In addition to being a private violin teacher, Alecia started writing music-related articles 3 years ago and has been enjoying this experience greatly. Loves quilting and scrapbooking in her free time.
Marcus has a vast experience in digital audio and sound design. Thanks to his knowledge, he actively helps musicians with technical problems, improving their audio quality and even promoting their tracks so that thousands of listeners could enjoy some really good music.
Last updated: April 06, 2021
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Whether you’re a singer or a guitarist, or both – finding the best harmonizer pedal can often be a bit hit and miss. With so many vocal harmonizer pedal options on the market, the task can seem daunting. However, searching for the right vocal harmony pedal is worthwhile. Today’s intelligent harmonizers can add depth and texture to your performance – both to a vocal, an instrument, or a whole band.
Vocal harmony processors differ, and it’s important to find the best pedal for you. This article is designed to help you narrow down your search and find an option that suits your needs. We’ve compiled detailed reviews of the seven best pedals we could find, and we’ve included a handy buying guide which considers the important features – such as presets, effects, dimensions and weight. We know that if you’re gigging regularly, you’ll want a lighter, compact pedal.
When you’re looking for your own vocal harmonizer stompbox, save yourself some time and take advantage of the research we’ve conducted. We’ve examined customer reviews and spent a lot of time making sure our product review list represents a broad spectrum of available products so that it’s easier for you to find the best harmonizer pedal for your specific needs.
"Entry-level-friendly vocal harmonizer stombox with the exceptionally low price. It has manual or guitar-controlled key/scale selection. The construction is very sturdy, making it the perfect choice for live performances."
"Get the best concert experience with the tremendous amounts of the effects that this harmonizer pedal has. One hundred of presets, durable metal construction, guitar and bass connectivity are things what musicians get from this studio stompbox."
"Whether you are a novice singer or a studio vocalist, you wouldn’t refuse to have a harmonizer pedal with the functions that are available to experts. In addition, it is quite lightweight and has twenty-four harmony types."
"If you have always dreamed of the harmonizer with an almost uncountable amount of settings, then this is your choice. Download the effects and presets that you need for your performance to get the best sound."
More features: 2 switch stompbox, USB port, tone button for perfect EQ, compression, de-essing and gating, auto-chromatic pitch correction to sing in tune, adds 1 or 2 voices of realistic vocal harmony set manually or directed by your guitar
The TC Helicon VoiceTone Harmony G-XT is an intelligent harmonizer – which means it will detect the key you are playing or singing in automatically, and you won’t need to turn a control knob. That’s a handy feature to have when you’re gigging.
This pedal is designed mainly to hone in on vocals but offers wonderful features to enhance the whole band and other instruments too. The presets offer astonishing versatility and much time saving, and you can add and save your own designs for presets too, via the memory function – again, that’s an amazing feature when doing a show.
It doesn’t stop there, however, and you get additional effects, including reverb, delay, and this particular TC Helicon model even has a tuner for your guitar.
There are some smart and convenient functions here. The tone button adds a de-esser and compression to the mix – and you also get the benefit of EQ.
All in all, the TC Helicon pedal is going to help a lot of singers and musicians achieve a professional stage sound, and the pitch correction feature of this unit will be music to the ears for your audience too!
The TC Helicon VoiceTone C1 is a harmonizer pedal that provides a lot of options for many different performers and hobbyists. You even get the ability to control the gender-based properties of vocals – which is an effect that will open up all sorts of possibilities.
This pedal is basically the little brother of the harmonizer pedal that sits in first place on our list, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and this pedal represents a better entry option than our top pick.
The TC Helicon VoiceTone C1 has a handy USB port, allowing you to use this in conjunction with additional equipment and to get updates. There is pitch correction which will make you sound faultless, no matter what you’ve been up to – a good feature for hard-working musicians.
The build quality here is also amazing. The unit is made from sturdy and very gig-worthy die-cast metal, and there’s rubber to absorb some of the harder knocks of musical life.
To sum up, the TC Helicon VoiceTone C1 is an astounding pedal and offers enough to make it an excellent pick for a wide range of people.
