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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I want to experiment with sending my wireless sax mic into an effects box and then out to mixer/PA/powered speakers. I just read about somebody using a Zoom guitar effects pedal that sounded fun. One model is $50 and there are others for more money. In the past, I've heard about the TC Helicon vocal effects processor and some others. Any SOTW-ers use an effects box or pedal and what do you think about it? Pros and cons? Cost? etc. Do they work with a simple bypass switch so I can stomp on the box and play with effects, then stomp and play without? Any comments appreciated.
 

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A few months back I picked up a used TC Helicon Voicetone Create for maybe $150? Can't recall, but it's definitely fun to practice with. Properly set up, it seems to have a fairly smart system for cycling through the myriad presets with handy foot switches, though I haven't yet had the opp to use it live. I might play a Sgt. Pepper's anniversary show on June 1st, in which case it could definitely come in handy. And I'm still trying to tweak it to emulate the Sanborn slapback on Bowie's Young Americans, as soon as I find the right high-baffle mouthpiece.
 

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The TC products are great (Also made in Victoria BC). I know a lot of people who use them.

I personally used to run my wireless through a big ol Boss ME80 which provided everything you'd ever want (Harmonizers, octavers, delays and reverbs, wah, auto wah, flangers, phasers). The only problem with that set up was that I would feel inclined to use it too much. And have too many effects running at the same time. I never learned to back down on my use of effects when I had it.

Now a couple years later I decided to go the true bypass guitar pedal route. So far I've built up a nice small rig: Dunlop (mini) Cry baby, VHT Melo-Verb and a Marshall Echohead delay.

This smaller set up gives me great quality of the effects without having too many options to bog down my playing. Although it's more expensive for sure.

The TC Voice Live (the first model) is a really good bargin. If you want a harmonizer you want to make sure it has non intelligent harmony modes (so it doesn't require a chordal instrument input to work properly). The Voice Live does I'm pretty sure as do most of them. But some don't so you want to make sure you know what you're getting.
 

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I had no idea TC Helicon was Made in Canada. Maybe they'll sponsor SOTW, now that the forum's also Canadian.
 

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Sigh, it's my dream to go to NAMM on someone else's dime. You're lucky, Victoria's a real hot bed of saxophony.
 

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So did you ever get an effects box, MMM? I've now used my TC Voicetone Create XT at a few gigs with some success, mostly for the reverb and chorus settings. But while it has hundreds of effects, it only only produces one at a time, and it's a bit tricky to toggle quickly between them.

I'd like to experiment with some guitar boxes for ease of use, and for chaining different effects together. I'm eyeing a TC Quintessence Harmonizer, which gets a great review on horn-fx.com. For now, the plan is to run my mic through the Voicetone Create, then into a Samson S-mix, then the Quintessence, and then out to my monitor via 1/4 inch. Eventually, I'll probably grab a Radial Voco-Loco so that I can get an XLR signal out to the board.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hmm. It looks like I started this thread over a year ago. I don't know what I was thinking. No, I never got an efx box. I guess I already have too many toys. I got a Roland Aerophone AE-10 and played it at my regular jam a few times. That was fun. But I think I decided I liked the sound of my sax without efx. At the same time, I'm still exploring the depths of my Nord 5D keyboard. I double on sax and keys (sometimes both at the same time), and I'm only using about 1/10th of the capacity or features of the Nord. Today I'm planning to load in some accordion sounds to see which ones I might use on a song or two. I also want to play with the B3+bass setting which lets me split the keyboard so it's like a 2-manual B3 and I can play organ bass with my left hand. Then there are a bunch of effects and other controls that I need to explore more – reverb, tremolo, EQ, etc. I have my work cut out for me. So no efx box for sax.
 

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Yeah, I also prefer the sax unadulterated, though a bit of reverb can be nice at live gigs. But there are some songs I've been asked to play that demand a bigger horn section, like "Got to get you into my life" or "Goody Two-Shoes". That's where a harmonizer comes in handy.

I have an old Yamaha WT-11 that's fun, but ultimately doesn't do anything that a keyboard can't do better, at least in my incapable hands. Effects are a nice option because they can preserve much of the horn's original tone and timbre, while adding a bit of sonic variety.
 

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i like Moog's minifoogers, in terms of bang for buck (if you get them on sale). i think their Chorus pedal is really good. basically, it's a variation of their legendary Delay Fooger, and you can dial in anything from slapback to a full "spinning" Leslie.
 

