The little VE-5 Vocal Performer is a mobile personal effects processor and phrase looper for vocalists, rappers, DJs or any performer looking to call up cool vocal treatments instantly. Its six vocal effects, borrowed from Roland’s VE-20 stomp pedal unit, are: Reverb, Delay, Double/ Harmony, Dynamics, Pitch Correct and Tone/SFX.
The VE-5 is battery-powered and comes with mounting bracket clamps to attach it to any size mic stand so that VE-5’s backlit LCD display and controls are right up “in your face” for the adjustment and recalling of any of the 50 memory locations. Each memory location has a programmable chain of effects—the 30 factory presets are great starting places to build elaborate chains.
The VE-5 will auto-correct a singer’s pitch either chromatically or by key and scale. It is capable of auto-tune effects along with other treatments simultaneously; their settings and wet/dry balances are programmable and storable in user memories. I like the Harmony button that allows you to drop in pre-programmed harmony parts or special effects at will during live performances and on top of the running preset.
The effects processor is a mono only microphone level unit and connects between your favorite stage mic and the FOH or recording mixer just as any microphone would. There is switchable +48-volt phantom powering and built-in microphone that mutes when the mic is plugged into the unit’s XLR input. The built-in mic and headphone mini jack with volume/line output level control are great features for practicing and working out vocal effects, harmony parts or building vocal phrase loops without any other gear required. For working out harmonies, I used a backing track playing out of my iPhone connected to the VE-5’s Aux in jack with the included stereo mini cable.
The phrase looper works like “sound-on-sound” recording—add layers of vocals with every repeat of the loop. Looper holds a loop up to 38-seconds long and, when in record, the new part sounds dry but adds whatever effect chain you’ve programmed once playback begins.
The BOSS VE-5 Vocal Performer offers a way to personalize, practice and perfect your stage vocal effects and store them for instant recall during your live stage show. It sells for $299 MSRP. Visit http://roland. com/products/en/ VE-5.
miniBIO: Barry Rudolph is a recording engineer/mixer with over 30 gold and platinum RIAA awards to his credit. He has recorded and/or mixed: Lynyrd Skynyrd, Hall & Oates, Pat Benatar, Rod Stewart, the Corrs and Robbie Nevil. Barry has his own futuristic music mixing facility and also teaches recording engineering at Musician’s Institute, Hollywood, CA.http://www.barryrudolph.com