TC Helicon VoiceLive 3 Extreme - Reference Manual

English Reference Manual
VL3X

Safety information
Important safety instructions
EMC / EMI
Explanation of graphic symbols
1
2
4
5
Before you begin
6
About this manual
7
Getting support
8
VoiceSupport9
Please register your VL3X
10
Introduction11
Welcome!12
Concepts13
Top panel overview
18
Footswitches overview
21
Back panel inputs and outputs
27
VL3X overview
30
Setting up
31
Diagram legend
32
Diagrams33
Quick troubleshooting tips
38
Getting to know VL3X
Amazing Grace
A guided tour
There’s no place like Home
Using the Control knob
Using the Arrow buttons
What is a Preset?
Using Steps
Using Preset Genres and Favorites
What is NaturalPlay?
Using Global Key/Scale
Setting Key/Scale manually
Let’s try Harmony!
39
40
41
42
43
44
45
46
47
48
49
50
51
Using the HIT footswitch
52
Using individual effects
53
Change a button from Latched to
Momentary mode
54
Remapping a footswitch
55
Talk/Tuner Mode
57
Guitar Effects
58
Editing HIT
59
Using ALL HIT
60
HIT – Dynamic vs. Snapshot
61
Storing Presets
63
Tapping tempo
65
Using Global Tempo
66
Editing an Effect
67
Defining and using Global Effects
69
MIDI Sync
72
Backing Track Import
73
Backing Tracks
76
Backing Track Sequence Recording
(Automation)80
Importing and Exporting Performances
83
Direct to USB Recording
84
Using the Mix Controls
85
Tips and tricks for working with layers
and effects
87
Mic Control and Footswitch tabs:
Remapping footswitches
88
Exp. Pedal tab: Getting the most out
of your expression pedal
89
Editing the Vocal Layer
91
Introduction92
Harmony effect block / tab
93
Double effect block / tab
95
Vocal Delay effect block / tab
96
Vocal Reverb effect block / tab
98
HardTune effect block / tab
100
Synth effect block / tab
Transducer effect block / tab
Vocal µMod effect block / tab
Choir effect block / tab
Vocal Rhythmic effect block / tab
Stutter effect block / tab
Vocal Buttonmap tab
102
103
104
105
106
107
108
Editing the Guitar Layer
110
Introduction111
Amp effect block / tab
112
Drive effect block / tab
114
Guitar Delay effect block / tab
115
Guitar Reverb effect block / tab
116
Comp(ression) effect block / tab
117
Wah (Wah-Wah) effect block / tab
118
µMod effect block / tab
119
Octaver effect block / tab
120
Guitar Rhythmic effect block / tab
121
Guitar Buttonmap block / tab
122
The Looper
123
Introduction124
Loop button parameters
125
Basic loop concepts and terms
128
Entering and exiting Loop mode
129
Your first loop
130
The Utility menu
134
Loop limits
139
Loop Management
140
Loop Triggers
142
Looping and MIDI Sync
144
Product
Product (firmware) version
Document
Document version / date
VL3X
2.0.00 Build 311
Reference manual
2015-05-12
VL3X – Reference manual (updated 2015-05-12)a

Setup145
Introduction146
Input tab
147
Output tab
151
Guitar tab
153
MIDI tab
155
Tone tab
159
System tab
165
Mic Control and Footswitch tabs
169
Mic Control tab
170
Footswitch tab
172
Pedal Calibration tab
177
Product info tab
178
Appendix179
MIDI CC List
180
System Maintenance/Factory Reset
181
Technical Specifications
182
VL3X – Reference manual (updated 2015-05-12)b
Safety information
Safety information
VL3X – Reference manual (updated 2015-05-12)1
Safety information
Important safety instructions
1. Read these instructions.
2. Keep these instructions.
3. Heed all warnings.
4. Follow all instructions.
5. Do not use this apparatus near water.
6. Clean only with a dry cloth.
7. Do not block any ventilation openings. Install in accordance with the manufacturer’s
instructions.
8. Do not install near any heat sources such
as radiators, heat registers, stoves, or other apparatus (including amplifiers) that produce heat.
9. Do not defeat the safety purpose of the polarized or grounding-type plug. A polarized
plug has two blades with one wider than
the other. A grounding-type plug has two
blades and a third grounding prong. The
wide blade or the third prong is provided for
your safety. If the provided plug does not fit
into your outlet, consult an electrician for
replacement of the obsolete outlet.
10. Protect the power cord from being walked
on or pinched, particularly at plugs, convenience receptacles, and the point where
they exit from the apparatus.
11. Only use attachments/accessories specified by the manufacturer.
12. Use only with a cart, stand, tripod,
bracket, or table specified by the
manufacturer, or sold with the apparatus. When a cart is used, use
caution when moving the cart/apparatus
combination to avoid injury from tip-over.
13. Unplug this apparatus during lightning
storms or when unused for long periods
of time.
14. Refer all servicing to qualified service personnel. Servicing is required when the apparatus has been damaged in any way,
such as power-supply cord or plug is damaged, liquid has been spilled or objects
have fallen into the apparatus, the apparatus has been exposed to rain or moisture,
does not operate normally, or has been
dropped.
Caution
You are cautioned that any change or modifications not expressly approved in this manual
could void your authority to operate this equipment.
VL3X – Reference manual (updated 2015-05-12)2
Safety information
Service
Warning
►► All
►► To
service must be performed by qualified
personnel.
►► There are no user-serviceable parts inside.
reduce the risk of fire or electric shock, do
not expose this apparatus to rain or moisture
and objects filled with liquids, such as vases,
should not be placed on this apparatus.
►► This apparatus must be earthed.
►► Use a three wire grounding type line cord like
the one supplied with the product.
►► Be advised that different operating voltages
require the use of different types of line cord
and attachment plugs.
►► Check the voltage in your area and use the
correct type.
Voltage
Line plug according to standard
110 to 125 V UL817 and CSA C22.2 no 42.
220 to 230 V CEE 7 page VII, SR section 1072-D1 / IEC 83 page C4.
►► This
equipment should be installed near the
socket outlet and disconnection of the device
should be easily accessible.
►► To completely disconnect from AC mains, disconnect the power supply cord from the AC
receptacle.
►► The mains plug of the power supply shall remain readily operable.
►► Do not install this device in a confined space.
►► For use at an altitude of 2000 m or lower.
►► Do not open the unit – risk of electric shock
inside.
VL3X – Reference manual (updated 2015-05-12)3
Safety information
EMC / EMI
Electromagnetic compatibility / Electromagnetic interference
This equipment has been tested and found to
comply with the limits for a Class B digital device, pursuant to part 15 of the FCC rules.
For customers in Canada
This Class B digital apparatus complies with Canadian ICES-003.
Cet appareil numérique de la classe B est
conforme à la norme NMB-003 du Canada.
These limits are designed to provide reasonable
protection against harmful interference in residential installations. This equipment generates,
uses and can radiate radio frequency energy
and, if not installed and used in accordance with
the instructions, may cause harmful interference
to radio communications. However, there is no
guarantee that interference will not occur in a
particular installation.
If this equipment does cause harmful interference to radio or television reception, which can
be determined by turning the equipment off and
on, the user is encouraged to try to correct the
interference by one or more of the following
measures:
►► Reorient
or relocate the receiving antenna.
the separation between the equipment and receiver.
►► Connect the equipment into an outlet on a circuit different from that to which the receiver is
connected.
►► Consult the dealer or an experienced radio / TV technician for help.
►► Increase
VL3X – Reference manual (updated 2015-05-12)4
Safety information
Explanation of graphic symbols
The lightning bolt triangle is used to
alert the user to the presence of uninsulated “dangerous voltages” within
the unit’s chassis that may be of sufficient magnitude to constitute a risk of
electric shock to humans.
The exclamation point triangle is used
to alert the user to presence of important operating and service instructions
in the literature accompanying the
product.
VL3X – Reference manual (updated 2015-05-12)5
Before you begin
Before you begin
VL3X – Reference manual (updated 2015-05-12)6
Before you begin
About this manual
This reference manual will help you learn understanding and operating your VL3X.
You can download the most current version of
this reference manual from:
tc-helicon.com/support/manuals/
To get the most from this reference manual,
please read it from start to finish, or you may
miss important information.
VL3X – Reference manual (updated 2015-05-12)7
Before you begin
Getting support
If you still have questions about the product after reading this reference manual, please get in
touch with TC-Helicon Support:
tc-helicon.com/support/product/
VL3X – Reference manual (updated 2015-05-12)8
Before you begin
VoiceSupport
VoiceSupport is the application that allows you
to fully unlock the potential of your TC-Helicon
product and stay in touch with the latest news,
tips and tricks.
VoiceSupport key features include:
►► Professionally
authored preset libraries
►► Direct access to product manuals
►► Drag & drop Preset management
►► Customizable content about your products
►► Firmware upgrades
►► Account management
►► Access to TC-Helicon support
You can download VoiceSupport for Microsoft
Windows and Mac OS X from:
tc-helicon.com/products/voicesupport/
VL3X – Reference manual (updated 2015-05-12)9
Before you begin
Please register your VL3X
To register your VL3X using the VoiceSupport
software, launch VoiceSupport and click on the
ACCOUNT button.
You can also go to
account.tc-helicon.com
Registration of your product is NOT required to
use VoiceSupport, download presets, update
firmware or contact support.
VL3X – Reference manual (updated 2015-05-12)10
Introduction
Introduction
VL3X – Reference manual (updated 2015-05-12)11
Introduction
Welcome!
Thank you for purchasing VoiceLive 3 Extreme –
or as we affectionately call it: VL3X.
Like the original VoiceLive 3, VL3X brings you
a wide array of vocal and guitar effects, plus a
great multi-track looper.
But, you bought the Extreme – so what’s NEW?
In a word… well, four words: Backing Tracks and
Automation.
See “Backing Tracks” and “Backing Track Sequence Recording (Automation)”.
As you discovered in the Quick Start Guide (the
short manual that came in the box), VL3X is easy
to use at the top level but offers unpre­cedented
depth in both control and editing. We recommend you treat your VL3X like any other new
instrument and dedicate some time to learning
how to use it.
Yes, that means RTFM!
Read the… full manual.
VL3X – Reference manual (updated 2015-05-12)12
Introduction
Concepts
Before we dive into the countless features of
VL3X, let’s establish some basic terms and concepts.
Layers & footswitch mapping
our massively popular VoiceLive 2 unit: “I love
it – but I want the ‘X’ footswitch to be where the
‘Y’ footswitch is”.
We also recognize that Layers and remappable footswitches can be a bit daunting to learn.
This is why we have designed the system to be
consistent and straightforward. Once you have
learned how to remap one footswitch, you know
how to remap them all.
