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#82151 - 08/09/10 02:21 PM [RealBand] TC Helicon Voice Works Users
Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 4166
Loc: California
Robh Offline
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Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 4166
Loc: California
The other day i bought a TC harmony G, i tried it out and did not like it that much, what I really wanted was a Voice works, so I could feed it midi data to control it. I did not want to have to work off a constant guitar signal. AS I wanted to use it for recording as well. So long story I sent it back under the return policy, and ordered a voice works unit.

I would love some good suggestions as to how to set this up when it gets here.

1. I want to feed it off a midi track in my songs. what do you do to get that to function properly?

2. Many reviews say to turn off the EQ to get better sounds, is that true?

3. what patch sets work best with say a midi guitar track?

4. Some of the videos on YouTube show that the first set of patches are for actually playing the notes into for the harmony from a keyboard, I want to have a midi chord sequence track fire the harmonies any suggestions?

5. Any suggestions on how to get CC to start stop, and adjust the harmony inside a track of a song?

I know a lot of these questions overlap, so maybe you get the idea, i am looking for some suggestions as to how to make this thing work well, what have you seen, and learned that might be handy for me.

Thanks in advance for any and all ideas. Rob
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#82152 - 08/09/10 05:26 PM [RealBand] Re: TC Helicon Voice Works Users [Re: Robh]
Registered: 06/09/03
Posts: 903
Loc: Mobile, Alabama
KeithS Offline
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Registered: 06/09/03
Posts: 903
Loc: Mobile, Alabama
Quote:

I would love some good suggestions as to how to set this up when it gets here.




One thing that I would suggest is downloading the PDF version of the Voiceworks manual from TC-Helicon’s website. It might help you get a head start on your understanding of the unit before it gets there, and for another, it will help you ask more informed questions about the operation. Looking over your questions here, they are quite a bit of a shotgun bunch of questions that would probably be more focused if you were more familiar with how the unit operates.

Quote:

I want to feed it off a midi track in my songs. what do you do to get that to function properly?



Well, one of the modes is to have harmonies generated from chords that are presented to the Voiceworks either from a prerecorded MIDI track or through real time MIDI performance. The more solid and distinct that the chords are, the better the unit can pick them up and generate the appropriate harmonies. There is an option in BIAB that generates a special track for harmonies when you create a MIDI file from a BIAB song. These work pretty well when communicating with the TC-Helicon harmonizers that I own. If it isn’t obvious, you have to set up your MIDI device to send the chords over a given MIDI channel and the Voiceworks needs to be set up to receive on that same channel in order to work.
Quote:

Many reviews say to turn off the EQ to get better sounds, is that true?



If the reviewers mean on the incoming signal from your live vocal, that vocal should be as clean as possible. No color change from the original, no reverb or other effects. If they are saying turn the EQ off on the Voiceworks I doubt that it is possible to make a blanket statement like that. Like anything else, you are going to make your mind up about what kind of setting sounds goood coming out of the unit which has all sorts of things like EQ, chorus, compression, reverb, delay etc.
Quote:

what patch sets work best with say a midi guitar track?



The patches are presets (there are about 100 of them) and they are really just examples or starting points for using the various harmony modes. The patches that use MIDI chords, which is what you say you are looking for, are grouped together on the patch list. There are just a handful of them. If you are using a sequencer you can do it through an instrument definition the same way that you pull up instrument banks/patches in a MIDI sequencer. I think I downloaded my instrument definition from Cakewalk’s site, so obviously that would be specific for use in SONAR.
I’ll emphasize something here. If I were putting chords in to trigger the Voiceworks, I’d be more inclined to put them in specifically for that purpose as opposed to snagging something that was part of the accompaniment. Not that the latter won’t work, it just sometimes those don’t present the best chords to trigger your harmonies.
Quote:

Some of the videos on YouTube show that the first set of patches are for actually playing the notes into for the harmony from a keyboard, I want to have a midi chord sequence track fire the harmonies any suggestions?



mmm…….this is going to sound like a wise a$$ comment, but its true even if I am cracking wise. Choose the patches that are meant to trigger the harmonies from chords. Again, remember, the patches that they are using in those YouTube videos are just Presets. You can punch them up on the unit or you can trigger them through an instrument definition. Or even better, you can use them for experimentation and to understand how it works, and build up your own preset to call up what sounds good to you.
Quote:

Any suggestions on how to get CC to start stop, and adjust the harmony inside a track of a song?



I use a MIDI sequencer (SONAR) and do a lot of the placement of the commands in the Piano Roll view.

A question you should have asked: What methods yield the most realistic and pleasing harmonies?

