Best Vocal Harmonizer 20223- Top Picks & Reviews

Published Categorized as Headphone & Microphone Reviews

Have you heard of using vocal harmonizer pedals during your performance? If you haven’t had a go on a vocal harmonizer pedal yet you are going to want to give it a try as a lot of vocalists are now incorporating this handy piece of equipment into their live performances.

A vocal harmonizer pedal not only produces real-time harmonies but can be used during live performance and recording as it has the potential to be hooked up to other equipment.

In this article, we will explore exactly what a vocal harmonizer pedal does and which are the best vocal harmonizer pedals on the market today.

Pedals

Table of Contents

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What Is a Vocal Harmonizer?

You may have heard about vocal harmonizer plugins but you can now get that clever harmonizing technology in a pedal designed for vocalists to use when recording and at live events.

A vocal harmonizer pedal will be able to add harmonies of different intervals to your voice in real-time based on the vocal and instrumental input. There are even pedals on the market that do not require any instrument plug-in to be able to determine which key you are singing in in real-time.

Even though the harmony pedals create artificial harmonies on your voice, depending on which pedal you get these harmonies can sound very natural, especially during live performance.

How Does a Voice Harmony Pedal Work?

Knowing how to use a harmony pedal really depends on what kind of pedal you get. The easiest harmony pedals to use are the ones that are built only for producing harmony on the voice as they have minimal settings and are quick to set up.

How to Use a Vocal Harmonizer Pedal

To use a harmony pedal you will need to connect your microphone as an input to your pedal and have the output as either an amplifier or an interface to be able to record.

Here is a quick video made by Sweetwater showing you the basics of how to use a vocal harmonizer pedal:

Why Use a Vocal Harmonizer

Vocal harmonizer pedals are becoming even more popular than ever now that modern production effects are expected during live performance and recording. Vocal harmonizer pedals benefit a range of singers and can help spice up performance. Here is a list of reasons why you should consider getting yourself a vocal harmonizer pedal:

  • Allows you to mix your voice with an instrument like a guitar
  • Allows solo performers control over their vocal effects
  • Helps to create natural harmonies quickly when recording
  • Can be used live on stage as the harmonies are produced in real-time
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Best Vocal Harmony Pedal

We have researched and trailed some of the best vocal harmonizer pedals on the market today and gathered a range of vocal harmonizer reviews. This list is not in order of which pedal is best as they are all uniquely built for different purposes.

TC-Helicon VoiceLive 3 Extreme

When reviewed by experts, the TC-Helicon VoiceLive 3 Extreme is very well received due to its large range of audio effects. The TC-Helicon VoiceLive 3 Extreme is known to have been developed over a few years and has tweaked the software from previous reviews. The TC-Helicon VoiceLive 3 Extreme has been said to have an impressive system, which makes it a superior performance pedal.

When trying out the different pedals on this list, I am looking for one thing only and that is their ability to produce vocal harmonies. Any other effect is a bonus but not my main focus when reviewing. When I tried the TC-Helicon VoiceLive 3 Extreme I wasn’t too impressed! Not only is the TC-Helicon VoiceLive 3 Extreme very expensive but also very complicated to use.

The harmonies were not accurate and no matter what setting out of the 250 options, the harmonies always sounded unnatural. If you are after a harmony pedal for vocals and that alone, I would recommend saving your money with this one!

TC-Helicon VoiceLive 3 Extreme Features

  • Backing track import with FX automation for synchronized performances
  • Performance recorder for live direct 24-bit audio
  • Output to a USB flash drive
  • A complete vocal sound with next generation harmony processing, effects, and tonal quality
  • Guitar sound via TC Electronic stomp box effects, Amp Tones, and flexible outputs to your amp or PA
  • 3-phrase looping
  • Variety of onboard effects
  • Built-in vocoder and talkbox
  • Mic automatically sets the gain when connected

Pros

  • Over 200 different settings to try
  • Process your guitar with effects 
  • Powerful vocal harmonizer
  • Works well for onstage performance
  • Features fantastic backing track routing options
  • Allows looping, and rhythmic effects to external devices such as drum machines
  • Includes 50 loop slots
  • Provides more than harmonious effects
  • Records audio in high quality

Cons

  • Hard to use for beginners
  • Complex to set up
  • Harmonies sound unnatural
  • Over 200 settings and therefore difficult to find your correct setting
  • Needs to be thoroughly set up if you are planning to record on a laptop
  • Too over-complicated for those who only want to use harmony
  • Expensive

How to Use the TC-Helicon VoiceLive 3 Extreme Pedal

As the TC-Helicon VoiceLive 3 Extreme has over 250 vocal effects it needs a well-deserving tutorial on how to get the best use out of it. Depending on what effect you would like to use, you will need to apply a different method.