VL3X is built on the fundamental concept of “layers”. From a design perspective, there are thee
Layers to work with:
►► Vocal
►► Guitar
►► Looping
/ Backing Track
You may switch between Layers using the Layer
footswitch, which we will discuss in more detail
later in the manual.
Essentially, when you tap the Layer footswitch,
the effects associated with the six effect
footswitches (labeled µMod, Delay, Reverb, HIT,
Double/Comp, Harmony/Drive) will change from
vocal effects to guitar effects or looping/backing
track controls.
You can even remap footswitches within a Layer or from one Layer to another. This approach
solves one of the most common requests from
VL3X – Reference manual (updated 2015-05-12)13
Introduction
Global Effects
Another common request from TC-Helicon users
has been for “global effects”. VL3X allows you to
define a specific Preset as the “Global” Preset.
This defines all of the effects and parameters
within that Preset and allows them to be easily
applied to other Presets.
What does that mean for you? Easier, quicker Preset creation and access to consistent
sounds!
Setting Global to on links an effect to the
settings defined in the Global Preset
Global effects are available for each and every
effect in the Vocal and Guitar Layers. There are
endless possibilities for Global effects handling,
but here are a couple we think you might like:
Here is an example:
“I want to use this great reverb on a whole bunch
of Presets. How do I do that?”
►► First,
edit the guitar reverb on your Global Preset (by default, this is Preset no. 491). Editing
guitar settings is explained in greater detail in
“Editing the Guitar Layer”.
►► Then go to each Preset where you would like
to use the same Reverb, go to the Reverb
settings and change the Global parameter to
“On”.
Done! This Preset will now use the Reverb settings from the Global Preset.
Use the same guitar effects
across all Presets
This essentially turns VL3X’s Guitar Layer into a
series of stomp-boxes that you only need to set
up once.
“How do I do that?”
►► Simply
edit ANY Preset until all of the guitar
effects and footswitch assignments are how
you like them.
►► Enter the Setup menu and navigate to the System tab using the horizontal Arrow buttons.
►► Dial the Control knob until the line saying “All
Guitar FX Global: Off” is highlighted.
►► Turn Mix knob 3 or Mix knob 4 under the display until “Off” changes to “On”.
Done! Every Preset will now have the same
guitar sounds.
Set All Guitar FX Global to “On” to use the
same guitar effect in all Presets
Make sure a particular effect
always sounds the same
Want a certain Delay available in every Preset?
No problem.
►► Just
edit the Global Preset’s Delay setting.
to each Preset where you would like to use
the same Delay, go to the Delay settings and
change the Global parameter to “On”.
►► Go
Always use the same guitar amp model,
but have everything else change
►► Easy! Adjust the Global Preset’s Amp setting
the way you want it.
►► Go to each Preset where you would like to use
the same Amp, go to the Amp settings and
change the Global parameter to “On”.
Updating Global settings
The Global system is “opt in”. This means each
Preset carries its own individual settings until
you change an effect to Global. Once that happens, the current Preset and Global Preset settings become shared.
Once you have changed an effect to Global ON, any edits you make within that Pre-
VL3X – Reference manual (updated 2015-05-12)14
Introduction
set affect the Global settings as well. This
means you don’t have to bounce back and forth
between the Global and current Preset to make
changes to Global effects.
It also means that you need to be aware of the
above, so you don’t accidentally edit a Global
setting, thinking you are only editing the current
Preset. With great power comes great responsibility!
For more information, see “Defining and using
Global Effects”.
Multi-track looper
box” segment in order for there to be “enough”
to play your guitar part over. Now, you can record unequal length phrases!
Record your 1 bar “beat box” on one loop Track,
then record your 8 bar guitar section on another.
Looper – Main view
Having access to multiple, independent loops allows for a lot of flexibility and functionality when
looping. Our multi-track looper has some really
amazing performance features that will help you
to make great loops.
There are a few different Sync modes in the
Looper – so be sure to read the “The Utility
menu” to familiarize yourself with the way they
affect your loops.
The Swap feature allows you to record two loops
and alternate between them with the push of a
footswitch. This is particularly useful for recording different “sections” of a song, (like a verse
and chorus) and quickly moving between them.
Looper – Swap feature
Loop length no longer matters. In some loopers, your longest loop track will dictate the length
of all others, which can be a big hassle. Imagine
a “beat box” style rhythm that is 1 bar long and a
guitar progression that is 8 bars long. In the past,
you would have to record 8 bars of the “beat
VL3X – Reference manual (updated 2015-05-12)15
Introduction
Store loops
Backing Tracks and Automation
Complete guitar effects
Those of you who have jumped on board with
looping have likely made a really, really good
loop in the past – only to see it vanish into thin
air when you power off the device. VL3X allows
you to store your creations right in the box!
VL3X’s killer new feature is its ability to import
Backing Tracks, assign them to a Preset and
then record your effect changes throughout the
song. When you hit the stage, your carefully designed performance can be presented to your
audience, keeping your eyes up and feet free to
better deliver a compelling performance.
With VoiceLive Play GTX, we introduced our first
“complete” guitar effects suite. Previously, we
had provided Chorus, Reverb, EQ and Compression blocks. VoiceLive Play GTX added Amp/
Distortion and Delay to the options, greatly expanding the sound possibilities for guitar players.
No more “tap dancing” on the effects buttons.
No more external track player. Just a great performance where you can concentrate on what
you do best, playing music.
VL3X takes that ball and runs with it. In fact, it
pulls a Forrest Gump and runs straight out of the
stadium and across the country!
Loop Utility menu with Save function
Not only can you store your loops – you can
assign a stored loop to a Preset. This, in our
opinion, is a game changer.
Imagine recording a really cool ambient loop,
synced to the tempo of your song, while you are
at home – and then fire it off at your gig. If the
band is using a click track, everything will line up
perfectly with what you are playing, including all
of your time-based vocal and guitar effects!
Guitar effects in VL3X
This storage ability removes a lot of the repetitive
nature of building loops live in front of an audience. Sure, it’s neat the first time you see someone build a loop live, but then it gets a bit boring.
It often takes a while to get all of the “bits” of the
loop recorded. You can do that work in advance
and then add to things in real-time during performance.
When you couple those beautiful effects with
great amp modeling, Drive/Boost, Compression,
Rhythm/Tremolo, Wah-wah and Octave Down,
you can truly manipulate your guitar and vocal
sounds as a cohesive unit.
The guitar effects in VL3X come from some of TC
Electronic’s most successful effects, like Corona
Chorus, Hall of Fame Reverb, Vortex Flanger and
Flashback Delay!
Imagine your time-based vocal and guitar effects
being perfectly in sync, without having to set up
complex timing systems or tapping tempo on
multiple devices. Everything just lines up!
VL3X – Reference manual (updated 2015-05-12)16
Introduction
Advanced monitoring
More and more people are jumping into the In
Ear Monitor (IEM) pool. It’s a great thing to do –
but it can often require a fairly complex setup.
VL3X offers two features that make custom monitor mixing really easy for you.
This monitoring capability can literally eliminate
the need for expensive belt packs, transmitters,
secondary mixers and other gear required for a
custom IEM solution. Using our included Guitar/
Headphone cable, you only use one cable to
connect your guitar and headphones/IEM’s to
the unit!
Monitor IN
Using the Monitor IN XLR connection, you can
bring a “monitor or cue” mix into your VL3X,
blending it with your own vocal, guitar and loop
sounds. The incoming monitor IN does not get
passed back out of the unit – so you can rest assured that it won’t cause feedback.
Headphone Mix
VL3X’s headphone mix is independent of the
output mix – allowing you to hear “what you
want” in your headphones or IEMs, without affecting what comes from the main outputs.
Headphone Mix
VL3X – Reference manual (updated 2015-05-12)17
Introduction
Top panel overview
Click or tap on an interface element to jump directly to its description.
Record Audio
Record Sequence
Push for Favorite
VL3X – Reference manual (updated 2015-05-12)18
Introduction
Below is a brief description of the top panel controls and buttons. Full functionality for each will
be described in more detail later.
Press and hold the Setup button to enter the
automated microphone and guitar gain setting
mode.
Genre button
Store button
Use the Genre button to find
Presets based on their musical genre or featured effects.
For example, you may want to
restrict the Presets “visible” to you in VL3X to
those that are defined as “Rock” or “Country”
in nature.
Use the Store button to store
Presets. Tap once to activate
the store procedure. Tap again
to confirm. For more information, see “Storing Presets”.
Home button
Use the knob right under the genre indicator to
select the desired Genre (e.g. “Rock”), and press
the Genre button again. When browsing Presets, you will only see Presets assigned to this
Genre, and the name of the selected Genre will
be shown in the lower left corner of the display.
Use the Home button to return
to the “top level” interface. The
screen will show the number of
the current Preset and any effects associated with the current Layer.
To remove the filter, tap the Genre button, set
Genre to “All” and tap the Genre button again
Control knob
Setup button
Press the Setup button to access all system setup settings,
including Input, Output, MIDI,
Tone, Guitar and more.
For more information, see “Setup”.
Use the Control knob to move
through Presets and scrolls up/
down when in an edit screen.
When the “Home” screen is
shown, you can press the Control knob to add
or remove the current Preset from the Favorite
genre. For more information, see “Using Favorites”.
Vocal button
Use the Vocal button to enter
the Vocal edit screens. This is
where you can make changes
to the vocal effects for the current Preset.
For more information, see “Editing the Vocal Layer”.
Guitar button
Use the Guitar button to enter
the Guitar edit screens. This is
where you can make changes
to any of the guitar effects for
the current Preset.
For more information, see “Editing the Guitar
Layer”.
Looper button
Use the Looper button to enter
the Loop and Backing Tracks
options screen. Here you can
control several general Loop
options.
When you’re in the Vocal or Guitar layer and have
a Loop playing, the small red LED next to the
Looper button will flash. This gives a visual indication that a loop is running.
VL3X – Reference manual (updated 2015-05-12)19
Introduction
For more information, see “Loop button parameters”.
Level LEDs
Read the level LEDs as follows:
Mix knobs
From the Home screen, turning any mix knob enters the
Mix screens (Main, Headphones and Effects).
For more information on the Mix screens, see
“Using the Mix Controls”.
►► If
you play your guitar without singing, the LEDs show
your guitar level.
►► If you sing and don’t play
guitar, the LEDs show your
vocal level.
►► If you play and sing, the LEDs show a combined level.
Within an Edit page, the mix knobs adjust parameter settings. Each mix knob controls the parameter shown right above it in the display.
Arrow buttons
When you are on the Home
screen, you can use the Arrow buttons to move through
Presets.
When you are on an Edit screen, use the Arrow
buttons to move between tabs.
NP LED
The NP LED lights when NaturalPlay (chord) information
is received via Guitar, MIDI,
Aux, Looper or RoomSense.
VL3X – Reference manual (updated 2015-05-12)20
Introduction
Footswitches overview
Click or tap on an interface element to jump directly to its description.
