Vocal effects pedals are designed to modify or enhance the sound of a singer’s voice during live performances or studio recordings. They can add a variety of effects such as reverb, delay, pitch correction (auto-tune), harmonization, and distortion, among others. Using a vocal effects pedal can greatly enhance a performance, adding depth and variety to the vocals.
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Understanding Vocal Effects Pedals
A vocal effects pedal is a device that alters the sound of your voice by applying one or more effects. These effects can range from subtle enhancements to dramatic transformations of your vocal sound. Understanding the different types of effects and how they change your voice can help you choose the right pedal for your needs. Here are some of the most common effects found on vocal pedals:
Reverb simulates the natural echo that occurs in a physical space. By adjusting the reverb settings, you can make it sound as if you’re singing in a small room, a large hall, a cathedral, or anything in between. Reverb can add depth and richness to your vocals, making them sound more polished and professional.
Delay, also known as echo, repeats your voice at set time intervals. This can create an echo effect as if you’re singing in a canyon, or it can add a rhythmic element to your vocals. Some delay effects allow you to tap in the delay time to match the tempo of your music.
Pitch correction, often known as auto-tune, adjusts the pitch of your vocals in real-time to help keep you in tune. Some pitch correction effects are subtle and only correct your pitch when you’re slightly off, while others can create a noticeable and stylized effect.
A harmonizer effect adds extra voices that harmonize with your main vocal line. You can usually set the key and scale, and the harmonizer will automatically generate the harmonies. This can make it sound like there are backup singers performing with you.
A looper allows you to record a segment of your vocals and then play it back in a repeating loop. You can then sing or overdub additional parts on top of the loop. This can be a very creative tool, allowing you to build up complex vocal arrangements on your own.
Distortion and overdrive add grit and saturation to your vocals, similar to the sound of an overdriven guitar amplifier. They’re often used in rock and metal music, but can be used creatively in any genre.
Modulation effects, like chorus, flanger, and phaser, add motion and texture to your vocals. They work by duplicating your vocal signal, altering it slightly, and then mixing it back with the original. This can create a wide range of effects, from subtle thickening to dramatic, swirling sounds.
BOSS Vocal Performer Effects Processor Guitar Pedal (VE-500)
- Vocal Harmonizer Pedal with 99 User Presets
- 1/4" Instrument In/Through
- Stereo XLR Outputs
This vocal effects unit from Boss’ 500 series is the appropriate pedal for you if you’re looking for the best vocal processor money can buy. Do you know how to play the guitar? With guitar effects, this pedal has you covered.
This vocal performer multi effects is designed like a tank and is capable of withstanding extended road trips. Stereo In/Out, MIDI functionality for use with guitars or keyboards, and compatibility with both condenser and dynamic mics are just a few of the features. Enhance, which aids in EQ, Presence, Sparkle, and Compression, are among the VE-500’s vital effects that any vocalist can bhenefit from. A De-Esser is also included to help round out hard S’s, P’s, and F’s that would otherwise be rounded off with a pop filter.
Pitch correction can range from modest to stylistic, and great vocal processors is a terrific way to boost your stage presence. If you ever need to cover “Jambi” or “Rocky Mountain Way,” the VE-500 is specifically built to work with guitars and hence provides an outstanding sounding Vocoder effect. In every manner, the reverbs and delays live up to the Boss standard, making this a terrific sounding performer multi effects pedal.
The vocal effect pedal has default controls are focused on navigating presets. The first two footswitches let you to go up and down between patches, while the third footswitch toggles the harmonies on and off. The LED screen allows for complete customization of these parameters. In the default arrangement, the knobs control Patches, Harmony Level, and Reverb, but they may be tuned up to control any parameter with any effect you choose. This is done by using the buttons below to navigate through the options.
There’s no disputing that the VE-500 is expensive, but it comes with every imaginable vocal effect with fully configurable parameters. This is a pedal that does exactly what you desire. This will easily fit into your pedalboard rig if you’re a lead singer who also plays guitar. This is the best vocal effects pedal in 2023.