For example, if you are wanting to connect your guitar to the pedal you will need to set it up differently than if you wanted to just set up your microphone. If you would like to record the audio from the pedal into your laptop, you will need to download software to make the product compatible.

Here is a video by Bishop Bautista showing how you can best use your TC-Helicon VoiceLive 3 Extreme:

BOSS VE-2 Vocal Harmonist

When experts reviewed the BOSS VE-2 Vocal Harmonist they have been pleasantly surprised, which makes it no surprise that the BOSS VE-2 Vocal Harmonist is in demand!  Reviews state that the BOSS VE-2 Vocal Harmonist is a smart choice of pedal for vocalists but also vocalists that also play the guitar as the BOSS VE-2 Vocal Harmonist can work with both.

When trying the BOSS VE-2 Vocal Harmonist, I made sure to try out the harmony effect on my voice without any guitar input and only relying on the key input. I found that the pedal was accurate with harmonies on some keys and was a little off with others.

The harmony tended to sound better when added to a small amount and the offenses of some keys didn’t show up as much if added naturally.  Overall, I loved this pedal and would repurchase it as it was effective and affordable!

I would recommend that the BOSS VE-2 Vocal Harmonist is best when used in liver performance, especially when paired with other instruments to base the harmony off. If you are wanting to use the BOSS VE-2 Vocal Harmonist in a recording session, it is best to lightly add the effect to make sure that the vocal does not sound out of tune.

BOSS VE-2 Vocal Harmonist Features

  • Real-time vocal harmonies
  • Auto harmony function with 24 harmony types with 12 x 1- and 2-voice harmonies
  • Reverb and delay effects
  • Instant recall with the save favorite presets function
  • Combination effects with knob
  • XLR mic input with phantom power
  • Simple user interface
  • Create harmonies by manually setting the key
  • Create harmonies by manually connecting your guitar
  • USB audio function allows vocal recording into your computer

Pros

  • Accurate natural-sounding harmonies
  • Key input for harmonies allowing vocalists to use this without any other electronic instrument
  • On/Off switch that works in real-time for recording and performing
  • Reverb effects for extra control over the vocal performance
  • 12 different harmony types
  • Delay effects and compression can be used without pitch correction
  • Simple to use
  • Guitar friendly design

Cons

  • Harmonies can be inaccurate if the key is not correct or the song switches between keys
  • Accurate harmonies work best for some keys more than others
  • Harmonies are more accurate with a guitar input than with key input

How to Use the BOSS VE-2 Vocal Harmonist Pedal

Using the BOSS VE-2 Vocal Harmonist is very simple and can be used in two ways. If you do not want to play another instrument while using the BOSS VE-2 Vocal Harmonist, then simply plug in your microphone to the input and connect the output of the pedal to your interface or amp. Select the key you will be singing in and press the on button to get started. You can then adjust the settings to how you wish. 

If you want to use the BOSS VE-2 Vocal Harmonist with your guitar, then you will also need to connect the guitar to the guitar input.

Electro-Harmonix Voice Box Harmony Machine

When reviewed by experts the Electro-Harmonix Voice Box Harmony Machine is classed as one of the best value for money. The Electro-Harmonix Voice Box Harmony Machine is well received, especially with the ability to add extra effects.  The Electro-Harmonix Voice Box Harmony Machine is said to offer high-quality harmony sounds that are effective and natural sounding.

The Electro-Harmonix Voice Box Harmony Machine is an ideal pedal designed for vocalists who are also guitarists. The Electro-Harmonix Voice Box Harmony Machine wouldn’t be as suitable for vocalists who do not play any other instruments. The Electro-Harmonix Voice Box Harmony Machine is great for a live performance.

Electro-Harmonix Voice Box Harmony Machine Features

  • Harmonically matches any electric instrument you plug into it and bases vocal harmony on any electronic instrument
  • Quality pitch shifting algorithm produces realistic harmonies
  • 9 accessible programmable presets
  • Gender Bender knob allows for male/female formant modification
  • Built-In Mic with Phantom Power & Gain Switch
  • USB audio function allows vocal recording into your computer
  • Contains vocoder sounds

Pros

  • Value for money
  • Guitar friendly
  • Sturdily in compact
  • Retro in look
  • XLR mic input with phantom power allowing condenser microphones
  •  Footswitch makes it so easy to control 

Cons

  • Struggles to apply effects if the singer is not in tune
  • Has to be used with a guitar input or any other electronic instrument to be able to base the harmony effect
  • Not suitable for singers who can not play another instrument

How to Use the Electro-Harmonix Voice Box Harmony Machine Pedal

Using the Electro-Harmonix Voice Box Harmony Machine is very easy and quick. Simply plug in your microphone to the input and connect the output of the pedal to your interface or amp. Connect the guitar to the guitar input and make sure that it is correctly connected. Press the on button to get started. You can then adjust the settings to how you wish.

