The New-Age Voice Technician
By Shri K

No instrument can really beat the human voice. When you listen to Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan singing, there’s an experience of liberation, a feeling of losing all sense of time and place and transcend what we consider ordinary. We are transported to realms beyond our imagination and understanding. Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan is just one example. There are voices all over the world that exercise the power of something innate, raw and instinctive that connects with something deeper within our souls. While the natural potency of a voice is not something one can measure, the projection of it in front of an audience can be explored. This is possible with the help of technology.

Singer-songwriters who are great with their skills sometimes lack the right kind of projection when it comes to live performances. This is a drawback because the true potential of the artist is lost due to technological discrepancies. No matter how good a singer you are, without good sound and the right equipment, the strengths are lost. Not only do you not have control over the situation as such, your talent cannot shine as you are entirely at the mercy of the sound engineers and the technicians in a live setting.

While technology takes over human powers, why not use it positively to help overcome hurdles? Studio quality music can now be replicated live with good vocal processors available in the market. Vocalists don’t have to lean on their collaborators to make them sound good or be at the mercy of the sound technician for how you will sound. Some of these things can be under control. A vocal processor is a great way of projecting and expressing your vocal ideas interestingly not only while you are working on a song, but also while interacting with your live audience. It’s a great tool to create an impactful impression on your audience in a live setting.

There are some great vocal processors available for singers to check out. TC helicon is one of the companies that produces some interesting and easy to use vocal effects racks, with permutation and combinations of presets that can be used while you are performing live. Vocal effects may have been more of a recording tool in the past, but now with the choices of products available, a singer can sound the same in a recording room and in a live set up. were more of a recording tool, tapping. The exploration itself is interesting because it gives singers options and intensity levels with each effect that can be played around with. It is also a good way to delve into intricacies of enunciation, accents and more.

Another interesting and steady processor is the Boss, a well-known company that produces different kinds of electronic music equipment for musicians. It has a range of processors with different prices as well as the levels of complexity in terms of the technicalities of using it to bring out the best in a live performance setting. There are others such as Behringer Virtualizer, Roland, Digitech Vocalist , Electro Harmonix Voice Box and more.

While your primary purpose may be to improve live performance, the process of working with an effects unit helps you hone your composing skills as well. In today’s age of independence and DIY, vocal processors are pieces of equipment that help you explore the intricacies of your voice as well as a composition. If you’re not an instrumentalist, then vocal processors adds more value. The in built presets (different vocal textures and styles) are a great start point to try out the process of building a song or a melody all with just the voice. Making melodies and song structures definitely become more interesting and less intimidating with processors.

Acoustic musicians in general have a bit of difficulty equipping themselves with technology that can actually help them move forward if music is their career; vocal processors are a great way to get rid of that block. It could be the first step to building your own personal tech rack to present your vocal abilities.

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