Reviewed: TC Helicon Go-XLR

Amber Technology | ambertech.com.au | Expect to pay: $799

TC Helicon is revolutionising broadcasting with the Go XLR. While being a specialist subsidiary of famed TC Electronic, TC Helicon really stand on their own two feet by being a leading producer of live vocal processing such as vocal harmonisers and pitch correction. Now they've made a product designed specifically for broadcasting; radio, podcasting, Twitch, or YouTube and that's just the conventional uses. The Go XLR can also be used creatively to create beats, mix sound for playback or recording, or as a talkback and more.

The faders themselves, while also being motorised, feel solid and sturdy and move in small enough increments to pinpoint your levels. The Go XLR is solidly built, while remaining portable and easy to move without fear of breaking. The pots on the ‘Reverb’, ‘Pitch’, ‘Echo’ and ‘Gender’ settings are all stepped which can be handy for replicating a vocal effect time after time again, particularly in the case of a signature theme or catchphrase. High-quality samples can be loaded in for the user to fire off while recording podcasts, radio shows or Twitch streams, as well as live vocal effects, EQ and compression to ensure a clear and concise signal is delivered to your listeners.

 

The Go XLR encourages live podcasts without too much post-editing to keep things natural or to mix live Twitch streams on the fly. With an XLR input for a microphone as well as a line in, line out and optical in, routing options are a breeze. The range of options means you can set up your stream in any way you see fit, all while keeping your audiences engaged. Success requires you to be a cut above the rest, and the Go XLR enables this. However, all the ins and outs, besides the XLR and optical ins, are 3.5mm jacks which doesn’t lend itself to a lot of instruments or extra microphones. External effects processors are more likely to be 1/4” jacks or extra XLRs might be required.

 

 

 

The addition of an older style USB plug is also a little baffling, as for live streaming or scoring and processing on the fly via the Go XLR itself and the included app  it makes sense to have a higher speed connection to your computer. Admittedly, the hardware seemed to function smoothly even with the older-style plug. The Go XLR also allows users to modify the colours and logos reflected on the faders, allowing them to really make the unit their own, but also to clearly identify settings, buttons and samples with images that make sense to them.

 

The ‘Gender’ pot also allows users to get creative with their voices, using algorithms to alter the pitch and timbre of a voice, or any input signal to alter the perceived gender of the speaker. Because of these algorithms, the ‘Gender’ pot could become an incredibly creative tool to get creative and make samples. Not only are the pitching algorithms designed for voice, but they can drastically alter any input such as drums, synths, and other samples that can be loaded into the Go XLR with ease.

 

Overall, the Go XLR is an intuitive product in an ever-increasing market. While Twitch streamers and podcasters may have struggled with multiple mics plugged into multiple sources, laboriously added sound effects added in post production and endless editing to make a conversation feel ‘natural’, the Go XLR keeps the conversation going while you deliver a clear, compressed and EQ’d sound live. Easy to use faders make the job a breeze, and the Go XLR is an incredibly customisable product. I expect a lot of copy-cat products, but TC Helicon did it first and they’re doing it well.

Hits and Misses

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Intuitive design

Customisable

Everything you need in one place

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Older USB plug despite fast data transfer required

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