BOSS VE20 Vocal Performer Effects Pedal

When reviewed by experts the BOSS VE20 Vocal Performer Effects Pedal was voted the best for live performance due to its handy footswitch and easy-to-set-up process. The BOSS VE20 Vocal Performer Effects Pedal is affordable and effective in specializing in natural-sounding harmonies.

When I tried the BOSS VE20 Vocal Performer Effects Pedal I found that it was easy to set up and simple to understand. Any kind of equipment that is self-explanatory is a win in my eyes! On trial, the BOSS VE20 Vocal Performer Effects Pedal performed well and provided natural-sounding harmonies.

I personally did not like that it had a footswitch as it was not needed when I was recording but that element would be perfect for a live performance.

The BOSS VE20 Vocal Performer Effects Pedal is best for use during a live performance due to its easy-to-use setup and footswitch.

Boss VE20 Vocal Performer Effects Pedal Features

  • Includes harmony, double-track, dynamics, reverb, and delay effects
  • 3-part harmony capabilities
  • Real-time pitch-correction
  • Can run on 6 AA batteries or an adapter
  • Special FX, including distortion, radio, and strobe
  • Phrase Looper with 38 seconds of recording time
  • Phantom power for condenser microphones

Pros

  • Easy operation
  • Tough BOSS construction
  • Intended for vocalists
  • Skilled in other effects like looping
  • Perfect for live performance
  • Can store your sounds in the 50 user memory locations
  • Footswitch for control

Cons

  • Not guitar-friendly

How to Use the Boss VE20 Vocal Performer Effects Pedal

Using the BOSS VE20 Vocal Performer Effects Pedal is very simple and quick. Simply plug in your microphone to the input and connect the output of the pedal to your interface or amp. Select the setting you would like to use when singing and press on the footswitch to activate. You can then adjust the settings to how you wish.

TC-Helicon Harmony Singer

When reviewed by experts the TC-Helicon Harmony Singer is a winner for singer-songwriter-guitarists. The TC-Helicon Harmony Singer needs to be used with a guitar accompanying and has a large selection of harmonies that are available that sound natural.

When I used the TC-Helicon Harmony Singer I was thoroughly impressed and would say that this is one of my favorite pedals to use. In my opinion, the TC-Helicon Harmony Singer creates the most natural-sounding harmonies compared to other pedals I have tried. I have found that acoustic guitars work very well with this pedal but electric does not seem to be able to trigger the pedal to work.

The TC-Helicon Harmony Singer pedal is best when used for live or studio recording. The pedal creates natural harmonies that record well and in high quality.

TC-Helicon Harmony Singer Features

  • Harmony notes generated from the guitar signal
  • Up to 8 harmonious arrangements
  • 3 TC Electronic reverb choices – room, hall, and club
  • Separate mix level for harmonies
  • The adaptive tone for perfect EQ

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Easy to use
  • Can be powered by batteries or an adapter
  • Guitar friendly
  • The mic level control is on the side of the pedal meaning it can’t accidentally be knocked
  • No programming needed
  • The sound quality is impressive
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Can only be used by vocalists that play guitar as the harmony needs the guitar input to correctly work out the key and pitch
  • Works best with acoustic guitars and not electric guitars
  • Works best when used sparingly
  • Chords need to be well defined for the harmony to correctly work out the pitch

How to Use the TC-Helicon Harmony Singer Pedal

Using the TC-Helicon Harmony Singer pedal is very easy. Simply plug in your microphone to the input and connect the output of the pedal to your interface or amp. Connect the guitar to the guitar input and make sure that it is correctly connected. Press the on button to get started. You can then adjust the settings to how you wish.

TC Helicon VoiceTone Single H1 Intelligent Harmony

When reviewed by experts the TC Helicon VoiceTone Single H1 Intelligent Harmony Pedal was well received, just like the TC Helicon Singer. The TC Helicon VoiceTone Single H1 Intelligent Harmony Pedal does not need to use a guitar as a guide for creating harmonies making this a more versatile pedal.

When I tried the TC Helicon VoiceTone Single H1 Intelligent Harmony Pedal I was very impressed with how natural the harmonies sound. Just like the BOSS, I found that the harmonies were actually for some keys and not for others.

