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TC-Helicon VoiceWorks Reviews

4.0 stars based on 18 customer reviews

Sweetwater Advice

  • Forrest Powell

    I have a blast in the studio with the VoiceWorks! You can add such depth to recordings and performances with this piece, and hitting that harmony button twice lets you pick out any key you want each one of the four harmonies to follow. The reverbs are excellent, and the layering and pitch correction performed with the HybridShift technology make it ideal for any genre of music to thicken up the sound.

  • Paul Rowan

    If you're looking seamless, transparent pitch correction along with great sounding harmonies then VoiceWorks is the box for you! It has a built in mic pre and great TC effects too, so the only thing missing is a mic and your vocals!

  • TC
    from NE USA June 2, 2012Music Background:
    Recording Engineer, Pro Musician

    TC-Helicon VoiceWorks

    I've owned mine for about 18 months now. I do a solo act with the VW. I MIDI it to my keyboard. I like how I can either patch it in to respond to live playing or program each harmony part as needed. The voices sound nice and it is very responsive. I have owned a competitor's unit and I must say that the VW is far superior.

    I would recommend checking it out before purchasing one from a different company.

  • David Bunch
    from Baton Rouge, LA September 27, 2011Music Background:
    Worship Leader

    TC-Helicon VoiceWorks

    This is the 3rd TC-Helicon vocal product that I have owned. This one really rocks with the ability to have 4 background vocals instead of 3. It is easy to use, easy to set up. The voices sound real. You have a very wide range of gender settings. You can even do unison to get the early Beatles sound. The only negative I've found is I have to set the global variables each time I power on. They revert back to factory settings when you power off. It's probably something I haven't found in the user manual. I love it and I'm glad I bought it.

  • Adhab Al-Farhan
    from October 30, 2006Music Background:
    Recording engineer, producer, pro musician, hobbyist

    The VoiceWorks truly works!

    When you think of guitars, brands like Fender or Gibson comes to mind. When you're looking for super high quality vocal effects processor, please think of TC-Helicon. There are 2nd and even 3rd rate brands out there that claim to be a quality vocal effects processor yet fail miserably upon trying it out. Do yourself a favor and stick with the best. The VoiceWorks truly works!

  • Dan Barnum
    from Clifton Park, NY October 19, 2012Music Background:
    Hobbyist

    Nice Product

    This is my first Harmonizer, and I'm blown away!

  • Omar
    from san leandro,ca September 25, 2008Music Background:
    Future Recording Engineer

    TC Helicon Voiceworks Review

    Overall the product is outstanding, it has very accurate pitch control and harmony. the effects are also good except you really need to be patient and learn how to use them to their full potential for them to sound the way you want. The only reason i didnt give it a 5 is because i bought one that had defected indicator lights so it gets complicated to know what harmony is off or on unless you really pay attention while you're changing the settings. On top of that, guitar center charges 15% stocking fee even if you just bought that same day, so i was not going to return it ,because as i said before the product itself was very well done.

  • Glenn
    from Holland August 9, 2006Music Background:
    Singer in a band and music mixer.

    All in one onstage/live voice works

    What can I say, its just perfect for me. Im a singer and on my first official CD I only used vst plugings in cubase SX to give the voice a more 2006 sound. Today the Voice works is a must have for me for not only does it sound beter than most of my VSTs it does this in real time, with no latency what so ever. Furthermore all effects work perfectly with eachother and never crash! OK 24Bit 48Khz isn't the same as 24 96 or 192 Khz but the total end sound doesn't difer that much from the higher sample rates. As a total I can only say that it blows my 24/96 vst away. (I use WaveArts and Timeworks plugins for reverb/dynamics and compressing). If you like most voices on popular radio stations and you want you're voice to sound like this as well, this product will get you there (that is if you have a nice voice and you can sing!).

  • Al Cattoir
    from Midwest, IA, Ill. December 2, 2011Music Background:
    Hobbyist musician, recording engineer with an ear

    It's its own thing

    Ah, I have not had the chance to change everything around that is allowed, and all of it is not seemingly allowed, but what can be changed is what the unit is about as well as the input volume for the mics. Right now, a MK4 Sennheiser mic was bought (unfortunately from GC to try the mic) and works well with it, as well as an old you probably never heard of it before hi-impedence Altec Lansing mic on the line input. It has left and right out, and it still is a little bit to read the manual but the presets are pretty much preset for the most part with the reverb. What can be changed can be stored in the original preset even with a new song title to boot by hitting the store button twice to store the changed settings of the unit for that preset.
    I give it four stars only because I was expecting I guess to get to change everything, not that 100 presets are not enough, those probably are, but I like to tinker around with everything that can be set but the unit is what it is and works well enough. The rest can be read about. It includes a manual.

