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HX Stomp for vocals


molul
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I've been a tc-helicon voicelive touch user for a long time and I'm thinking about switching to HX Stomp, for more versatility and better user experience. Having been using Helix LT for a couple years makes me think of better presets on HX Stomp than in voicelive touch.

 

I'm dubious because I don't know if HX Stomp would suit vocals properly, as I think it's designed for guitar and bass (it doesn't even have xlr inputs or outputs). 

 

Has anybody here used it for vocals and can give some feedback?

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On 6/5/2022 at 9:48 AM, molul said:

Has anybody here used it for vocals and can give some feedback?

 

Yes. It works.
You just need to understand a bit about how to handle EQs and compressors for vocals.

(Disclosure: every now and then I do sound engineering partially for a living, albeit I never did full time.)

 

Heck, I've even managed to turn the Stomp into a 4-channel mixer for two mics and two acoustic guitars. It's a bit tricky to set up, and block sequence absolutely matters, but it works if I don't want to carry additional gear like the Behringer MX802A mixer.

 

In general, this is for my "mobile micro gig" setup which is usually just me (sometimes with a guest drummer) on acoustic guitar via Stomp into the old small Squier 15W solid state amp, i.e. a setup that I can even carry by bike or with a small rolling suitcase and a gigbag.

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On 6/5/2022 at 8:16 AM, molul said:

I see. Thanks! Any quick advice for the vocals EQ?

 

Check out this article I wrote about recording vocals at home. It covers a lot of topics other than EQ, but scroll down to section (5), which covers EQ specifically.

 

This article is shorter, and focuses how to make a vocal channel strip with EQ and compression. The examples are based on the PreSonus Fat Channel, but the settings translate to the Helix processors...3 dB of boost is 3 dB of boost, no matter what company made the filter :) 

 

FWIW I think the Helix processors are underrated for applications other than guitar. You can get some great effects for vocals, keyboards, and drums. Helix Native gets a lot of use with my computer's DAW for audio other than guitars. For voice, probably the biggest limitation compared to dedicated vocal processors is that the latter specialize in creating convincing harmonies.

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On 6/5/2022 at 5:14 PM, craiganderton said:

the Helix processors are underrated for applications other than guitar. You can get some great effects for vocals, keyboards, and drums. Helix Native gets a lot of use with my computer's DAW for audio other than guitars. 

 

Absolutely. I started to use the Retro Reel via Helix Native as part of the sum effect chain when mixing or mastering to give the overall sound a tiny bit of "dirty glue", just very subtly.

 

On 6/5/2022 at 3:16 PM, molul said:

Any quick advice for the vocals EQ?

 

Hm… :)

Every human voice is unique. So there's no "universal" setting. But unless you're singing in the bass or bass baritone range, you may definitely want to use some kind of a high pass filter, lowering frequences below, say, 120 Hz.

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Oh yeah, totally. I was more thinking of the HX Stomp usage on vocals specifics, but I re-read your previous post and realized you were talking in general.

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On 6/5/2022 at 2:11 PM, lou-kash said:

Every human voice is unique. So there's no "universal" setting. 

 

Yes, and this is further complicated by mics having different responses. Stilil, there are general regions that apply to most voices (like upper midrange relating to intelligibility). Helix's EQs are versatile enough to hit most, if not all, of the frequencies you want to boost or cut.

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I've used a Stomp for various instruments and mics (as well as a Voicelive unit for effects). Here's the deal:

- the Stomp works dandy for microphones. For XLR jacks, you can use XLR to 1/4" TRS (as long as the mic doesn't require phantom power). If you need to use a condenser mic, you can use an external 48v phantom power supply.

- you can dedicate Stomp's path B for your mic and vocal effects, and path A for guitar. Use separate outputs, or mix down to one out within the Stomp. You can do all this via MIDI CC control and a small controller.

- Stomp time-based effects work great on vocals (delays, reverbs, flange, phase, etc). Many sound better than what you can get out of a Voicelive. And more variety!

- Stomp harmony effects are not so good for vocals, nowhere near what you can get with a Voicelive

- for vox EQ, keep it simple. Roll off the lows around 80-100Hz. You could shave a little of the shrill high end to cut down on feedback. Otherwise you could try sweeping a "broad Q" band in the midrange to see if your voice might benefit from about +3 dB bump somewhere.

- vox EQ for live performance is different than studio/recording. In the studio you can really tweak things; live you are constrained by the venue, the mic used, and feedback.

- compression? Yeah, maybe a little, but I always find that for live performance it doesn't help that much and usually just increases feedback and bleed

- I've used the Stomp for vocal, blues harp (through a dynamic mic), and sax (through a condenser sax mic). It worked nicely for all these (although these days I dedicate the Stomp to guitar only, and have separate "stuff" for other instruments and vocals).

 

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