Best Overall Vocal Processor: Behringer Virtualizer 3D FX2000 High-Performance Processor
Behringer never disappoints when it comes to creative and well-manufactured audio products, and their addition to the vocal processor market is no exception to the rule. This high-performance has a ton of features and functions to explore and make everything as easy as possible.
Best Budget Vocal Processor: TC Electronics Singles VoiceTone E1 Vocal Effects Processor
TC Electronics has pushed the boat out when it comes to creating a vocal harmonizer that’s available for an affordable price, and it offers a full range of features to help you customize and adjust your vocals with full creative potential.
Best Premium Vocal Processor: Roland VT-4 Voice Transformer Vocal Effects Processor
Roland is a fantastic premium option that gives you absolute control over the output of your vocal sounds, and if you’re looking to become a professional and create the experience you would give to your listeners, it doesn’t get much better than this.
Our Top Ten
Singing is one of humanity’s greatest pastimes. Having stood the test of time, there’s no denying that singing is one of the most important parts of modern music, regardless of the genre or style. The vocals connect, invoke emotion and, most importantly, give your music its meaning.
With this in mind, it’s equally important how you send across the lyrics in your music. Do you just use your voice and sing into a microphone, or do you want to adjust it slightly to create a certain kind of effect? Perhaps deeper to make it more emotional, or echoed to create an atmospheric effect?
Either way, if you want to get creative with your vocals, you’re going to need a vocal processor, which is what we’re focusing on today. In this guide, we’ll share our ten favorite vocal processors available today, followed by our complete buying guide so you can choose the one that’s right for you and your musical ventures!
The TC Helicon is a highly functional vocal processor unit that is one of the most professional and most fully featured devices available today. While it does come with a bit of a premium price tag, this is a premium solution, and if you’re looking for the best of the best, you may not need to look further than this!
The Helicon has been designed to process and adjust your vocal audio while retaining the studio-grade quality every musician wants. While processing, you can, of course, adjust your sounds using a variety of effects and functions.
For example, at the simplest level, you can use the built-in EQ to smooth out your vocals at any frequency level or to brighten them out or even to highlight some areas of your vocals to create a certain effect.
One of the best features of this device is the automatic chromatic pitch correction. If something sounds a little off, or you’re not feeling yourself, the software can change everything to ensure it sounds perfect. Even if you can’t sing very well, but you love doing it, you can use this feature to make yourself sound beautiful!
Crystal-Clear Sound Quality
The TC Helicon doesn’t stop there. You won’t have to worry about unwanted feedback or interference since this device contains automatic anti-interference technology, and you can even chain together as many voice tones as you want; all from one device!
With plenty of good reviews from musicians and device users from all over the world, an effortless installation and an easy to use interface, and plenty of options to help you have the experience you want to have, what more could you ask for?
What We Like About It
There are many people who have described this device as simply having a sound engineer with you at all times to ensure you’re sounding great. The quality of this processor is unparalleled, and you’re sure to fall in love with any vocal sounds you’re working with!
- Built-in EQ system to edit the levels of your vocal sound
- Plenty of great reviews from customers around the world
- Automatic chromatic pitch adjustment to ensure you sound great
- Processes all audio to a really high level of quality
Behringer is no stranger when it comes to leading audio products that are used and enjoyed by all musicians, from
bands starting out to professional, world-class performances and venues, and when it comes to vocal processors that get the job done, they have a solution that’s exactly what you need.
The standout feature of this processor is the ton of algorithms and effects that you can use to effortlessly customize the style and output of your vocal sounds. Behringer has packed this device with over 71 unique algorithms that have been designed using patented RSM (Real Sound Modelling) stereo technology, and 3D effects that add more depth to what you have to offer.
Virtual Room Technology as Standard
However, while technologically advanced, these sounds and effects sound completely natural thanks to the Virtual Room feature. This means the reverb, delay, and edits ensure your voice remains sounding completely realistic, all while ensuring you sound your best.
There are plenty of other output settings to explore as well. From EQ band setting adjustments to genuine amp amplification emulation and even 11 effect combination possibilities, it’s safe to say Behringer has really pushed the boat out when it comes to the leading vocal processor, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find a device as feature packed as this for the price.
Unleash Your Creativity
Don’t worry; even though there are endless features and a countless, near-infinite, number of possibilities when it comes to editing your vocals, there are over 100 factory presets, and a further 100 user presets slots, so you can save your favorite setups and easily access them at any time.
