My good engineering friend did a great TC Helicon review for the original VoiceWorks Processor. I wanted to share it with you…
So I get a call from the most amazing Rock Vocal coach on the planet -Jaime Vendera. He’s got this “new toy” that he wants to incorporate into his home studio. I was about to come up with a list of excuses why I didn’t want to make the 6-hour drive for a tech-call, until he explained that it’s the new TC Helicon VoiceWorks Processor. Let me tell you, it was worth the trip. Not only did we incorporate it into his home studio setup, we unplugged and boxed up some of his other gear for good! I was blown away with the versatility of VoiceWorks. Is it a Mic Pre? Is it a Pitch Corrector? Is it a Pitch Shifting/Harmony creator? Is it an effects device? The answer is YES! Is it easy to use? Again – Yes. But does it sound good??? Again – YES!
Now, my only intent was to use VoiceWorks as a mic preamp and compressor, because if you know of Jaime, then you know I wasn’t thinking about “sweetening” or “polishing” his voice. And when you work with a vocalist as capable as Jaime Vendera, then your mic preamp better be able to handle everything from gravelly lows to whistle-like highs and extremely powerful and gut wrenching screams. The TC Helicon handled all of this and then some. Not only was the VoiceWorks mic pre chosen hands down over the other stand-alone preamps he had available, we were also able to remove the need for some stand-alone effects units and some industry-standard plug-ins!
It was so easy and quick to set up the VoiceWorks device into his system (and store those settings for easy access), that we started to experiment with it deeper. Just about everyone can use some Pitch Correction on Vocal recordings, the trick is to make it sound natural! What separates Voice Works Correction from some other plug-in devices is the WN, AT, AM system. You get to set not only the quickness of the correction (AT) and amount of correction (AM), but you can decide which notes to leave alone (WN). With all 3 parameters for correction, you don’t have to do so many takes or punch-ins anymore. Just get the take that has the right intent, emotion and delivery and let the TC VoiceWorks take care of the imperfections.
But the final push that sent me over the edge (and almost to thoughts of taking the VoiceWorks and driving away as fast as possible!) was the Harmony capability. I mean, I had the equivalent of several pro vocalists all ready to record, and all perfectly in tune and and in time. The ideas that could be created with Vocal Harmonies were glorious! Time is money in the studio, and creativity has no clock! How I wish I could have had this unit months and years ago for all of those sessions where the singers had no idea what to do for harmonies on the songs. When I tried to use other Harmony Processors, they sounded so fake that my ideas were never even taken seriously. But I knew they were great harmonies, even if the singer wasn’t able to do it on the spot. Remember, it’s all about the song and what the song needs and is calling for! And having the VoiceWorks processor puts creativity and sound quality back into your mix.
As I drove the 6-hour drive back to my home in Nashville, I was filled with a new energy and creative spark. I have a song to mix for a new artist. All I can tell you is that he’s going to have some new backup singers when the tune is finished. And no, I didn’t take Jaime’s VoiceWorks home with me, this one is a must buy!
Dallan Beck – engineer, author, and Head Instructor at SAE Recording School