Long revered for its off-the-wall but devastatingly good-sounding effects pedals, Electro- Harmonix is best known for eccentric product names like Big Muff Pi, Holy Grail, Bassballs, Small Stone and English Muff’n. In recent years, the New York-based manufacturer has added pro audio gear including the NY-2A stereo tube optical compressor, the Bi-Filter dual analog filter processor, and tube, condenser, and ribbon microphones.
With the Voice Box ($286 list), Electro- Harmonix does not deviate from its weirdand- wonderful formula. Instant backup vocals and a vocoder are yours with a few knob turns, with some unexpected but welcome byproducts likely to result. (With the Voice Box and other E-H products, unintended outcomes can spur all manner of new creative ideas.)
The Voice Box features a balanced XLR input with preamp, phantom power and a hi/lo gain switch; a balanced XLR output and an unbalanced instrument input and output.
The Voice Box offers six harmony modes: low, high, low + high, and multiharmony 1, 2, and 3. It also includes the Vocoder mode, and Octaves and Unison + Whistle modes — the latter two do not require an instrument to be played along with the vocal.
The modes are cycled through by turning the mode knob; one preset can be saved for each of the nine modes. The Voice Mix knob adjusts the mix between lower and higher harmonies, allowing the user to emphasize the lower third or lower fifth in Low Harmony mode, for example. The Gender Bender knob shifts harmony voices up or down, depending on the harmony mode selected. Also included are reverb controls for the dry and harmony vocal, or whatever you choose to put through it.
A bit of experimentation with a guitar in the 256-band Vocoder mode produces a range of bizarre sounds, all of which are either immediately useful or a springboard to new ideas. Similarly, the six harmony modes offer a soloist a new universe of possibilities, creating two- to four-part harmonies in addition to the dry vocal being fed into the Voice Box. For best results, be sure to play full triads to provide critical pitch-shifting information.
Contact: Electro-Harmonix | www.ehx.com