With the ability to connect your microphones or audio input devices however you want via TRS and XLR ports, Behringer’s classic German quality level of engineering and durability, and the fact it’s one of the most long-lasting devices on our list, this is sure to be one vocal processor that won’t disappoint!
What We Like About It
As with most Behringer products, this one is designed to work however you need it to. It can work as a standalone device, or you can mount it into a rack with the rest of your equipment, making it super easy to set up and install however you like!
- Comes with 11 genuine amplification modes
- One of the most durable and long-lasting vocal processors available
- Built-in LED screen and LED monitors for monitoring your sound levels easily
- Over 71 integrated algorithms to edit and adjust your vocal sounds however you like
BOSS is another one of the most popular and most innovative audio device manufacturers in the world, and you won’t have to look far for a shining example of what they have to offer. If you’re a singing guitarist looking to improve your vocals and get creative with your performances, this is the stompbox you’ve been looking for.
Advanced Algorithm Technology
This compact yet feature-rich device implements BOSS’s state-of-the-art algorithms technology to automatically enhance the tone, pitch, and harmony of your voice. These algorithms ensure your sounds are smooth and natural, yet allow you to sound clean and crisp, or however else you like.
There are a wealth of built-in effects you can explore, including reverbs, delays, EQ adjustments, distortions, modulations, core tone shaping, and many more; and you can even use up to nine of these effects at the same time, all without any loss of quality or distinction.
However, what makes this device really special is the fact that it’s designed specifically with singing guitarists in mind. Input and connect both your microphone and guitar and the device will automatically sync up your styles of play, so everything works in tune with one another.
One of the Best
While this is all handled automatically to ensure it sounds great, you can adjust things however you want, so you’re not stuck with using just what the stompbox gives you. Of course, this is a stompbox design, which means activating certain features, presets, and settings is as easy as hitting a switch with your foot while you’re performing!
While a more premium option, you really do get enough bang for your buck here. The reviews from customers and critics guarantee your vocals and guitar sounds are going to sound amazing, and you’re guaranteed to take your performances to the next level!
What We Like About It
Connecting your devices and outputting your adjusted sound has never been easier. Full stereo input and output comes as standard, so it really doesn’t matter what equipment or setup you’re working with, you know this BOSS stompbox is going to be easily compatible.
- Automatic voice adjustments to play with your guitar sounds
- Stompbox design that allows you to control your edits easily with your foot
- State-of-the-art filter technology that allows for all kinds of effects
- Stack up to 11 unique effects and play them at the same time
Heading back over to the TC Helicon brand now for this awesome premium device that really opens the door for creative innovation when it comes to being the singer you want to be, and allowing you to create the performances and experiences you want to present to your audiences.
Sing Like the Best
Built right into this device, there are over 200+ presets that have been specially designed and chosen because they have been inspired by different artists and different, specific songs. This means you can match your voice with certain styles and sounds to emulate some of your favorites.
Another highlight feature of this device is the fact you can plug in any kind of audio input, such as a computer or MP3 player, using the AUX input. The device then offers a feature called Vocal Cancel, which actively mutes the vocal part of the track you’re playing. This means you can sing along to any song you want without the vocals clashing.
TC Helicon continues to raise the bar here. The Room Sense feature, a standard on all vocal processors from the TC range, means you can automatically set up your processor to set the key to your harmonies however you want them, ultimately ensuring your voice sounds great.
A Best-Selling Device
With plenty of highly rated customer reviews, you know this is a vocal processor where you can’t go wrong. Both mono and stereo outputs are supported, and many critics have been simply blown away with the experience this processor provides, so what more could you want?
What We Like About It
Whether you’re new to vocal processors, or you’re familiar with working with them, the TC Helion has one of the most effortless learning curves. Whether you’re creating your own patches to fill any of the 500 available spaces or stacking up to seven effects at the same time, every operation and feature on this device is clean and simple.
- Over 200+ integrated presets to get started and enough space to program your own
- Effortless to learn how to use whether you’re a beginner or experienced user
- Can connect to devices in multiple ways from USB to AUX and stereo input
- Offers a studio-grade level of quality
Another entry from TC Helicon now, this simple yet compact effects pedal offers a unique range of features that provide an exclusive experience to help you optimize and enhance your vocal performances, allowing you to take what you’re creating to whole new heights.
This specific device works with both guitars and vocals, and includes all the up-to-date harmony algorithms most modern vocal processor pedals have, including the ones that are used on the most premium, flagship processors in the TC range.