Just like the TC-Helicon Harmony Singer pedal, the TC Helicon VoiceTone Single H1 Intelligent Harmony Pedal is best when used for live or studio recording. The pedal creates natural harmonies that record well and in high quality. The pedal is also accessible to a larger audience.

TC Helicon VoiceTone Single H1 Intelligent Harmony Features

  • Adds one to two voices of realistic harmony to the voice
  • Harmony can be generated based on guitar input or selected key
  • Mic-Control offers a remote on/off button
  • Single-button stompbox
  • High-quality, low-noise mic preamp

Pros

  • Simple 3-knob control
  • Affordable
  • Can be used by singers who do not play guitar or any other instrument
  • The stompbox pedal makes it easy to control
  • Perfect for those who want simple harmonies 

Cons

  • Harmonies can be inaccurate for some keys
  • Harmonies can be inaccurate if the key changes during the song
  • Does not have advanced settings

How to Use the TC Helicon VoiceTone Single H1 Intelligent Harmony Pedal

Using the TC Helicon VoiceTone Single H1 Intelligent Harmony Pedal is hassle-free. Simply plug in your microphone to the input and connect the output of the pedal to your interface or amp. Select the setting you would like to use when singing and press on the footswitch to activate. You can then adjust the settings to how you wish.

TC Helicon VOICETONE D1 Single-Button Stompbox for Realistic Vocal Doubling Effects

When reviewed by experts the TC Helicon VOICETONE D1 Single-Button Stompbox had mixed reviews. When looking at how well it performs for harmonies, there are other harmony pedals on the market that work better.

The TC Helicon VOICETONE D1 Single-Button Stompbox has been reviewed to not have many options regarding harmonies but is effective in the options it does offer. It is best for musicians and vocalists who prefer a wide range of special effects and want to try harmonies but only to a simple degree.

TC Helicon VOICETONE D1 Single-Button Stompbox Features

  • Brings studio doubling to live performance
  • Connects between the mic and mixer
  • Can be chained to additional VoiceTone Singles

Pros

  • Offers other effects other than harmonies
  • Easy to use
  • Suitable for all microphones such as dynamic microphones and condenser microphones

Cons

  • Does not do a full range of harmonies
  • Requires a guitar to work so not suitable for singers who do not play any instruments

How to Use the TC Helicon VOICETONE D1 Single-Button Stompbox Pedal

Using the TC Helicon VOICETONE D1 Single-Button Stompbox pedal is hassle-free. Simply plug in your microphone to the input and connect the output of the pedal to your interface or amp. Select the setting you would like to use when singing and press on the footswitch to activate. You can then adjust the settings to how you wish.

Roland VT-4 Vocal Transformer

When reviewed by experts the Roland VT-4 Vocal Transformer pedal was a hit and received many good reviews. The Roland VT-4 Vocal Transformer pedal has been described as the ultimate tool for vocalists as it has multiple harmony options and extra effects.

The Roland VT-4 Vocal Transformer pedal is best used for a hand-on performance or vocal recording as the pedal needs constant adjustment throughout the real-time performance.

Roland VT-4 Vocal Transformer Features

  • Modern and retro vocal effects
  • Features delay, reverb, formant, and vocoding
  • Can layer multiple effects at once or chain them together
  • Real-time pitch control

Pros

  • Five-hour battery life
  • Easy to use
  • Can be powered by batteries and therefore it is portable
  • Great for live performance
  • Advanced features

Cons

  • Not for musicians who sing and play another instrument at the same time
  • Bigger in size and therefore not as portable

How to Use the Roland VT-4 Vocal Transformer Pedal

Using the  Roland VT-4 Vocal Transformer pedal is quick to learn. Simply plug in your microphone to the input and connect the output of the pedal to your interface or amp. Select the setting you would like to use when singing and press the on button to activate. You can then adjust the settings to how you wish.

TC-Helicon Vocal Effects Processor

When reviewed by experts the TC-Helicon Vocal Effects Processor received mixed reviews when focusing on the harmony effects. The TC-Helicon Vocal Effects Processor is known to be more suitable for broadcasters rather than musicians.

The TC-Helicon Vocal Effects Processor is best for broadcasters and those who are slightly interested in harmony effects. If you are wanting to heavily use the harmony effect then we would recommend another pedal that has more range and will be better for you.