  • Matthew DeSantis
    from Pittsburgh, PA USA May 10, 2011Music Background:
    Piano, Bass, sound engineer

    Vocal Harmony/Correction and a decent pre all in one

    The workflow on this unit is near flawless and some of the presets literally blew me away. If you are a decent singer and want to thicken or harmonize, this is a very cost-effective way to do it. Yes It can manage that hard correction sound, but I think that's been played out.

    We do use it live, but when in the studio I usually fly short phrases into it, have it generate the harmonies I want via MIDI and fly that into a sampler, ultimately back into the DAW. Sits very well in a mix.

    Some of the presets (subtle vocal I think) demonstrate just how effective the collection of effects are in this unit. (Gate / Compression / Reverb, etc.) When used in conjunction with another mic pre upstream, this unit really shines.

  • David Straley
    from Austin, TX May 25, 2007Music Background:
    Live Praise & Worship

    Worth it

    I use this live every week. Back in 2000 I bought the Digitech Vocalist, but after a year of trying everything possible to make it "good", I gave up, and 5 years later bought Voice Works.

    Voice Works' harmonies are impressive at first, but I found that the more I looked at them with a critical eye, the more I realized that these harmonies could only be used sparingly.

    I have spent many hours tweaking each parameter in Voice Works, and there are a lot of them. I've meticulously "A-B'd" different settings, and recorded everything, and listened back many times so as to really be able to hear what happens when different parameters are changed. After all that work (months of it) I came to conclusions as to which parameter settings sound best for me ... but still, it's not really a "panacea" for not having other live vocalists.

    Nevertheless, I do use the harmonies on occasion every week, because it's a fun effect. But "effect" it is; it's still not good enough for me to really boast about (and I really wish I could boast about them!)

    I'll mention that since I'm doing live work, I considered the footpedal version "Voice Live" or whatever -- my advice is to go with this one instead. For me, playing keys, I already don't have enough room for a big foot pedal box. My keyboard stand needs some room, too, as does my sustain pedal. Furthermore, with some reading and experimenting, I was able to configure 4 of my keyboard's faders to send out MIDI-cc messages to Voice Works, so I can control the MIDI volume of the 4 Voice Works voices -- live, dynamically, in real time. That's very nice!

    Also, I configured a separate 3-switch foot switch to enable me to turn the harmonies on/off and to increment or decrement the Vocal Works patch number, so that I can program different patches with different harmony voices and switch them in real time. With this switching capability, it pretty-much makes "Voice Live" unnecessary, I feel.

    Now, I will say that in spite of my being only partially thrilled with the harmonies, I still think that Voice Works is worth the money! I could have returned mine, but no way. Why? Because of 3 things:

    1.) the preamp. What's the big deal about that? All I can say is that when I sing through Voice Works, even with no harmonies or doubling or special effects, the sound is significantly "warmer" than without it. In fact, it's beautiful.

    2.) the voice-correction. My friends and wife are happy to remind me that my voice needs some tweaking (and some think seriously-so). Although I think their judgment is off-base, I'll say this: when I put on voice-correction (which itself has several tuneable parameters which I tweaked for weeks) it adds a "detuning" effect to my own voice which fattens it. Presumably, the Voice Works version of my voice is the accurate one and my real voice is the "detuned" version, I suppose. It's not quite like a guitar phaser, but has just a tinge of that quality -- but it is not "weird". I have sung through digital phasers and chorus units, and I know what they sound like. This is much more natural than that, and is not distracting. In fact, it gives my voice a more "studio" sound quality. It's great.

    3.) the voice doubler -- I only use this on occassion, just like the harmony voices. I use it because I want to really kick through the clutter around me. And it does it. It's like having a superhuman voice that can mow down the "forest" of noise and audio competition around you. I wouldn't advise using it constantly, like any effect, but judiciously. It's another excellent weapon in the arsenal.

    Also, by the way, I've experimented with using Voice Works as an effects-loop processor as well. It works OK, but to do this means you lose out on its preamp capability, which is only available if you plug the mic directly into it. Hey, buy this for yourself -- not for your band. Treat yourself good for once and plug your mic directly into it, which means you won't be sharing it with anyone else, and take some time to really experiment with it.