Once you spend some time with this harmonizer, and working with chords to generate harmonies, some of which you will like, and some of which will make you grind your teeth, you will look for other ways to trigger harmonies. Next up the food chain in terms of ease of use, is to use one of the modes that permit you to send a MIDI control message that tells the Voiceworks what the bass note of the chord is. As I recall, sending “0” is C, (it might be “1”) the next number up is C# and so on up the scale. Variations in the selection of the harmony mode will force a minor chord, 7th chord, Maj6, sus4 etc.

The most advanced mode is one that creates the harmony note for note. You input the MIDI notes, your virtual group sings them. All other input modes use a single MIDI channel, the note for note mode requires 4 consecutive MIDI channels to operate.
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Keith
BIAB 2018 Audiophile
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#82153 - 08/09/10 07:00 PM [RealBand] Re: TC Helicon Voice Works Users [Re: KeithS]
Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 4166
Loc: California
Robh Offline
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Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 4166
Loc: California
Thanks Keith, i appreciate the input. And Cracking Wise is half the fun here. I will do as suggested and read teh manual. One thing is that mostly i will use this for live backing tracks. I want the midi feed track to send a CC command to turn on the harmonizer, and then have it follow the chords. But i will also experiement with single notes from 1 to four tracks. Midi was the whole reason i wanted this unit. I do not want to over do this, as i find that falls into the grinding your teeth catagory. Subtle seems to be the trick. I noticed on the You tube videos that sometimes it was spot on and sounded so real, and other times it was a bit much.

som,e songs sound great with just one shawdo harmony, and other things seem to need a chorus. Sometimes i want a 5th and a 3rd, sometimes a octave and a 3rd. Whatever i just want to spice it up a bit. Sometimes i sing my own harmonies and that works.
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#82154 - 08/09/10 09:31 PM [RealBand] Re: TC Helicon Voice Works Users [Re: Robh]
Registered: 05/29/00
Posts: 38502
Loc: Chesapeake, Virginia USA
Mac Offline
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Registered: 05/29/00
Posts: 38502
Loc: Chesapeake, Virginia USA
Yes, by all means visit the TC website, locate the downloadables for your selected model, download them. The .pdf manual and any other stuff like that.

Then don't forget to look for any possible forums they may have about the care and feeding of your unit and at least lurk them if not sign up altogether.

And don't forget to Bookmark that site, you probably will be visiting it again.


--Mac
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#82155 - 08/09/10 11:59 PM [RealBand] Re: TC Helicon Voice Works Users [Re: Mac]
Registered: 02/09/10
Posts: 636
Loc: Wisconsin
critter Offline
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Registered: 02/09/10
Posts: 636
Loc: Wisconsin
Sounds like me Mac, not to long ago with the Voice Live-2......lol
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#82156 - 08/10/10 01:38 AM [RealBand] Re: TC Helicon Voice Works Users [Re: critter]
Registered: 10/25/08
Posts: 7580
Loc: Winston-Salem, NC
Pat Marr Offline
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Registered: 10/25/08
Posts: 7580
Loc: Winston-Salem, NC
There are quite a few people here with TCHelicon vocal processors of one kind or another. You should be able to get all the help you need. Prepare to be frustrated at first, and thrilled in due time.

There are 3 basic harmony modes:

SCALIC (my personal favorite, because it is very easy, and it provides a very active harmony. Basically, you set the scale of your song, and the processor forces your harmony and/or pitch correction notes into that scale.

advantages:
1) doesn't require MIDI (but can still be controlled that way if you want)
2) easy
3) generally sounds good

disadvantages
1) some songs are in more than one key, and if you aren't using midi to change keys at the right place, the whole harmony can go south very quickly
2) It's not always easy to determine the key/mode of the song. It's frustrating to get a song sounding "right" except for one note that drives you nuts.


CHORDAL (my next favorite)
1) Chordal mode DOES require midi chord input
2) IMHO, the harmonies aren't quite as active
3) if the key changes it doesn't matter since your harmonies are following the chords, not the key.
4) BIAB and RB make this mode work VERY easily!


NOTES (my least favorite)
1) follows midi notes, and requires a lot of work to get the notes programmed
2) to my ear it sounds more contrived than the other harmonies
3) but for very specific harmonies like Beach Boys it is the only way to nail the notes exactly

one tip when using notes mode: go into piano roll and stretch the note duration until the next note starts. That way as long as you sing there will be harmony (it won't drop out because the note duration was shorter than your singing)


You'll want a mic with some built-in gating or an external noise gate or volume pedal to keep external sounds from affecting the pitch correcting and harmonies.

