My trusty DigiTech Vocalist Live 4 is pretty much on its last legs. It has lasted four years of regular gigging – at least two gigs a week – and things are starting to become loose or not function at all. That’s okay because it was expected, so I’ve been slowly saving my pennies for a new TC Helicon VoiceLive Touch. This is a great harmonizer that not only will harmonize using guitar, but also keyboard; something that my Vocalist Live 4 could not do. It also has a built-in looper, which I had the opportunity to see in action a couple of months ago at an in-store demo with singer/songwriter Christine Havrilla. Check out this link in which Christine shows how she builds up a song using the VoiceLive Touch.
Pretty cool, huh? TC Helicon has placed A LOT of emphasis on the VoiceLive Touch’s looping capability. Even during the demo I saw, Christine focused on the looper. Now I’m not knocking it, but using a looper can be somewhat limiting, especially if you’re looping a chord progression. I have a small looper that I use occasionally, but I typically just use it for creating underlying rhythms. In that respect, it’s VERY useful. I’ve tried to use it with chord progressions for songs, but it’s difficult because songs have different parts, so it can be a bit impractical for that.
But as a harmonizer, this unit rocks! It has over 200 factory presets, and customizing harmonies on the fly is a snap. You simply hit the buttons on the right side of the unit to add or subtract harmonies. Very cool! The keyboard harmonization is a huge selling point for me, as I can hook up a digital piano and get harmonies that way as well.
All in all, this is a great little unit, and at $499, it’s pretty affordable, considering what it does – though you do have to pay an extra $50 for the foot switch controller, which is an absolute necessity for live work. I should be getting one of these within the next couple of months.