2
4
5
6
3
7
8
9
1
VL3X – Reference manual (updated 2015-05-12)21
Introduction
Below is a description of the footswitches on
VL3X. Some switches will be discussed in more
detail later in the manual.
Preset up / Preset down footswitches
Layer footswitch
►► Tap
To switch between the Vocal and
Guitar effects layers, tap the Layer footswitch.
the Preset Up/Preset Down
footswitches to move through
Presets.
►► Hold the Preset Up/Preset
Down footswitches to quickly
scroll through Presets.
►► Tap both footswitches simultaneously to enter Talk/Tuner
mode.
About Talk/Tuner mode
Talk/Tuner mode mutes guitar output, activates the guitar tuner and
bypasses all vocal effects so you
can speak to your audience.
You can still tap the Preset Up and Down Preset
buttons while in Talk/Tuner mode to change presets. This is great for changing presets while addressing the audience to queue sounds for your
next song.
►► Vocal
Layer
footswitch LED
►► Guitar Layer
footswitch LED
active: Layer
lights blue.
active: Layer
lights red.
To access the Loop Layer, hold
the Layer footswitch.
►► Loop/Backing
Track Layer
active: Layer footswitch LED
lights purple.
To return from the Loop or Backing Track Layer to the previously active Layer (Vocal or Guitar),
hold the Layer footswitch.
To exit Talk/Tuner, press any button other than
Preset Up or Preset Down.
For more information, see “Talk/Tuner Mode”.
VL3X – Reference manual (updated 2015-05-12)22
Introduction
Step footswitch
Here are a couple of examples showing how the
effects footswitches might look when each Layer is active:
Vocal Layer with Reverb, Double and Harmony
activated.
►► To
Vocal Layer with some guitar effects remapped
to vocal effect footswitches. You may find that
you would like to “hang out” on a particular
Layer (Vocal or Guitar) and have access to a key
effect or effects from another Layer. Remapping
footswitches allows you do to just that. This is
best referred to as a “mixed Layer”. This is a
more advanced operational mode that we will
cover later.
move to the next Step within the current Preset (e.g. from
1 to 2), tap the Step footswitch.
Not all Presets have Steps.
►► To move to the previous Step in the current
Preset (e.g. from 2 to 1), tap the Preset Down
footswitch.
►► To enter the Step management screen, hold
the Step footswitch.
Step management
Step management
Guitar Layer with µMod (let’s say it’s Flanger for
this example), Delay and Drive activated. If you
were previously on the Vocal Layer, you would
tap the Layer footswitch to move to the Guitar
Layer, changing the footswitch LED color from
blue to red.
You can use the current Preset or a different Preset as a Step.
If you are using the current Preset, make sure
that it sounds the way you want it to before you
enter Step management.
Adding a Step to a Preset
VL3X – Reference manual (updated 2015-05-12)23
Introduction
If it is a different Preset, enter Step management
and then use the Preset Up and Preset Down
footswitches to locate the Preset you would like
to add as a Step.
Adding a different Preset as a Step
►► To
accept changes, tap the Step footswitch.
►► To delete the current step, tap the Layer
footswitch.
►► To cancel, press the Home button.
The Step footswitch can be globally reassigned
to several different functions – such as Tap Tempo, HIT, Set Key, any Vocal or Guitar effect and
more. We have found that remapping Step to
enter/leave the Looper can be incredibly useful
in performance, when you need quick access in
and out.
µMod footswitch
Delay footswitch
Tap the µMod footswitch to turn the
micro-modulation (µMod) effect on
or off.
Tap the Delay footswitch to turn the
Delay effect (also known as echo) on
or off.
The µMod block encompasses effects such as
Chorus, Flange, Detune and Rotor.
The Delay block encompasses effects such as ¼
Note, Multi-Tap and Ping Pong.
This effect can be configured and used separately for the Vocal and Guitar layer. For more
information, see “Editing the Vocal Layer” and
“Editing the Guitar Layer”.
This effect can be configured and used separately for the Vocal and Guitar layer. For more
information, see “Editing the Vocal Layer” and
“Editing the Guitar Layer”.
Tempo tapping
►► To access tempo tapping, hold the Delay
footswitch.
►► Tap the footswitch in time with your song.
A few taps are enough.
►► When you are happy with the tempo, stop
tapping.
For more information about Steps, see “Using
Steps”.
VL3X – Reference manual (updated 2015-05-12)24
Introduction
Reverb footswitch
HIT footswitch
Double/Comp footswitch
Tap the Reverb footswitch to turn
the Reverb effect on or off.
Tap the HIT footswitch to activate or
deactivate HIT. HIT can control:
On the Vocal Layer, tap the Double/
Comp footswitch to turn the Double
effect on or off.
The Reverb block encompasses effects such as Hall, Club, Room and Plate.
►► Vocal
This effect can be configured and used separately for the Vocal and Guitar layer. For more
information, see “Editing the Vocal Layer” and
“Editing the Guitar Layer”.
HIT (blue)
►► Guitar HIT (red)
►► All HIT (purple)
HIT is covered in greater detail in “Using the HIT
footswitch”.
Double encompasses effects such
as 1 Voice Tight, 2 Voices Wide and 4 Voices
Wide.
For more information, see “Double effect
block / tab”.
On the Guitar Layer, tap the Double/Comp
footswitch to turn the Compressor on or off.
For more information, see “Comp(ression) effect
block / tab”.
VL3X – Reference manual (updated 2015-05-12)25
Introduction
Harmony/Drive footswitch
On the Vocal Layer, tap the Harmony/Drive footswitch to turn
the Harmony effect on or off.
Harmony encompasses effects
such as High (3rd up), Low (4th below) and Low &
Lower (4th below and 6th below).
For more information, see “Harmony effect
block / tab”.
On the Guitar Layer, tap the Harmony/Drive
footswitch to turn the Drive effect on or off.
Drive encompasses effects such as Boost, Boost
& Drive and Drive.
For more information,
block / tab”.
see
“Drive
effect
VL3X – Reference manual (updated 2015-05-12)26
Introduction
Back panel inputs and outputs
VL3X offers extremely robust input and output
routing. Using the Monitor IN/THRU and dedicated Guitar outputs effectively, you can greatly
reduce the amount of gear you need to take to a
performance.
VL3X – Reference manual (updated 2015-05-12)27
Introduction
Inputs
1.DC Power connector
2.XLR and ¼” Combo jack input
3.¼” Guitar input
4.1/8” Stereo Aux and XLR Monitor input jacks.
Please note that Aux input and Monitor input
are mutually exclusive. Only one may be used
at a time.
5.MIDI Input
6.Footswitch. Connect a TC-Helicon Switch-3
or Switch-6 here. You can also connect a
second expression pedal here – see “Working
with a second expression pedal”.
7. Expression pedal input
8.USB Host port
VL3X inputs overview
VL3X – Reference manual (updated 2015-05-12)28
Introduction
Outputs
7
you connect the Guitar Out(s) to your amp(s),
guitar sounds will be removed from the Main
outputs.
6.MIDI Out: The MIDI Out jack sends MIDI Control Change messages (MIDI CCs) related to
footswitches and buttons pressed on VL3X. If
no CC is sent, there is likely no CC assigned
to that particular action.
Currently, Vocal & Guitar effects ON/OFF and
their respective levels are represented by MIDI
Control Change messages.
If you experience hum from your guitar amp or
PA, try pressing the GRND LIFT switch, located
between the Headphone out and the Left XLR
output.
VL3X outputs overview
1.Guitar THRU: If you only need chord detection and want to pass your dry guitar signal
onto a different processor or record a dry guitar track, use the THRU jack to pass your guitar signal to your amp.
2.Monitor THRU: The Monitor THRU jack allows you to receive an incoming Monitor IN
signal from a mixer and pass it on to another
monitor.
3.Headphone out: Connect headphones or
in-ear-monitors to the Headphone out and use
the Headphone Mix to set up your personal
mix.
4.Main Outputs: The Main Outputs carry Vocals & Effects. If nothing is connected to the
Guitar outputs, Main outputs also carry Guitar
signals.
5.Guitar Outputs: The Guitar outputs carry the
Guitar signal. If only one output is connected,
guitar output is automatically in MONO. When
VL3X – Reference manual (updated 2015-05-12)29
VL3X overview
VL3X overview
VL3X – Reference manual (updated 2015-05-12)30
VL3X overview
Setting up
Instead of jumping directly into a whole bunch
of descriptions of parameters and fine tuning
controls, now is a good time to back up a bit
and approach VL3X from a “Let’s use this thing!”
perspective.
First, if you haven’t read through the Quick Start
Guide that came in the box, we suggest you do
so now.
If you would prefer to use VL3X via your PA, you
will need one or two additional XLR cables to
connect VL3X’s XLR outputs to inputs at your
mixer.
A lot of PAs are mono and only require one XLR
connection. If you have a stereo PA, you will want
to connect both VL3X XLR outputs to your mixer.
The minimum gear you will need from here is:
Connecting VL3X to your mixer/PA
►► Your
►► Determine
VL3X
microphone – either
►► Dynamic (e.g. a TC-Helicon MP-75 or MP76, SM58, or OM5)
►► Condenser (e.g. a Beta 87A or enCore 300)
►► An XLR cable (microphone cable) to connect
your microphone to VL3X
►► A guitar or MIDI keyboard, if applicable
►► Headphones
►► The Guitar/Headphone cable that came with
your VL3X.
►► A
whether your mixer/PA is stereo or
mono.
►► Connect the appropriate number of cables
from VL3X’s XLR outputs to the mixer/PA inputs (1 for mono, 2 for stereo).
! If your P.A. is Stereo, you will need to pan one
channel left and the other one right in order to
receive the benefits of VL3X’s stereo effects.
►► Watch the Craig’s Corner episode about connecting to a mixer:
youtube.com/watch?v=qq0AOtafIjs
VL3X – Reference manual (updated 2015-05-12)31
XLR Male
XLR Male
Diagram legend
XLR Male
XLR Female
The following icons are used in the diagrams in
this manual.
Power Input
MIDI Jack
Combo Jack
inch jack
Power InputPower
1/8 Input
inch jack 1/8 GRND
Lift
1/4 inch jack
Input Combo
1/8Jackinch jack
GRND Lift
XLR Male
Mixing Board
Mini USB
USB Type A
XLR Male
MIDI Jack
Combo Jack
XLR Female
GRND Lift
Power Input
GRND Lift
1/8 inch jack
USB Type A
GRND Lift
MIDI Jack
XLR Male
USB Type B
Combo Jack
1/4 inch jack
USB Type A
Mini USB
USB Type B
Mini USB
USB Type B
MIDI Jack
Combo Jack
XLR Female
Mini USB
USB Type A
P.A.