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#82157 - 08/10/10 11:48 AM [RealBand] Re: TC Helicon Voice Works Users [Re: Pat Marr]
Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 4166
Loc: California
Robh Offline
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Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 4166
Loc: California
Thanks everyone so far. Pat, i would imagine i can use a combo of all three as some songs will lend to chordal, and other Scalic, still others note based. I will have to dig in and start learning as soon as the unit arrives. Which should be around friday or next monday.

I will assume that for recording purposes with headphones on it should be rather pristine and there a nice scalic mode setup would have some rather active and precise harmonies. What i plan on doing for any live backing track type songs is to record the harmonies on an audio track so that things can't go as wrong as they can live using the unit.
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#82158 - 08/14/10 06:02 PM [RealBand] Re: TC Helicon Voice Works Users [Re: Robh]
Registered: 01/24/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: California
Muzic Trax Offline
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Registered: 01/24/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: California
Rob,

You can send midi chords in real time from Biab. I believe it is located in the "channels" section of the preferences. There should be one listed as "output" channel and it needs to be check marked. I use channel 16 to send the chords to my keyboard here. I have to also set my keyboard to receive the data to channel 16 as well. Works very well here.

Trax

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#82159 - 08/16/10 11:37 AM [RealBand] Re: TC Helicon Voice Works Users [Re: Muzic Trax]
Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 4166
Loc: California
Robh Offline
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Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 4166
Loc: California
Trax i am using RB, since it allows multiple midi output and has more tracks available.
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#82160 - 08/17/10 02:48 PM [RealBand] Re: TC Helicon Voice Works Users [Re: Robh]
Registered: 01/24/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: California
Muzic Trax Offline
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Registered: 01/24/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: California
I should have caught that since this is RB Forum, duh !!

How about setting a track's velocity to 0 or 1 and see if it will send the chords that way? You would need to locate a Biab style that has a simple guitar or piano comping part and generate it in RB. Then set up TC to receive from that designated channel you have generated. Worth a shot.

Good luck,

Trax

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#82161 - 08/18/10 01:59 AM [RealBand] Re: TC Helicon Voice Works Users [Re: Muzic Trax]
Registered: 05/30/08
Posts: 4291
Sundance Offline
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Registered: 05/30/08
Posts: 4291
If your particular style piano track doesn't work well enough generate a PNOSIMP4 or PNOSIMP3 style piano track, lower the volume and adjust the channel to match.

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#82162 - 08/18/10 12:02 PM [RealBand] Re: TC Helicon Voice Works Users [Re: Sundance]
Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 4166
Loc: California
Robh Offline
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Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 4166
Loc: California
Thanks Josie, i will giver that a go. On most of my songs there are guitar or piano chord tracks i could clone them and use one for playback and one for harmony i guess too.
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#82163 - 08/21/10 11:22 AM [RealBand] Re: TC Helicon Voice Works Users [Re: Robh]
Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 4166
Loc: California
Robh Offline
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Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 4166
Loc: California
Okay i have the unit, and have played with it for two evenings. So far love it. I agree with Keith, some setting are awesome, some make you grind your teeth. I found you have to change the root on the chordal mode, to get it to harmonize in key, i am still finding my way with the presets, i have screwed up a couple and need to fix them. At least it has a restore feature. It seems that sometimes i change the root note for key and they all change. Curious, now i have to play with the song settings so I can recall a patch for a particular song.

Anyone use the software program?

Also what is the CC command to turn the thing on and off, that does not seem clear?
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Toshiba dual core Win 7 8 gig ram, BiaB, Realband, Studio one Professional, Melodyne, Gibson S-1, Carvin 980 Cobalt acoustic, Ovation legend 12 string, jazz bass clone, Fender Mustang III amp, Presonus Audiobox 1818VSL interface, TC Helicon voiceworks.

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#82164 - 08/22/10 02:56 AM [RealBand] Re: TC Helicon Voice Works Users [Re: Robh]
Registered: 10/25/08
Posts: 7580
Loc: Winston-Salem, NC
Pat Marr Offline
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Registered: 10/25/08
Posts: 7580
Loc: Winston-Salem, NC
if your manual is the same as mine (a few year's older model) near the end of the manual there should be a few pages that show all the CCs and tells what they do.

it's on Pages 26, 27 and 28 in mine.

You can turn all sorts of things on and off...