The device works by simply listening to your guitar and vocal sounds and automatically matching the harmonies and ensuring all the sounds run smoothly upon output. There are also plenty of effects you can take advantage of, including six unique reverb and delay FXs, and multiple combinations in which you can use them.
Built-In Presets Ready to Go
There are an additional ten presets you can use for both vocal and guitar inputs, each with multiple a/b options to further allow you to customize your sounds. As you can see, the potential for being creative with your singing has never been more accessible, and you really can use this device to do whatever you need to do and fulfill whatever visions you have.
Perhaps most uniquely, you can connect this device to your computer via USB to keep the device updated with the latest firmware options, and even to have up-to-date tips on how to use the device to the best of your ability.
You can even use the voice support app to have even more options and even more accessibility when using the processor. Enjoyed by hundreds of users and professional musicians around the world, there’s no denying that TC Helicon goes above and beyond the call of duty once again.
What We Like About It
Despite being released all the way back in 2009, this is still one of the most popular of all vocal processors today, which just goes to show how innovative the device is. Used by professional musicians and those just starting out, this is one vocal processor where you can’t go wrong.
- Can be used on both guitars and vocals; however you please
- Can be updated via USB on your Mac or Windows PC
- An incredibly reliable device that’s built to last
- Compatible with a supportive voice app for access to extra features
Coming in with another BOSS vocal processor now, this time drawing our attention to the VE-20, a highly popular device that makes processing your vocals practically effortless, all while ensuring you have more than enough opportunities to be as creative as possible.
Everything You’ll Need
From beginner singers who are starting out to professional and experienced singers looking for something different, this stompbox processor will suit what you’re looking for. There are all the basic effects you’ll be looking for including distortion, real-time pitch correction, strobe effects, and even looping and layering capabilities.
There are also plenty of dedicated vocal layers and harmonies, which can be automatically applied to your vocal sounds or added however you like to really give you full control over how your vocals sound, and your final output.
Reliable in Every Sense
Having been available for several years now, there’s no denying that the BOSS brand is one of the best, and when it comes to fine-tuning your voice, there are very few devices that do it to the level of quality that this stompbox has to offer.
Of course, since this is a stompbox, you can easily turn on certain commands and functions with the tap of a foot, which makes it a fantastic option for live performances and for when performers such as yourself want to make fast changes that captivate your audiences, no matter what situation you’re in!
What We Like About It
Easily one of the highlight features of this device is the fact it can be powered by an AC power connection or batteries! This means you can take and use this device wherever you go, whether you’re performing on stage or in a venue, or busking in the streets, this is a device that will tick all the boxes!
- Innovative stompbox design to easily activate and switch effects as you please
- Comes with a selective range of built-in effects to customize your vocal sounds
- Real-time pitch correction to automatically harmonize your singing and voice
- One of the most durable and reliable audio equipment brands
TC Electronics, also known as TC Helicon, have yet another stellar device, this time tackling the affordable market and giving you the option to enjoy all the benefits of a premium vocal processor without having to break the bank.
This is ideal if you’re starting out for the first time with a processor, or you’re simply shopping on a budget.
Outstanding Echo Effects
What this particular device specializes in is adding a selection of echo effects that are designed specifically to add more depth to your vocal sounds. This can be easily done, and experimented with, using the durable dials on the front of the pedal.
Since this is a VoiceTone pedal, it features the classic stompbox design, meaning this device is small and compact, can go with you wherever you go, and is effortless to use. If you’re just starting out for the first time, you can be sure the learning curve is minimal.
Expand Your Possibilities
If you’re using compatible accessories and microphones, such as the TC-Helicon MP-75 microphone, you can also use the remote control feature to switch the power supply on your microphone, giving you even more accessibility and control during your performances.
Setting up this processor is incredibly easy since you just plug it in between your microphone and your mixer, and that’s all you need to do! This is very similar to a guitar pedal, and you can even install this pedal on your pedalboard to optimize your setup even further.
All your basic control settings are also here, including a volume and gain control feature, 13 types of echo, and delay tones. There are no harmonizing settings, but as an introduction to vocal processing, there’s no device better than this.
What We Like About It
The thing everyone loves the most about this pedal is just how amazing it is to use. The controls and dials are extremely intuitive with a minimal learning curve, and everything is simple and accessible. This means more time getting creative with your vocals, and less time worrying about how things work!
