Can this pocket-sized device help you to sing better?
Item: Roland VT-12, Vocal Trainer
Price: £199 £155
At A Glance: The Roland VT-12 vocal trainer is a smartphone-sized device filled with tools designed to improve your singing voice. It has a built-in tuner and metronome to help you with your pitch and timing, as well as 12 warm-up tracks and 186 exercise tracks for you to work on and improve your vocal standard. It also allows you to record your voice to evaluate your performance afterwards. The VT-12 comes bundled with a book entitled Vocal Workouts for the Contemporary Singer (Berklee Press), which is designed to help you with your technique and explain how you can get the best out of the exercises on the device. The unit is powred by two AA batteries and is available in a choice of three colours.
High Notes: The VT-12 is small enough to easily fit in your gig bag or jacket pocket and has a simple interface that is quick to learn. The tuner is calibrated specifically for vocals, which means you get much more useful pitch detection than you would with a guitar tuner for example. It can also be used in polyphonic mode for 2-part harmony singing. The record function is particularly useful if you want to hear back your rehearsals and reflect on your performance to see where you might be making mistakes. The unit also allows you to record your own backing tracks into the device via a MP3 or CD player, so that you can rehearse any piece you like with the VT-12’s pitch analysis tools.
Off Pitch: The on-board speakers are probably a bit too quiet for many people, meaning you will often need to use headphones with the unit. It also faces competition from smartphone apps which offer similar functions but cost substantially less (providing you already have a smartphone).
VoiceCouncil Reviewer Says: The VT-12 can be used both by novices and professionals and works well as a practice aid to help improve your voice. It has a well thought-out range of exercises and scales that cover enough ground for most users. While it can never be a replacement for a singing teacher (who can also help you work on technique as well as pitch) it could be a useful addition to singing lessons as well as a useful tool for professional singers during rehearsals. Although there are a couple of small issues such as the low volume level from the speakers, the VT-12 is a well thought out product that could definitely be of use to many singers.
Manufacturer’s Website: http://www.roland.co.uk