6 Best Vocal Harmonizer Pedals Reviewed [2020]

Best Vocal Harmonizer Pedal

Music technology today can do incredible things for your live performances. A great example: vocal harmonizer pedals, They can make it sound like you have people singing in harmony with you in real-time.

In this article, we’ve reviewed the 6 best vocal harmonizer pedals currently on the market.

These pedals take the sound from a vocalist and turn it into in-tune harmony that sounds like it was recorded in the studio.  You can use these pedals to enhance your live performances with looping, extra harmonies, and more.

Ready? Let’s jump right in…

6 Best Vocal Harmonizer Pedals Reviewed [2020]

Best Vocal Harmonizer Pedals Buyer’s Guide

What to look for when choosing a vocal harmonizer pedal.

Key Tracking and Pitch Detection

Lots of the best vocal harmonizer pedals offer automatic tracking and pitch correction. They’re great features to have, but if they’re unreliable, then it sounds like you can’t sing in tune. It’s good to go for a model with the option to set the key or scale manually rather than relying on automatic detection.

Most of these models boast about their key tracking. It’s a good idea to check out the included videos to see if you like how it sounds. If your pitch and key tracking go wrong, then the harmonies may sound unprofessional.

UI and Controls

How do I control my vocal harmonizer? If a pedal doesn’t have a user-friendly interface, you’ll get frustrated pretty fast.

Many of these pedals are “stompbox” designs. This means that you can control them with your feet. If you’re going to be playing an instrument at the same time, this is important for you. 

The user interface is even more important if you have a lot of presets and effects. You can get lost easily if things aren’t laid out in a way that is easy to control. It should be easy to make presets and call these back during performances, especially if you have multiple songs in your set that need harmony effects.

Voices

How many voices can you add? A lot of the best harmonizers just add one extra “voice” to the sound. Some add two. This choice depends on how thick of a sound and how many effects you want.

The TC Helicon VoiceTone Harmony-G XT Vocal Effects Pedal Bundle is an example of a harmonizer that can add multiple harmonies. You won’t sound like the Beach Boys instantly, but you will definitely have a more interesting, layered effect to work with.

Some harmonizers also have a more “masculine” or “feminine” sound. If you have a preference for which sound you want, then this can be vital in deciding which harmonizer to buy.

Multiple Effects

Many vocal harmonizers build in lots of effects. In fact, many of the models on our list are actually multiple vocal effects processors. Harmonies are just one of the effects that can be added to the vocals.

In a studio environment, it’s not always vital to have extra effects. Most DAWs have inbuilt effects and you can just add the effects in during the mixing process. Of course, in a live environment, these effects need to be added…well, live.

Some vocal effects sound a bit “out there” if you put in too much. Popular vocal effects include reverbs and EQs. If you use them subtly, they can create a richer, sweeter vocal sound that cuts through the mix better. 

In a live environment, making these changes yourself can be tough, but if done right, it really adds to the overall sound.

Some of the effects included in many of these harmonizers are reverb, delay, EQ, and compression. You can find more effects like distortion in the Digitech VLFX Live Performance Vocal Effect Processor. Distortion is not commonly used on vocals, but you may want to experiment.

Looping

Live-looping is a technique that many solo performers use. It lets you play something in the background, like a bassline or backing vocals, which creates layers and a more interesting sound. Many vocal harmonizers include a looper function.

Looping isn’t essential, but it can add another dynamic to your performance. 

Price

Price is bound to play a part in your decision. You probably won’t find anything decent under $100, but the top end of the market is $300-500.

Conclusion & Takeaway

Two brands lead the way with vocal harmonizers: TC and Boss.

The BOSS VE-2 Vocal Harmonist Pedal is what we recommend for most musicians. It has 12 harmony modes, which gives you way more choices for harmony sound than most pedals have. It has easy controls and even extra effects some harmonizers exclude, such as reverb and delay.

If you have a higher budget, you might want to upgrade to the BOSS VE-500 Vocal Performer Effects Processor Guitar Pedal. This adds some extra effects such as distortion and reliable automatic pitch correction and gives you some more options for altering your voice.

There aren’t any “ultra-cheap” models out there. For a budget pick that gives you two reliable voices and easy controls, we recommend the TC Electronics Singles VoiceTone H1. It’s a good choice if you just need to add one or two harmonies to your voice and aren’t worried about not having the extra effects.