TC-Helicon Vocal Effects Processor Features

  • Desktop rig for online broadcasters
  • Customizable motorized faders
  • Soundboard and recorder
  • Studio-quality vocal effects

Pros

  • 4-channel mixer for super-fast USB audio mixing
  • Perfect for broadcasters
  • Can easily cue bumpers and riff on-the-fly samples

Cons

  • Large in size and not as easily portable
  • Not suitable for those who only want to use it for harmonies
  • Harmonies are not the main skill of the pedal and therefore there are not many harmony effects
  • Not suitable for guitar players
  • Not suitable for live vocalists

How to Use the TC-Helicon Vocal Effects Processor Pedal

Using the TC-Helicon Vocal Effects Processor pedal is quick to learn. Simply plug in your microphone to the input and connect the output of the pedal to your interface or amp. Select the setting you would like to use when talking and press the on button to activate. You can then adjust the settings to how you wish.

TC Helicon Perform VK

When reviewed by experts the TC Helicon Perform VK received good reviews. The TC Helicon Perform VK is ideal for those getting started with exploring different kinds of vocal effects.

The TC Helicon Perform VK is best used for recording at home rather than live performance. The TC Helicon Perform VK is best when controlled by the vocalist themselves due to how it is hard to control how much of the effect you add on to the vocal.

TC Helicon Perform VK Features

  • Direct Access To High-Quality Harmony, Reverb & Echo Effects
  • Compatible With Smartphones For Instant Sound Samples
  • Anti-Feedback
  • Feature tap tempo
  • Features pitch correction

Pros

  • Professional Vocal Sound
  • Affordable
  • Works for live performers

Cons

  • Not suitable for guitarists
  • Not ideal for recording purposes
  • Needs to be attached to a keyboard
  • Not ideal for singers who do not play any other instruments

How to Use the TC Helicon Perform VK Pedal

Using the TC Helicon Perform VK pedal is easy and versatile. Simply plug in your microphone to the input and connect the output of the pedal to your interface or amp. Select the setting you would like to use when talking and press the on button to activate. You can then adjust the settings to how you wish. You can also connect the TC Helicon Perform VK pedal to your smartphone to use extra effects.

Why Are Vocal Harmony Pedals So in Demand?

If you have been aiming to purchase a vocal harmonizer pedal online, you may notice that for some brands you are having to wait for a little longer in order to get your vocal harmonizer pedal.

This is due to two reasons:

  • Popularity
  • Issues with parts

Popularity

Everybody now wants to use vocal pedals as there has been a big growth in the industry in the last few years and also a big growth in the development of the technology. The technology of vocal pedals has now become more advanced and more reliable when applied to the voice.

Issues with Parts

Due to changes in policies across the world, the parts to make the pedals have become difficult to source. Sometimes, it can be the smallest part of a pedal that becomes unavailable which means the pedal can not be made in the production stage. Due to this issue, there is now a backlog of orders.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Which Vocal Harmonizer Is Best?

This is a very tricky question to answer as it really depends on what you are personally looking for. What use you will get out of your pedal will determine which brand and model you go for. Our pick would be the TC Helicon VoiceTone Single H1 Intelligent Harmony as this pedal not only produces fantastic harmonies but is reliable without a guitar input.

What Does A Vocal Harmonizer Do?

A vocal harmonizer works by recording the sound of your voice or guitar in real-time and adding harmonies of selected intervals to that original vocal input. The harmonies are created by the incoming audio and can then generate harmonies that are of different pitches.

How Do You Use Harmony As A Singer?

The best way to add harmony to your voice is to either sing with other vocalists, record yourself singing the different parts or use a harmony pedal.

What Does Harmony Mean In Singing?

When singing, applying harmony means adding the sound of either two or three notes simultaneously. These notes can either be above or below the main notes. Harmony can be made up of more than three parts but it will always be called harmony.

Final Thoughts – Choose the Pedal That Covers Your Basic Needs

There are a lot of vocal harmonizer pedals that are on the market and range in different prices. Even though some of the vocal harmonizer pedals have a lot of extra features that are impressive, I would recommend that you choose the vocal pedal that will fit your needs. Going for an expensive piece of equipment that does way more than you’re asking for can be a hassle rather than a blessing.

It will take time to set up something so complicated. I would recommend that you decide where you would like to use your pedal and choose a pedal that ticks all the basic needs. TC Helicon produces the most natural-sounding harmonies but BOSS has some great pedals that work for vocalists who do not play another instrument.

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By Nate Pallesen

Nate is just your average (above average) guitar player. He's no Joe Satriani, Jimi Hendrix or Jimmy Page - wait this site is about acoustic guitars (sorry) He's no Django Reinhardt, Chet Atkins, or Michael Hedges, wait? who!? He's no Robert Johnson, Eric Clapton or Ben Harper - more familiar? Anyway you get the point :-)

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