Mini USB
USB Type B
XLR Female
TRS and
TSjack
cablesGRND Lift
Power Input
1/8 inch
1/8 inch jack
1/4 inch jack
Acoustic Guitar
1/8” cable (guitar cable)
XLR Male
Power Input
XLR Male
XLR Female
Combo Jack
XLR Female
1/8 inch jack
GRND Lift
USB Type A
Mini USB
Guitar/Keyboard amp
Power Input
1/8 inch jack
GRND Lift
USB Type A
Mini USB
MIDI Jack
Combo Jack
MIDI Jack
1/4 inch jack
1/4 inch jack
USB Type B
USB Type B
Electric Guitar
Power Input
1/8 inch jack
XLR Male
GRND Lift
Combo Jack
XLR Female
Mini USB
USB Type A
MIDI Jack
USB Type B
1/4 inch jack
Keyboard or other instrument
Power Input
1/8 inch jack
GRND Lift
XLR cables
USB Type A
Mini USB
1
1/4 inch jack
GRND Lift
USB Type A
VL3X overview
1/4 inch jack
Microphone
Power Input
MIDI Jack
MIDI Jack
USB Type B
Combo Jack
XLR Female
Mini
USBUSB
Type A
USB Type A
XLR Male
1/8 inch jack
Combo Jack
XLR Female
XLR FemalePower
USB Type B
Monitor Mix
VL3X – Reference manual (updated 2015-05-12)32
USB
VL3X overview
Diagrams
On the following pages, you will see some connection diagrams. We have set things up to give
you clear and concise representations of what
goes where.
There are a few things we would like you to keep
in mind as you look at the diagrams:
1.Inputs to VL3X will be to the left of the back
panel image.
2.Outputs from VL3X will be to the right of the
back panel image.
3.There are two boxes on the bottom of each
diagram.
►► The VL3X box on the left shows “what you
hear” from your VL3X headphone output.
►► The P.A. box on the right shows “what you
hear” from the P.A. speakers.
4.We don’t account for other inputs/instruments
when showing “what you hear” from the P.A.,
so you won’t see pictures of drums etc.
5.In a lot of cases, “what you hear” will be the
same for both VL3X headphone output and
P.A. – but it can also be different.
3
5
5
4
Reading the diagrams in this manual
VL3X – Reference manual (updated 2015-05-12)33
VL3X overview
Stereo PA connection for vocals (and guitar if applicable)
This diagram shows a “Stereo” output mode.
Stereo sends a Left and Right signal via the XLR
outputs to your PA or mixer.
This allows you to enjoy the full benefits of stereo
audio effects.
Setting Output Mode to Stereo
Changing VL3X from Mono
(default) to Stereo output:
►► Press Setup.
►► Use the < or > Arrow buttons to move to the
Output tab.
►► Use the Control Knob to move the selection
bar until XLR Output Mode is highlighted
(white).
►► Turn the Mix Knob directly below the XLR Output Mode box on the screen until the mode
changes to Stereo.
►► Press Home to exit.
►► When choosing Stereo, ensure the PA is actually outputting a stereo signal. It’s common
for a PA to have two speakers or speaker sets
– but still be mono.
VL3X – Reference manual (updated 2015-05-12)34
VL3X overview
Dual Mono PA connection for vocals (& guitar if applicable)
This diagram shows a “Dual Mono” output
mode. Dual Mono sends two mono signals from
the XLR outputs on VL3X. One XLR carries the
vocal sounds and the other XLR carries the guitar sounds.
This allows you to balance the vocal and guitar
levels via your mixer. Dual Mono can be especially effective at a venue with a sound tech. The
guitar and vocal signals are separated and can
be controlled independently, making the tech’s
mixing job easier.
Setting Output Mode to Dual Mono
Changing VL3X from Mono
(default) to Dual Mono output
►► Press Setup.
►► Use the < or > Arrow buttons to move to the
Output tab.
►► Use the Control Knob to move the selection
bar until XLR Output Mode is highlighted
(white).
►► Turn the Mix Knob directly below the XLR Output Mode box on the screen until the mode
changes to Dual Mono.
►► Press Home to exit.
VL3X – Reference manual (updated 2015-05-12)35
VL3X overview
Stereo vocals and a guitar amplifier
You may want to make a quick adjustment to the
guitar output if you are connected to an amp.
It might be desirable to turn off VL3X’s speaker
simulations while preserving all of the other guitar effects. This will allow the “character” of your
amp to stay the same from Preset to Preset.
Follow the instructions in “Stereo PA connection
for vocals (and guitar if applicable)” to change
your output mode to Stereo.
Turning speaker simulation off
►► Press Setup.
►► Use the < or > Arrow buttons to move to the
Guitar tab.
►► Use the Control Knob to move the selection
bar until Speaker Sim Enable is highlighted.
►► Turn the Mix Knob directly below the display until the setting for Speaker Sim Enable
changes from On to Off.
►► Press Home to exit.
Turning speaker simulation off
This setup is great if you have got a guitar amp
and want to send VL3X’s guitar sounds to that
amp instead of to the PA.
For Mono vocals via the PA and guitar sounds
via a guitar amplifier, follow the diagram above,
but connect only the Left XLR output from VL3X
to your PA and set the output mode to Mono.
VL3X – Reference manual (updated 2015-05-12)36
VL3X overview
The kitchen sink – everything hooked up
It’s unlikely that you will have absolutely everything seen here hooked up to VL3X – but this
diagram can serve as a general connection diagram that you can use to configure your personal setup.
Aux
Send
SWITCH-3
Computer
or
DAW
Stage
Monitor
PA
Speakers
The setup shows:
1. Microphone
2. Guitar
3. Music Player
4. Incoming Monitor (or cue) mix from the
Front Of House mixer
5. Monitor THRU to another monitor
6. Headphone out (possibly using the headphone/guitar cable and In Ear Monitor’s)
7. XLR Outputs carry stereo vocals to the PA.
8. Guitar Outputs carry stereo guitar sounds
to amps
9. Switch-3 and an Expression pedal for extra
controls
10. MIDI IN for NaturalPlay chord information
from a keyboard (NaturalPlay will “listen” to
Guitar/Keyboard over the AUX input and will
automatically switch between Guitar/Keyboard if they are both plugged in)
11. MIDI OUT to control a DAW, perhaps with
backing tracks and/or show control software
Loop and Metronome sounds generated by
VL3X are not shown, but any Vocal Loops will be
sent out via the XLR outputs and Guitar loops
will be sent out via the Guitar outputs.
The Metronome can be heard in the XLR Main
Mix and headphone mix or just the headphone
mix, depending on your mix settings.
VL3X – Reference manual (updated 2015-05-12)37
VL3X overview
Quick troubleshooting tips
After following the VL3X Quick Start Guide and
referring to the diagrams in “Setting up”, you
should hear your voice and instrument(s) via your
VL3X.
“I’m not hearing my voice!”
“I’m not hearing my guitar.”
Do the Level LEDs near the Control Knob light up
when you sing?
►► Check
Here are a few troubleshooting ideas if you are
not hearing sound.
No?
►► Try
a different cable.
►► Try a different microphone.
►► Did you go through the Auto-Gain procedure
described in the Quick Start Guide?
►► Press and hold the Setup button.
►► Follow the on-screen instructions.
►► Are you using a condenser microphone?
►► Press Setup.
►► Navigate to the Input tab.
►► Change the Input Type parameter to “Condenser”.
that your guitar is turned all the way up.
you connected your guitar to an amp?
►► Is it turned on?
►► If you are in Dual Mono mode, make sure both
of the channels on your PA/mixer are turned
up and unmuted according to your PA/mixer
manual.
►► Are you in Tuner mode?
Accidentally pressing the Preset up/Preset
down footswitches simultaneously will enter
Tuner mode, muting guitar output.
If you see a guitar tuner on the screen and the
Preset up/Preset down LED’s are lit solid red,
you are in Tuner mode. Press Preset Up or
Preset Down to exit.
►► Have
Yes?
►► Is
your PA receiving signal?
your PA manual for details on how to
check input levels.
►► Turn up channel input trims until you see
signal.
(If you have a separate mixer/amplifier)
►► Is the PA turned on?
►► Are the speakers connected?
►► Check
VL3X – Reference manual (updated 2015-05-12)38
Getting to know VL3X
Getting to know VL3X
VL3X – Reference manual (updated Getting to know VL3X)39
Getting to know VL3X
Amazing Grace
We can (and will!) fill page after page with descriptions of VL3X’s fantastic features – but
nothing beats hearing (and trying) them for yourself.
If you want to get an idea of VL3X’s potential,
►► plug in a microphone,
►► connect VL3X to a set of speakers or your favourite headphones
►► select Preset 10 and
►► press the HIT footswitch (which in this Preset
is associated with the Backing Track playback
function, so it is shown as “Track” in the display).
You should now hear “Amazing Grace”. After the
intro, start singing – and be amazed.
VL3X – Reference manual (updated Getting to know VL3X)40
Getting to know VL3X
A guided tour
While some product manuals take a path through
all of the functions and features, we are going to
lead you on a tour of VL3X from a practical use
standpoint. If you follow along on your VL3X
while reading the following pages, you will get
a good grasp of most of the key features in the
box.
It may seem as though we jump around through
various menus and operations – but trust us that
this is a good way to get to know the unit while
making practical changes in the process. Stick
with us!
VL3X – Reference manual (updated Getting to know VL3X)41
Getting to know VL3X
There’s no place like Home
Using all the features described on the following
pages, you might find yourself deep in some submenu or parameter list. Don’t panic! Just press
the Home button, and you will return to VL3X’s
“Home” screen. The Home screen shows…
►► The
number of the current Preset.
name of the current Preset.
►► The effect blocks currently assigned to the
six footswitches labeled µMod, Delay, Reverb,
Hit, Double / Comp and Harmony / Drive on the
currently active Layer (Guitar or Vocal).
For more information on accessing and editing effect settings, see “Editing the Vocal Layer” and “Editing the Guitar Layer”.
►► Backing Track (if assigned) Play/Stop/Pause
indicators next to the preset number.
►► “BT” or “SEQ” if a Backing Track is assigned
to the preset.
“SEQ” is shown in place of “BT” when a sequence (FX automation) has been recorded.
More more information, see “Backing Track
Sequence Recording (Automation)”.
►► The
The Home screen with the Backing Track (“BT”)
indicator
Think of the Preset as a “container” for…
►► the
vocal/guitar effects settings,
►► the Backing Track and
►► the performance data that you have recorded.
Accordingly, when you load the Preset, all of
these components are loaded too.
For more information, see “Backing Tracks and
Presets”.
VL3X – Reference manual (updated Getting to know VL3X)42
Getting to know VL3X
Using the Control knob
►► While
on the Home screen, the Control Knob
moves through Presets.
►► Turning the knob clockwise (right) will move
up through Presets.
►► Turning the knob counterclockwise (right)
will move down through Presets.
