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Vocal harmonizer pedals are creative and fun tools for spicing up your singing!
We’ve rounded up the 7 best pedals for live use and recording.
Harmonizer pedals have become quite popular in the last two decades. They add texture and spice to any vocal sound, and if you’re playing without backup singers, they allow you to perform much more complex vocal parts.
Many of these tools go way beyond just harmonizing and some even offer effects for guitars as well.
In this article, we’re going to explore the best vocal harmonizer pedals on the market today!
When you want to shape and enhance your vocals with great-sounding onboard effects, create natural-sounding vocal harmonies, and process your guitar with effects and amp models based on TC Electronic's popular TonePrint family, this remarkable effects processor delivers.
The VoiceLive 3 Extreme builds on the legacy of its predecessors to deliver TC-Helicon’s most powerful vocal harmonizer and processor to date.
It comes with a vast variety of great-sounding onboard effects and allows you to create natural-sounding vocal harmonies. If you play guitar, you can take advantage of the effects and amp models based on TC Electronic’s popular TonePrint family.
The Voice Live 3 Extreme is our premium choice for the most discerning performers that demand the best and are willing to pay for it.
TonePrint guitar FX and amp/speaker emulation by TC Electronic
Backing track import with effects automation for synchronized performances
Performance recorder sends 24-bit audio directly to a USB flash drive
Vocoder and talkbox built-in
Mic pre automatically sets the gain
The TC-Helicon VoiceLive 3 Extreme is a powerful and flexible vocal harmonizer and processor that is backed by years of development from this company.
Previous models of the VoiceLive series provided singers with a means for enhancing their onstage performance by producing harmonies and effects that auto-track based on the chords being played.
The VL3 now features 500 presets including 250 factory sounds. Its I/O includes 1 x Combo TRS (Mic), 1 x 1/4” (Guitar), 1 x XLR (Monitor), 1 x 1/8” TRS (Aux), 2 x XLR (Voice), 2 x 1/4” (Guitar), 1 x 1/4”, (Guitar Thru), 1 x 1/4” (Footswitch), 1 x 1/4” (Exp), and a 1 x 1/8” Headphone . It also features one channel for guitar and one for voice.
The Voice Live 3 Extreme features fantastic backing track routing options. You are now able to send backing tracks from the 1/4″ outs and vocals/guitar from the XLR outs for easy mixing.
Additionally, its MIDI sync capabilities offer delay, looping, and rhythmic effects to external devices, such as drum machines, for seamless performances
If you’re into looping, then you’re in luck. The VoiceLive 3 Extreme features enhanced looping and now includes 50 loop slots (upgraded from 10), along with external footswitch control and improved synchronization. Its 3-phrase looping lets you create and store entire songs on the fly.
Additionally, the Live 3 Extreme allows you to record audio in high quality. You can now capture your vocal/guitar performance, complete with effects changes, and send it directly to a USB flash drive in 24-bit audio.
Overall, the Voice Live 3 Extreme adds tons of new features to an already impressive system, making this version a superior performance tool.
It comes with a variety of functions and is built sturdily in a compact chassis. This is the best value option for this list as it offers many quality features for a low price.
Functions by harmonically matching any electric instrument
Professional-quality pitch-shifting algorithm for realistic harmonies
Low and High Harmony independently produce the 3rd and 5th
Nine accessible programmable presets
Built-In mic pre with phantom power and gain switch
The Electro-Harmonix Voice Box features a 256-band vocoder for pristine diction and performance as well as six harmony/two-octave modes for accompanying solo singers. It features your typical EHX sturdy chassis and has a retro/psychedelic look commonly found in the pedals of this formidable brand.
The Voice Box I/O features a balanced XLR mic input with phantom power and a low and high gain selector for use with different mics.
There’s also a jack instrument input for plugging in guitars, keyboards, and other sources. There’s a balanced XLR for the effect-only output and a jack instrument output for plugging into an amp.
The Vox Box features a Blend dial that controls the balance between the dry/processed voice. We then have the Gender Bender feature that changes the generated harmonies to sound more male or female.
This is followed by a Voice Mix dial that ﬂips between different harmonies in Harmony modes (3rds/5ths and octaves).
When used in Octave/ Unison and Whistle modes, it changes between high and low octaves or a mix of the two. This feature also acts as a harmonic enhancer/treble EQ when used in Vocoder mode.
It is important to note that this unit is better suited for singers who can stay mostly in tune, so the Voice Box can perform accurately. The quality of the vocoder is truly stellar, and overall the Voice Box is a great unit offering fantastic value.
Though its simple layout makes the BOSS VE-8 perfect for the stage, direct DAW recording over USB and an auxiliary audio input for your phone make this pedal a staple for your studio or practice space.
It features a variety of options for both guitar and voice and comes in with a built-in looper (that can loop each instrument separately).
The VE-8 Acoustic Singer offers great portability, functions, and ease of use and is a fantastic choice for singer-songwriters.
Professional mic preamp with phantom power
Creates vocal harmonies in real-time by monitoring your guitar chords
Chromatic pitch correction for minor singing issues
Includes BOSS Octave, Mod Delay, and Chorus pedal effects
USB output records directly into your computer
The BOSS VE-8 Acoustic Singerlets you process acoustic guitar and vocals in a single pedal, with separate effect sections each, plus a looper.