    By the way... for keyboard players ... it's important to realize that you'll probably need to adjust your keyboard playing so as to make Voice Works sound right. Specifically, most keyboardists seem to practically STAND ON their sustain pedal. If you do this, you're gonna be sorry with Voice Works. You'll need to learn to release the sustain pedal each time you change chords -- because Voice Works bases its harmonies on the chords you are playing ... and if you have the sustain pedal down, even though the previous chord may have faded out from your hearing, it's still playing at an electronic (MIDI) level, and so that previous chord + the new chord will both be playing simultaneously as far as Voice Works' circuitry is concerned, so you'll get harmonies which are messed up -- they're based on both chords, and not on the chord that you "think" you are playing. Like I say, there's some work to do to make this thing sound best ... but it's worth it. If you only play "presets" on your keyboard (like as if it were a Casio), then this Voice Works' sound may suffer because you may be too lazy to dig into it to make it sound best! Having good vocals, however, is an investment which has potentially huge paybacks, so in my books, it's worth taking the time to really work on. Don't expect this thing to just be plug-and-play. You didn't learn to play your instrument by taking it out of the box and plugging it in, so don't be unrealistic in assessing the investment to make your vocals the best they can be.

  • Rodney O Booth
    from Dunnellon, Florida October 9, 2013Music Background:
    Engineer, singer, songwriter.

    TC Helicon Voice Works

    I purchased the TC Helicon Voice Works after owning a Vocalist Live Pro. I found the midi configuration on the Helicon unit to be slightly more difficult to set up as my unit did not automatically locate a midi signal when my keyboard was connected. I also found that harmonies will not follow chord progressions if the common notes between two chords are not depressed again when the chord is changed. Other than that, I consider the harmony quality very good with little if any noticeable distortion. The harmony voice ranges are exceptional and voice adjustments simple to accomplish. The unit will work fine with standard foot switches for most any harmonizer.
    I do notice a slight delay when pitch correction is used, however, I seldom use that function. The preamp produces minimal noise, much better than stomp box type harmonizers, and is equipped with a very good quality reverb unit. The harmony hold function is quite useful for back up vocals where one would need to be well trained in breath control and actually expands one's ability as a singer. I find that the preamp produces a very realistic lead voice reproduction will very limited amounts of EQ when used with an AKG C 414 microphone.
    I would prefer that all inputs and outputs were XLR, but the TRS connections present no problems. One issue that is a bit troubling is that all connection are on the back of the unit. I prefer the microphone input to be on the front. However, the power switch in front mounted which is a big plus for a rack mounted unit.
    Overall, I find the Voice Works well worth the purchase price and consider it an excellent addition for any studio or musician that does not have ready access to professional backup singers.

  • Yours Truly
    from Okahoma August 3, 2006Music Background:
    Engineer

    Voiceworks will do....I guess

    Let's be real about this. The voiceworks is cheaply made, like some cheap effects unit from the far east. But, it gives you a decent sound, it is quiet and will take a dry vocal and get it started on the path to OK-ness. But, the main benefit to this unit is, because it is outboard, it does not strain your cpu. If you are not concerned about the reverb hit on your cpu, look close at software-based effects first.

  • Paul
    from Santa Cruz, California June 20, 2013Music Background:
    Composer, Musician, Producer.

    Good bang for the buck but needs more docmentation

    First of all I want to say the customer service experience at Sweetwater was one of the nicest customer service experiences that I have ever had. Sweetwater has what it takes and demonstrates it well. I am an old musicians friend guy but most likely will buy through Sweetwater going forward.
    The TC Helicon VoiceWorks is really a wonderful addition to my studio and connecting it was a breeze. The cost is justified and it is very well constructed. The downside of the TCH V is the lack of a good operating manual. The book shows very little and TC Helicon really missed the boat on this hardware for a manual. That is the only down side of the hardware but the rest is absolutely great,

  • Lee Rothman
    from Salt Lake City, Utah January 26, 2006

    One Amazing Box

    I am using this basically as a channel strip for a Korg D3200 DAW. the first thing that blew me away was when I just tried it out to see how it worked, using a Sennheiser e845 dynamic mic in the mic input. I was dumbfounded by the utter silence the built in preamp provided at full input levels. I thought the stock pre's in the Korg were pretty fine, but clearly this preamp is "top of the line" quality all the way. Sonically it provides a clear, clean and robust audio quality all around. The harmonizing will truly blow you away with their realism and lack of mechanical quality. The user interface is easily understood and overall construction is like the best of the best. Hard to imagine NOT having one in the collection. If you don't have one already you NEED one that's for sure.

