Best Vocal Effects For Live Performance

Vocal effects processors are no longer an instrument relegated to the studio alone. Without vocal processors in your arsenal of equipment, your performances in live shows won’t meet your client’s expectations. And that translates to losing future gigs. Heck, that’s not gonna happen!

But while you may be in a rush to step up your resources for better live show performances. I have handpicked and reviewed 5 out of the 19 best vocal effects for live performance to optimize your tonal pitch, correct intonations effectively, and hit quality vocal harmony. Meanwhile, as there’s no one-solution-fits-all, each of the reviewed vocal processors here is uniquely dedicated for specific purposes.

Here’s what I mean. While some of these vocal effects processors are best only for your one-man show gigs. Others put you more efficiently in control of the inevitable feedback or unwanted noise in a live band setting. Finally, I have also categorized the selected 5 processors into 3 groups based on price. This way, you scroll straight to the category best for your budget and save time not reading through the whole post. Here you go…

Best Vocal Processors For Live Performance Under 500 Dollars

  1. TC Helicon Voice Live 2 Review; Best In A Band Setting

As the number 1 on the list, I specifically love TC Helicon VoiceLive 2 vocal processor for multiple Global effects, an extended number of presets with step sequencer, an intuitive MIDI keyboard control, and more processing power. At a glance, this is just a typical floor vocal effects processor. But once set up for a live setting, TC Helicon VoiceLive 2 vocal effects processor offers quality harmonies and ear-grabbing vocal effects that put your audience on the edge. The adaptive gate eliminates feedback/noise and leak-throughs when you’re not singing. All effects, including tone correction, Guitar FX, and tone can all be used separately or on a tandem. But here’s more.

As a vocalist, you want to spend less time jostling around parameter settings to be able to create jaw-dropping vocals. For that reason, TC Helicon VoiceLive 2 vocal processor does most part of the job. For one, you can automate Mic gain by just singing and foot-clicking the Auto mic gain button. The adaptive gate for feedback elimination can equally be put on autopilot. Also, by soft-pressing the Tone button, you engage shape EQ, compressing, and de-essing for an increased impact and smoothness on your proceeding singing style tone. Finally, you can make reverb and delay ducking with a single button to bring studio-quality vocal effects to the stage. That is, you can automate that the reverb and delay effects are reduced when you’re singing and increased each time you’re not.

  • 200+ song & artist inspired presets
  • Plug in your MP3 player to the AUX input and sing along using Vocal Cancel feature
  • Room Sense – embedded misc. set auto key for harmonies
  • Plug in your MP3 player to the AUX input and sing along using Vocal Cancel feature

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While all these automation can be equally done manually, TC Helicon VoiceLive 2 vocal effects processor allows you to distort your voice, make 12 different clones of the band’s voice, and even add depth to each. Overall, the processor’s design is compact and for the fact that it comes with all needed accessories for connectivity, TC Helicon VoiceLive 2 price is just a fraction for what you get from this heavy-duty vocal effects processor that also serves as one of the best vocal harmonizers.

Features

  • Backup and audio-streaming input
  • Stereo ⅛” input for headphone
  • Stereo output
  • Stereo ¼” output
  • Headphone output
  • Auto adaptive gate
  • Global tone
  • USB connector
  • Mic input
  • Digital control mic gain
  • MIDI in, out, through ports
  • Expression pedal input; ¼” TRS phone jack
  • Effects LCD display
  • 8 voice clone options
  • Pitch correction, Guitar FX, and Tone
  • Frequency response; +0/-0.3 dB, 20Hz to 20KHz
  • Output range; 16dB/0dB
  • Output impedance balanced/unbalanced; 100/50ohm
  • Dynamic range; 109 dB, 20Hz to 20KHz
  • Guitar input level; 16dB
  • Guitar input impedance; 1ohm
  • Mic/line input SNR; >107dB
  • Mic input impedance; 1.07Kohm
  • Net weight; 5lbs
  • Power consumption; 14watts
  • Size; 13.8” ✕ 3” ✕ 8.5”