►► Pressing the control knob while on the Home
screen will set the current Preset as a Favorite. For more information, see “Using Preset
Genres and Favorites”.
►► On an Edit or System screen, the Control
Knob acts as a vertical scroll control. Use it to
navigate up or down through parameters and
settings.
VL3X – Reference manual (updated Getting to know VL3X)43
Getting to know VL3X
Using the Arrow buttons
Use the two small Arrow buttons located beneath the Control knob to move through Presets
and edit pages.
►► While
on the Home screen, use the Arrow buttons to move through Presets.
►► To select the next Preset, press the right
Arrow button.
►► To select the previous Preset, press the left
Arrow button.
►► On an Edit or System screen, the Arrow buttons allow you to move left and right through
the “tabs” in that menu.
For example, the Vocal edit screen has a separate tab or “page” for each vocal effect. The
Arrow buttons move from left to right through
these tabs.
VL3X – Reference manual (updated Getting to know VL3X)44
Getting to know VL3X
What is a Preset?
VL3X and many other TC-Helicon devices are
based on the concept of “Presets”. Essentially, a
Preset is a record of all the settings for a group
of effects that you can recall quickly and easily.
The Preset concept is extremely flexible. A Preset can be general purpose – like a simple Reverb or Harmony sound. But a Preset can also
represent a specific song or portion of a song via
multiple effects and settings.
A good modern analogy for a Preset is a user account on a computer. Even though each user has
access to the same hardware (CPU, RAM etc.)
each user can change their desktop wallpaper,
icons on the desktop, program behaviors and
much more. When each user logs in, the computer recalls all of their custom settings.
Depending on how you like you to work with effects, you may find that you like to use a few general purpose Presets and turn effects on and off
manually during your performance. Or you might
be the kind of guy or girl who likes to spend a
bit more time in advance of the performance to
create Presets for all sorts of things. Or you may
be somewhere in between. Any amount of editing or Preset manipulation is fine! You can get as
“programmer” or “seat of the pants” as you like.
VL3X – Reference manual (updated Getting to know VL3X)45
Getting to know VL3X
Using Steps
A Step is, at its core, a Preset within a Preset.
Here’s how it works…
Let’s use a typical song pop song structure as
an example.
So, let’s assume that you have created the three
different presets that represent your three song
sections. You’d now create “Steps” within your
Verse Preset like this:
►► Step
►► Verse
►► Step
►► Chorus
►► Step
►► Verse
►► Step
►► Chorus
►► Step
►► Bridge
►► Step
1: Verse
2: Chorus
3: Verse
4: Chorus
5: Bridge
6: Chorus
►► Chorus
Now, let’s assume that you want a completely different sound for your Verse, Chorus and
Bridge sections. The HIT function is great if you
need two variations within a song – but here,
you’ll obviously need more.
As you perform, you simply press the STEP
button once for each song section as it comes
along. It’s a much simpler way to manage several
presets in a song!
For more information about creating and deleting
Steps within a Preset, see “Step management”.
Now the easiest way to accomplish this is to
make a separate Preset for each song section.
This means that on stage, you now have to remember where those presets are and move between them for each part of the song. It’s totally
doable – but a bit more work that necessary.
Enter the STEP.
If you treat the Verse Preset as your starting
point (perhaps name it simply with your song
name), you can add Steps to that initial Preset to
cover the other sections of your song, in the order that they are needed.
VL3X – Reference manual (updated Getting to know VL3X)46
Getting to know VL3X
Using Preset Genres and Favorites
If you are playing classical pop, you may not
care much for Presets that have been optimized
for Alternative rock – and vice versa. And if you
have created or fine-tuned ten Presets for your
show, you may now want to scroll through the
hundreds of other Presets that you are working
with in the studio. Genres to the rescue!
As described earlier, the Genre feature allows
you to filter the Presets in VL3X based on the
musical genre or primary effect.
Using Genres
Using Favorites
►► Tap
There is a special Genre called
Favorite which you can assign
Presets to. Favorites can be used to quickly
make a set-list or showcase of Presets, helping
you to navigate more quickly through VL3X.
the Genre button.
the Mix Knob to scroll through available
Preset Genres.
►► When you have found a Genre you would like
to explore, tap the Genre button again to confirm and exit.
Pressing any other button – like HOME – to
exit Genre selection mode will not select the
current Genre. Make sure you use the Genre
button to exit the menu and confirm your selection. The Genre button will be flashing to
remind you to press it.
After selecting a Genre, you will notice that
scrolling through Presets gives you fewer options than before. Presets are now filtered and
only show options contained in your chosen
Genre.
To return to seeing all Presets:
►► Use
►► Tap
►► To
add a Preset to the Favorite Genre, simply press the Control Knob down while on the
home screen.
A small “FAV” tag will be shown in the bottom
right corner of the display, indicating that the
current Preset is now flagged as a Favorite.
If you now enter the Genre menu and select
the “Favorite” Genre, only Presets that you
have selected as Favorites will be available
as you change Presets – just as with other
Genres.
►► To remove the Favorite flag from a Preset, simply press the Control Knob again.
the Genre button.
►► Use the Mix Knob to change the Genre to “All”.
►► Press
Genre again to exit.
VL3X – Reference manual (updated Getting to know VL3X)47
Getting to know VL3X
What is NaturalPlay?
A device creating harmony voices and correcting
what you are singing to the right scale is a wonderful thing. But how do you tell that device what
key the next song is in? Do you have to program
it as part of a Preset? Do you have to set it up for
each song? What if you get it wrong on stage?
NaturalPlay to the rescue! If you have a guitar connected to VL3X, it will automatically
guide key and scale for any Harmony voices or
HardTune effects. You don’t need to make any
changes to the system for this to work. Just play
your guitar normally (chords work best) and sing!
Similarly, if you connect a MIDI-enabled keyboard using a MIDI cable, VL3X will follow your
playing to determine key/scale for Harmony voices and HardTune.
If you sing to pre-produced tracks and don’t
have a guitar or MIDI keyboard connected, VL3X
will read key/scale information from a music
signal present at the Aux jack – this might be a
song from an MP3 player or smartphone. Finally,
VL3X can also read key/scale information from
the Monitor In jack.
As you see, NaturalPlay has you covered – no
matter what your setup is.
VL3X – Reference manual (updated Getting to know VL3X)48
Getting to know VL3X
Using Global Key/Scale
If you do not have an instrument or a pre-produced song that can guide VL3X’s Harmony
and HardTune features, you may want to make
a small change to the System setup so you can
define the key and scale for the song you are
singing and change Presets without having to
change the Key setting each time.
►► Press
Setup.
the < and > Arrow buttons to navigate to
the System tab.
►► Using the Control Knob to highlight Global
Key/Scale.
►► Change the Global Key/Scale to ON.
This will set one global key/scale for all Presets in VL3X.
►► You can change this global key/scale “on the
fly” later.
►► Press Home to exit.
►► Use
Using Global Key/Scale
Once you get more familiar with VL3X, you may
want to turn Global Key/Scale off in order to save
a different Key/Scale per Preset.
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Setting Key/Scale manually
If you are a singer without an instrument, you
may not want to rely on sone external input. Instead, we’ll set the Key/Scale for your song manually.
For simplicity, let’s sing “Happy Birthday” in C
using our Major 2 scale.
You will need to find C as your starting note (unless you have perfect pitch – then you are awesome).
Depending on the song you are singing, “Major
2” (MAJ2) may not be right for you.
To learn which scale Harmony notes are generated based on your input note, check out our
Scale Chart.
support.tc-helicon.com/entries/21051886Scale-chart-for-TC-Helicon-products
To set the key/scale:
►► If
it isn’t selected, select the Vocal Layer by
pressing the Layer footswitch.
►► Press and HOLD the Harmony footswitch until
the Set Key/Scale screen appears.
►► Press the Preset up/Preset down footswitches
until the key reaches C.
►► If the scale is not already “Maj 2”, tap the Step
button repeatedly until the display shows Maj
2.
►► Let the Key/Scale screen “time out” and disappear (by not doing anything for a few seconds).
Setting Key and Scale
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Let’s try Harmony!
Navigate to Preset No. 2 (“Classic 3rd up”) using
the Preset up/Preset down switches or the Control Knob.
►► Make
sure that you are on the Vocal Layer.
The LEDs around the footswitches should be
blue. If they are not, press the Layer button.
►► You should see the Reverb, HIT and Harmony
footswitch lit in blue.
If Harmony and HIT are not lit, press the HIT
button.
Even if you play an instrument that could be
used for NaturalPlay, you may want to try setting
the key/scale manually. Why? The manual settings can give a slightly different harmony output than the one you get when playing chords
(NaturalPlay). You may prefer one or the other depending on the song you are playing and
singing. It is not uncommon for advanced users
to utilize NaturalPlay for some Presets and Key/
Scale for others.
Preset 2 (“Classic 3rd up”)
If you are a guitar playing singer, you can play
your guitar and sing now. You should hear a harmony following your lead vocal and also hear
some guitar effects.
If you are a singer, and if you have set the key/
scale correctly in the previous step, the harmonies should follow your lead melody correctly.
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Using the HIT footswitch
As you sing your song, with guitar or without, try
tapping the HIT footswitch. In this Preset, HIT
will activate and deactivate the Harmony effect
each time you press the button – once on and
once for off.
music. It may take a while to get the hang of
things if you have never used footswitch based
effects before. Don’t worry if you are not very
good at it right away! T footswitch
As you sing your song, with guitar or without, try
tapping the HIT footswitch. In this Preset, HIT
will activate and deactivate the Harmony effect
each time you press the button – once on and
once for off.
HIT off
HIT on. Note the additional (highlighted) effects
Practice using HIT to turn the Harmony on and
off at interesting points in the song. This skill is
essential for using the effects “in time” with your
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Using individual effects
Next, turn off Harmony using the HIT button. Try
tapping the Double button to add the Double effect to your voice. Do the same with Delay and
µMod. Try a few of the effects together and see
what it sounds like.
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Change a button from Latched to Momentary mode
When you are turning effects on and off using
the footswitches, the default behavior for each
switch is to work in “latched” mode. This simply
means that you press the button once to turn the
effect on and again to turn the effect off.
Latched mode works for a lot of cases, but there
are probably times when you would like an effect
to be active as you hold the button down – and
inactive as soon as you release it. This is called
“Momentary” mode.
►► Use
the Control Knob to scroll down and highlight the line starting with “HIT”.
to activate. Practice activating harmony for a
single word or short phrase. It’s much easier in
momentary mode!
Before you move on, go back into the Vocal Buttonmap screen and change HIT back to Latched
mode.
Selecting HIT in the buttonmap menu
►► Use
Since we just experimented with turning effects
on and off, let’s change the way one of those effect footswitches operates.
the Vocal button.
and HOLD the right Arrow (>) to “jump”
all the way to the last Vocal tab.