TC Helicon VoiceTone Harmony-G XT Vocal Effects Processor
- Harmony Effects for Guitarists with Auto Chromatic Pitch Correction
This is a vocal effects pedal that you control with your feet from TC Electronics, one of the most well-known names in the vocal effects processor industry. This TC Helicon VoiceTone Harmony-G XT effects processor is a smart and very versatile effects processor that can give your performance the sound of a whole band of guitarists.
It allows you to connect your guitar and vocal microphone, giving it one of its most useful features: automatic harmony production. The processor recognizes guitar chords and produces and plays realistic-sounding harmonies in response to what you play on your guitar pedals.
If you don’t play guitar, you can manually record and program your harmonies. Your guitar chords, on the other hand, must be extremely pure; otherwise, you risk creating unintentional harmonics that can detract from your performance. Pitch correction, voice doubling, compression, EQ, and de-essing are just a few of the many capabilities on this TC Helicon Harmony-G XT. TC Helicon VoiceTone Harmony-G XT Vocal Effects Processor is one of the Best Vocal Effects Pedal.
Boss VE-5 Vocal Performer Effect Processor
- Tabletop/Stand-mountable Vocal Effects Processor with 6 x Effects Types
- Auxiliary Input for Backing Tracks
- Footswitchable Controls - Red
With pitch correction, smart harmony, distortion, radio, strobe, and other vocal effects, the Boss VE-5 is Best Vocal Effects Pedals. This tiny yet feature-rich voice processor for a variety of applications. It comes in a hands-on, portable desktop / mic-stand-mountable profile with phantom power support for condenser mics and a built-in microphone for simple rehearsal or recording without the need for a mic.
The sound quality provided by this best vocal processors has been praised by users. Another important reason for the VE-5’s continued popularity is its portability. While many of the positive reviews come from vocalists who use the VE-5s to color, if not completely modify, their sound, others are pleased with how it performs when applying minor effects.
You may add reverb, delay, harmony, dynamics, pitch correction, and a loop station to this vocal processor, which gives you a lot of options for changing your tone. It’s absolutely feasible to have a radio voice, a robot voice, or a scary, distorted hard rock voice, and if you appreciate interesting effects, you’ll adore it! It does, however, make your voice seem artificial, therefore it’s probably better for genres like pop, rock, disco, and other similar forms, rather than jazz and musicals. Finally, this voice processor can operate for up to 9 hours on 4 AA batteries, making it a really portable piece of equipment for vocalists.
It offers a compact, easy-to-use tabletop design that’s excellent for on-the-go performers. You may also use it as a Boss audio electronic speech processor by attaching it to various microphone stand kinds. This tool can be used by singers, beatboxers, webcasters, and anyone else who wants better sound or sound effects. This is one of the best vocal processors for live performance.
TC Helicon VoiceLive Play
- 200+ song & artist inspired presets
- Plug in your MP3 player to the AUX input and sing along using Vocal Cancel feature
- Room Sense - embedded mics set auto key for harmonies
Why shouldn’t vocalists be able to improve their tone and sound with effects pedals? With the TC-Helicon VoiceLive Play voice processor, you can now have studio-grade EQ and effects in a floor pedal. Start singing after quickly selecting settings by genre or effect kind. TC Helicon’s bestselling VoiceLive vocal processors provide the great-sounding effects in the VoiceLive Play. Smart pitch correction and harmonizing effects detect the key of your song and automatically modify everything. Your live performances will sound better than ever thanks to a built-in looper and new Hit function. With the TC-Helicon VoiceLive Play, you can take studio-quality vocals with you everywhere you go!
The TC-Helicon VoiceLive Play not only makes you sound wonderful, but it may also help you improve as a vocalist. Use the VoiceLive Play’s built-in practice function to check your pitch accuracy with the intelligent pitch display. As your singing improves, you’ll see that your accuracy score rises.
This unit includes a range of effects, such as several types of modulation, pitch correction, and smart harmony, which can detect chords via the Aux input or by listening to other instruments via the mic you’ve connected in. You can also use it to load or save your own settings as presets. Because of its floor pedal form factor, TC Helicon included a looper that may be used live.
Finally, with its intelligent pitch display, VoiceLive Play has a practice mode that rates your singing based on pitch accuracy, which is particularly useful for training and maintaining your vocal chords in good health. This is the best vocal harmony pedal.