It features three footswitches for greater flexibility and easier control. The first footswitch activates a chorus effect for the guitar but can also mute the signal and activate a tuner when pressed and held.
The second footswitch activates the vocal harmonies but can also bypass all the vocal effects with a press and hold. The third footswitch controls all the looper functions.
The VE-8 Acoustic Singer features 50 onboard memory slots to save entire setups. These can be instantly recalled by holding down the first two footswitches simultaneously, then used to scroll and recall patches.
With this unit, you also have reverb and a separate effect for your guitar. For the additional effect, you can choose chorus, tremolo, delay, phaser, and more, all from BOSS‘s catalog of incredible sounding effects.
The BOSS VE-20 is the must-have stompbox for any vocalist. With one-stop, the VE-20 can give you lush vocal tones with reverb, delay, and 3-part harmonies. Or, you can go totally modern with special effects, including distortion, radio, and strobe.
The VE-20 features lush vocal tones with reverb, delay, and 3-part harmonies and can even get into experimental territory with effects such as distortion, radio, and strobe.
On top of that, this rugged BOSS unit also features a 38-second phrase looper. It does not feature input for guitar or any other instrument, so if you are a vocalist, this might be exactly what you’re looking for.
Specialized effects for vocalists
Includes Harmony, Double-Track, Dynamics, Reverb, Delay, and more
3-part harmony capabilities and layers
Real-time pitch-correction tools
Runs on 6 AA batteries or an AC adapter (optional)
The BOSS VE-20 comes in a familiar BOSS twin-pedal form factor, like the ones featured on the RC-20XL Loop Station.
However, you can also take your time to discover and mold your favorite sounds, and then store them in the 50 user memory locations.
Each of the preset and user patches is created from a chain of up to six effects (dynamics, pitch correct, tone/SFX, double/harmony, delay, and reverb), each with its editable parameters.
Its simple design features a central knob to scroll through and select the patches. Reverb level is the only parameter that can be accessed by a dedicated front panel button but there are four more buttons, including two cursors, for getting into the menus. Editing is quite easy, and all edits are automatically saved.
This compact device is so easy to use, you don't have to know a thing about music gear or music theory to dial in the perfect harmony or effects, and with a push of a button, you'll get instant studio magic.
Overall, the VE-2 offers convenience onstage with a footswitch that allows you to bring the harmonies in and out or bypass the unit altogether, as well as three quickly accessible onboard memories. The real strong points of this unit are its simplicity and guitarist-friendly design.
As you can probably tell by now, TC-Helicon is good at making great vocal harmonizers.
The Harmony Singer is a simpler and more affordable unit than the Voice Live 3 Extreme, but still provides great value for the right user.
It works by taking your guitar signal and analyzing it. The Harmony Singer is quite portable and works with AA batteries for greater mobility and ease of use.
Harmony notes generated from your guitar signal
Up to 8 harmony arrangements
3 powerful TC Electronic reverb choices – room, hall, and club
Separate mix level for harmonies
The TC-Helicon Harmony Singer features a simple control section with knobs for harmony selection, level, and reverb. The mic level control is on the side, eliminating the risk of accidentally altering it.
There is a tone button that engages a slight amount of EQ, gating, de-essing, and compression, and can clean up the signal nicely.
The Harmony Singer takes the signal from your guitar to select the pitch for the vocal, so it’s always selecting the correct key to use with no programming needed.
This unit features a USB port that allows for helpful software updates as they become available.
The harmony selection goes from a 6th below to a 3rd above, with 8 modes available, and the ability to produce harmonies above and below together.
It works best when used sparingly for a few lines. For best results, it is imperative that the chords are well defined, especially root notes. You could use this pedal onstage with a condenser mic as phantom power is also provided.
Overall, the TC-Helion Harmony Singer is a nice, simple way to get musical harmonies that add a bit of spice and variety to your show.
As a singer/songwriter you know, the act with the best sound, gets the gig — and the TC-Helicon Play Acoustic effects processing pedal is the tool to get you booked. Just plug in your mic and guitar and get the CD sound your music deserves and audiences want to hear.
The TC-Helicon Play Acoustic is much more than just a vocal harmonizer tool. This effects unit comes with TC Electronic’s best-selling guitar effects and the BodyRez feature for a full and warm guitar sound.
The Play Acoustic also gives you natural-sounding vocal harmonies guided either by your guitar or the onboard RoomSense microphones.
Includes TC Electronic’s Hall of Fame Reverb and Corona Chorus
It features TC-Helicon’s superior vocal effects including their ‘always on’ Tone effect that smooths vocals and gives the rest of the effects a great sound to work with.
The Play Acoustic comes loaded with useful features that can be of great help when playing live or in the studio. For instance, Voice cancel lets you sing along with your MP3 player and puts your voice above the recorded original.
With this unit, you get two voices of harmony and two voices of doubling always in perfect tune using the RoomSense microphones or auto chord detection from the guitar input.
Additionally, the HIT feature has a footswitch for easy access and to let you set up an A/B scene for each preset to add even more variety to your performance.
The Play Acoustic features a VLOOP looping tool for vocal and/or guitar loops with undo and redo functions, a headphone output that lets you use the Play Acoustic for in-ear monitoring, and a USB connection to access the VoiceSupport app for firmware updates, new presets, and tips and tricks.
It also comes with a power adapter so you can use it right away. Overall, the Play Acoustic is a fantastic choice for singer-songwriters that play guitar and one of the best choices on this list.