Pros

  • Auto gate for automatic feedback elimination
  • Reverb and delay ducking/reverb delay
  • Easy Stompbox access
  • Multiple voice cloning
  • Can make up to 50 steps of the preset
  • Rubberized knobs for jostling comfort
  • Rubberized chassis for protection against scratches and damages
  • Harmony control instrument auto-sensing
  • All connection accessories included
  • One button access to Guitar FX, Tone, and pitch correction
  • EQ compression and voice de-essing
  • Brilliant harmony from guitar and MP4
  • Voice distortion and voice depth control
  • A lot of benefits for the money
  • Increased processing power
  • Great audio interface for Mac and PC
  • TC Helicon VoiceLive 2 manual is comprehensive

Cons

  • You will spend on phantom power
  • May not be as lightweight

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  1. Roland VT-4 Voice Transformer; Best For Your One-Man Show (Reverb Only)

Whenever you want more than just transforming your voice into robot voices or demonic voices, Roland VT-4 Voice transformer vocal effects processor is the gear for your one-man show. This vocal effects processor transforms your vocals sound like no other into synth basses, synthesizers, lo-fi sounds, hard-tuned sounds, and even more. You can also alter the pitch of these transformed sounds, and easily make aggressively processed vocals for greater performance onstage. Meanwhile, you may initiate a glitchy effect to make your vocal sound like something is breaking by pressing on the scatter function button. And even develop a VP-330-Style Vocoder sound without the use of a keyboard. Other achievable sound effects include electro sounds and a pop sound with 2 different auto-pitch effects.

A unique and large LED slider is dedicated to Mix balance and pitch. And making configurations is made easier with lit bright green control buttons with no annoying clicking or popping. Likewise, whether streaming records or live streams, Roland VT-4 Voice Transformer has more memory capacity with up to 6 different locations for presets. But here’s more. Since Roland VT-4 Voice Transformer comes with an advanced USB MIDI. You can make all effects adjustments right on your MIDI as well as switch through the 6 preset locations or even control all the processor’s functions right from your MIDI. Finally, you can overdub vocals on recorded loopbacks thanks to the built-in USB audio interface.

  • Roland VT-4 is an easy-to-use but incredibly effective voice transformer
  • Features Modern and retro vocal effects, including delay, reverb, formant and vocoding
  • Able to layer multiple effects at once or chain them together
  • Allows totally smooth, instant control over both pitch and formant for real-time tweaking
  • Compact size and five-hour battery life

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Speak of tight connections of accessories. Roland VT-4 Voice Transformer has standard tight jacks built into it for your mic and footswitch. It has a filtering function that filters out those unwanted low-frequency sounds and a noise gate dedicated to stopping the infiltration of echoes or howling sounds and feedback. All translating to crispy clean, brilliant effects just the way you want them. Another auto-optimization for both wet and dry processing is the fine-tuning of voice characters to equal and even volume level for uniform vocals.

Overall, though we recommend it especially for one-man shows, Roland VT-4 is as ideal for podcasts and other studio use. The design is compact and sturdy. Lightweight and easy to carry along with you in a purse anywhere.

Features

  • Voice cloning; robot
  • Editable voice feature; pitch, character, and formant
  • Voice characters change; Bass, radio, scatter, megaphone, synth, vocoder, lead, direct
  • Effect type; reverb
  • Sliders LCD displays; Pitch, formant, reverb, and mixing balance
  • Switches; Phantom, and select
  • Control buttons; character, robot, and bypass
  • Mic input level; -40 to -12dBU
  • Mic rear impedance; 4.4Kohm
  • Mic front impedance; 2.2Kohm
  • Output level; 10dBU
  • Output impedance; 1Kohm
  • ¼” pedal jack
  • Mic input jack (rear); XLR and ¼”
  • Mic input jack front (front); stereo miniature type
  • USB port; Type B
  • Net weight; 1lbs
  • Size; 8-5/15” ✕ 6-15/16” ✕ 2-¼”

Pros

  • Best reverb only audio effects processor
  • Featherweight
  • Easy to travel with
  • Intuitive configuration interface
  • Superclean wet or dry vocals
  • Rubberized foot for a fixed position on whatever it is placed
  • Large and bright LCD slider displays for mix balance, pitch, and reverb
  • Maximized storage space for more preset locations
  • Voice characters volume level auto-balancing
  • Auto noise gate for feedback-free performance
  • Rubberized control knobs and buttons for easy, fast, and pain-free configurations
  • Versatile processor for studio and podcast purposes

Cons

  • Not ideal for a band setting
  • Additional phantom power cost
  • Reverb only and no guitar effects