This is a common behavior for the Arrow buttons. If you press and hold, you will jump to
the far side of the effects/Preset pages. This
can save you some time while editing.
Curious about all those tabs and their parameters? Don’t worry – we will cover all the Vocal
effects later!
►► Now press the left Arrow (<) to navigate to the
Buttonmap tab.
the Mix Knob right below “Mode” to
change the mode of the HIT footswitch from
Latched to Momentary.
Changing Mode back to Latched
►► Press
►► Press
Changing Mode to Momentary
►► Press
the Home button.
This will take you back to the main (or home)
screen.
Now, press the HIT button, just like you did before. Notice how the blue light only comes on
while you hold the button down? That’s Momentary mode.
Try singing the same song again, pressing/holding the HIT footswitch when you want harmonies
Buttonmap menu
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Remapping a footswitch
Since you have just seen the Buttonmap page,
this is a good time to remap a footswitch to a
different effect.
If you look at the top left corner of the screen,
you should see HardTune there, µMod will be
gone.
Here are some Buttonmap examples:
►► Remap
a Guitar effect to Shift, so you have
easy access to the Octaver effect.
Since there are 11 vocal effects and 9 guitar effects in VL3X, but only 6 footswitches, the ability
to assign new functions to these footswitches
gives you a lot of flexibility.
Let’s remap µMod to HardTune. Later, you can
remap any footswitch as you wish, for this example, please follow along.
µMod footswitch remapped to HardTune
►► Press
When you press the µMod footswitch, you will
see that HardTune is now controlled by that button.
the Vocal button.
►► Navigate to the Buttonmap tab using the <
and > buttons.
►► Use the Control Knob to highlight the line
starting with “µMod”. It’s at the top of the
page.
As you can see, the µMod is assigned to the
µMod effect.
►► Use the far left Mix Knob to remap the µMod
footswitch to HardTune.
µMod footswitch remapped to Octaver
►► Change
a Vocal effect to Synth, so you can
use the Talkbox effect.
Remapping can be performed for any effect in
VL3X. Vocal and Guitar effects are not restricted
to their “home layers”. This means that you can
remap a vocal effect to the guitar Layer – and
vice versa.
Since the Buttonmap page is available in each
Preset, for both vocal and guitar layers, you can
create a custom button mapping for every Preset in VL3X.
Reverb footswitch remapped to Synth
Remapping the µMod footswitch to HardTune
►► Press
Home.
►► Move
Guitar HIT from the Guitar Layer to the
Vocal Layer, so you can change multiple guitar sounds/effects without leaving the Vocal
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Getting to know VL3X
Layer. To control multiple Vocal and Guitar effects simultaneously without having to leave
the current Layer, you can assign Vocal HIT
to the HIT footswitch and Guitar HIT to the
footswitch right next to it (Double)
Double footswitch on the Vocal Layer remapped
to Guitar HIT
Remember that remapping a Guitar effect to
the Vocal Layer needs to be done via the Vocal
Buttonmap.
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Getting to know VL3X
Talk/Tuner Mode
Before you get too far into playing your guitar
through VL3X, it’s a good idea to become familiar with the Talk/Tuner mode.
The tuner offers a couple of neat features for
both guitar and vocals – so non-instrumentalists
might want to read this section, too.
Exiting Talk/Tuner mode
To exit Talk/Tuner mode, simply press both
the Preset up and Down button simultaneously
again. When exiting, there is no need to hold for
two seconds. You can also press any of the effect footswitches to exit Talk/Tuner mode.
To enter Talk/Tuner mode, press both the Preset
up and Preset down footswitches simultaneously for two seconds. Both footswitches will light
up in red, and the tuner will be displayed.
When you enter Talk/Tuner mode, the guitar will
be muted, so you can tune without your audience hearing it, and any vocal effects will removed from the signal. The vocal effects are removed so you can talk to your audience without
effects cluttering up what you are trying to say.
While in Talk/Tuner mode, you can still use the
Preset up and Preset down footswitches to
change Presets. This is especially handy if you
are tuning, changing guitars or addressing the
audience between songs and want to have the
next needed Preset loaded when you are finished.
Setting the Talk Trim parameter to OFF allows
you to also mute the microphone in TALK/TUNER mode. For more information, see “Talk Trim
parameter”.
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Guitar Effects
For those of you playing guitar, this is a good
time to try out the various guitar effects in VL3X.
If you are a vocalist without a guitar, go get a
coffee or follow along to learn about the Guitar
Layer…
Press the Layer footswitch. You should notice
that VL3X’s LEDs turn RED – indicating you are
now on the guitar Layer. Look at the screen, too.
You will see that the effect names have changed,
and there is a small guitar icon in each of the
boxes (there are small microphone icons in each
Vocal Layer box).
process. You are now in Guitar Edit mode, and
you can move to the Buttonmap screen from
there.
There is a separate Buttonmap screen for both
the Vocal and Guitar Layer – but that’s a can of
worms we can open later.
Guitar Layer active
While playing your guitar, tap some of the
footswitches to turn the various guitar effects on
and off.
Change a guitar effect to Momentary mode as
described in “Change a button from Latched to
Momentary mode”. However, press the Guitar
button instead of the Vocal button to begin the
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Editing HIT
Return to the Vocal Layer by pressing Home.
If you are on the Guitar Layer (indicated by red
LEDs), press the Layer button until the Vocal Layer is active.
►► Press
HIT. Notice that µMod (and Harmony)
turns off.
►► If
you would like an effect to be ON regardless
of the HIT button’s state, just activate it for
both HIT ON and HIT OFF. For some effects
such as Reverb, it is common to leave them
on all the time.
►► HIT can control any or all of the effects for
both guitar and vocals, or guitar/vocals simultaneously.
►► Use the process described above while on the
Guitar Layer to change the effects associated
with Guitar HIT.
You can easily edit the effects contained within
the HIT function. It is possible to have effects active when HIT is on or off. We refer to these two
states as “HIT on” and “HIT off”. Think of them
as two variations of a Preset.
the HIT button a couple of times.
►► Take note of which effects come on and off
when HIT is active (HIT on) and inactive (HIT
off).
►► Now, let’s add an effect to the “HIT on” flavor
of this Preset.
►► Activate HIT.
►► Now, turn on an effect that is currently off. For
this example, try µMod.
Tips and tricks for using
HIT effectively
►► Press
Preset 2 – HIT off
►► Press
HIT again. You will see that µMod
comes back on, in addition to Harmony, which
was previously activated by pressing HIT.
►► If
Preset 2 – HIT on
you save the Preset, your new HIT assignment will be saved and you can control both
µMod and Harmony with the single HIT button
the next time you use the Preset.
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Using ALL HIT
What’s better than being able to have separate
HIT footswitches for the Guitar and Vocal Layer?
How about one footswitch to rule them all? This
feature is called ALL HIT, and you can easily assign it to a footswitch as described in “Remapping a footswitch”.
►► Press
the Vocal button.
►► Press and HOLD the right Arrow (>) to “jump”
all the way to the end of the available effects
pages.
►► Use the < or > button to locate the Buttonmap
page.
►► Use the Control Knob to scroll down and highlight the line starting with “HIT”.
►► Use the Mix Knob to change the HIT assignment from Voc HIT to ALL HIT.
HIT footswitch remapped to ALL HIT
HIT footswitch remapped to ALL HIT
►► Press
Home.
Now the HIT footswitch controls HIT for both
Guitar and Vocal effects in this Preset. When you
press HIT, you will see that it now lights up purple instead of blue, indicating that it’s controlling
both vocal and guitar hit. There’s also a “wrench”
icon instead of a microphone – showing you that
you are no longer just controlling Vocal effects.
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HIT – Dynamic vs. Snapshot
VL3X’s default HIT behavior is “dynamic”, which
means you can make edits to the effects contained within the HIT variation of the Preset by
simply turning them on and off as described under “Editing HIT”. It’s a very quick and intuitive
way of combining effects – especially while editing a Preset.
That being said: While on stage, you may want
to turn an effect on or off during the song – but
still have HIT activate and deactivate the specific
effects you have defined.
Let’s see an example:
Using HIT in “Dynamic”
mode (default)
You have saved the Preset with Reverb active all
the time (ON) and Harmony only when you have
turned on HIT (HIT ON).
You start the song with HIT turned off, so you
just have Reverb (but no Harmony voices) on
your voice. You decide that it would be nice to
have some delay for a particular section, so you
turn Delay on. Then, the chorus section of your
song comes up – so you press HIT to activate
Harmony. Reverb stays on and Delay goes off –
just as you would expect.
Using HIT in “Snapshot” mode
You might want HIT to ALWAYS turn on/off only
those effects you have saved for HIT within the
Preset.
That’s where “Snapshot” mode comes in. No
matter what effects are active at the time: HIT will
always override them and just turn on/off what
you have saved.
Typically “Dynamic” can be a great editing mode,
while “Snapshot” can be a more “fool-proof” live
performance mode.
Now when you press HIT again, Harmony turns
off – but Delay comes back on with the Reverb.
This may not be what you want.
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Changing HIT mode from
Dynamic to Snapshot
►► Press
the Setup button.
the < or > buttons to navigate to the System page.
►► Use the Control Knob to scroll down to the HIT
Behavior parameter.
►► Change HIT Behavior from Dynamic to Snapshot.
►► Use
Changing HIT Behavior from Dynamic to
Snapshot
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Storing Presets
Since we are talking about storing a change to
your Preset – let’s do it.
Tapping the Store button accesses the Store
screen, where you may name, assign and save
your Presets.
Cursor (assigned to Mix Knob 1)
Letter (assigned to Mix Knob 2)
Use Mix Knob 1 to move the cursor (the currently selected character). This is handy for quickly
navigating to a position in the Preset name.
Use Mix Knob 2 to select the letter, number or
symbol for the current cursor position.
In the upper part of the Store screen, you will
see the current name of the Preset. Use the Mix
Knobs under the display to control the following
functions:
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Ins(ert) / Del(ete) (assigned
to Mix Knob 3)
►► Turn
Mix knob 3 clockwise (right) to insert an
empty character (a blank) to the left of the currently highlighted character.
►► Turn Mix knob 3 counter-clockwise (left) to the
left to delete the currently highlighted character.
Getting to know VL3X
Store to (assigned to Mix Knob 34)
Storing Presets and HIT Behavior
Use Mix Knob 4 to select the Preset number
where the current Preset will be stored.
When you have set HIT Behavior to “Snapshot”
mode, you must save the Preset for each HIT
state – on and off – in order for your changes to
be stored. Prepare both variations of the Preset
(on and off) and store them, like this:
►► If
you want to save the Preset where it currently is, do not change this value.
►► If you would like to save the Preset to another
location, change “Store To” to another number.
The name of the selected Preset slot will be
displayed in the upper part of the screen.
