Can TC-Helicon’s latest device help you get great sounding vocals on stage?
Item: TC-Helicon Mic Mechanic
Price: US $149, UK £116
At A Glance: The Mic Mechanic is a vocal effects unit that is simple to use and fits easily in your gig bag. It features TC-Helicon’s adaptive-tone feature that automatically adjusts EQ, compression and de-essing to help make your vocals sound great on stage. It also has a range of reverb and delay sounds, and chromatic auto-tune that can be adjusted to suit how much you want it to correct your pitch (or you can turn it off). The device has an XLR input (that offers phantom power for condenser microphones), an input gain control with clip indicator and a mic-level output to connect to your mixing desk.
High Notes: The unit has a foot switch that can be used to turn off the reverb and tuning when you want to speak to the audience (this does not turn off the adaptive tone so that your voice remains clear through your PA system). You can also achieve this by using the switch on one of TC-Helicon’s microphones which are sold separately. There is a choice of three reverb sounds, two types of delay and three effect sounds that combine both reverb and delay together. The delay effects can be tempo-synched by using the foot pedal to tap the tempo of the song and there is a wet-dry control to adjust the level of the effects relative to your voice.
Off Pitch: Whilst many users will welcome of the simplicity of the Mic Mechanic, some may want a device that offers more user-definable settings such as control over the EQ or reverb tail length. Also, if you have a particularly bright sounding PA system, you may need a little additional EQ adjustment to get the Mic Mechanic sounding optimal.
A VoiceCouncil Reviewer Says: The TC-Helicon Mic Mechanic is a fantastic device that instantly improves the sound of most live vocal microphones. Considering its relatively low cost, it offers professional sounding live reverbs and delays, and the adaptive tone feature is very effective making your vocals cut through the mix. The unit would be a great upgrade for singers currently using the in-built reverb and EQ found on most entry level mixing consoles, or for performers who do not have a sound engineer to help set their vocal sound at gigs. If you need more vocal effects such as doubling or harmony, then you will need to look at one of the more expensive devices on the market that offer these features; however, if you need a simple, low-cost, pocket-sized device that offers a basic range of vocals effects and helps make your vocals sound great on stage, the Mic Mechanic is an essential purchase.
NOTE: TC-Helicon are currently offering a FREE MP-75 microphone if you purchase a Mic Mechanic before Christmas through selected stores.
Below is a brief video demo of the Mic Mechanic that I filmed with my friend Roy Leslie singing:
Review 2 (Video)