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Best Vocal Effects Processors For Live Shows Under 300 Dollars

  1. Digitech Vocalist Live 3G; Best For Guitar And Keyboard Band

If you’re a guitarist in the band, or a sound guy looking for a unique processor for the guitarist band, or a vocalist looking for a vocalist processor, this modern vocal effects processor right here is a choice you won’t regret. The Digitech Vocalist Live 3 vocal effects processor is an auto harmonizer; a 3-part harmony machine that automatically generates the right harmonies plus a self-voice as you sing and play the guitar. This machine for vocal effects like other high-end easy-to-use vocal effects processors out there utilizes the all-new MusIQⓇ technology of DigitechⓇ to analyze the performance of the band’s guitarist in order to generate the right harmony for it. Then it self-adjusts the generated harmony to a pitch most ideal for the vocalist’s melody line. Though you have the control of putting the harmonies at the front or kicking them back to the music background. But there’s more to meet the eyes. This MusIQⓇ technology is also able to convert the generated harmony to a feminine or a masculine version as an option. Meanwhile, there’s an integrated human function that allows the harmony pitch and timing to be tweaked to your needs.

But this is more than just a harmony-generating machine. Digitech Vocalist Live 3G vocal effects processor is capable of correcting the pitch of your pre-set lead vocal in real-time. You can craft 5 different loops presets in the available 5 built-in store patches. And even design up to 3 types of delays/reverb delay, though limited but enough to get the number of echoes on both your guitar and vocals. A guitar tuner is also built into this vocal effects processor for a clear display of notes representation of your string frequency on both an electric and an acrostic guitar. This essentially makes Digitech Vocalist Live 3G vocal effects processor a needed gear for your practices before live performances.

  • 3-part harmony
  • MusIQ technology
  • Pitch correction

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When used onstage, Digitech Vocalist Live 3G, like most other high-end vocal effects processors, gives you 5 delay options. You can thereby hit the hall, room, spring, plate, and chamber delay effects at a single turning of the delay rotary control knob. Add chorus and reverb to your acoustic or electric guitar. And eliminate guitar amplifier with the guitar mix function to put the guitar frequency at the background and kick vocals to the forefront thanks to the low noise mic preamplifier. Overall, Digitech Vocalist Live 3G is a topnotch effects processor for the guitar band. Just connect your footswitch to access the part A/part B function and you’ll be able to tweak harmony settings. The low-noise filter works hand in hand with the auto noise gate to block all interfering noise sources for a clean, brilliant effect.

Features

  • Mic connector; balanced XLR
  • Mic input; -35dBU to +0dBU
  • Mic impedance; 1Kohm
  • Line connector; ¼” TRS unbalanced/balanced
  • Line input; -13dBU to +22dBU
  • Line impedance; 14.6Kohm balanced/ 8.4Kohm unbalanced
  •  Guitar connector; ¼” unbalanced
  • Guitar input sensitivity; 6.5Vpp
  • Guitar impedance; 1Kohm
  • Output connector; XLR balanced
  • Output impedance; 135ohm pseudo-balanced
  • Output sensitivity; -6dBU
  • Power consumption; 8.1watts
  • Weight; 4.2lbs
  • Size; 8.25” ✕ 8.25” ✕ 2.5”
  • Vocal signal strength display
  • Guitar tuner/guitar tuner strength display
  • Effects; EQ, pitch correct, reverb, compressor, warmth, dealy
  • Delay; 5 types
  • Reverb; 3 types
  • MusIQⓇ harmony generating technology
  • Harmony gender selection
  • Harmony mix/harmony humanize function
  • Effects footswitch
  • Low-cut/noise filter
  • Noise gate
  • Chorus depth/speed functionality
  • Audio quality; 24-bits 44.1KHz
  • 5 harmony patches
  • Power adapter; PS-09|3B

Pros

  • Best vocal effects processor for the guitar band(electric/acoustic) and piano
  • Vocals and guitar mixing
  • Fast and perfect harmony generator
  • Built-in chorus effect included
  • High audio quality
  • Multiple patches for more harmony storage
  • Clear tuner display for practices
  • Great chorus depth/speed
  • Easy to use on stage/easy to use in the studio
  • Ideal for noise-free, clean effects
  • Does pitch correct unlike TC Helicon Harmony Singer
  • A powerful vocal processor with low power usage
  • Highly portable and easy to carry with you

