7 Best Vocal Harmonizer Pedals (For The Studio & Stage)

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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!

What Are The Best Vocal Harmonizer Pedals?

Our top pick is the TC-Helicon Voice Live 3 Extreme, for those discerning musicians that need to have the best there is.

For those looking for great value, check out the Electro-Harmonix Voice Box Harmony Machine. If you are a songwriter, the BOSS VE-8 Acoustic Singer is a great choice to take to your gigs and is very easy to use.

For the live performers, the BOSS VE-20 Vocal Performer is the best for playing live.

So, here are our candidates for the 7 best vocal harmonizer pedals

  1. TC-Helicon VoiceLive 3 Extreme (Our Pick)
  2. Electro-Harmonix Voice Box Harmony Machine (Best Value)
  3. BOSS VE-8 Acoustic Singer (Best For Singer/Songwriters)
  4. BOSS VE20 Vocal Performer Effects Pedal (Best For Live Performance)
  5. BOSS VE-2 Vocal Harmonist
  6. TC-Helicon Harmony Singer
  7. TC Helicon – Play Acoustic

1. TC-Helicon VoiceLive 3 Extreme

OUR PICK
TC-Helicon VoiceLive 3 Extreme
$1,056.48

 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.

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09/23/2021 02:16 pm GMT

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.

Features

  • 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

Review

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.

2. Electro-Harmonix Voice Box Harmony Machine

BEST VALUE
Electro-Harmonix Voice Box Harmony Machine and Vocoder
$469.99

You can blend effects, add the onboard reverb, and even dial in "male" or "female" formants to your liking. You get nine presets with a dedicated footswitch, plus a mic bypass switch, too. 

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09/23/2021 08:51 pm GMT

Electro-Harmonix is one of the most respected companies in the pedal business and the Voice Box Harmony Machine is further proof of that.

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.

Features

  • 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

Review

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.

The Voice Box is a fantastic unit with lots of options for shaping the final sound with the Gender, Reverb, and Voice Mix controls. You can really hear every word clearly and precisely.

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.

3. BOSS VE-8 Acoustic Singer

BEST FOR SINGER-SONGWRITERS
BOSS Acoustic Singer Effects Processor Pedal (VE-8)
$513.00

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.

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09/23/2021 02:10 pm GMT

The BOSS VE-8 Acoustic Singer allows you to process vocals and guitar independently.

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.

Features

  • 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

Review

The BOSS VE-8 Acoustic Singer lets 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 VE-8 also features an Acoustic Resonance knob that provides piezo pickups with more of the natural flavor of a guitar with a mic setup.

Vocals of course have plenty of options with an Enhance effect. This improves clarity with what sounds like a combination of compression and EQ, plus the ability to select chromatic pitch correction.

Additionally, there’s an AutoTune-style effect, robot-voice distortion, and a radio voice. With this unit, you also get doubling or five different harmony types.

The included looper features up to 80 seconds of recording time and the ability to loop guitar and vocals independently.

Overall, this is a fantastic unit for processing vocals and guitars independently. With such great ease of use, it’s a particularly good choice for singer-songwriters who don’t want to fuss around.

4. BOSS VE20 Vocal Performer Effects Pedal

BEST FOR LIVE
Boss VE20 Vocal Performer Effects Pedal
$299.49

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.

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09/23/2021 02:06 pm GMT

The BOSS VE20 Vocal Performer is a fantastic tool intended for vocalists, as it focuses solely on the voice.

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.

Features

  • 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)

Review

The BOSS VE-20 comes in a familiar BOSS twin-pedal form factor, like the ones featured on the RC-20XL Loop Station.

The VE-20 features 30 presets and a plug-and-play functionality that will appeal to vocalists who value simplicity and ease of use.

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.

Additionally, the VE-20 comes with a phrase looper with 38 seconds (mono) of recording time. It also features a pitch correction FX block with an ‘electric’ setting for that typical Auto-Tune sound, while the available tone/SFX types include chorus, flanger, strobe (a tremolo effect), radio, preamp (for EQ and the like), and distortion.

Overall, if you are a vocalist that can sing in tune, then the VE-20 is a solid choice to consider.

5. BOSS VE-2 Vocal Harmonist

Boss VE-2 Vocal Harmonist
$265.03

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.

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09/23/2021 02:07 pm GMT

The BOSS VE-2 is a vocal processor aimed at singing guitarists, from the ultimate stompbox company.

The VE-2 bases its operation on the input from your guitar to control the harmonies, making it a great choice for singing guitarists that want to spice up their act.

If you’re a guitarist or singer-songwriter that plays the guitar and values the simplicity of use, then the BOSS VE-2 is a solid choice.

Features

  • 24 harmony types (12 x 1- and 2-voice harmonies plus variations )
  • Reverb, delay, and combination effects with a single knob
  • Enhance function controls dynamics and lets you apply subtle pitch correction as you sing
  • Three memory slots for storing and recalling favorite settings
  • XLR mic input with phantom power

Review

The VE-2 features 12 different harmony types to add to your voice, each with one or two voices above and/or below it, plus a switchable variation option that adds even more harmonies.

There’s also vocal enhancement with reverb and delay effects, plus compression with or without pitch correction.

You can select harmonies by setting the key manually or just use Auto Harmonist mode by plugging in your guitar (there’s a through jack to take the signal to your amps).

The Auto Harmonist Mode detects the chords you play in real-time, automatically generating the correct harmony as you sing.

The VE-2 also features a Hybrid mode that follows both the guitar input and the manual key setting to keep things in check when the guitar isn’t playing.

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.

6. TC-Helicon Harmony Singer

TC-Helicon Harmony Singer
$329.00

The TC-Helicon Harmony Singer 2 pedal dynamically polishes your vocal sound while adding musically appropriate vocal harmonies to your performances.

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09/23/2021 06:20 pm GMT

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.

Features

  • 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
  • Battery-powered

Review

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.

7. TC Helicon – Play Acoustic

TC Helicon – Play Acoustic

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. 

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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.

Features

  • Includes TC Electronic’s Hall of Fame Reverb and Corona Chorus
  • BodyRez, feedback fighter, and EQ tone shaping to optimize acoustic guitar sound
  • Separate vocal and guitar DI outputs
  • USB connection for streaming tracks and recording
  • Dedicated Guitar and Vocal FX access/edit buttons

Review

The TC-Electronic Play Acoustic offers musicians complete and individual vocal and guitar processing power.

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.

(Guitarists looking for harmonizer and pitch shifter pedals can check out 7 Best Pitch Shifter Pedals (That Don’t Suck Your Tone))