Item: TC Helicon VoiceTone R1, Reverb Pedal for Vocals
Price: $129 US, £109 UK
Quick Singer Assessment:
This R1 is robustly designed to withstand years of gigging and comes with eight different reverbs. Unfortunately, there are more reverbs included in some of Helicon’s more expensive products.
At a Glance
The TC-Helicon VoiceTone R1 is a compact reverb effects pedal primarily designed for vocals. It features reverb algorithms from TC-Helicon’s flagship VoicePro processor and it can be used both live and in the studio. It has a standard XLR input for connecting your microphone and an XLR output to go to your mixing desk. It operates using a 9v power adapter, which is included in the box, and you can also use the device with other pedals in the VoiceTone Singles range if you require additional vocal processing such as EQ or compression.
The R1 has eight different sounding reverbs to choose from (Hall, Plate, Theater, Club, Room, Studio, Ambience and Arena); these can be quickly adjusted using the dedicated controls until you find your perfect sound. There is a mic gain control to ensure that you do not clip the input on the device and an on/off foot switch when you want to talk to your audience (you can also do this with a mic supporting TC-Helicon’s ‘mic control’ technology). The R1 is robustly designed to cope with years of gigging and there is a USB connection you can use to install any future firmware updates.
Although the R1 has a good selection of reverb sounds, it does not have all the reverbs found on TC-Helicon’s more expensive products such as the VoiceLive Play. As there is only one XLR output, the reverbs only work in mono – which some users may find a bit limiting.
Audio-Savvy Reviewer Says…
Compared to the in-built reverbs found on a lot of live mixing desks, the R1 offers a noticeable increase in quality and flexibility. Also, as the reverbs are all designed for vocals; it makes getting a great sound very easy to achieve. The R1 is particularly useful if you do not have reverb on your existing live mixing desk. Unlike some reverb units, it is designed to work in-line with your mic and does not require a separate send/return aux channel. Overall, if you need an easy way of adding a great sounding reverb to your live vocals, the R1 is definitely worth checking out.
If you need more than just reverb; you may want to look at some of TC-Helicon’s recent products such as the Mic Mechanic or Harmony Singer, which add additional features such as EQ and compression without costing considerably more than the VoiceTone R1. – 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.