Using Store To is handy when you would like to
make several Presets with similar sounds. You
can create a “master” Preset and store it so a
few different locations using Store To. You can
then edit those copies further if you wish.
►► Turn
HIT off.
the effects on that you would like to use
when HIT is off.
►► Press the Store button twice.
►► Turn HIT on.
►► Turn the effects on that you would like to use
when HIT is on.
►► Press the Store button twice.
►► Turn
Store menu
When you are finished naming and assigning
your Preset, simply press Store again to complete the operation.
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Tapping tempo
You can use Tap Tempo to have the tempo-based
effects align with the tempo of your song.
►► Press
and HOLD the Delay footswitch.
►► You should see the Delay footswitch pulse
with a purple LED, and the current tempo (in
beats per minute) will be displayed.
►► Tap the Delay footswitch in time with the song
you are performing (or about to perform).
►► After a few beats, stop tapping the footswitch
and wait for the Tempo display to disappear.
►► If it is not already on, activate the Delay effect
with its footswitch.
►► You should hear your Delay “taps” trail off in
time with the music.
There is another function in the tap tempo window that you may find handy. Let’s try it.
►► Enter
Tap Tempo mode the same way you just
did.
►► You
will notice that the Preset up and Preset
down footswitches are lit solid blue.
►► These footswitches allow you to increase or
decrease the tempo in 1 BPM increments.
►► For example, press the Preset down footswitch
to decrease the tempo.
Manually adjusting the Tap Tempo can be handy
if you want to set a specific tempo, e.g. when you
have to follow a click track. And of course, both
methods can be combined: Use tapping to “get
close” to the desired tempo and use the Preset
footswitches for fine-tuning.
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Using Global Tempo
Depending on how you would like to manage
tempo within VL3X, you can choose whether
tempo information is recalled from each individual Preset or managed globally.
If you would like to store specific tempos within
your Presets, simply set the tap tempo as described in “Tapping tempo” and save the Preset.
If you would like to set one tempo and have all
Presets “follow” it, you will need to head into the
System menu.
►► Press
the Setup button.
< or > to navigate to the System tab.
►► Use the Control Knob to scroll down to the
Global Tempo option.
►► Use the Mix Knob to change the value to ON.
►► Press the Home button.
►► Use
Global Tempo on
Now, any tempo you tap will immediately be
effective and be used for whatever Preset you
choose.
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Editing an Effect
Now that we have heard some sounds, let’s edit
an effect in a Preset. You can choose to edit either the Vocal or Guitar effects, whichever you
like.
To edit the Vocal effects within a Preset, press
the Vocal button.
Editing Vocal effects
To edit the Guitar effects within a Preset, press
the Guitar button.
Editing Guitar effects
Both effect layers (Vocal and Guitars) have a series of “tabs”. There is a tab for each effect within a Preset, and there are a couple of extra tabs
for other Preset options like Button Mapping and
Expression Pedal assignment.
All the effect edit screens that you can access
using these tabs have a similar structure. On
top of each edit screen, you will find simple and
easy-to-use controls, while scrolling down using the Control Knob will show more parameters
that offer more advanced parameters for deeper editing.
On the top level, most effects have four main parameters:
1. Style: Style sets the “sound” of the effect.
For example, you might choose a “Hall” or
“Studio” reverb type.
2. Parameter 1: The first parameter shown varies from effect to effect and will have a different name – it will not be called “Parameter 1”. To continue with the Reverb example,
Decay time is located here.
3. Parameter 2: Again, this control will vary
from effect to effect, but is commonly the
Level control, which controls the overall volume of the effect.
4. Control: control sets the “state” of the effect
and how it is controlled.
►► Off: The effect is inactive.
►► On: The effect is active, regardless of the
status of the HIT button.
►► HIT On: This effect is active only when the
HIT button is ON.
►► HIT Off: This effect is active only when the
HIT button is OFF.
You may also change this control by pressing the footswitch associated with this effect
(if it is mapped to a footswitch). This can be a
quick way to set up several effects to come on
or off when HIT is pressed.
The concept of “HIT on” and “HIT off” can be a
little confusing at first – but you will soon get the
hang of things. A user suggested this analogy:
“It can be useful to think of HIT on as “throwing a bunch of effects onto a table” and HIT off
as “knocking or wiping a bunch of effects off of
the table”. Effects that are on simply can’t be
knocked off the table – and effects that are off
can’t be put onto it using HIT.
Back to editing…
►► Turn
off ALL effect blocks but one. It doesn’t
matter which effect you leave on, so long as
you can clearly hear the effect. For this example, we assume that you are using the Harmony effect in the Vocal Layer.
►► Press the Vocal button.
►► Navigate to the Harmony tab.
Switching off all effect blocks except for
Harmony
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►► Change
the Style parameter using the Mix
Knob directly below “Style” on the screen.
Notice how the sound of the effect changes. It
can be a subtle change or a drastic one, depending on the Style.
own one of our other products, like VoiceLive 2,
you may recognize some or all of the advanced
controls.
If you don’t recognize anything, there are two
paths you can take:
Navigating to the Delay tab
►► Use
Changing the Harmony Style parameter
Once you have chosen a Style that you like,
you are 90% of the way there. We will skip
over to the Level parameter now.
►► Using the Mix Knob directly below the “Level”
parameter, change the level (volume) of the effect. Find a setting that sounds good to you.
►► Now, turn on another effect. It still doesn’t
matter which one. Notice how the two effects
interact with each other.
the < or > Arrow buttons to navigate to
the effect you just activated. In the image
above, that’s Delay.
►► Try changing the Style of the newly activated
effect. Find a style that sounds good with the
other effect you had turned on.
►► Adjust the Level control of the new effect to
blend it with the first.
From here on in, EVERYTHING is advanced,
specific editing. Try manipulating the other parameter on the screen, be it decay time, lead level, speed or whatever is shown there. Notice how
it changes the sound of the effect.
Use the Control Knob to scroll down. You will see
many, many different controls and parameters
on each effect tab. DON’T PANIC!
Typically, advanced parameters are defined and
loaded with the Style you choose and should
sound pretty darned good as they are. If you
have got some audio engineering experience or
1. Don’t touch anything you don’t recognize.
Slowly back away from the advanced menu.
There be dragons in that cave!
2. Turn every parameter as far as it will go in
each direction and see what happens!
Whether you choose #1 or #2: It’s totally fine. We
can’t tell you how fast or far to venture into the
depths of VL3X. All we can do is recommend that
you treat VL3X like any other instrument or skill
you would try to learn and give things some time.
From our own experience, you know it’s a good
time to venture deeper into the menus and controls when you say to yourself: “Hmm. This
would sound perfect if only the [X] was a bit
more/less [Y]…”
Once you start thinking like that, you will know
that your skills have moved beyond using Style,
and you will likely find the experience of editing
advanced parameters more thrilling than daunting.
Remember to go through the Store procedure after you have made changes to a Preset. Changes
are not stored automatically. If you edit a Preset
and switch to another Preset without storing, all
changes you made will be lost.
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Getting to know VL3X
Defining and using Global Effects
Each effect in VL3X can load and use Global settings. Global settings make editing effects much
easier and faster, but you need to understand
the concept to use it effectively.
How do Global Effects work?
Tip: Keep your Global Preset safe
First, you define a “Global Preset” in the System menu. This Preset is the Preset from which
any other Preset can “pull” settings for any effect. Think of this Global Preset as a template
or master.
We suggest placing the global Preset in a location quite far from your other Presets in the box,
so you don’t accidentally overwrite it. Any Presets that depend on the information in the Global
Preset will be affected if you delete or change it.
In the screen shot below, you will see that Preset
491 has been defined as the Global Preset. You
can change this to any other Preset if you like.
However, we recommend making yourself familiar with editing the Global Preset and turning
Global ON in other Presets before you reassign
the Global Preset.
Global Preset set to Preset no. 491
If you invest some time into creating effects that
you like in your Global Preset, you can then access these effects in any other Preset by simply
setting one parameter.
We have defined a Global Preset for you already
(the factory default is 491), but you can make
your own.
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Defining the Global Preset
the Setup button.
< or > to navigate to the System tab.
►► Use the Control Knob to highlight “Global Preset”
►► Use the Mix Knob below “Global Preset” to
change its value to represent the Preset number you would like as your Global Preset.
Getting to know VL3X
Using an effect from
the Global Preset
►► Press
►► Use
►► Select
a Preset that you would like to link to
the Global Preset.
►► Press the Vocal or Guitar button (depending
on which effect you would like to edit).
►► Navigate to the effect tab for the effect that
you would like to link to the Global Preset –
e.g. Delay.
Setting Global to On for the Delay block
►► Settings
from the Global Preset will be applied
to this effect immediately.
►► You will also see that the tab name has
changed from “Delay” to “Delay-GBL” – indicating that this particular effect is using Global
settings.
Delay effect block settings
►► Use
the Control Knob to scroll down to the
“Global” parameter. It should say “Off”.
Global set to Off in the Delay block
►► Change
it to “On” using the mix knob right below the parameter.
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Important: The link between
the Global Preset and other
Presets goes both ways
Before you make any tweaks to the effect you
have just made Global, there is something you
should know.
If Global is ON in any Preset and you make
changes to the settings of the respective effect,
this will change the settings of the Global Preset
(and all other Presets where that particular effect
is set to Global on).
That can be really handy – or a disaster, if you
are not prepared for it.
Getting to know VL3X
Using the Global Preset to copy
effect settings into a Preset
As you just read, the link between the Global Preset and other Preset goes both ways. However,
you can also use this feature temporarily to copy
effect settings from the Global Preset to another
Preset and then edit them independently.
►► Select
a Preset.
►► Select an effect that should use the settings
from the Global Preset as a starting point.
►► Set Global for this effect to on.
This will copy the settings for this effect from
the Global Preset to the current Preset.
►► Set Global for this effect to off again.
This “breaks the link” between Global and
current Preset, allowing you to modify the settings locally.
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Getting to know VL3X
MIDI Sync
MIDI sync allows you to send tempo information
from an external device (computer, keyboard,
sampler etc.) to VL3X and have it maintain the
same tempo as the Master device.
To enable MIDI Tempo, navigate to the SETUP –
MIDI menu and turn MIDI Tempo ON.
Setup – MIDI menu
VL3X can act as a MIDI Tempo slave only. It cannot generate or send MIDI Tempo.
For more information, see “Looping and MIDI
Sync”.
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Getting to know VL3X
Backing Track Import
Let’s now tackle the very first step in working
with Backing Tracks: Getting them into your
VL3X. For working with Backing Tracks, see
“Backing Tracks”.
First, you will need to get your hands on a USB
flash drive (also called a USB memory stick or
thumb drive). An external hard disk drive should
work too, but please note that there is no official
support for using external hard disk drives.