BOSS VE-20 Vocal Performer Effects Processor
- Vocal Processor Effects Pedal with 3-part Harmony
- 38-second Phrase Looper with Phantom Power
For every vocalist, the BOSS VE-20 is a must-have stompbox. You may now incorporate interesting vocal effects into your live performances at any time. The VE-20 can produce beautiful vocal tones with reverb, delay, and 3-part harmonies with just one stop. Alternatively, you can go all out with special effects like distortion, radio, and strobe. Want to make fantastic sound-on-sound harmonies by looping your voice? It’s not a problem at all. The BOSS VE-20 Vocal Performer even has a 38-second phrase looper.
The VE-20 exemplifies what Boss is all about, cramming as much sound quality and functionality as possible into a small, sturdy metal shell. This device uses Boss’ dual-pedal multi-effect profile, which they use on many of their guitar effects, but it’s designed specifically for vocalists.
Take control of your vocal sound onstage! The BOSS VE-20 comes with a slew of unique vocal effects. They also sound fantastic. You may add luscious voice layers and harmonies to your singing with the touch of a footswitch, add real-time pitch correction, and show off your creative side with special effects like Distortion, Radio, and Strobe. The VE-20 has a built-in phrase looper in addition to amazing vocal effects. Loop up to 38 seconds of a vocal performance and layer a harmony over the top for a truly unforgettable live sound. There’s no need for a backup singer! This is the best vocal reverb pedal.
Roland VT-3 Voice Transformer with Lo-Fi Effects
- Product Type: Sound And Recording Equipment
- Package Quantity: 1
- Package Dimensions: 37.2 cms (L) x 24.4 cms (W) x 10.2 cms (H)
For the money, the Roland Aria VT-3 is a fantastic vocal effects processor. Because it’s a Roland, the device delivers on its promises, and the build quality is usually excellent.
As the name implies, the VT-3 converts your voice into a variety of interesting and amusing noises. There are auto pitch choices as well as effects like dispersion, reverb, robot, and megaphone. It can also be used to change the tone of masculine voices to feminine ones and vice versa. In actuality, the VT-3 is a multi-purpose device that may be used as a voice effects processor, vocoder, and synthesizer. This is the best vocal effects processor.
BOSS Acoustic Singer Effects Processor Pedal (VE-8)
- Compact, all-in-one preamp and effects solution for singers who play acoustic guitarDial in rich, sophisticated BOSS sound processing with simple,...
- The Package Height of the Product is 5 inches
- The Package Length of the Product is 13.25 inches
At first glance, the VE-8 Acoustic Singer appears plain and, to be honest, a little old, but don’t be put off by its uninspiring appearance. This pedal features all of the essential effects for both guitar and vocals, as well as all of the signal routing possibilities that a dedicated singer/songwriter on an acoustic guitar will require for a show.
The 80-second looper, which can manage guitar and vocal recording/playback levels individually, is one of the most helpful features of this pedal. The pedal is divided into three sections: guitar, vocals, and output (looper), each with its own set of controls for each effect. The Output section has level controls for your guitar and vocal, which you may use to control the master volume while performing and looping. Memory preset controls are also available, allowing you to personalize the pedal for a setlist.
Reverb, Notch, Chorus, and Resonance are effects found on many of the top acoustic preamps and amplifiers in the guitar area. Pitch correction, different reverbs, and Harmony levels are all included in the Vocal settings, as well as an Enhance tool (a mild EQ and compression combo). The Harmony Type knob allows you to select up to two voices (resulting in three-part harmonies) as well as additional effects such as Radio and Distortion.
This pedal’s preamp/effects are gig-worthy and will undoubtedly boost your sound in areas where other pedals may be hindering. This pedal’s harmonizer effect tracks your guitar playing and automatically adjusts to the correct key, so you’ll never have to manually set the key – though you may if you want to. This is the best vocal loop stations.
TC-Helicon VoiceLive 3 Extreme Guitar and Vocal Effects Processor Pedal
- New Harmony Voicing and more effects including Vocoder/Synth.
- Complete guitar multi effects with TC Electronic Tone Print styles and Amp Tones.
