Item: TC-Helicon Harmony-G XT Vocal Effects Pedal
Price: $375 US, £240 UK
Quick Singer Assessment:
The Harmony-G XT is a great tool for singing guitarists that want to add harmonies to their live show without the need for backing singers.
At a Glance
TC-Helicon’s Harmony-G XT is an effects pedal for singer-guitarists. It tracks the guitar chords you play and creates vocal harmonies to accompany your singing. It can produce up to two backup harmony singers and realistic vocal doubling. The harmonies are turned on and off by a foot-switch enabling you to only use them at specific points in the song. It also comes with TC’s “adaptive tone” feature and some great sounding reverb / echo effects. The Harmony-G XT offers both stereo and mono operation, a guitar output for sending your guitar to a separate amp or mixer channel, and can even provide +48v phantom power for condenser mics.
The unit requires no pre-programming and is so easy to set up (and the effects so good) that users have reported that they felt they were almost “cheating”. The “adaptive tone” feature detects the signal coming from your mic and automatically eqs it to help your vocals cut through on stage (this can be switched on or off depending on your preferences). Its inbuilt effects cover most of the typical effects that engineers would use on live vocals, and the physical level button makes it easy to dial in the perfect mix. The unit features user-definable presets that you can easily switch between and there’s even an onboard guitar tuner.
As good as the harmonies are, they do sound a little synthetic and are no match for real backing singers . Also, in most cases the guitar tracking works well, but if you are playing riffs or doing lead work it may have a little more trouble identifying the chords and generating the correct harmonies.
Audio-Savvy Reviewer Says…
TC-Helicon’s Harmony G-XT is a great piece of kit – especially for solo performers. Although the harmonies can sound computer generated in isolation, with the mix level turned down a bit and your lead vocal upfront, they sound quite realistic and offer a pleasing thickening effect to your voice in choruses of songs. The additional effects are really useful and sound much better than you would find on most live mixing desks. Overall the Harmony-G XT is a fantastic pedal for the money and well worth checking out if you’ve ever dreamed of having backing singers but are unable to. – Chris Kennedy
Manufacturer’s Website: http://www.tc-helicon.com
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Chris Kennedy is a songwriter, producer multi-instrumentalist and freelance journalist from the UK. He has performed extensively over Europe and written and produced over a dozen albums. Chris also has a passion for music technology and was the principal product reviewer and tech expert of the original Voice Council magazine.