- All the essential voice and volume control settings you need for a complete experience
- A stompbox design that’s easy to control and works with your guitar pedalboard
- Comes with 13 unique echo effects, and plenty of other forms
- Easily connects between your microphone and your mixer
As with any area of the audio industry, there’s always a small number of devices that exceed expectations and go above and beyond the call of duty as to what you should expect; the Roland VT-4 is one of these devices in the vocal processor market.
Plenty of Vocal Adjustments
This device is designed to transform, filter, and adjust your voice in real-time using the four hardy, adjustable filters and switches on the front. These are highly accurate switches that allow you to make huge changes, or little subtle adjustments; it’s completely up to you on what you want to achieve.
However, one of the key features that makes this device so sought after is the fact it fully supports MIDI control. You can plug in a MIDI controller to really hard-tune the harmonies of your vocal sounds, and then further adjust them using the controls on the device.
Utilise Your Way
Power is no problem with this device since it can be connected via batteries that can last up to five hours, or you can power the device via a USB power connection, meaning you can basically connect it to any device or power input, even if you want to power this device from your laptop or computer!
This also helps increase the portability of the device, meaning you can basically take it wherever you want! With additional preset memory features, each with their own button and hotkey to provide instant access, and automatic pitch correction and controls, this is one complete solution that guarantees to give you everything you need in one easy package!
What We Like About It
This isn’t just a vocal processor device, but instead a complete kit that comes with everything you’re going to need. This includes four AA batteries to power the device, four power cable strips, two balanced, high-quality XLR cables, a premium 3-pin connector cable, and even removable Velcro cable ties. That’s everything you need to get up and
running with no extra cost!
- Fully adjustable faders to control every aspect of your vocal sound
- Includes a ton of cables and accessories to get your setup working perfectly
- Can be powered by either a mains lead or batteries (included)
- Offers fully integrated MIDI controls available via USB connection
As the title of this device suggests, this is a microphone mechanic, meaning you can tweak, adjust, and tinker with your vocal sounds and voice in plenty of different ways to finally seek out and discover the creative outcomes you’ve been looking for.
Simple Yet Effective
Built directly into this device, you’ll find three unique types of echo and three reverb effects. These are implemented into the device as studio-grade options, and the quality is simply insane. While there are not as many effects as other options, this is an affordable option that is a great way to get started.
What’s special about this device is the fact it’s also a foot stompbox pedal. This means you can easily switch the effects on and off simply using your feet. You can also install this pedal easily onto a pedalboard and take with you wherever you go, whether you’re performing in a studio or in the street!
Automatic Professional Correction
Some of the other leading technologies this pedal includes is automatic chromatic pitch correction, which happens on its own without you needing to do anything, and there’s even additional microphone gain settings that happen automatically to ensure your audio levels are perfect.
Of course, phantom power comes with this device as standard, and you can easily plug in pretty much any condenser microphone and power it, all without affecting your dynamic microphones.
In true TC Helicon fashion, you’ll also find everything you need to get set up and running in no time at all. This includes a slimline AC/DC adapter, a premium-grade 3-pin microphone cable, an XLR balanced cable, US plug adapters, and instructions, meaning this device has everything you need and is ready to go straight out of the box.
What We Like About It
Perhaps the winning feature of this device is just how lightweight it is. Since it can run on batteries and will probably need to be taken with you to your venue or performing location, you won’t have to worry about this device weighing you down (only measuring in at 0.9lbs) or simply getting in the way. Pack it in a bag and you’re good to go!
- Automatic pitch correction and microphone gain level technology
- Comes with XLR and USB B connections (cables included)
- One of the most affordable devices on our list
- Can be connected to a computer for preset management
The final device we’re focusing on today is another TC Helicon device that is really designed for those of you who want something powerful and includes all the features but is incredibly simple to use and doesn’t take long to master the basics.
Innovative at its Best
As you can see from the device itself, this is a square-based device where you can simply tap the button to access the effect you want to use, and then use the durable dial in the middle to adjust how much effect you want to apply, and how you want to creatively control your sounds.
There are plenty of effects to choose from, including harmony and reverb, chorus, echo, and tap tempo, and even an anti-feedback system to help your sounds remain crystal clear. As you can also see from the box, you can use this device for effects processing on both guitar and vocal sounds, and even use them at the same time!
Studio Quality Effects
All the effects used here are produced to the highest quality and produce the lowest amount of noise and feedback. This means you can guarantee your vocals are going to remain pristine from start to finish.
Of course, all the essential features are also included here. This includes an EQ function, gating, and de-easing, all to ensure your sounds are ideal for the space you’re playing in. With all these adaptive toning features, editing and perfecting your performance sound has never been easier.