More features: up to 4 voices of diatonic pitch shifting and up to 1.5 seconds of stereo delay, studio-quality sound, guitar or bass compatible, built-in tuner, software upgradeable via USB 2.0, true analog bypass
Buying the Eventide PitchFactor means buying into years of excellence at the very top of the global studio effects market. These pedals are premium quality, and you won’t experience a hitch when you spend enough money to buy one. You get guaranteed quality, professional sound and the peace of mind that you’re dealing with a huge and respected company.
This pedal is fully MIDI compatible, and downloading new software is as easy as plugging it in via the USB port. You get delay, pitch shifting, a tuner, and many other effects and features. There are an amazing one hundred presets.
The construction of the Eventide PitchFactor is bullet-proof cast metal. This thing will be at home anywhere and will take the knocks of life on the road.
This pedal is both guitar and bass guitar compatible and operates as mono or stereo, depending on what your requirements are.
Overall, you get what you pay for when it comes to electronics – and when you pay for the Eventide PitchFactor, you get a whole bunch of effects and features, combined with a sound that would be ideal on even the highest stage.
More features: real-time vocal harmonies and high-quality effects, runs on four AA-size batteries or optional PSA-series AC adapter, manual harmony settings for solo singers, hybrid mode for songs where the guitar part transitions between rhythm and lead playing
In the next slot on our list of the seven best vocal harmonizers we could find on the market is the Boss VE-2. This pedal is another marvelous option for entry-level and hobbyist musicians or singers that want something more simple and don’t want too many features or complicated settings when using the pedal.
The boss pedal isn’t the sturdiest pedal on the market, but the lack of heavy materials does make it extremely lightweight and convenient to carry around. Perhaps this is less of a gigging pedal and more suitable for beginner musicians who may want to meet up and practice with friends occasionally, but can take the time to look after their pedal.
You get some fantastic functions here, while all of them are quite easy to use. There are three memory settings available – so you can figure out some set-ups that work and quickly and easily get back to them when you need. You also get twenty-four harmony types, delay, reverb and even auto-harmony.
This is an excellent pedal for beginners, and will even suit a more experienced performer who wants a quick memory pedal that doesn’t cost the earth.
The Electro-Harmonix Voice Box is a pedal that offers a lot of features and the chance to be creative, without too much fuss. While not a beginner’s pedal, it’s also not the most complicated to master and this product will cover a wide range of abilities and user types.
You get nine presets with the Electro-Harmonix Voice Box, and that makes the pedal a good option for either the studio or for home recording, while also being a handy and ready to use option for the road.
For singers that want to travel without a troupe of backing artists, the Electro-Harmonix Voice Box is an ideal road trip companion. This piece of equipment specializes in replicating the sound of perfect backing singers, and it will make you sound like the real deal, even in the smallest or largest of rooms – because the reverb on this unit is rich, realistic, and attractive to listen to. Plus, you can select whether you use reverb on the whole deal or just the lead vocal.
This pedal will track the key of the instruments, and you get gender manipulation, pitch shifting, and everything that is packed into the robust and compact Electro-Harmonix Voice Box die-cast construcion to provide an excellent device that will survive the rigors of live performance.
Why is it special?
Excellent harmonization qualities and sound
What are the flaws?
Instructions and documentation are not helpful
Boss VE-20 – Best Pedal for Experiments with Vocals
Presets: 30 presets + memory for 50 user configurations
Effects: 3-part harmonies and layers, reverb, double-track, dynamic, pitch correction, phrase looper, special FX, including distortion, radio and strobe
Dimensions: 6.2 x 6.8 x 2.2 inches
Weight: 2.44 lbs
More features: runs on six AA-batteries or AC adaptor (PSA), high quality effects, easy to use, tough construction design, phantom power for condenser microphones
The VE-20 makes it simple for vocalists to get creative, straight out of the box. This is mainly because of an excellent number of presets. You get thirty with this pedal, and in theory, that’s enough to mean you get to do a whole lot of experimenting before you ever need to delve further into the settings and options that the pedal offers.
This piece of kit is basically a very efficient performance enhancer – the Olympic committee would ban it – and it will generate sweet harmonies effortlessly, provide reverb that will make that acoustically void bar room sound like an opera house, while sorting out the fact you’re out of tune at the same time.
Not only that, but there are fifty memory slots, so when you do start experimenting with this pedal, you’ll be able to store what you find.
You get pitch correction, harmonies, delay, and reverb – and all of them will take some tweaking until you get exactly what you need.