Cons

  • Restricted to the guitar/piano band alone
  • Reverb levels may be limited
  • No guitar effects

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  1. TC Helicon VoiceTone Correct Xt; Best For Solo Vocal

Having a copy of the TC Helicon VoiceTone Correct XT vocal processor on your side is more like having an electrical engineer, a celebrity vocal coach, plus a sound technician on your solo performance on stage. Also great for studio audio processing, TC Helicon’s Correct Xt vocal processor helps get rid of those annoying Essings that’d otherwise make your mix muddy, thanks to an updated best-in-class de-essing functionality. It puts the sheen on the surface of your final mix with an advanced EQ functionality to boost the frequencies of the track you want to be highlighted and push the less flattering frequencies to the background. You can then reduce the dynamic range between the quiet and loudest parts of your audio signal with the latest compression technology.

The only issue you’d have with this processor is that it autocorrect pitch only to the nearest semitone. In other words, you’re not in control to specify the key of which pitch you want to be corrected. Aside from this, TC Helicon Voice Tone Correct Xt vocal processor will accept input from any of your keyboards and guitar with no regard to jack type. The auto-chromatic pitch correction lets you know when you get out of tone so you can make the decision whether to get back on track or dive into a new tone. Meanwhile, for when you decide to use it in a band setting, this processor integrates a multi-band anti-feedback to filter out incoming noise from the band and offstage on autopilot. That doesn’t, however, deny this processor the integration of the conventional adaptive noise gate though.

  • SMOOTHENS YOUR VOCALS – The TC Helicon VoiceTone Harmony-G XT provides precise mix controls (adaptive EQ shape, compression, de-essing) that makes your voice sound brighter and smoother.
  • DELIVERS 4 OVERDUB-STYLE VOCAL DOUBLING – The effects pedal adds richness to the lead voice with the four overdub-style. There are two more doubling voices available.
  • HELPS ADJUST YOUR PITCH – The auto-chromatic pitch correction subtly shifts your voice closer on the correct pitch without the need to set key and scale. Thus, improving your sound.
  • PRODUCES REALISTIC VOCAL HARMONIES – With the Harmony-G XT, you can add one or two harmony voices manually or directed by your guitar playing.
  • INCLUDES – TC Helicon VoiceTone Harmony-G XT Vocal Effects Pedal. TC Helicon 12V DC Power Supply (Tip Negative Center). Blucoil 10-Foot Balanced XLR Cable – Premium Series 3-Pin Cable for Microphones, Speakers and Pro Devices (Male-to-Female). Blucoil 5-Pack of Reusable Velcro Cable Ties.

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Set it up with your remote control Mic to eliminate the stressing wobbling and unexpected disruptions on stage caused by the cable connected mics that’d make the band appear unprofessional. You may connect other Voicetone pedals with the TC Helicon Voice Tone Correct Xt vocal processor to maximize options and hone in on creativity. Overall, the entire design is rugged and durable, with an intuitive control panel that makes voice correction less the hassle. See the complete features below.

Features

  • Mic connector; XLR balanced
  • Mic input; -44dBU to 2dBU
  • Mic impedance; 1Kohm
  • Instrument input connector; unbalanced ¼”
  • Instrument impedance; 1Mohm
  • Instrument input; +15dBU
  • Remote control Mic connection
  • Output connector; balanced XLR
  • Output impedance; 30ohm
  • Instrument Thru output connector; unbalanced ¼” phone jack
  • Instrument Thru output impedance; 270ohm
  • Recommended power supply outlet; 100/240V VAC 50/60Hz
  • Weight; 1.5lbs
  • Size; 5.2” ✕ 5.0”
  • Multiband anti-feedback
  • Auto-chromatic pitch correction
  • Adaptive noise gate
  • Pitch and tone on/off control
  • EQ, de-essing, compression, and tone auto-correction

Pros

  • Integrates with all Voicetone pedals
  • Vocal stress auto elimination
  • Remote control mic integration for freer movements in band settings
  • Keep-it-simple-stupid control panel
  • Rugged body built to last
  • Low-noise, high-quality preamp
  • 3 years warranty
  • For quality, pure vocals
  • Best vocal effects processor for beginners
  • Smart voice tone correction
  • More processing power
  • A highly portable vocal processor

