Amber Technology | | Expect To Pay: $649

TC Helicon has a large range of useful processing tools for vocalists, with the idea being that just because you’re performing live, it shouldn’t mean that you can’t take advantage of high-quality studio sounds or to simply fine-tune your performance in realtime. Perform-VK joins this series, and it’s aimed at singing keyboard players, or bands with a keyboard player and a vocalist who are not necessarily contained in the same physical body

It’s a stand-mount vocal processor with various effects including reverb, harmony, echo, adaptive tone and anti-feedback. It also has stereo audio I/O and MIDI control for easy integration with your rig. Everything about it is designed to make life easy for vocalists so they can get on with the job of singing without worrying about their production, while paradoxically exercising more control over their sound. There’s automatic chromatic pitch correction if you wish to use it, and you can individually select the various effect categories. For instance, want just harmony and echo? Or just pitch correction and reverb? Simply hit those buttons and off you go. There’s also a tap tempo control and a talk button that bypasses the effects so you can chat with the audience between songs without sounding like you’re in an echoey harmonised cavern. And there are three preset buttons that let you use a smartphone to beam sounds from hundreds of available presets to fit your style.


The keyboard integration means that Perform-VK can ‘listen’ to the chords played on keys and use them to intelligently determine harmonies. But even if you don’t have a keyboard on hand, the built-in RoomSense mic lets you practice without a mic and automatically controls harmony.


Perform-VK is also compatible with remote mic control and with optional foot switching through the company’s MP-75 or MP-76 microphones or Sennheiser’s e835 FX mic and Switch-3 or Switch-6 footswitches. There’s also a multitrack four-in, eight-out USB audio interface option through which you can easily record your creations.


Those who will benefit from this the most are musicians in small bands who take care of their own sound. However it’s also a great tool for any band with a keyboard player and a shortage of sound engineers or backing vocalists.


Hits and Misses


Easily interacts with your performance to get fully produced vocal sounds

Make it simple to record your performance

So many options and combinations


A few of the presets are a bit cheesy, but still fun to play with