TC Helicon VoiceLive Touch 2 Review

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INTRODUCING THE TC HELICON VOICE LIVE TOUCH 2

TC Helicon VoiceLive Touch 2 front

TC Helicon VoiceLive Touch 2

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They call it a “Vocal-Designer”. Interesting, I thought to myself while unpacking the TC Helicon VoiceLive Touch 2 from it’s box. As the name implies TC Helicon has released a new version of its innovative ‘Touch’ series which builds upon the original VoiceLive Touch. I’ll be upfront and say that I never had the opportunity to try out the original Voice Live Touch so this review will strictly be based on my experience with the new unit: the TC Helicon VoiceLive Touch 2. Gone are the colorful touch pads and diminutive LED screen. Instead, the Touch 2 is more serious wrapped in subdued grey with a much more usable LCD screen. Being this is a very menu driven device I imagine this is a welcome change to the original Touch users. [Read more…]

TC Helicon Harmony Singer Review

TC-Helicon Harmony Singer

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INTRODUCING THE TC HELICON HARMONY SINGER

TC Helicon Harmony Singer

TC-Helicon Harmony Singer

I would argue that the TC Helicons pedal style vocal effects are some of the best ideas to come out of their facility in Vancouver, BC.  They are small form factor, intuitive to control and easy to get a great sound out of.  No menu’s to navigate, just simple rotary knobs, buttons and a master on/off footswitch.  They are in my  opinion a joy to use.  The TC Helicon Harmony Singer is no different.  Rotary controls for harmony type, wetness and reverb line the top along with a Tone button borrowed from the Mic Mechanic and a master switch flesh out the top.  On the sides are the typical mic control switch along with instrument in and through as well as a thoughtful ground lift.  On the back you’ll usually find mic in/through as well as power and USB ports for firmware updates.  What makes the magic happen, though, [Read more…]

Music Gateway Interview With Jon Skinner

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music gateway project based collaboration for music pro's
Recently a new platform for music professionals called Music Gateway was launched. Music Gateway is a business platform connecting music professionals from around the globe in one simple, easy to use website. It’s not so much a LinkedIn of the music industry as a complete collaboration solution where you can post and receive projects and collaborate on them in a secure environment.

[Read more…]

RØDE iXY

iXy iOS Microphone

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RØDE brings the big guns to iOS with the iXY

RØDE iXY Podcast

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RØDE iXY

RØDE iXY

However good they claim to be I’ve always been a bit leary of using iOS devices along with the loads of 3rd party plug-in devices for anything remotely related to audio.  Most surmount to little more than toys with sketchy build quality and laughable user interfaces that inevitably result in more irritation and poor quality sound than the price of admission.  Australia based Rode Microphones hopes to change that perception with the introduction of their iXY Stereo Microphone.

Immediately out of the box its clear that Rode has brought the proverbial gun to a knife fight.  The iXY is unquestionably one of the most professional looking iThings to plug in to the 30 pin dock of an iOS device.  Side note – sorry iPhone 5 adopters there isn’t an iXY for you – yet.   The Rode iXY features twin stereo capsules in a [Read more…]

Mic Check Professional Microphone Cleaner

Mic Check Mic Wipes

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Kick the nasties coating your mic to the curb with Mic Wipes

Mic Check Mic Wipes

Mic Check Mic Wipes

Mic Check Podcast

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If you ever find yourself in the situation of being at the mercy of using a crusty club mic then you’re going to want to know about Mic Check Mic Wipes. Because god only knows where one of those things has been. You may have have even improvised and gone as far as to pick up a box of GASP chemical laden Kitchen wipes to do the job. Thanks to Mic Wipes you no longer have to ingest green crusties or chemicals.

INTRODUCING MIC CHECK MIC WIPES

Mic Wipes are a specially formulated single use packet cleaning and disinfecting wipe designed [Read more…]

Placid Audio Copperphone Mini

Placid Audio Microphones

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Throw out your vintage effects, this mic does it better.

Male Voice Copperphone Mini Sample

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Female Voice Copperphone Mini Sample

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Placid Audio Copperphone Mini

Most of the time in either a live or studio situation when I’m looking to give a vocal track a bit more of a distinctive sound I instinctively either reach for some flavor of an effects processor or my favorite plugin.  Why?  Because generally unless one enjoys combing through Craigslist and Ebay listings for that perfectly elusive esoteric microphone, modern effects processors with hundreds if not thousands of available models to choose from often sound quite good in addition to offering nearly infinite control over our sound.   Convenience however comes at a price and there is one effect situation in my experience where the cold unfeeling electronics continually seem come up a bit short of something authentic sounding:  the vintage “telephone” effect.  Sometimes there’s no replacement for the real thing and thanks to Mark Pirro of Placid Audio we have something called the Copperphone Mini  that may just fill that niche.

