When the term ‘eye candy’, an expression used to describe a good-looking guy or gal, was first introduced into modern language sometime back in the ‘noughties’, I remember feeling slightly repulsed by the ‘Americanism’ of the term. Referring to something that is pleasing to one’s senses as being ‘candy’ has not only propelled itself deeper into contemporary language but has also become a promotional language-tool for many respected and well-revered companies. For example, when TC Helicon, a professional audio company dedicated to the needs of singers, describes its latest product as adding “vocal ear-candy to any performance”, nobody blinks an eye. So how do TC Helicon’s new products, the VoiceTone H1, E1 and X1, provide ‘candy to our ears?’
Well they do so by incorporating three stompbox effects, including the VoiceTone H1 – a two part vocal harmony processor, VoiceTone E1 – Echo & Tap Delay and VoiceTone X1 – Megaphone & Distortion. For those – myself included – not of the audio-lexis comprehending, basically these VoiceTone devices significantly improve a singer’s performance via a vocal harmony processor, delay, distortion and megaphone technology, to provide the “ultimate combination of quality tone and simplicity”.
The VoiceTone H1 is a two component vocal harmony processor, which, by combining key/scale operation with NaturalPlay guitar control, enables musical performances to be considerably enhanced by obtaining some sweet-sounding backing vocals.
With the backing vocals ‘sewn up’, musicians can also improve music production with the VoiceTone E1, which gives vocalists easy access to delays and echoes. In using a simple footswitch, singers can simply tap song tempo and turn the effects on or off.
Whilst the VoiceTone X1 adds that extra ‘oomph’ to vocals by incorporating the same technology from the TC-Helicon’s highly celebrated Transducer block, which imitates the sounds of telephones, distortions and amps. Each of the styles can be controlled by using the Mic Control feature of the MP-75 microphone and can be tuned with dedicated Drive and Filter controls.
Whilst these highly innovative audio devices, bursting with complex audio-technology jargon, deliver the sound “vocalist’s dream of” in a compact and easy to operate package, they might get the pulses racing of participants of the X-Factor auditions, where authenticity has been domineered by artificiality, but would Bob Dylan’s earthy, grainy and ‘authentic’ voice benefit from such harmonic, simple ‘ear candy’?