If your recordings sound great in the studio but lack a little of that magic when you hit the stage you might be looking for something to help you out. A vocal harmonizer pedal is one of the most reliable ways to pep up your performance without losing the character of your voice.
That’s why we’ve taken the time to look at some of the most interesting ones on the market. Our top pick is the TC-Helicon VoiceTone Harmony-G XT, thanks to its robust construction and the huge range of effects it offers up.
Recommended Voice Harmonizers
TC-Helicon VoiceTone Harmony-G XT Harmonizer
What’s good: Great performance, a huge range of effects
Not so good: No battery power option
The Harmony-G XT dynamically analyzes your vocals and automatically picks out the best harmonies. Simply choose your settings and plug and play. Dead simple.
One of the coolest effects this pedal offers is the live overdubbing feature. It creates a double-up effect on your vocals that can be used either standalone or alongside the harmonizing function.
For the more technically minded among us, this unit offers up superb levels of control over every element of vocal tone and pitch correction. You can really dig deep and create exactly the kind of sound you’re looking for, this is ideal for anyone who is trying to recreate a specific sound from a studio environment.
The IO is very solid, with a single XLR input, a single 6.5mm jack input, two XLR outputs, a single 6.5mm jack output, and USB connectivity that allows you to pair it up with your computer.
This is a well-constructed unit that should be more than capable of surviving life on the road. The fact that it weighs just 1.5 lbs definitely doesn’t hurt that travel-friendly status either.
TC-Helicon Harmony Singer
What’s good: Reverb sounds amazing, very simple to use
Not so good: Not ideal for anyone who wants granular control over everything
The TC-Helicon Harmony Singer works overtime to ensure that you sound your best for every moment of your performance. It does this by taking advantage of adaptive tone technology that dynamically adjusts the EQ for you.
This is a great little bit of kit for anyone who likes to introduce reverb into their vocals. There are 3 different optional reverb settings, you get a room, club, and hall stylings which are super easy to switch between using the dedicated dial.
You can add up to two voices that provide vocal harmonies in an incredibly realistic fashion. This is all guided by the way you play your instrument, meaning that you’re always going to sound totally on point.
The Harmony Singer even features a dedicated footswitch, allowing you to easily engage effects as and when you need them without needing to fiddle around on the ground.
As with all TC units, the built quality is very good and it’s clear to us that they’ve considered the needs of working musicians on the road. This is a pedal that should last for years even though all the abuse touring can throw at it.
TC Electronics VoiceTone H1 Vocal Processor
What’s good: Does everything for you with minimal user input, sounds fantastic
Not so good: Might be overly simplistic for some users
If you’re looking for a vocal harmonizer pedal that does the heavy lifting for you when it comes to settings as well as harmonizing your voice, this could just be the unit for you. The VoiceTone H1 takes the theory out of performing and lets you get on with doing what you do best, putting on a great show.
You can add up to two voices that provide realistic harmonization of your vocals. What’s even better is that you don’t have to do anything other than playing your guitar through the VoiceTone H1 and enjoy the automatically generated harmonies. However, it’s not all autopilot over here and you can manually set a harmony if you want.
There’s a super easy to press footswitch that allows you instant access to the vocal processing effects with just a tap of your toe. The rest of the box is laid out very minimally too, with just 3 other dials featured on the face of the unit that allow you to fine-tune your harmonies.
BOSS VE-8 Acoustic Singer Guitar Voice Harmonizers
What’s good: Loads of control over performance, Can run on batteries
Not so good: Overkill for people who just want to plug and go
Not convinced that the simple life the VoiceTone H1 offers is for you? You might be more interested in the BOSS VE-8. This unit features a high level of control over your vocals and guitar all in one cleverly designed box.
We love the fact that this amazing bit of kit allows you to fine-tune your guitar and your vocals in direct synchronicity with each other. There’s a dedicated section of the front panel that allows you to dial down exactly how you want your voice to sound and provides excellent control over harmonies, which can be set manually or left down to the VE-8’s auto setting.
When you’ve got the vocals all down pat you can head on over to the guitar channel to apply tuning to match the vocals with ease.
Live performers will love the built-in looper feature, allowing you to lay down backing percussion and chords with ease.