[Read more…]

TC Helicon Mic Mechanic – VoiceTone

TC-Helicon Mic Mechanic

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Could the TC Helicon Mic Mechanic replace all your live voice processing?

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TC-Helicon Mic Mechanic

TC Helicon VoiceTone Mic Mechanic

Do me a favor to start off by closing your eyes and picturing two things:  Swiss army knives and sport utility vehicles.  Now ask yourself what comes to mind?  General all-purpose-ness?  Usable but not ideal?  If you miss what I’m driving at it’s that generally things perform better when they are built for a specific task.

TC Helicon on the other hand may just have figured out how to  buck  that trend.  I generally try to refrain from waxing ecstatic by maintaining my most professional unbiased opinion when it comes to product reviews here at TMV HQ but TC Helicon’s latest offering is making me a bit  giddy.  Why you ask?  Well it’s simple really.  I introduce to you the Mic Mechanic: an all-purpose live vocal processor that sounds so good out of the box it nearly made me do a double take the first time I rigged it into my signal chain.

INTRODUCING THE TC HELICON MIC MECHANIC

We’ve been collectively impressed with the concept TC has created with the VoiceTone pedal series with an effort [Read more…]

Rode Podcaster USB Microphone

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PUTTING THE RODE PODCASTER USB MICROPHONE TO THE TEST

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RODE Microphones Podcaster

RODE Podcaster USB Microphone

While USB microphones have been out on the scene for quite some time now they’ve more or less been relegated to the lower pro-consumer end of the spectrum as multipurpose general recording devices.  No real problem there but start getting serious about any type of reasonable recording and it becomes pretty clear there’s nothing reasonable about their inherent fidelity.  As a result over the past few years we’ve started to see a new influx of higher quality USB microphones more geared towards the recording artist as a convenient means to have a simple all-in-one microphone/monitoring system without the need for breakout converter boxes or relying on an on-board sound card.

INTRODUCING THE RODE PODCASTER USB MICROPHONE

A quick check on the interwebs reveals there are a number of other notable manufacturers out there [Read more…]

Hercules Stands MS401B Microphone Stand

Hercules Stands MS401B Microphone Stand

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TESTING THE HERCULES MS401B STAND

Hercules Microphone Stands

Hercules MS401B Microphone Stand

At the start of the 1900’s when Henry Ford was introducing the Ford Model T,  a “car for the masses” he once quipped during an interview that “Any customer can have a car painted any colour that he wants so long as it is black” (My Life and Work (1922) Chapter IV, p. 71).  Yeah I know its a tired quote and I can already hear you yawning but stick with me for a moment.  For those still awake I’m going to apply that analogy to the venerable microphone stand.  Since the dawn of time exclusive of Freddie Mercury’s accidental bottomless microphone stand creation there have only ever been two distinct flavors of microphone stands for performers:  Straight and boom.  You might count the variations thereof such as tripod base, 2 and 3 stage adjustable but reduce it down and we’re left with with just that.  See what I did there?  As a singer each type of stand presents its own challenges from a standpoint of durability, flexibility, and general use ability.  Before diving into the Hercules Stands MS401B review allow me to point out the shortcomings of the the current two options. [Read more…]

NuVoice PL-2 Wireless Plug-on Transmitter Review

NUVOICE PL-2

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USING THE NUVOICE PL-2 WIRELESS MICROPHONE PLUG -ON TRANSMITTER

NuVoice PL-2 microphone plug -on

In the course of a rehearsal, recording session, or live performance I occasionally find myself thinking wouldn’t it be nice if I had an X.  Letter X being fill in the blank for whatever toy/tool/widget that could potentially make your life easier at that given moment in time.  New player to the wireless game NuVoice has come up with something that could be the something to fill that gap.  Ever wished you could convert whatever wired mic you had lying around into wireless.  Are you short a cable or two?   [Read more…]

EX-25 Extreme Isolation Headphones

EX-25 Extreme Isolation Headphones

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TESTING THE EX-25 ISOLATION HEADPHONES FOR RECORDING

In any recording environment, the elimination of unwanted noise is essential to achieving a quality recording. Undesired noise can often “bleed” or leak out of studio headphones during the recording process.
Having a pair of headphones which can isolate or contain noise are an indispensible tool for any recording studio. [Read more…]

Singers Tea

Singer's Tea - Tea For Singers

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What Are The Effects Of Singers Tea?

Ask any vocalist what one of the keys to staying fresh vocally is and undoubtedly hydration will be on the short list.  While each has their own opinion as to what might work best IN said liquid, generally water remains one of the key ingredients.  As for the guy in the corner with the jug of petrol well there are of course exceptions to every rule. Now today’s subject is a liquid typically served warm.  This beverage has been around since the 10th Century BC. [Read more…]