The controls on this pedal are simple and concise yet effective. The two pedals work well. Further effects include a choruser, flange, and distortion – so you can go from Classical to Heavy Metal in a heartbeat.
The Eventide H9 Core is the wildcard on our list of the seven best vocal harmonizer pedals, but it’s included on the list for very good reasons.
The best way to think about the Eventide H9 Core is that it’s a base unit, and that it won’t suit absolutely everyone out there – but when it does suit a performer, they will fall head over heels in love with its features, capabilities, and all of the creative possibilities it holds.
The principle behind the Eventide H9 Core is a simple one. Buy quality at an affordable price, without paying out cash for features you just don’t need. Then add what you do need, as you need it. Options for the Eventide H9 Core are available separately as algorithm downloads, and you get a coupon for a free download with the pedal – so, theoretically, your initial spend gets you quickly up and running, and you add what you need as you go.
The H9 Core does come with a built-in tuner, it’s MIDI compatible, and you can control it wirelessly via Bluetooth. Software options are Windows, OSX, or iOS, so beware if you use Android.
Why are we impressed?
Built like a nuclear bunker
Mix and match features
What negatives must you be aware of?
It takes time to download algorithms
Requires wireless connection for simpler use
Things to Consider
The best vocal harmonizer pedal is going to be a piece of musical equipment that almost all musicians or singers are going to benefit a whole lot from buying. Harmonizer pedals can be used for many purposes, with almost all electronic instruments, and when used correctly, connected at the appropriate place at the signal chain, a harmonizer will add layers and textures to the sounds you produce, that are almost impossible to achieve in any other way. Anything that improves your sound is a great thing when you’re a musician, and harmonizers fit well and truly into that bracket – because they allow you to be more creative and original.
How to pick the best harmonizer pedal
When picking a good harmonizer pedal, it’s always very helpful to have a clear idea of how you’re going to use it. If you want to use your harmonizer as an all-rounder in a studio, or even pass it around your band, expect to pay more. Vocal harmonizers tend to have a lot more features than budget harmonizers for guitars, for example. It’s important to prioritize what you need, and not to pay money for features you won’t use. The best sounding harmonizer pedal won’t necessarily be the most complicated and most expensive option.
Studio or live performance
One of the most important factors to consider when buying any piece of electronic musical equipment is how large it is. Weight and dimensions are the crucial factors if you are a gigging musician who intents or needs to take your gear on the road. If you are a studio-based musician, however, you are more likely to prioritize functions over portability, and the size and weight won’t be as big a concern for you. The best harmonizer pedal for vocal studio work will have a good range of features and tone.
Harmonizer pedals do some wonderful things that, before their advent, took years of practice, a whole lot of natural skill, and sometimes even a generous slice of luck to achieve. Harmonizing a sound wave makes it richer and adds layers of interest for listeners. What a harmonizer pedal does is basically it shift-pitches the original inputted sound, and then combines the new sound with the original one to make a layered ‘pile’ of sounds.
Harmonizers can make music sound like there are more musicians playing it than it is in reality.
Harmonizer pedals with key tracking will protect you from sounding like an amateur, and if you are an amateur – they’ll just make you sound like you know exactly what you’re doing! This is because pedals that lack this feature can throw out the odd off-key note – and that will stand out like a sore thumb. It can really make it sound like you hit a completely wrong note.
Key tracking pedals are intelligent enough to follow the key so that your vocals will leave your audience wanting for more songs – not a set of ear defenders.
Pitch shifting is a way of changing the pitch of the sound that you’re actually playing or singing. For instance, a guitar player in a band might want to reach pitches that the guitar isn’t capable of reaching on its own – without the use of an effects pedal. The same goes with the vocals. Pitch shifting is now thankfully a feature of many of the best digital harmonizer pedals out there on the market, and where once, we had to go out and buy a couple of effects pedals to get harmonizing effects and pitch shifting, these days, we can get a lot more bang for our buck.
You can look at reverb in a few different ways, but the easiest way to think about it is in terms of pushing the sound of a vocal or an instrument back, and making it sound a little further away. Reverb gives you the perception of the space and glues your vocals to the sound of the musical instruments, and it’s a wonderful effect to use – especially when you’re trying to build up the richness of a sound with a harmonizer pedal. Reverb can add an acoustic quality to your vocals or music, and by that, we don’t mean that it makes an electronic keyboard sound like a grand piano – we are trying to say that reverb can mimic the effects of a natural acoustic environment.