- Multi-Looper for verse/chorus song creation with onboard storage.
The VoiceLive 3 Extreme brings TC-adaptable Helicon’s all-in-one performance tool to a whole new level with four times the memory of its predecessor. This exceptional effects processor delivers when you want to shape and enhance your vocals with great-sounding onboard effects, produce natural-sounding vocal harmonies, and process your guitar with effects and amp models based on TC Electronic’s acclaimed TonePrint family. Aside from that, the VL3X has a ton of capabilities, like backing track storage, guitar input, breakthrough effects automation, and usb connectivity loop import and export.
Previous versions of the VoiceLive series gave singers a way to improve their live performance by giving auto-tracking harmonies and effects based on the chords they were playing. The VoiceLive, whether solo or with a band, expanded the creative possibilities of live performance. TC-Helicon is lifting the ante yet again with the VoiceLive 3 Extreme, adding plenty of additional features to an already excellent system, making this edition the ultimate performance tool.
Instead of having to tap dance all over your effects processor on stage performance, the TC-Helicon VoiceLive 3 Extreme’s groundbreaking automation features allow you to focus on your performance rather than your effects. The VL3X remembers all of your effects adjustments, synchronizing them with your track, whether you’re programming simple drum/bass arrangements or building a full band mix. You can construct harmonies, delays, guitar effects, and just about anything else you can think of, then play them back with a single button press during your performance. And don’t worry about running out of space: the VoiceLive 3 Extreme has enough memory to save more than 100 songs!
The TC-Helicon VoiceLive 3 Extreme makes recording your shows in 24-bit quality a breeze. The VL3X can record your vocal/guitar performance, complete with effects modifications, and transfer it directly to a usb port flash drive in addition to your backing tracks. Imagine having your own “board mix” delivered to you at the end of each event, ready to share on social media or upload to SoundCloud. This is the best vocal effects processors in 2023.
Digitech VLFX Live Performance Vocal Effect Processor
- Studio Quality Vocal Effects
- Harmony, Pitch/FX,Distortion/Filter, Modulation, Delay, and Reverb
- dbx Compression, dbx Automatic Feedback Suppression
The Digitech Live Harmony may initially make you believe that it belongs in a vintage car playing 1950s music when you first see it. The technology that this effects unit is founded on, though, is only the beginning of what it can do. You have excellent gain and compression control with the Live Harmony’s DBX preamp and compressor.
Additionally, it has a built-in Lexacon Reverb that was previously only accessible in the studio. Although it is a very large pedal, it has enough power to serve as your sole voice effects pedal.
The Live Harmony relies on what you feed it, like many other voice effects pedals. It won’t make lousy singing any better, but it will improve good singing. The settings are quite well designed and only need minor human adjustment. Not every pedal allows you to modify the levels for each of the harmonies, but the harmonizer’s tracking is excellent. You can also connect a piano or guitar to improve the harmonies’ precision.
The best pedal for live performances is the Digitech Live Harmony since it offers vocalists all the presets and effects they could possibly need, as well as functions like Anti-Feedback and the Live-Adapt function that are sure to be useful on stage. While accommodating guitars and keys within its capability, it is made for vocalists. With this one, Digitech truly outdid themselves.
Boss VE-8 Vocal Processor
- Compact, all-in-one preamp and effects solution for singers who play acoustic guitarDial in rich, sophisticated BOSS sound processing with simple,...
- The Package Height of the Product is 5 inches
- The Package Length of the Product is 13.25 inches
For singers who also play guitar, the Boss VE-8 Vocal Processor is great. This vocal effects processor gives you a leg up on the competition by making every performance sound like a professional studio recording.
Its easy-to-use interface and large selection of effects provide powerful creative tools that you may use to create spectacular real-time harmonies and a professional sound every time you perform. If you travel frequently, you’ll like the VE-8’s compact and lightweight design, which makes transporting it a snap.
Its chromatic pitch correction for live vocal tuning, which produces the highest quality sound in real-time, is another remarkable feature. To take your one-man show to the next level, use the vocal effects pedal to access a vocal doubling effect, looping effect, and hard tune computerized sounds.
