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TC-Helicon VoiceWorks Plus Reviews

3.5 stars based on 8 customer reviews
  • Arthur Stuckman
    from Fremont,Ohio March 4, 2009Music Background:
    pro musician

    I love it!

    This device is awesome!,i had to go to the website to download the software and then i had to deal with the learning curve to use it,but after that I can see where the possibilities are endless!.i am really happy and the only other product thats even comparable is the flagship voice pro which costs 3 grand.the built in preamp works well and is a blessing.i use it primarily for the modeling effects in which it shines.but now i'm beginning to use it for singing and WOW!,I love it.thanks to brian vandekeere for his help in purchasing all of my great equipment from sweetwater.

  • Reggie
    from Colorado February 22, 2012Music Background:
    ROCK GOD

    Using It Live

    I bought a few of these to use with our live show. I use a midi controller to change patches on the fly for different effects / songs / models / delay lengths, etc., and keep everyone on the same page.

    Basically, the unit can be divided in to two functions. It's either a unison / harmony generator or it's a voice modeler. The unison / harmony generator is probably the most widely used effect. The modeler works well, too - if you need a megaphone or a distorted, lo-fi vocal. After you decide whether to use the harmony or the modeler, you can add varying levels of reverbs, delays, auto-corrections, u-mods and distortions - all of which are highly tweak-able. The u-mods are things like choruses and flange.

    You can save all of your presets to your own patch numbers, match up with your other midi boxes and be on your way. For instance, if your guitar patch 41 on your guitar fx box requires vampire vocals, simply make preset 41 your vampire vocal effect - and connect the units via 5 or 7 pin midi cable. It plays well with other midi devices. There's also a pedal input to enable / disable certain functions.

    I mainly use just one unison voice- usually panned quite hard and set -1 or -2db lower than the input voice. That really gives a nice, fat doubled sound that the audience doesn't notice. I have a couple of patches for megaphone / breathy-distortion settings and they work very well also.

    The correction effect is not practical for live use unless you seriously gate your input mics - and I mean seriously gate. Otherwise, there's just too much warbling as the correction algorithm starts trying to correct instruments that are bleeding in to the vocal mics. For studio use, I'm sure it's fine. There are certainly enough control parameters to get as much correction / auto tune as you can handle. But, because of the way correction works, we don't use it live.

    Overall, these are great units for the money. I used the discontinued VoiceDouble in the aux sends in the past. They were great units also - and I may have preferred them for their simplicity - but it's nice to have the aux sends back for other uses like in-ear monitors.

    The doubling effect works quickly and is more than useable for live rock vocals. The modelers are convincing - and can go from subtle to bizarre. The unison voice really fattens things up so that the singer can hear themselves better and thereby sing better. These will inspire a better vocal performance, for sure. The harmony voices are great too but if I use them - usually I'll use a 3rd or octave up voice- and they're usually dialed back to -12db to -18db as they can sound pretty artificial if they're too loud.

    My only complaint with the whole unit- and it's nitpicky - might be the quality of the reverbs and delays. While they're better than what you get on something like the PreSonus Studio Live board, they're not what I would call beautiful reverbs. But, you get what you pay for. If you want pro level 'verb, prepare to fork out $2K starting price. But again, that's nitpicky. The verbs on the VoiceWorks are pro-level and more than useable - but TC has better verbs in their arsenal - just not at this price point. And, no one is making you use the internal reverbs, you can still send your doubled / modeled vocal to a beautiful reverb unit after your processing.

  • Daryl Crowley
    from Ludington, MI July 9, 2010Music Background:
    Retired touring musician, home studio.

    It's NOT complicated

    If you're a guitar player you NEED the harmony controller for guitar, if you're a keyboard player you need the midi controller, that makes getting the right harmony EASY.

    After that it's just learning the controls for the reverb, delay, compressor and other effects, which actually is pretty straight forward and is CLEARLY explained in the manual, but the manual assumes you know what FXs are.

    But the difficult part, getting the right harmony is VERY EASY IF YOU HAVE THE ASSOCIATED(guitar or midi) CONTROLLER so that the unit knows what harmony lines to create. Without the controller, harmony is very difficult, but now you can get the unit and the controller for the price of the LIVE unit, but this rack mount unit is easier to fine tune and fits in the studio much better.

    It's a great product and it is NOT rocket surgery. If you're thinking hard about it, take the plunge but get the controller for your instrument!

    I didn't give it 5 stars only because you have to buy the controller seperate.

  • Codera Antse
    from Abuja, Nigeria September 28, 2008Music Background:
    Broadcast Consultant

    FOUND THE MISSING LINK

    A lot of reviews might make one turn away form this device, I nearly cancelled my order for VW+. To be certain, I went to TC Helicon Site and downloaded manual which didn't make much sense. After downloading and installing the software, I realized the designers wanted the users to use software to control the device. I've not received the device but I believe if you really want to save the headache CONTROL VW+ USING SOFTWARE! The Software interface is beautiful!