I think to turn pitch correction off or on send CC 113
(any value from 0-63 will turn it off, any value from 64-127 will turn it on)

likewise for harmony, send CC 110
(any value from 0-63 will turn it off, any value from 64-127 will turn it on)

to turn effects off/on send CC 112

etc

You can change the root note also with CCs so that your sequence sets everything the way you want it for each song

(assuming Scalic mode)
to set root note for pitch correction send CC 47
to set root note for harmony send CC 30
in both cases the value you send with it will be 0-11,
0=C, 1=C#, 2=D, 3=D#, 4=E, 5=F ETC

You shouldn't need to set any of that in chordal mode because you're sending chords to the unit so the root note changes with every chord.


Edited by Pat Marr (08/22/10 02:03 PM)

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#82165 - 08/22/10 08:54 PM [RealBand] Re: TC Helicon Voice Works Users [Re: Pat Marr]
Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 4166
Loc: California
Robh Offline
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Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 4166
Loc: California
That is what i was doing CC 110 and the value for on/off as shown, but no joy! maybe i am missing some small detail. I have tried advanced and GM basic both
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#82166 - 08/23/10 12:30 AM [RealBand] Re: TC Helicon Voice Works Users [Re: Robh]
Registered: 10/25/08
Posts: 7580
Loc: Winston-Salem, NC
Pat Marr Offline
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Registered: 10/25/08
Posts: 7580
Loc: Winston-Salem, NC
OK, the thing MOST likely to go wrong is the midi channel. Make sure that the track sending the CC data is sending to the same channel that the Voiceworks receives on.

also make sure that another track isn't using the same channel... if so, the last track overwrites any patches etc set by the first track.

Having established that, also make sure the voiceworks is connected to the sequencer and you are getting midi data (Lights flashing? Chords changing on the little screen if you are using a chordal patch?)

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#82167 - 08/23/10 01:03 AM [RealBand] Re: TC Helicon Voice Works Users [Re: Pat Marr]
Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 4166
Loc: California
Robh Offline
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Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 4166
Loc: California
HHhhhmmm i am not seeing any midi light flashing unless i do something witht he controls of the unit. I will investigate.
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#82168 - 08/23/10 01:44 AM [RealBand] Re: TC Helicon Voice Works Users [Re: Robh]
Registered: 10/25/08
Posts: 7580
Loc: Winston-Salem, NC
Pat Marr Offline
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Registered: 10/25/08
Posts: 7580
Loc: Winston-Salem, NC
Before trying to use CC to change things, let's make sure a few simple things work first.

1) In BIAB, go to OPT/PREFERENCES/OUTPUTCH

2) check the box beside "output chords?"

3) set the channel to match the channel your voiceworks receives on

4) attach a midi cable from the MIDI OUT of your midi port to the MIDI IN on the voiceworks (Actually you should have done that already)

5) for now, manually select one of the chordal patches (patches 31-50 are chordal)

6) play the BIAB song. It should be sending chords to the unit. If all of your channels are set right, you should see the chords on the voiceworks screen echoing the chords in your song.

7) using the VW buttons, manually make sure that pitch correction and harmony are ON

8) as you sing along, your main vocal and the harmonies should be following the song perfectly. If it sounds like you are stuck on one chord, or the little screen doesn't show chords changing, then you either aren't on a chordal patch, or you aren't configured right yet.

no point in trying to use continuous controllers until you are sure the basic setup is configured correctly to receive MIDI data on the right channel.

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#82169 - 08/23/10 01:57 AM [RealBand] Re: TC Helicon Voice Works Users [Re: Robh]
Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 4166
Loc: California
Robh Offline
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Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 4166
Loc: California
Si simple i wanted to scream in the end it was just turn off the re-route midi synth to DX/VSTi feature that was blocking it.
_________________________
Toshiba dual core Win 7 8 gig ram, BiaB, Realband, Studio one Professional, Melodyne, Gibson S-1, Carvin 980 Cobalt acoustic, Ovation legend 12 string, jazz bass clone, Fender Mustang III amp, Presonus Audiobox 1818VSL interface, TC Helicon voiceworks.

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#82170 - 08/23/10 02:03 AM [RealBand] Re: TC Helicon Voice Works Users [Re: Robh]
Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 4166
Loc: California
Robh Offline
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Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 4166
Loc: California
I am using chordal for now, but i tinkered with Scalic a little bit to day it sounds nice when you get it right.

Now i just have to figure outhow to change the harmony patch. By the way i am using RB not BiaB

Thanks so far for the help, i really love the sound of this thing even on the lead it has some nice basic effects.
_________________________
Toshiba dual core Win 7 8 gig ram, BiaB, Realband, Studio one Professional, Melodyne, Gibson S-1, Carvin 980 Cobalt acoustic, Ovation legend 12 string, jazz bass clone, Fender Mustang III amp, Presonus Audiobox 1818VSL interface, TC Helicon voiceworks.

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