While this effects processor can do a lot, learning how to execute most of them correctly will take a lot of practice and a lot of referring to the instructions. The VE-8 will be a terrific partner for your future performances if you don’t mind the learning curve. This is the best vocal processor pedal. This is among the best vocal effects for live performance.
TC Helicon Mic Mechanic 2
- Ultra-simple vocal effects stomp box with reverb, echo and pitch correction
- Vocally tuned reverb places your voice in the perfect musical space
- Timed repeats of your vocal add interest at just the right moment
When it comes to best vocal effects processor, the TC Helicon Mic Mechanic 2 is an excellent place to start because it is one of the most accessible in terms of price and capabilities. TC Helicon is a vocal effects pedal manufacturer that is a sister company to TC Electronics. The Mic Mechanic 2 is the product of a massive pool of consumer feedback that allowed TC to create a vocal effects pedal the size of a conventional guitar pedal.
Delay, reverb, pitch correction, and EQ are among the effects voiced expressly for vocals. While the original Mic Mechanic required 12V of power, this upgraded version, like other guitar effects, can be powered by a conventional 9V power supply, and the signal is transmitted through XLR. While most voice effects pedals use an LED screen to browse through menus, the Mic Mechanic 2 uses old-school knobs, much like a standard guitar effects pedal. Echo (Delay), Reverb, and Correction knobs, as well as a Tone button, are all present. Mic (Input) and Out XLR jacks are located on the top of the pedal. A USB connector is included for connecting to TC’s editing software. The bypass switch, as well as the switch on the top of the pedal, can be used to turn the pedal on or off.
The VoiceTone Mic Mechanic 2 from TC-Helicon is a tiny, easy-to-use vocal toolbox with 9-volt battery operation that works with standard pedalboard power supply. The TC-Helicon VoiceTone Mic Mechanic 2 provides that additional touch of magic to every vocal performance, whether you have a fantastic voice or are struggling to get through a song. Mic Mechanic 2 eliminates the unnecessary frills, leaving you with studio-quality reverb, delay, natural-sounding pitch correction, and adaptive tone, which dynamically adjusts EQ, compression, de-essing, and gating to make your voice sound its best. With TC-VoiceTone Helicon’s Mic Mechanic 2, you can sing awesomely. This is among the best vocal harmonizer pedal.
Zoom V3 Vocal Processor, Vocal Effects Pedal
- 16 Built-In Effects Pads + Delay, Reverb and Compression
- Harmony Function for adding 2-back-up harmonies
- Key and Chromatic Pitch Correct
The Zoom V3 is a vocal processor with capabilities that podcasters and streamers appreciate, in addition to addressing the needs of vocalists. It has a desktop-friendly design that fits easily into most home recording and streaming setups, as well as the flexibility to be mounted on a mic stand for stage use. Compressor, delay, and reverb effects are included, which can be used in conjunction with the “Enhancer” tool to improve vocals.
This unit includes pitch correction and a large range of Vocoder effects, including talkbox, telephone, robot, and many others, for individuals who want to completely transform their voice. It also has built-in harmonics and Formant Character Shift settings.
TASCAM TA-1VP Antares Auto-Tune Evo Real-Time Pitch Correction
- Co-developed with Antares Audio Technologies to bring together everything you need for a polished, modern vocal sound, in the studio or live
- The rackmount processor includes a mic preamp, compression, de-essing, mic & tube modeling and Antares’ famous Auto-Tune pitch correction
- Perfect for live performance, house of worship or studio use, the TA-1VP brings your vocal sound into the 21st century
If you came across this post while looking for a gadget that may supply you with excellent autotune, you’ve found it! The Tascam TA1VP Vocal Producer is the vocal processor you’ve been looking for your voice signal! This is the vocal processor that feels the most sumptuous of all the ones on this list, and we’re confident that there’s nothing wrong with the harmony options.
This speech processor is a one-trick pony at best. It’s wonderful for autotune, and you can choose whether to autotune all of the notes or just one, like that high note you’ve been struggling with. You may also select the scale in which you’re singing, making it easier for it to figure out which note you’re going for. This is the best autotune pedal.