The BOSS VE-8 was clearly designed with the needs of working musicians in mind. It’s sturdy and looks like it can handle tour life with ease, even if it does sustain a few bumps and scrapes along the way. You can also run it off batteries instead of having to rely on AC power, which is great for portability.
Boss VE-2 Vocal Harmonist
What’s good: Easy to operate, high-quality output audio
Not so good: Does not come with a power supply
The Boss VE-2 provides high-quality harmonies for your voice. The pedal also looks really fancy, so it might be something you’d like to use when recording with a guest vocalist. Besides having the knobs to adjust the key of the harmonies, you can simply plug in your guitar and the Boss VE-2 will automatically detect the tone and tailor the harmonics according to the chords you’re currently playing… yeah, just like a boss.
The inbuilt ‘memory’ setting allows you to store your presets in an easy way. Besides the knobs, the VE-2 has a pedal to switch between complete bypass, reverb only, and full harmonies + reverb.
TC Helicon VoiceLive Play
What’s good: It offers many ways to customize the output vocal sound
Not so good: You’ll constantly need to navigate through pages and pages of settings
Let’s say that the TC VoiceLive Play (VLP) is not a vocal harmonizer pedal in the full sense of that word. Any live musician (especially a guitarist) is used to own pedals that require some knob twisting and there it is – you press the pedal and you know exactly what kind of effect you will get. The VLP is quite different and it probably reflects the modern passion for having everything compressed in one single artifact (a PC or a cellphone).
This vocal harmonizer pedal is something you’d like to have if you’re already familiarized with musical production. Here’s why: you’ll spend more time in front of the VLP’s screen choosing the right settings than actually singing. The pros are evident: if configured properly, this pedal will allow you to bring your live shows to a new level by adding all of the vocal effects you could only have in a recording studio.
The VLP features three external microphones, each one for different purposes, and a USB port in order to connect this vocal pedal to the PC and make the desired software updates. It’s more often used by musicians who perform modern pop and electronic music since it allows you to track the song key from a plugged-in MP3 rather than from a connected guitar.
Boss VE-20 Vocal Performer
What’s good: User-friendly interface
Not so good: Has limited features
Besides harmony, the Boss VE-20 also offers dynamics, double-track, delay, reverb, and other vocal effects. It’s easy to set up and it provides high-quality sound.
The main issue of the VE-20 is that it only offers a manual key selection; it doesn’t allow plugging in a guitar and basing the harmonies on the chords. That might be not a big issue if you are used to adjusting the tonal key knob for every individual song.
Other than that, this double pedal has a solid and robust metal construction and a high-quality output sound quality.
TC-Helicon VoiceLive 2
What’s good: Offers many filter and effect options, including up to 8 harmony voices
Not so good: It takes time to get used to it
The VoiceLive 2 was specially designed for the ones of you who are fans of tap dancing. Seriously, this vocal harmonizer pedal offers way more real-time control of the effects than just having a couple of pedals to switch between presets. The VoiceLive 2 has ten pedals that offer you total control over the delay, reverb, harmony, and other filters.
Many musicians praise the TC-Helicon VoiceLive 2 for the quality of the harmonies it provides. It offers way more than just two harmony voices, so you can easily configure the pedal in order to sound like a Gregorian chant if needed.
DigiTech Vocal 300
What’s good: It’s a full vocal processor
Not so good: Might be both tricky and time-consuming to configure
This DigiTech vocal harmonizer pedal is way more than just a harmonizer; it’s a whole vocal effects processor station. It offers you seven effects slots which include compression, preamp, de-essing, reverb, delay, EQ, and 40 factory presets. Even though most of these presets are fit only for a comedy show, there is a handful that might be useful for a professional singer as well.
The metal box of this pedal offers great protection; it has four pedals, two for picking the presets, one for bypass, and one for expression control. If you perform live and don’t have a soundman, then this vocal processor might easily save the day.
What does a vocal harmonizer do?
Vocal harmonizers are essentially an effects pedal for your voice. They’re used to help recreate that perfect studio sound while you play live by creating a harmony that follows along with the tone of the instruments you’re playing. This allows you to produce reliable and quality results every single time you get on up to perform.
However, a vocal harmonizer isn’t just a way of tidying up your vocals, they can also provide you with some pretty cool effects that change the way you sound in a variety of different ways. You can find models that add reverb, distortion and all kinds of other creative effects.