  • chuck chambers
    from watkinsville, ga April 8, 2008Music Background:
    local band, hobbyist, professing amateur

    VoiceWorks Plus

    I've had it for a few weeks and I've really been impressed. Seems well built. Manual that came with it provides very little info. But, their website has a great deal more information. Some of the presets will not sound like you want them, however, they do give a good overview of what the unit is capable of and I think that is their intended purpose. The editor that works through MIDI is wonderful because it helps navigate through the zillions of possibilities of tonal change. You can do anything with this piece of equipment and you will have to do some research to learn all of the various changes. I've read reviews on other websites and everyone talks about how hard it is to use. I think you would get the same reponse if you put a crop-dusting pilot in a B-52 bomber. But, once you readthe manual and research the web you will find that it is not that complicated and really does a lot more than you think. I gave a 4.5 because of the amount of research you have to do on your own. I also give Sweetwater a 5.5 out of 5. Hope this helps.

  • Joel
    from Southeast February 20, 2011Music Background:
    Hobbyist/Musician

    OK

    I found it to be pretty easy to use overall and logical. However, to be honest I was underwhelmed at the sound quality of the unit. The processing comes off synthesized in sound texture. I kind of expected it would make a good singer sound very good and a bad singer sound decent, especially using the pitch correction and knowing the key of the music, but could not say with any certainty it was effective at that.

    I only found one preset that was a good general purpose vocal effect and had to tweak it a lot. The harmonies were believable enough (think 7 Bridges Road) although my main purpose was to use for just solid vocal processing for Karaoke shows.

    The secondary input was particularly a disappointment. This was patched to the final effects stage and has no independent gain control so I was unable to use it as a secondary mic input for my gigs since it was impossible to mix it up enough without massive feedback coming from the fully processed mic.

    Also there is a *classic* trade-off on the sample rate. Sample up to 48KHz and you lose capability in certain effects segments. *sigh* I thought we were past that.

    Maybe I didn't get to work with it enough (like using the software interface) to fully exploit it's capabilities since all my gear was stolen right after New Year's day. Whoever stole this stuff I wish nothing but pain and misery on you the rest of your natural life/lives!

  • Jim Mader
    from Ohio December 19, 2014Music Background:
    Live Sound Engineer, Pro Musician

    I've Had Problems

    I'm really puzzled with this thing. I'm using my 3rd one now, and it has problems. First off, I want to state that the quality of the harmony voices and affects are phenomenal. I would rate this 5 stars if I was rating the sound quality only. The programming seems rather complicated, but that is because there are so many things it can do. After awhile, you get the flow.

    I ordered my first one about a year ago, and after about an hour of messing around with it, I noticed that I had a signal level coming in on my mixer channel (Mackie1608), from the VW+. It was definitely a hissing, like white noise. I changed channels, mike cable, mike,output cable, then realized it is there even without a cable attached to the input of the VW+, so it definitely was coming out of the VW+. I also had a problem with the input gain on the VW+. I had to almost max the input sensitivity and output level to get a good input tp the mixer. None of this was evident when I first fired it up. So, I ended up returning that one and ordered a 2nd one.
    The 2nd one strangely did the exact same thing. After using it for a couple of hours, I suddenly noticed the noise and the gain problem. This time I called support at TC Helicon, and explained things to the tech. After going thru the same troubleshooting steps I had already done, he concluded that this VW+ was indeed defective, and had to be an issue with the input module. He recommended returning it. Did that, and got the 3rd one.

    Guess what? Same thing! Now, being a technical geek, I would first conclude that it would be impossible to get three units, all with the exact same problem, and the only possible common link to the issue, would be ME, but with another call to TC Helicon, they also agreed that it had nothing to do with my settings. He even had my take it to another friends house and tried it on another board. The problem stayed with the VW+.

    In the meantime I had discovered that I could kind of work around the issue by, instead of plugging my mike into the VW+ and then running the output into the mixer, I plugged my mike into the mixer, than ran an aux channel back to the line input of the VW+. I had plenty of gain with little noise. I just have to use two channels on the mixer. (No AUX returns on a Mackie1608). All is still not perfect, however. Occasionally, I'll notice some real bad harmony coming out of the PA. Even on patches that aren't supposed to have harmony. A simple power cycle of the VW+ fixes that, and it only happens rarely. It's like it just goes nuts once in awhile. Now, last night, I noticed on a gig, I had lost all midi control into the VW+. We use a common midi controller for the patch settings on our guitar pedals, and this unit. The guitars were working but I saw no signal coming into the VW+. I haven't even unloaded the equipment yet to check this, and it may not even be a problem with the VW+, but now I'm always suspicious of it.

    I am amazed that I've never seen a single review of this thing complaining about reliability. I'll probably end up sending it to repair, if the midi section is fried.

  • Michael Connell
    from EL Paso, TX August 8, 2014Music Background:
    Hobbyist

    Review The TC-Helicon VoiceWorks Plus

    Just was amazed at how basic this unit was and how it sounds.
    I guess for beginners it would be a good processor but it's definantely not worth the price. They don't even have any upgrades. I guess TC-Helicon does not care about their customers. It's the last product I will ever buy from TC-Helicon. I regret this purchase 100%

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