Cons

  • You can’t control the tone pitch to be corrected
  • Not as versatile
  • No guitar effects

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Best Vocal Effects Processing Unit Under 200 Dollars For Live Performance

  1. BOSS VE-1 Vocal Echo; Best For Echo And Delay (For Both Band and One-man Show)

Whether you’re new to the whole thing of audio processing or you’re an expert PA engineer, this is one of the fitting vocal processors for your low-budget. The BOSS VE-1 Vocal Echo vocal processors are a simplicity-based effects processors that cut the complications of sophisticated parameter setting off the way. These vocal effects processors use both AC power and battery so you can make quality vocals everywhere every time regardless of a power supply outage. And that just makes it an alternative to the BOSS VE 20 or other models in the league of the BOSS VE 20. Best for street performance, cafe performance, and studio record, you can make a brilliant mix directly on this colorful processor and make live streams on your DAW or your YouTube channels. But here’s even more.

BOSS VE-1 Vocal Echo, as the name gives the hint, allows you to make pitch correction, with multiple reverb on a palm-size device. Create electrical effects, bounce signals from high to low pitch right from the stage, and put your audience on the very edge without doing much of the engineering work. BOSS VE-1 comes with up to 7 presets you can adjust and use right out the box. Nevertheless, there’s room to explore more features on the other side of the control panel dedicated to expert vocalists who are a techie and know much about audio processor functionalities. You can make up to 4 different loops in 3 different memory spaces built into it and switch between songs to take control of your audience from mood to mood.

  • Seven types of ambience effects with adjustable settings for your voice
  • Double-tracking effect to instantly thicken your vocal sound
  • Enhance effect and Pitch Correct (including hard-tuned electronic voice sound)
  • Adjustable detailed parameters for advanced users
  • Battery or AC operation enables performing anywhere

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Navigate the 7 available echoes to create seven ambiance effects, one at a time, and double-track to thicken your vocals at the push of a soft-button. Overall, BOSS VE-1 allows you to create professional-level effects and studio-quality vocals onstage without the need for a PA engineer nor would you need to spend on a sound guy. See the complete features, specs, pros, and cons below.

Features

  • Mic input; -40dBU
  • Mic impedance; 4Kohm
  • Mic input connector; balanced XLR
  • XLR output; -40dBU
  • XLR impedance; 600ohm
  • Line and phone output; -20dBU
  • Line and phone output impedance; 33ohm
  • Effects type; pitch correct, double-tracking, echo, enhance
  • 7 types of echo
  • 3 memory spaces
  • Footswitch jack; ¼” TRS phone type
  • USB port for phone connection and DAW connection
  • Powering; Battery and electricity
  • Battery types; Alkaline battery and rechargeable Ni-MH battery
  • Alkaline battery life; 11 hours
  • Rechargeable Ni-MH battery life; 12 hours
  • Size; 6-3/16” ✕ 4-10/16” ✕ 2-9/16”
  • Weight; 1lbs

Pros

  • Best vocal processor for beginners and PA engineers
  • Extended echo types
  • Superlightweight and easy to travel with
  • Versatile unit
  • Bang for buck
  • A great alternative for BOSS VE 20 and other models in the league of BOSS VE 20
  • Ideal for smooth reverb and echo
  • Can be used anywhere
  • Uses both electricity and battery
  • Professional, studio-quality ambiance
  • Updated auto-pitch correction
  • Comes with 7 presets, tweakable to preference
  • Has USB audio capability for computer-based steaming
  • Easy switch between ambiances and presets
  • High-quality vocals processor for professional processing
  • Recommended for both one-man show and band settings
  • Can make electricity vocal effects like other top ends

Cons

  • May not provide as many vocal effects like the top ends

Boss VE-1 Vocal Echo Voice Effects Pedal w/ 2 XLR Cables

Conclusion

As a vocalist, your only point of focus is in keeping the audience alive and thrilled with innovative effects. If you’re in charge of a band as the sound guy, you want to do an impressive job with less hassle and get paid for over-delivery. Hence, the need for the best vocal effects for live performance. So far we have reviewed 5 various models at varying price points so you can get quality without exceeding your budget. Have you decided upon your preferred model out of the recommended so far? Miss something or want more recommendations? Use the comment box.