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Topic: Choir Simulation - Another Method (TC Helicon)

  1. #1

    Choir Simulation - Another Method (TC Helicon)

    A while back, oldbob posted an impressive choir simulation using a vocoder and sample library. Damned if I can find what forum he posted it in. But for the hell of it, here's a different way to go about it. I'm playing around with a TC Helicon Quintet (now discontinued, but they have other models) which is basically for adding harmonies or doubling voices to real singer's vocals. But this unit can be used by a non-singer by talking into the mic while simultaneously playing the desired notes on a midi keyboard. So I'm trying to see how well it can mimic a choir of male/females voices.

    The mp3's below are just some initial tests. I'm gradually trying new things to hide the synthetic or mechanical nature of voices, but if mixed in with other instruments, some of the flaws can obscured.

    This file shows some techniques for loosening up the sound and generating a real-time choir:


    Simulating a boys choir:


    Multitracking monophonic voices one at a time on 12 tracks for some nice polyphonic vocal work:


  2. #2

    Re: Choir Simulation - Another Method (TC Helicon)

    Quote Originally Posted by Elhardt View Post
    A while back, oldbob posted an impressive choir simulation using a vocoder and sample library. Damned if I can find what forum he posted it in.

    but Roberto has moved the mp3 elsewhere...
    Mac Pro Quad Core, 23" Apple Cinema, Logic Pro 8.x + VSL PRO Edition, some of the VI's, GPO, Ivory, Edirol UA-25 audio card, Event TR6 monitors, 1 girlfriend (Ines).

  3. #3

    Re: Choir Simulation - Another Method (TC Helicon)


    That first Mp3 made me smile. What a great way of showing the process. It may not sound quite as nice as EWSC but it's a heck of a lot easier than wordbuilder! I wonder how it would sound with an orchestra behind it (ok a fake orchestra but some music ) some of the oohs and ahhs were sounding nie and musical!

    Nice demo indeed!

    All the very best,

    "Every time you play a wrong note God kills a kitten."

  4. #4

    Re: Choir Simulation - Another Method (TC Helicon)

    Yeah, the East West Choir sounds great, and it's hard to match the sound of a real choir. But as you noticed, the advantage here is speaking into a mic in real-time, plus the Helicon can do solo voices. I don't know enough about EWSC to know how easy or hard it is to work with, but Vocaloid, which is another application for doing vocals, I hear is a pain in the ~~~ and very slow to work with, and the results can sometimes be kind of synthetic sounding (it's usually for doing solo voices). Although the choir demo they had sounded pretty good from what I remember.

    I plan to try to get a bigger sounding choir like in the EWSC demos, but I need to set up a Reaktor panel to access the features of this TC Helicon unit I can't currently. I set up a midi knob-box to do some of that, but I want to be able to put 4 different voices under a single key. Also I added compressors in the last demo because I was having problems with the voice's dynamic range being all over the place, but the compressor in my M-One turns a stereo sound into almost mono. I need to solve that problem too. I am also having a hard time finding music with English lyrics. I wrote in some fake English words to a piece from Monteverdi's Orfeo, but I was having problems with the female voices, so I dropped it an octave to all male, but it came out sounding all muddy. Turns out I can get slightly clearer sounding female voices if I preprocess my voice with Boss Voice Transfer, since it's formant shifting seems to work better than the TC Helicon unit. As I do a few more demos I'll put them up.

  5. #5

    Re: Choir Simulation - Another Method (TC Helicon)

    Forgive my ignorance here, but when I look at TC Helicon's current products, I can't tell which would be capable of doing this sort of thing. For instance, at one end you have the "Voice Modeler" plugin, which I don't think can do harmony, but might work if you did one voice at a time. Long story short, what's the most inexpensive TC Helicon product you can do this sort of thing with?

  6. #6

    Re: Choir Simulation - Another Method (TC Helicon)

    TC showed new pedals at Frankfurt for 299 euros
    that add 2 harmony voices based on the midi or guitar input.
    the soundquality was pretty impressive-especially considering the low price.


  7. #7

    Re: Choir Simulation - Another Method (TC Helicon)

    Quote Originally Posted by NeoDavinci View Post
    Long story short, what's the most inexpensive TC Helicon product you can do this sort of thing with?
    Above Hans mentioned the new pedals. I just shot over to zzounds.com to see what's currently out there from T.C. Helicon. They show the new pedals for $299. One has Midi in and can generate two voices of harmony. The thing is there aren't a lot of controls on the pedal. I don't see anything there for choosing among the dozen or so types of vibrato. I'm also not sure if the Midi in can be used to choose the absolute note pitches you want the harmony voices so sing in. It might be there just to give relative harmonic intervals or pick song keys.

    I can say that by looking at the specs, it looks like the "TC Helicon VoiceWorks Harmony FX Voice Processor" is the replacement for the Quintet. It too does 4 voices and has the "MIDI Notes" mode which is how I use it. It's a more expensive unit but does more. At zzounds it's $600, maybe less elsewhere. I bought my Quintet for I think about $380. But you might be able to find something used on ebay too.

    You may also want to look at Digitech's current line too. They have similar products. I see they have 2 voice and 4 voice units for $300 and $500.

    What I did before buying my unit was to download the PDF manuals from their sites and look through them to be damn sure I could play the note pitches on a MIDI keyboard while talking/singing into a mic since I'm not a singer I that's how I wanted to use the thing. TC Helicon calls that "Notes Mode" or "MIDI Notes Mode". I also wanted to be sure I could add vibrato to the voices and change genders. The manuals will give you all those details.

    Just by looking at their site, I don't think the VoiceModeler plug-in can operate like above. Maybe the Harmony4 plug-in can, but they don't say in their brief description, though both of those look like they need the TC Powercore processors and/or Protools.

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