gain models, you can tap into a wide range of guitar amplifier models in the TC-Helicon Play Electric. You'll be ready to play in any style, with awesome effects from TC's TonePrint series to craft your ideal tones. And because the vocal harmony engine tracks the chords you're playing on your guitar, the harmony effects from the Play Electric will always be in perfect tune with what you're playing on your guitar.

More than amazing vocal harmonies and effects

It's clear that the TC-Helicon Play Electric is an ideal solution for crafting great guitar and vocal tones for live performance, and an easy way to add vocal harmonies and effects to your performances. It goes beyond that to become a powerful vocal practice tool too, thanks to its vocal cancel mode. Plug your mp3 player into the Play Electric and it will cancel center-panned vocals in your music so you can sing along with your favorite tunes.

Built-in looper for creative practice and performance

The VLOOP performance looper in the Play Electric is much more than a creative tool for creating layered performances. If you're playing a small gig and managing your sound system at the same time, you'll love using the looper for soundcheck - just set up a short vocal and guitar loop, then walk the room to hear how it sounds.

TC-Helicon Play Electric Guitar/Vocal Processor Features:
  • Vocal and guitar processor with amplifier modeling, effects processing, and auto-harmony effects
  • Harmony engine tracks your guitar input so harmonies are always in tune with what you're playing
  • Adaptive Tone feature automatically optimizes vocals with compression, EQ, de-essing, and more
  • Hit button lets you engage multiple effects at once for creative song arrangements
  • Built-in looper for creating layered performances, soundcheck, and practice
The TC-Helicon Play Electric - all the rig you may need at your next gig!

Additional Media

Hands-On Review: TC-Helicon VoiceLive Play Electric

Tech Specs

Processor Type Multi
Number of Channels 2
Form Pedal
Presets - Factory 170 (Memory for 500)
Analog Inputs 1 x XLR, 1 x 1/4" (Guitar), 1 x 1/4" (Pedal), 1 x 1/8" (Aux)
Analog Outputs 2 x XLR, 1 x 1/4", 1 x 1/4" (Thru), 1 x 1/8" (Headphones)
Computer Connectivity USB
Height 1.8"
Depth 6.1"
Width 7.9"
Weight 2.2 lbs.
Manufacturer Part Number 996363005

Customer Reviews

4/5
Based on 5 reviews
Write your review
5/5

Thank you Andy

I bought the play electric. I needed help with the set up. The people at sweetwater were so helpful Spoke with rep Andy. And my problems were all fixed. I liove the play electric. Beautiful machine works great I will always buy from sweetwater
Music background: Guitar player 5 years only
5/5

I was waiting for this one

The VoiceLive Play GTX was TC Helicons first venture into guitar effects like amp modeling etc. I was one of the first to get it. I have used it at 250+ gigs/year for two years now. While the amp models could sound good after some tweaking, the FEEL was not QUITE "there". Now, the Play Electric remedies that. And more. It takes different guitars (Strats, Les Pauls, My DiPinto with mini-buckers, and my old Silvertone with lipstick pups, and an old Washburn EA 36 with a Baggs Element Active system) REALLY well! I run it through a Bose L1 MII with a B2 bass. Don't miss an amp much. The vocal fx and harmonies were awesome on the GTX. Somehow, they are even better in the Play Electric! And with the guitar sounds caught up, I sound BETTER than ever!
Music background: Full-time musician/entertainer.
4.5/5

Great Unit!

The sounds are great and the harmonies are very realistic sounding. Loaded with lots of good presets and leaves plenty of room for user presets. Very easy to customize settings for each song you play. I plug it in to the USB on my computer and arrange my songs in a set list to make performances go smoothly. It also has an aux input that can be routed to the looper. I plug my iPhone into that to use the piano/keys in GarageBand in my loops. The buttons are smooth on this unit. That was something that was important to me. It's not a "hard click" like on other pedals. This makes it much easier to be accurate on the "1". The only negative comments thus far is:....the loop time is a bit short, and I would like to see a better computer interface. Like being able to edit parameters for presets.
4.5/5

Great Sounds

Sounds are really good and harmonies are very realistic. My only beef is with the short loop record time.
1/5

Good Unit but Big Problems

I play multiple acoustic instruments with pickups and several that require a mic. I purchased this unit to enable me to create patches for each instrument and switch live on stage. It works quite well for that, and the ability to monitor via earphones is a plus. Unfortunately, the first unit I received from Sweetwater had a short in the power supply input jack and would reboot with any pressure on the connector. They sent me a second unit. This one has 'blue-screened' (bricked) on me repeatedly at live gigs. I did some research and found lots of folks have had this problem, even after TC-Helicon issued firmware updates, which I've applied. This processor is just not reliable enough for me to use as a performer. It's a shame, because the unit is well-conceived.
Music background: Acoustic Dance Music