TC-Helicon VoiceSolo FX150
- 6 5" 2-way coaxial Tannoy speaker and 150W of premium musical clarity and power
- Instant Mic-stand mounting with our unique one-click Easy Grip system.
- 3-Channel Digital Mixer with TC-Helicon Vocal Processing, including Reverb, intelligent EQ and Compression.
If you don’t understand why anyone would want their voice to sound like a robot, or why you’d want automatic harmonies added to your singing when you can just have a friend sing them, this could be the vocal processor for you.
The sound quality appears to be adequate in the sense that it does not appear to break down easily, but one thing we’ve observed in multiple reviews is that the volume is particularly low, which can be disastrous if you’re in a band trying to be heard over electric guitars and drums. However, if you’re singing with acoustic guitars that aren’t too loud, or if you’re two backing singers singing acapella, it should work. It has the advantage of being able to be attached to your mic stand, which is quite useful with harmony presets.
Buying Guide: Selecting the Perfect Vocal Effects Pedal
Choosing the right vocal effects pedal involves considering various factors to ensure you achieve the sound, compatibility, and performance you desire. Let’s extend the buying guide to help you make the best choice:
Different pedals offer different effects, so it’s essential to consider what effects you wish to use in your performances. Common effects include reverb, delay, chorus, pitch correction (auto-tune), and harmonization. Some performers prefer a simple setup with only a few effects, while others may prefer a more complex array of options. Select a pedal that offers the effects you desire.
Sound quality is crucial. Professional-grade pedals will usually offer superior sound quality compared to budget options. Look for a pedal with high-quality digital-to-analog converters and low noise levels.
Some pedals are more user-friendly than others. If you’re new to using effects, you might prefer a pedal with a simple interface. If you’re a more experienced user, you might prefer a pedal with more parameters to tweak. Also, consider the size of the pedal and how easy it will be to control during a performance.
Your pedal needs to withstand the rigors of live performances. Look for a pedal with a robust, road-worthy construction. Metal chassis are typically more durable than plastic ones.
Check the pedal’s connectivity options. Most will include an XLR input for your microphone and an XLR output to connect to a PA system or mixer. Some may also include a USB port for direct recording to a computer, a headphone output for practice, or an auxiliary input to connect an MP3 player or other audio source.
Most pedals will require a power supply, usually in the form of a 9V adapter. Some pedals can also run on batteries, which can be a useful backup for live performances.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Are the Best Vocal Effects Pedals?
The “best” vocal effects pedal will depend on your specific needs and preferences. However, some highly-rated options include the Boss VE-20, TC-Helicon VoiceLive Play, and DigiTech VLHM Vocal Effects Processor.
Can I Use a Guitar Effects Pedal for Vocals?
While it’s technically possible to use a guitar effects pedal for vocals, it’s generally not recommended. Guitar effects pedals are designed for the frequency range and characteristics of a guitar, and using them for vocals can lead to poor sound quality. It’s better to use a pedal specifically designed for vocals.
Do I Need a Separate Microphone Preamp with a Vocal Effects Pedal?
Most vocal effects pedals have built-in preamps, which boost the signal from the microphone to a suitable level. Therefore, you usually don’t need a separate microphone preamp. However, if you’re using a microphone that requires phantom power and your pedal doesn’t provide it, you may need a separate preamp.
How Should I set Up a Vocal Effects Pedal in a Live Setting?
In a live setting, the vocal effects pedal is usually placed in the signal chain between the microphone and the PA system or amplifier. Connect the output of your microphone to the input of the pedal, then connect the output of the pedal to the PA system or amplifier.
Can I Use a Vocal Effects Pedal in the Studio?
Yes, a vocal effects pedal can be a great tool in the studio. It can be used during recording to give the vocalist a more inspiring headphone mix, or during mixing to add effects to the recorded vocals. However, remember that effects added during recording can’t be removed later, so it’s often best to record “clean” and add effects during mixing.
Can I Use Multiple Vocal Effects Pedals Together?
Yes, you can use multiple vocal effects pedals together to create more complex and varied effects. This is done by connecting the pedals together in a chain, with the output of one pedal connected to the input of the next. The order of the pedals in the chain can affect the overall sound, so feel free to experiment to find the sound you like.