There was once a description of a vocal processor as being the same to your voice as Photoshop would be to your images, which is a very apt description.
When you are recording sound, it is no use merely hitting the record and taking whatever you get without tweaking it and improving it. You would never see that being done in a pro-studio, so even a novice will need the right equipment to get the most incredible sound.
There are many vocal processors on the market; some are relatively low-end and won’t give you all of the features you need, whereas others offer everything you would expect and more.
Two such products are the Zoom V3 and the TC Helicon VoiceLive, both of which have been hugely well received by the audio community, pros and beginners alike. But since both of these processors are excellent, it can then be challenging to decide which is the cream of the crop.
In truth, they are both outstanding pieces of equipment, but it can help to compare the features to work out which one would suit your needs better.
Zoom V3 vs TC Helicon
TC Helicon has a wide range of vocal equipment and is a renowned brand in the field. Their VoiceLive Play vocal processor is an impressive bit of kit that features a wealth of effects and an easy-to-use user interface.
While it may be a little more expensive than the Zoom V3, the price difference isn’t vast and certainly won’t break the bank.
The Zoom V3 is a professional standard voice processor that at first looks to be a lot more well put together. It is effortless to use with a touch-button design and, as we have mentioned, comes in at a more affordable price.
But since both of these voice processors are exceptional and will yield brilliant results for your vocal recordings, it begs the question; which is better?
You would want from this type of device; deep, whistle, child, and beatbox being just a handful of the options. But what we loved about this one is that it is so straightforward to use.
A lot of modern audio equipment requires a technical degree to figure out which buttons and dials do what, but this couldn’t be any simpler.
This design makes it an excellent choice for those new to using a vocal processor; each button is clearly labeled, and there are no complex processes to get your head around. Couple this with a more affordable price tag, and you’ve got the perfect combination for anyone just getting started with audio recording.
You are not limited to just one voice, thanks to the harmony function that allows for up to two harmonizing agents. What’s more, you are getting independent compression, reverb, and delay controls.
The sound quality is excellent, primarily thanks to the built-in enhancer, which guarantees a clear and smooth recording every time. Potentially one of the best things about this device is its portability.
It has been designed to be used as either a desktop device or it may be mounted to a mic stand, offering you diversity.
This diversity is further enhanced through the multi-power functions. You can
operate this either through an AC adapter or with 4 x AA batteries; great if you want to record on the go.
TC Helicon VoiceLive Play
While we aren’t saying that the Zoom is not a viable option, this is it if you’re looking for a sophisticated aesthetic. It boasts the RoomSense feature, which will guide your harmonies in line with the playing music.
You will also benefit from the automatic pitch correction, which delivers results that sound perfect every time. Choosing your presets is easy; with the digital display, you can browse the hundreds of options using filters based on genre and having the option to save your favorites for future use.
This is a very lightweight piece of equipment, so if you spend a lot of time on the road but want the ability to add effects when recording, this is a great device to have in your kit. Weighing just a touch over 1.3kg and with a compact size, you can easily pop it into your bag and be ready to go.
Controlling the device couldn’t be any simpler. Most of the functions require a one-touch control. For example, you can add multiple effects with just one touch as well as being able to control reverb.
When you have some spare time on your hands, why not try the practice mode that allows you to get feedback on your voice to improve your recordings later and constantly sound your best? In days gone by, all of these features were only available to the pros, but with this device, you can now benefit from this level of quality in your home studio.
The Zoom V3 and The TC Helicon are both excellent those who want something with more advanced features and closely resembles a professional voice processor, the TC Helicon would make an ideal choice.
However, if you want something that still delivers impressive features and excellent sound quality but is more straightforward to use, you may be better selecting Zoom. Either way, your vocals will be drastically improved.
Michael Ocejo ( Editor-in-chief )
Michael loves audio production. He especially enjoys the technical aspect of making music sound good! Michael also loves spending time with his friends and family and enjoying parties.
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