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Microphone Month

TC-Helicon VoiceLive Reviews

2.5 stars based on 6 customer reviews
  • Dave Townsend
    from Everett, WA USA October 14, 2008Music Background:
    Musician for 40+ years, now just a weekend warrior

    Fun onstage, but "Studio Quality" is a stretch

    Three stars because it is a lot of fun to play with, especially if you perform solo or as a duo.

    However, you'll never want to actually use this device for recording unless you're actually after a lo-fi effect.

    Guitar players, don't waste your time on this unit (maybe the new VoiceTone Harmony-G is better for you). This device is really for keyboard players, because unless you're providing MIDI for it to follow, it's way too much work to program it for live performance.

    For that matter, don't bother with it unless you enjoy tweaking electronic devices. If you're a presets-only person, you'll be frustrated because it does take a fair amount of fiddling. But if you're an old-school veteran knob-twister, don't be put off by its reputation for being hard to configure. That's the presets-only crowd talking.

  • Bryan Gordon
    from Ulster County, NY January 30, 2007Music Background:
    Singer/songwriter/guitarist for 30 years

    Sounds Great, spotty support

    I find this unit difficult to rate because I consider "support" a big part of the equasion. I have had this unit for about a month now and there is no doubt that it can be a powerful tool... once you learn how to use it.

    First off, the manual is next to useless. For a unit with as many features as this has, the 50-60 page manual is totally inadiquate, basically telling you what the name of the screen you are on is... this barely enough for an intro chapter. They do provide you with a CD-rom that shows some step-by-step procedures with the word "simply" thrown in just before a jumble of steps. The CD is much more helpful than the manual, but how often am I going to be near a computer when rehearsing or gigging? These are the times when I will be tweeking and playing with the settings and will need quick access to info.

    I had a few problems with the unit I couldn't figure out with the manual or the CD, so I went to the tc-helicon website to try to get some help... there was no phone # for tech help anywhere, you have to submit your question to the online forum. I did this and still haven't received a response... 5 day later!

    In the end I have had to make due with searching the web for customer answers to my questions and countless hours of twiddling around with it to make any progress. I think for $800 I deserve a phone # and a useful manual. It's too bad because the lack of support and a comprehensive manual seem to be the only things getting in the way of a good review.

    P.S. Previously I owned an Akai DuoBuddy which I bought as a floor model and never had any trouble figuring out how to work it... without a manual.

  • daddyblue
    from Colorado February 5, 2011Music Background:
    Pro Musician

    Not as good as I thought it would be

    I bought one when it first came out. Was hoping for this was steller sound but quite honestly my old digitech vocal box sounded way better. This was a big investment to me, and it was $799 then. I tried it on a couple gigs but it is really poorly designed for the working musician, I then sold it and bought a TC Helicon voice create box, i didn't like that much either, just sounded too small. Went back to my old digitech voice effect which is always great, thinking about getting one of their new harmonizers

  • Spinny
    from USA February 9, 2011Music Background:
    Working musician

    Voicelive 1

    I rate this poorly because of the lack of company support. One year after voicelive2 comes out, they discontinue support for voicelive1. You can't even access older upgrades, let alone benefit from owning the original floor unit model . VL2 technology is not backwards compatible in any way.
    This has impacted my potential for selling the older product and buying the new one without losing a lot of cash. The units are not cheap at $800, and who wants to buy something the company stops supporting less than 3 years after its release?

    I wouldn't want to be an $800 buyer of VL2 and have them release VL3 3 years later and then cut off support for VL2 as if it didn't exist.

    I will spend my money on a company that has better support. Hell if I'm going to keep upgrading the same product for $800 every 3 years. I have music equipment from 15 years ago that I can STILL get replacement components for.

  • Doug Roane
    from Dallas, TX February 1, 2005

    Voice Live

    I have it. Its GREAT. But I must say make sure you set the internal EQ correctly or it will muddy up your vocals horribly.

    Set your global EQ to 80HZ-1 low, 13K+9 high, and 2K6+3 mid with Q set to 1 as starting point. Set your global compressor to -15db, 2:1 and the gate to -45db.

    Pick your reverb and delay within the various presets, or turn on the global FX for these too!

    Then it works fabulously. Very convincing and not chipmunky at all. My favorite setting is preset #2 third above. So much of rock is done with one harmony about the lead, this just works wonderfully.

    I am not a great singer whatsoever, but this thing actually makes me sound OK.

    I worked with the Digitech Vocalist VR for a while on another project and it SUCKS!
    This thing is convincing.

    Best Regards,
    Doug Roane

  • Darrell Smith
    from JAPAN September 1, 2004

    Great in all aspects EXCEPT

    It's a wonderful device for live & recording, adding really great, natural sounding harmony voices to my lead. Even the way it mimics my vibrato is great. If you are playing guitar or a smaller keyboard on stage then this is what's best for you. If you play acoustic piano, though, you won't be able to see what you're doing UNDER the piano. If this is you, I recommend VOICEWORKS with a 3-switch. Keep it on top of the piano where you can see it while you play. Very important.

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