I recently acquired a TC-Helicon Voiceworks box and even though it is advertised as a vocal harmonizer – I wanted to experiment with it and the saxophone.
I am a full time computer programmer and a part-time professional musician. The first thing that struck me was that the user interface is not very user friendly. I suspect that since the Voiceworks box has so many features – it is extremely difficult to make the user interface easy to learn and use. I next visited the TC-Helicon website and looked for free downloads. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that TC-Helicon provides an editor for the Voiceworks box that runs on PC or Mac. A Midi IN and Midi Out interface is required to interface from a PC to the Voiceworks box. The editor software is easy to use and quick to learn.
Here is the first screen shot of the editor:
Here is a second screen shot:
Here is a third screen shot:
The Voiceworks box has a a long list of tweaks you can make. After much experimentation and using the box on a few gigs here is how I setup the box. I use a wireless microphone. The output of the microphone is input into the Voiceworks box. At the gig I run a midi cable from the voiceworks box to the keyboard so the box can harmonize the note I am playing with the real-time chords that are played on the keyboard. I used the Voiceworks software on my PC to copy the first five presets on the box and I next totally changed the presets to what I wanted. Three of the presets are used to harmonize the saxophone and the other two presets were just using the top notch effects that are built into the box. I did learn not to use the pitch correction feature with the saxophone because it did not work on the saxophone. Here are the setting I used in my presets:
Paul Unison – Chorus -6dB, lowered unison voice to -6dB, Reverb Time 420 ms, Feedback 20%
Paul 1Un1Up – Unison voice -3dB, 1st harmony voice -3dB, Chorus -6dB, Reverb Time 420 ms, Feedback 20%
Paul 1Un2Up – Unison voice -6dB, 1st harmony voice -3dB, 2nd Harmony voice Chorus -6dB, Reverb Time 420 ms, Feedback 20%
I added 2 more effects only presets that are setup as follows:
Paul FX – Reverb Time 420 ms, Feedback 25%
Paul FX+C – Reverb Time 420 ms, Feedback 25%, also has Chorus set at -3dB
The street price for the Voiceworks box is about $500. I ordered a 3 button footswitch for $50.
I am very pleased with the Voiceworks box and how it works on sax. I am playing a tenor saxophone.
If you are considering a new effects box for sax you may want to consider this one with the added harmony capabilities.
Are you using a TC-Helicon box with saxophone? If yes, what is your experience and how have you setup your box?