The latest installment in DIY vocal effects from TC-Helicon goes back to an older design concept of theirs, and places the effects unit and all of its controls right at your fingertips with a very compact, stand mounted design. The Preform V is a fairly simple unit on the surface; one that doesn’t make you look for a user manual in order to get it up and running, but it still has plenty going on under the hood.
This compact unit really gives something to singers that they generally are lacking in live performance environments. It offers them control over their vocal effects right at the microphone stand, just as guitarists have had control over their effects from their pedalboards for years. With a simple snap into position, the Perform V attached itself to most microphone stands, able to be adjusted to the perfect height for each user. You then have control over a range of effects and adjustments at your fingertips. The illuminating buttons are easy to engage or disengage with a very light touch, and the central jog wheel allows you to make adjustments right there on the spot. This does have a loose feel to it, something I wasn’t totally fond of, but that’s just a minor quibble.
The three main effects applicable with the Perform V are double, reverb and echo, with four variations of each that can be stored into three separate presets for quick recall. The double effect might be a little over the top for some people, but the reverb and delay sound great. A tap temp option is available too for getting your delay snapped into time quickly and easily.
STEPPING IT UP
If the added tone control, anti-feedback and pitch correction isn’t enough for your need with this tidy little unit, you can use the free app with your smartphone or tablet to access a range of additional effects. That can be dumped into the unit via a beaming setup that is just like the TonePrint system used in TC Electronics effects pedals. It’s a nifty little way to add a different effect into the unit, but also comes across as a little convoluted, when so many devices these days just allow full control from the app itself without having to ‘beam’ a preset patch in one effect at a time. But, this is most likely a cost constraint and so allows the Perform V to remain a great value effect option for anyone behind a microphone, be it on stage or in the home studio.
For more details on TC-Helicon products, head to ambertech.com.au.
Hits and Misses
Compact, clear and easy to use
Great vocal effects and integration of presets
Large range of connection options including USB and auxiliary inputs
Not the greatest feel to the jog wheel’s motion
App integration is a little clumsy