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I like to experiment with a line6 m5 multi effects stompbox with an expression pedal connected to it and a Tc ditto looper. A looper can be a very creative tool.
 

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I'm using a Digitech Vocalist. I've tweaked the patches that I use most and it works well for me.

I've seen Richard Elliot live and I forgot to ask him what pedals he is using. It sounded awesome.
He sounds great without anything.

The effects really add and help me to achieve the environment of sound that I'm going for.
Especially at large venues, I don't have to rely on the sound tech to dial in my effects. I have complete control over what is going to the FOH and I can apply different effects for the appropriate tune the band is playing.

If anyone knows what pedal Richard Elliot is using, please post it.
THANKS!
 

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So I just gave in to a sudden GAS attack, and ordered a TC Helicon Quintessence harmonizer. Will let y'all know how it turns out.
 

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I got a Helicon Voice Live harmonizer a few years ago. It has pretty much every effect you would ever need (and way more). I got it originally to replace a few horn players who left an R&B band I was playing in. it supports 4 part harmony plus 4 doubling parts. And it actually did an almost credible job once I was able to dial in the eq properly. I also used a lot of the other effects at the time - new toy and all. Then I decided to use just the octavizer and some reverb to fill out the sound on horn lines. Then I stopped using it altogether. I'm playing in a jam band now and am thinking about resurrecting it to see if there is anything useful to use. I don't think I would use it with my jazz groups, but who knows.

Regarding some of the functionality, it has the ability to store your patches and to link them into sets, and using a stop butting to cycle through them. I used that when I had different patches for different parts of tunes, or if there was a modulation in a tune. I had a different patch set up for almost every tune. You can tweak the harmony algorithm to any scale you want but you are stuck with that harmonic structure for as long as that patch is active. You can tweek lots of parameters in each patch. You can also turn off and on several parameters of a patch on the fly using stomp buttons, and there is a bypass. The other thing I liked is that you can output either a wet or dry signal depending on what other processing you plan to do.

Oh, and it really is killer for vocal harmonizing (or auto tuning if you need that).

Now that Voicelive 3 is out, you can pick up the VL1 pretty cheaply.
 

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Glad you like your TC, mi000ke! My used Quintessence box arrived in mint condition, and it's a ton of fun! The chorus effects are much better and more versatile than the few presets included with my old TC Voicetone Create. I'm using a Samson S-mix mini to balance impedence, and it sounds pretty sweet so far.

The only trouble is that, while the Quintessence has a bunch of settings, I don't have enough theory to know exactly which mix-o'-phrygin' modes and scales to use on any given song. So I also picked up a copy of Levine's Jazz Theory Book, and plan to start working through it over the summer.
 

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I'm still having fun with a Shure Beta-98 wireless system going into a Digitech Vocal-300 going into a Boss RC-20 looper going into a DI. The combo gives me more options than what I'd possibly use on any given gig. The setup is very friendly for the sound man too, just as long as the V-300 patches are set up correctly.
 

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Tried to chain my TC Helicon Voicetone Create XT in with my TC Quintessence chorus box. It worked, but the monitor started picking up AM radio signals:

ATM350 > TC Voicetone Create > Quintessence > Roland KC150 > AM radio

Can anyone suggest a way to clean the line? Is it bad cables, or maybe an impedance issue? Would, say, a Radial Voco-Loco do the trick? Black Friday is coming after all, so it's a good time for a GAS attack.
 

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Radio signal gets picked up by unshielded signal wire. It's probably one of your patch cables. Less likely, it's an issue with the pedal, or amp.
 

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Tried to chain my TC Helicon Voicetone Create XT in with my TC Quintessence chorus box. It worked, but the monitor started picking up AM radio signals:

ATM350 > TC Voicetone Create > Quintessence > Roland KC150 > AM radio

Can anyone suggest a way to clean the line? Is it bad cables, or maybe an impedance issue? Would, say, a Radial Voco-Loco do the trick? Black Friday is coming after all, so it's a good time for a GAS attack.
Make sure they turn the house music off :p
 

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The TC XLR effects are all nice. I personally don't like any of the multi-FX units I've tried. I don't want to have to sift through menus to play with the specifics of each effect. Instead I use three of the TC Voicetone stompboxes, the D1, E1, and R1, on a handmade (by me) solid oak pedalboard. I'll put up pics the next time I pull it out.
Granted, they cost nearly as much as a midrange multi-FX, but they sound great and give me simple control over each effect. Plus, my board looks WAY nicer than a boring enclosure. ;)
 
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