Delay is another one of the most fundamental musical effects, and musicians often use it when they are either singing or playing the guitar or the keyboard. If you are lucky enough to have the option to use delay with your harmonizer pedal, it’s just one more string on your bow. If you’re looking for a particular effect, for example with a vocal let’s just say you want to add a touch of reverb to soften up the tone of the vocal – it’s often the case that you’ll ‘push the sound of the vocal back’ – for instance, if the vocal is competing with an instrument or instruments. Adding a bit of delay to the vocal can separate it from the other effect, and it’ll make that aspect of the vocal sound more prominent.
Presets and memory
Presets can be an excellent help with any type of the effect pedal, because they give you a starting point. This is an important thing when you are inexperienced at creating different sounds and tones by using effects. It’s rare that you’ll find a preset that is exactly what you need – because the effects that you can achieve with today’s modern pedals are infinite.
However, what presets do is give you a base set-up that will sound great, and you’re less likely to go completely wrong on your overall settings when you don’t stray too far from a preset.
Once you’re more experienced, things get a lot easier. What memory does is give you the ability to create your own presets. Depending on the number of memory slots your own pedal has, you can find a range of settings that you really love, or are likely to use again and again, and set the memory to remember that group of settings.
Other effects and features
Depending on which harmonizer you choose to buy, there is a wide range of features that the stompboxes include. In the modern-day, it’s possible to have less effect pedals – whether you’re a musician, singer or both – because you can often find several effects incorporated into one piece of equipment. That is a remarkable thing if you are a gigging performer and you want to carry as little equipment around as possible from show to show. Harmonizer pedals are often fitted with effects like reverb, digital delay, chorusing, and some will even go as far as to EQ your vocal or instrument sound for you. Depending on how well you sing, sometimes the best vocal harmony processors are the ones with the most effects!
It is essential to think of the price for two reasons. The first reason is that some of us do not want to spend some extra money for unnecessary effects, and the second reason is that you generally want to get more quality and richness of the sound which is sometimes can be achieved only on the more expensive pedals – although it is sometimes possible to find some gems. On our own list, prices range from under $200 right up to the Eventide PitchFactor, which will set you back several hundred dollars. The best piece of advice is to work out what you need, set a budget based on that, and then buy the best pedal in this price range.
Harmonizers shift the pitch, and for that reason, you need to hook them up at the head of, or close to the head of the signal chain. Under no circumstances do you want to place a harmonizer after the effects like chorus pedals, digital delay pedals, or reverb pedals. Because you need to shape the waveform before you harmonize it, if you’re planning on using a compressor pedal, you’ll need to place that before the harmonizer in the signal chain.
Most modern harmonizers can handle everything you throw at them and will process a range of sounds and tempos accurately and beautifully without messing up. As always, if you compare the harmonizer pedal of better quality to a poor quality unit, you will notice the difference. So be realistic about performance and buy the best harmonizer pedal you can afford within your own set budget. Your best harmonizer pedal is the pedal with the features you need, so remember to look for them.
Almost any electronic instrument can be used with a harmonizer to great effect, but you will sometimes need to experiment if you are going to use more exotic instruments. Basically, you will be able to connect your electric guitar, bass or digital piano to your harmonizer pedal. But some pedals do not have this feature at all. The general rule of thumb is that the more you want to do with a harmonizer, the more money it’s best to spend. In other words, better quality harmonizers have a greater range of uses.
So, we’ve taken a really close look at the best harmonizer pedals on the market in 2020, and we’ve highlighted all the technical aspects of these pedals too. The product that came out at the very top of our list was the TC-Helicon VoiceTone Harmony-G XT, and it’s a pedal that is going to appeal to a lot of musicians and singers out there.
In the second place on our list of the best vocal harmonizer pedals was the TC-Helicon VoiceTone C1. This pedal has everything that most musicians are ever going to need with an effects pedal of this type, and the features will please a lot of people.
In the third position on our list, there is the harmonizer pedal that a lot of musicians and singers are definitely going to want to check out – the excellent Eventide PitchFactor. We’ve tried to find a great range of pedals to suit all budgets and needs, and the Eventide PitchFactor definitely deserves to be included in the top three on our list.