Sweetwater Advice

Sweetwater

If you are a singer and have not heard of or tried out any of the TC-Helicon vocal processors, then you are really missing out! TC-Helicon is in the business of vocals and making it so singers can have the sound they want live. You'll never have to worry if the sound man at the club you are playing at is able to send you reverb or delay for your voice. You can dial in whatever you like and then send your complete personal sound out to the sound man. You are in control of your sound — just like guitar or keyboard player. TC-Helicon makes four different pedals just for singing guitarists. I was able to sit down with the TC-Helicon VoiceLive Play Electric and see what was under the hood. Singers Have the Control The first thing you need to know before using the Play Electric is what kind of microphone you're going to plug into it. The Play Electric can take either dynamic and condenser microphones but you need to tell it what kind you are using. I used a Shure SM58. My Play Electric was already set to accept a dynamic mic when I turned it on, so I was good to go. But to change it to accept a condenser mic is very easy: just hit two buttons. The first thing I noticed when I sang into the TC-Helicon VoiceLive Play Electric is that it can do some crazy things to your voice! I'll get into that below, but first I wanted to see what it sounded like in a more "normal" setting. I scrolled through some of the 170+ Song & Artist-inspired presets and found a lot of very nice sounds. The preset reverbs are very smooth and getting into the box to adjust the decay time or the kind of reverb was easy. The compressor made my voice jump out and have that "in your face" vibe. The delays were again very easy to adjust. I was looking for a kind of "John Lennon-style" slap delay and there are presets with that kind of thing already in there, but I went in further and got it right where I wanted it. The box comes equipped with what TC Helicon calls their trademark Adaptive Tone, where Play Electric acts as your personal sound engineer giving you automatic and intelligent control of compression, EQ, de-essing, and gating. That definitely made it easy to get right into singing with a nice full sound, yet all the settings were still easily changable. In addition to creating a nice "produced" vocal tone, the Play Electric can help you get creative, too — one example is its ability to automatically harmonize with your voice. The harmonies really did follow my voice quite well but remember, you still have to do your part. If you don't sing the right notes then the harmonies will not be the right notes either. Luckily the Play Electric can also provide pitch correction, which can be a big help. There are also great distortion, megaphone, and old radio effects as well. The coolest feature for me is the fact that Play Electric follows your guitar playing so your harmonies are always locked into the right key and chord. I found this really worked well. I had to adjust the way I sang some faster lines that jumped all over the place but that was no a big deal. It followed me going from major keys to minor keys to modulations, all with no hiccups or problems. Packs an Electric Guitar Punch For just one pedal, the TC-Helicon VoiceLive Play Electric packs quite a punch. On the guitar side of the pedal there are 24 different amp models plus two dedicated acoustic models. The models range from vintage British to classic American, plus many others. You could easily go direct to the front-of-house PA either with or without a speaker cabinet onstage. I found the sounds to be good and easily tweakable. Even the acoustic models were totally usable. There are a wide range of effects for the guitar as well from TC Electronic's award-winning range of TonePrint pedals. This includes nice soupy reverbs, delay taken from their Flashback pedal, chorus from the Corona, compression, modulation effects, and of course, lots of distortion and overdrive. All of the paramaters are easily accessable and no problem to adjust and save. Yet another great Play Electric feature is the Guitar THRU, which is intended to pass your guitar signal directly from the input out to an external amp or pedalboard. If you don't want to use any of the Play Electric's onboard guitar effects but want Play Electric to still follow the guitar so your harmonies are synced, then just use the Guitar THRU to pass your signal through the pedal. Ease of Use The Play Electric is very easy to plug into whatever you are using, whether it be a full PA or your headphones. There are the basic microphone in, guitar in/thru/out, balanced stereo out, and headphone output connections. There is a Pedal input that allows direct access to looping and other effect controls. There is also an aux input where you can connect your MP3 player and use the Vocal Cancel feature so you can sing along with you favorite tracks and practice to your heart's content. The front/top panel of the Play Electric is very easy to understand and there are not very many buttons to navigate. The buttons do exactly what they say they are going to do. If you need to edit the guitar effect just hit the GUITAR FX button and the same goes for the vocal effects. The SETUP button gets you into the guts of the pedal, where you set up the kind of mic you're using, guitar level, the amount of pitch correction, and other parameters. The HIT button is very cool because it allows you to have a couple of different settings for your song instantly switchable right under your feet. You could, for example, program a dry slap delay on the verse section and then when you go to the chorus, press the HIT button to switch to a huge reverb and turn on the harmonies function. It's a great way to really manipulate your vocals live. If you hold down the HIT button for a few seconds it bypasses all of the effects so you can talk to your audience between songs with a dry, un-effected tone. A fun feature of the pedal is the GENRE button. This calls up preset vocal and guitar sounds from songs and artists along with sounds appropriate for types of music including pop, rock, country, hip-hop, and others. It was a great way to explore all of the possible combinations the pedal offers. Wrap Up I found the TC-Helicon VoiceLive Play Electric a fun, great sounding, and easy-to-use pedal perfect for a club gig with a band, a solo gig, or a house of worship service where you want a small and quick set up with professional vocal sounds along with top-notch guitar effects and amp processing. The Play Electric will get you where you need to go!
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See also: Harmonizer Pedals, TC-Helicon, TC-Helicon Harmony Processors, TC-Helicon Multi-effects