New user, rambling notes, looking for some info on the best path foward.

  1. #1 by Todd Moore on 01-23-2018
    Todd Moore's Avatar
    Posts: 5

    New user, rambling notes, looking for some info on the best path foward.

    Hey forum!

    I'm a musician, specializing in guitar. I've played for 35 years, but just coming off an 18 year hiatus from playing live music. My neighbor is a guitar player, and he convinced me to start a musical project with him.

    It started innocently enough. Just a couple of acoustic guitars and some bar stools. My neighbor doesn't sing and I love harmony so I bought the TC Helicon G XT, which was really nice for that style of performance. However, It seems that I can't do anything by half and in a few short months the project has evolved into a full on rock show, where I'm playing a few different instruments and bass guitar most of the time.

    I've tried several ways to keep the G XT in this show, but it's just not working out. I find that when I cede control of it to my neighbors guitar, I get unpredictable harmony results, as he's often not playing the root chords, but parts that are quite a bit more complicated, interweaving lead guitar into his rhythm playing. I've tried setting the G XT manually to the correct key prior to starting the song, but I have enough going on that adding that extra step seemed too time consuming and cumbersome to deal with while also running a rock show.

    So, I ordered a voice live play and a six position footvswitch, hoping this will be my cure-all for my harmony dilemma. I have a few questions, and I am seeking advice on how to set this up correctly from the get-go so I don't have to do a lot of rework.

    We play to backing tracks that I have recorded in my studio, but these are almost always just drums, and very rarely include any harmonic instruments. It might be possible to use the right side of the stereo file to send chordal info out to the aux input of the VLP. As of now, the tracks are stereo, but I divide drum tracks out to one side, and melodic/harmonic elements to the other for independent processing. Utilizing the aux input method would create a lot of up front work to my backing tracks, but would make the box setup pretty easy as I'd really only need a couple of presets.

    I assume there is a way to use the audio input on the aux to drive the key/chord info but keep it from being sent to the output?
    Can I just include chordal info at the moments I need it for harmony rather than the whole song and will the unit respond quickly enough for this?
    What tone would the VPL like best for this? A piano, or a sine wave?

    I'm discounting the idea of deriving chordal info from the ambient mics right away. I'm not sure that's even an idea worth pursuing in the environment we'll be in, but I'm open to hearing reasoned arguments for trying it.

    I believe I'm going to leave the tone settings right off. I have an outboard compressor I'm happy with, and I can do all the EQing' I need at the board. It sounds like this tone section causes problems for some people anyway.

    I started typing this message thinking I would be making a few presets for each song, having key and scale info for the song and one patch for a single harmony voice, and another with two part harmony.

    If I drive the VPL with the aux input, I can have as few as four presets, each with a different combination of harmony voices.

    If I take this to the logical conclusion, I could have just driven the G XT using the same method, and not invested in the VPL at all... LOL.

    Thanks for listen to me ramble. It might not be too late to cancel my order.
  2. #2 by Todd Moore on 02-06-2018
    Todd Moore's Avatar
    Posts: 5
    So, I did get the voicelive play (as I already have effects units for my acoustic and electric guitars) and the six position footswitch.

    First note is, the six position footswitch in not compatible with the voicelive play, like it is with all the other voicelive processors. This wasn't info easy to obtain. I have since ordered a 3 position footswitch, because I really need the momentary control of the harmonies.

    Second note is, the tone settings are problematic and are probably best left off if you are competent at dialing in a sound on your console.

    Third note is, I am having luck transmitting chord info from my backing track device into the aux input. I use a piano sound and VPL seems to track to that pretty well. I'm experimenting with having the chords jump the beat just a bit as it seems when I put the chords on the beat, the harmonies are a bit slow to change. When using this method, have the Aux In style set to Live vs. Tracks.