What We Like About It
There’s no denying this device has all the features and functions you’re going to be looking for, but the ease of use and the effortless learning curve is what makes this vocal processor stand out from the rest. You can get processing in literally seconds, and you’ll master everything it has to offer in no time at all!
- Contains anti-feedback features to keep your sounds clean
- Effortless to learn how to use and can be picked up in seconds
- Highly portable and can run on an AC power supply or batteries
- Has a dedicated guitar and vocals section, and works at the same time!
The Definitive Buying Guide to Vocal Processors
While there are obviously plenty of vocal processing options to choose from, it’s important to ensure you’re choosing to purchase the one that’s right for you. With so many features, functions, and varying models available, this is easier said than done.
However, for the rest of this guide, we’re going to explore the complete buying guide of features so you know exactly what to look for, and then we’ll answer some of your most frequently asked questions, all to help keep you in the know!
Number of Effects
One of the first things you’re going to want to consider is how many effects your preferred vocal processor has to offer. If you’re only looking for a specific effect, such as reverb or delay, you can find devices that offer just this, meaning you won’t have to spend a fortune on a more premium device.
On the other hand, if you truly want to unlock your full creative potential, you’re going to want a device that has plenty of effects and filters on offer. Of course, these devices are typically more expensive, but you’ll be future proofing yourself and giving yourself more opportunities to perform your best.
A key feature you’ll want to look out for is how portable your device is. Typically, vocal processors are small and compact, but they can vary from model to model. If your device is staying in a studio setting or at home, a larger, bulky processor may be suitable.
However, if you plan on taking your vocal processor out and about with you wherever you go, perhaps to a venue, on tour, or even while you’re out on the street, you’re going to need something more portable.
You’ll also want to consider how your vocal processor is powered. Many devices offer battery powered, mains powered, or both, so keep an eye open to see which is best for you.
Basic Vocal Controls
Many devices come with some key microphone vocal controls, and some don’t. These controls include things like volume and gain control, and maybe even source control if you’re taking in audio from multiple inputs, microphones, or instruments.
Feedback and Interference
Of course, you’re going to want your sound to come out crisp and clean, so you’re going to need a vocal processor that minimizes the risk of noise, interference, and distortion. There are plenty of devices that offer features such as optimized ports, cables, and internal circuitry that help to retain your audio quality.
There’s no point in treating yourself to an expensive and premium-quality vocal processor if you’re not going to be able to connect the equipment you’re currently using. This means you need to check to see what ports and cables your microphones and instruments are using, and then get a vocal processor that supports those connections.
There are plenty of different types available, from the standard XLR to the more modern USB. With some devices, you can even connect your processor to a computer for MIDI support, or for managing presets and firmware upgrades.
Customizable Sounds and Effects
It’s all well and good having the effects at your disposal, however, you’re going to need the ability to adjust these effects to ensure they’re sounding how you want them to sound. This means looking at what kind of dials are available and how subtly you can adjust them.
Also look at the durability of the dials and knobs. If they look cheap and as though they’re going to break easily with a few bumps or knocks, or general wear and tear, it’s probably best to avoid wasting your money on this device.
Functionality of Instruments
Not only will you be able to plug in a microphone to your vocal processor, but there are also many that offer their effect capabilities to other instruments, such as guitars and maybe even computers.
If you’re a singing guitarist, it can be well worth looking into a vocal processor that covers all the basics and allows you to have everything available in one.
Frequently Asked Questions on Vocal Processors
What kind of guitar can you plug into your vocal processor?
You can plug in and use any compatible guitar with your vocal processor, especially if it has a dedicated guitar effects function. This could include acoustic guitars, electric guitars, and even bass guitars. It’s all about experimentation.
Can you combine effects and play more than one?
This will solely depend on the make and model of the vocal processor you go for. If you want to stack and combine certain effects and filters, always make sure you’re checking the product description to make sure this is a possible feature!
How long do portable vocal processors last?
Battery life is, of course, important if you’re looking to take your vocal processor out with you, so you’re going to need it to last. Typically, vocal processors will last around five hours, but this will depend on the make and model, so make sure you check. If you’re performing for a longer period of time, you may want to bring extra batteries!
And that takes us to the end of our complete buying guide on vocal processors. All you need to do now is take the time to choose which one is right for you. Search through our recommendations, classify what you need, and you’re sure to find the vocal processor that’s perfect for taking your singing performances to the next level.