One of the most amazing inventions in the music industry, vocal effects pedals have become a common feature in live performance stages across the world. To satisfy the rising demand and beat rivals, manufacturers are working round the clock in an effort to come up with their own improved pedals. One of the results of hard work and innovation by manufacturers is TC Helicon Mic Mechanic.
A sub-division of Canadian giant company TC-Electronic, TC Helicon’s main focus is production of vocal enhancing equipment for use in live stage performances. Although the company is credited for coming up with various incredible vocal pedals in its VoiceTone line, Mic Mechanic deserves special mention.
To put it simply, Mic Mechanic was created for every singer yearning for an excellent performance. With its countless features designed to provide the best voice enhancement to singers as well as get rid of bad voice effects, TC Helicon claims Mic Mechanic is a complete vocal toolbox for all stage performance purposes—a claim that I found hard to put to doubt.
Whether in the recording studio or on the stage, every musician loves reverb more than most other vocal effects. I couldn’t help thinking maybe that’s exactly what TC Helicon had in mind when they made reverb one of the most outstanding features of the new Mic Mechanic. High-quality, the lush effects produced by the reverbs are great in creating space around the voice.
Delay and Tap Tempo
When I asked around and did additional research on feedback from singers, I discovered that the delay feature has won quite great acclaim from a large number of singers, mostly for its ability to add special effects to their voice. The delays vary from long repetitive phrases to short slapback echoes. One singer especially fell in love with the Tamp Tempo feature which, he gladly told me, always comes handy in helping him choose the timing of the delays, thereby producing perfectly harmonious music.
During performance or recording, it’s easy to go off-pitch without knowing. I had heard about the ability of the Mechanic to guide a singer back to the right note. When I set out to try it, I was not disappointed. I was hardly off the note before I was gently guided back. The Auto Chromatic Pitch Correction is an in-built feature that will certainly help any singer deliver an excellent performance. It can either be used as an effect or transparently.
Best Possible Tone
Poor quality sound systems are often the cause of failure in many promising music careers. In the least, a live performance could easily turn out to be dismal even after weeks of practice. I tested the Mic Mechanic with different sound systems with varying qualities. Every time, it chipped in to ensure the tone of my voice was superb no matter the quality of the sound system by making automatic adjustments to Compression, De-Essing, Gating and EQ.
Remote Mic Control
Chatting up the audience during live performance is one of the best ways of creating a personal bond and showing appreciation to fans. Again, I realized that the Mic Mechanic easily allows anyone to do this without coming in the way. The in-built mic-pre which is phantom-powered and fitted with remote effect control through a MP- 75 mic enables on and off switching.
In addition, I was able to choose the effects which work best with my voice using the wet/dry control feature. Whenever I needed no effects, I could easily switch them off. However, the high quality transmission of my voice through the sound system was still maintained since the adaptive tone feature remains on.
I don’t need to think too hard before deciding to place the TC Helicon Mic Mechanic among the few top vocal processors in the music equipment industry. For a fair price, one gets an easy-to-use but an all-encompassing package in a metal construction. Its ability to disregard the poor quality of the sound system by helping bring out a superb voice all the same is one of the greatest benefits anyone could get from a vocal processor. Of course, it has a limitation or two including the lack of a better total control but its automatic settings designed to greatly improve the voice and increase musicians’ chances of getting a standing ovation more than makes up for them.