  • Jimmy Philips
    from Manchester England September 1, 2005

    TC Helicon Voiceworks

    I saw Eurodiva recently at the Southern Hotel in Manchester, England. I was very impressed by their vocal harmonies, although slightly perplexed at how two people could make so many voices. Does it matter that they used a voice processor ? I think not - Ace vocalist Annie Miller's encore version of "Walk Away Renee" would send chills down anyone's spine - five Annie Millers multpipled this effect by five !

    Jimmy Philips - fan of TC Helicon Voiceworks and Eurodiva

    Manchester, England

  • Customer
    September 1, 2004

    TC Helicon Voiceworks

    Recently bought this amazing machine ! It does exactly what the advertising and promotional materials says it does. In use, the device adds up to four vocalists to a lead vocal. Even without the additional vocalists, the device is highly flexible with on board compressor/limiter, gate and digital effects, plus phantom 48v supply for condensor mikes, and so on, so you can get a pretty much perfect digital signal for live or studio use and adjust it if you change you mike, your singer, or both ! Having got the optimum lead vocal, there is the option of adding, in any combination, 1 - 4 harmony vocals, pitch correction, and voice thickening, which is a form of digital double tracking and is good for punchy rock singing. The overall effect when using the device is really stunning - imagine the lush vocal harmonies associated with artists like Queen, the Eagles, The Beach Boys, Manhattan Transfer and so on, and you get an idea of what you could do. The manual is very easy to follow and you can have the device producing whatever you want it to within minutes of getting it out of the box and plugging it in.

    The presets are useful (e.g choirs, barbershop quartets, mixed male and female backing vocals and so on) give a really good idea of the options available, and the user can select the gender of the backing singer, the pitch of their voice (over and above the sung pitch) whether to add vibrato and so on. The transparency of the pitch correction can be adjusted so that it will not be evident when used with good but not quite perfect singers. There are a number of ways of controlling the harmonies that emerge from the device. Some can be used by persons of limited musical ability, but in my opinion the most satisfying way of using the device is either in "CHORDS" or "NOTES" mode. Both of these modes take midi data and use them in sightly different ways to generate what the manual calls "musically pleasing harmonies" - which is quite true. If your music has key changes, uses jazz chords, or unusual composition techniques, you will alomost certainly have to use Midi if the device is to generate harmonies which make musical sense. In a live situation, you might send data from part of your keyboard to the device and this works well - it doesn't then act like a vocoder - it just identifies the chord being played and creates harmonies based on it, following what the singer is doing, not the keyboard, which is exactly what you need. If you use midi live, you could have an extra midi track to drive the harmonies, or just direct something like a string pad into the device. Contrary to other reviews I have read, this can be done with ease following very little practice and does not sound artificial. In fact, competent musicians will certainly find this the only way to exploit the device in full. I would recommend this device, especially for small acts like my keyboard and vocal duo Eurodiva


    Best wishes


    Eurodiva

    MANCHESTER

    ENGLAND

  • Dwight Rigel
    from St Louis July 1, 2004

    Voiceworks

    Great sounds. It is truly lifelike vocals. Bad reliability. 4 months and it's going back to the shop and I am without for 2-4 weeks as well as having to re-program everything as I am not lucky enough to have a dump capability. $700 bones should be reliable. That's hours of work and an effect on my performance- not good.

  • Sammy James
    from Boston, MA May 1, 2004

    This thing rocks.

    Hey guys. The VoiceWorks helped me to put together an entire project, without ever having to recut a vocal! I'm serious -- I actually got 13 of my friends to come into my studio to record one song each. It required us to finish every lead vocal in about 45 minutes each, because we needed to get the project done quickly.



    The VoiceWorks let me do a lot of after-the-fact processing. They aren't kidding when you say that you really CAN "fix it in the mix" -- that isn't just posturing! Thanks to Sweetwater and to TC for helping us out on this one.



    Sammy



    www.sammyjames.com

  • Darrell Smith
    from JAPAN April 1, 2004

    My backup singers are here at last!

    For so many years, I've wanted to have LIVE backup singers working with me for every gig. I hate prerecorded backing tracks. I don't use midi and I don't use any instruments except my voice and a good old acoustic piano. The TC Helicon Voiceworks is simply the answer to my prayers. I just program the key, the harmony voices I want, and I jump into the song! By using the footswitch, I can turn my backup singers on/off. They sound natural (even up/down an octave!) and they are always ON TIME, ON PITCH and I already PAID THEM when I bought the Voiceworks!

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