Supported USB flash
drive file systems
Copying audio tracks to
your USB flash drive
The USB flash drive needs to be formatted using
the FAT32 file system. NTFS, HFS or other file
systems cannot be read by VL3X.
VL3X can only import MP3 or WAV audio files.
Instructions for formatting a USB flash drive with
FAT32 can be found here:
wikihow.com/Format-FAT32
Next, you need to copy some Backing Tracks to
the USB flash drive.
►► Insert
the USB stick into your computer and
drag/drop your Backing Tracks onto the drive.
You can also use a file manager application.
►► Make sure to copy all audio files to the root
directory of the flash drive. That means you
should not put audio files into folders or subfolders. VL3X will not find these files.
►► Insert the USB flash drive stick into the USB
Host Port on VL3X.
►► VL3X will recognize all valid audio files in the
root directory of the flash drive and make
them available for import.
►► Press the Store button once.
►► Use the left arrow button below the Control
Knob to navigate to the TRACK IMPORT tab.
Backing Track Import
►► You
will see a list of available Backing Tracks
to import.
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Please note that if the TRACK IMPORT tab was
already selected when you inserted the USB
flash drive, you will need to exit and re-enter
that tab for the tracks to show up. The track list
is not updated in real time, so the menu needs
to redraw.
Getting to know VL3X
Importing all tracks from
a USB flash drive
Importing a single track or selected
tracks from a USB flash drive
►► To
►► Use
import all tracks from the flash drive,
choose “IMPORT ALL” on the TRACK IMPORT tab.
►► Press and HOLD the Control Knob to begin
the import process.
►► A confirmation dialogue will appear.
the Control Knob to scroll the list of tracks
on the TRACK IMPORT tab.
►► To select a track for import, tap the Control
Knob when this track is highlighted. A small
“x” will appear next to each selected track.
►► Press and HOLD the Control Knob to begin
the import process.
►► A confirmation dialogue will appear.
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Getting to know VL3X
VL3X Backing Track audio format
The internal audio file format of VL3X for Backing
Tracks is 16 bit resolution and 48 kHz sampling
rate. If you convert your audio files to this format
directly from the signal source (e.g. your DAW),
you can save up to 60% of the import time.
If your audio files are MP3 files or WAV files with
another resolution or sampling rate, they need to
be converted. When the conversion is done, you
can start using these tracks. This process can
take a while.
Please note that VL3X will NOT show up as a
hard drive when connected to your computer. A
USB flash drive must be used for Backing Track
import.
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Getting to know VL3X
Backing Tracks
Backing Tracks and Presets
In this section we will discuss how Backing
Tracks and Automation (Sequences) relate to
VL3X Presets.
Think of the Preset as a “container” for…
►► the
vocal/guitar effects settings,
Backing Track and
►► the performance data that you have recorded.
►► the
Associating a Backing
Track with a Preset
the Looper touch button.
the > Arrow button (below the Control
Knob) to navigate to the far right BACKING
TRACK tab.
►► On the BACKING TRACK tab, you will find a
Backing Track parameter that allows you to
choose a Backing Track.
menu when you choose a Backing Track. This is
to simplify the menus and only show what is relevant to your current setup.
►► Press
►► Use
If you change the Backing Track parameter back
to NONE, the LOOPER and PRESET tabs will reappear.
Accordingly, when you load the Preset, all of
these components are loaded too.
Backing Track set to “None”
If a Backing Track is associated with a Preset,
holding the “Layer” button will enter the Backing
Track player (rather than the looper). From the
Backing Track player, you can control playback
and sequence recording for that Preset.
Selecting a Backing Track
►► Use
the Control Knob to highlight the Backing
Track parameter.
►► Use one of the Mix Knobs to select the Backing Track you would like to use from the
list of tracks you have previously imported
(see”Backing Track Import”).
►► Save the Preset by pressing the Store button
twice.
Now each time you load the Preset, the Backing
Track will also be loaded. Press/hold of the Layer
button now takes you to the Backing Track player instead of the Looper.
You will also notice that the LOOPER and PRESET tabs disappear from the Looper button’s
VL3X – Reference manual (updated Getting to know VL3X)76
Backing Track Gain
Track gain allows you to adjust the gain of a particular Backing Track on a per-Preset basis.
Getting to know VL3X
Playing Backing Tracks
associated with a Preset
There are three ways to play Backing Tracks.
Playing Backing Tracks using
the Backing Track interface
Press and hold the LAYER button to enter the
Backing Track player.
Please note that the first place you should go to
adjust the overall level of your Backing Tracks is
the MIX page(s). There is a TRACK control in the
Main and Headphone mix screens.
Backing Track interface
You will now see transport and sequence recording controls as described here:
Track level control on the Main mix screen
Once you have got the general balance between
your Vocal, Guitar, Loop, MET, Aux and Track
levels, you can use the Track Gain parameter to
tweak an individual track to blend optimally in a
particular Preset.
If you associate a Backing Track with multiple
presets, you’ll need to adjust the Track Gain parameter in each one.
Backing Track player controls – bottom row, left
to right
►► Track
Selection Menu: Opens a screen that allows you to choose a track – similar to the file
selector dialog box in your computer’s operating system with the following controls (from
left to right):
Backing Track Selection menu
►► Backing
Track list (right half of the screen):
the Preset UP/DN footswitches to
browse the available Backing Tracks.
►► Use
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►► Press
the STEP footswitch to select the currently highlighted Backing Track.
►► Press the LAYER footswitch to cancel Backing Track selection.
►► Skip Back
►► Skip Forward
►► Stop: Stop playback of the Backing Track.
►► Play: Start Backing Track playback.
Backing Track player controls –
top row, left to right:
►► Function
Menu: Opens a menu with Backing
Track related functions with the following controls (from left to right):
Getting to know VL3X
►► Circle/R
icon: Use this to initiate Sequence
recording. Press and hold to change to “Sequence Overdub” mode. More on this under
“Overdubbing”.
Playing Backing Tracks using a
footswitch Buttonmap assignment
Once you have associated a Backing Track
with a Preset, you can map any of the six effect
footswitches in this Preset to play, pause and
stop the Backing Track.
Here is how to assign footswitches to Backing
Track control functions:
►► Press
the Vocal or Guitar button (depending
on which Layer you’d like to assign the track
playback button to). If you want to, you can
put a track playback button on both layers.
►► Use the left or right Arrow buttons to navigate
to the BUTTONMAP tab.
►► On the BUTTONMAP tab, you can assign the
“TRACK START” function to any button.
Backing Tracks Function menu
►► Door
icon: Back to the Backing Track player
transport control screen
►► Trash icon: Delete Sequence. You need to
hold this button to perform this action.
►► Disk icon: Save Sequence.
►► USB icon: Export Sequence to USB.
►► Home icon: Exit the Backing Track player.
►► Disk icon: Save Sequence Recording
►► Undo icon: This is an (unlimited) Multi-layer
Undo feature.
Assigning Backing Track control to an effect
footswitch using the Buttonmap
Use the assigned button to control Backing
Track playback as follows:
►► Press:
Play
again: Pause
►► Press again: Play
►► Press & Hold: Stop and return to the beginning.
►► Press
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Playing Backing Tracks using a Switch-3,
Switch-6 or the STEP footswitch
Here is how to assign Backing Track playback to
a Switch-3, a Switch-6 or the STEP footswitch
on your VL3X.
Getting to know VL3X
If a Backing Track is playing and a sequence exists, it’s not possible to change presets. You’ll
need to pause or stop the Backing Track playback before presets can be changed.
►► Press
the SETUP button.
the left or right Arrow to navigate to the
FOOTSWITCH tab.
►► Use the Control Knob to select the row containing the switch that you would like to modify.
►► Use the Mix knob to change the button assignment to TRACK START.
►► There are also controls for STOP, FWD and
BACK if you want more control.
►► Use
Assigning Backing Track control to
a footswitch on a Switch-3 using the
Buttonmap
Please note that the Switch-3, Switch-6 and
STEP assignments are global and will work for
any Preset that you have assigned a Backing
Track to. This is useful because you don’t have to
sacrifice an effect footswitch in each Preset that
has a Backing Track.
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Getting to know VL3X
Backing Track Sequence Recording (Automation)
First, a definition of automation as it relates to
VL3X:
What gets recorded into
the sequence?
What does not get recorded
into the sequence?
►► You
When recording a Sequence, ay vocal or guitar
effect footswitch you toggle (including HIT and
ALL HIT, plus any STEP changes) will be recorded.
Parameter changes (like panning etc.) are not
recorded. We don’t track real-time changes to
things that are “under the hood”.
can record your button presses on both
the Vocal and Guitar layers (including Steps)
within a Preset while the Backing Track is
playing.
►► When you play back the track in the future,
your recorded button presses are executed
automatically.
This means that you can theoretically perform
an entire song with just one touch of a button on
your VL3X. To do so, you would simply press the
track start button – and everything else happens
as you recorded it into the sequence.
VL3X – Reference manual (updated Getting to know VL3X)80
How should I approach
sequence recording?
There are two schools of thought for recording
performances.
a.) The “experienced live performer approach”:
You already know the exact “moves” you would
normally make during the performance of a song
and just want to go for it.
b.) The “studio wizard approach”: You want to
“build” the song one part at a time, perhaps using controls that would be physically impossible
to replicate in real-time.
If you fall under a) above, you would simply
►► fire
up the Backing Track player screen,
the RECORD button,
►► perform your song as normal, pressing all buttons and
►► press STOP when you are finished.
►► press
Now when you press PLAY, you’ll see that your
“moves” have been recorded and any effect or
STEP changes will happen automatically as the
song progresses.
If you fall under b), you may want to take your
time to build the perfect Sequence. When doing so, you may not know what sounds to use or
when exactly to make changes. In that case, we
suggest working on “just the vocals” or “just the
guitar” first. Work your way through the song, focusing on guitar or vocal effect changes.
Getting to know VL3X
You can still use any of the Record/Overdub
methods described below – but stick to just the
one instrument until it’s just right. Then, make
sure you’re in Overdub recording mode (so you
the guitar or vocal changes you have already recorded will be preserved), change to the other
Layer (Guitar or Vocals) and begin building up the
remaining effects.
Fixing Sequence Recording mistakes
If you have made an error when recording your
Sequence, there are three ways to fix it.
Redo it
Simply go back to the beginning of the track and
press RECORD again. Please note that this is a
destructive recording process – so everything
you previously recorded will be overwritten. You
would have to do this as many times as necessary until you get everything right. This is the
most time consuming approach.
Punch in and out
Using the Control Knob, scroll though the Backing Track until you find the location of the error.
Move the play head slightly before the mistake
using the Backing Track playback controls and
press RECORD. This will “punch in” and begin
recording new sequence data at that point. You
can press STOP when you’re finished. Any existing sequence data that exists after you press
stop will remain in place. You can replace small
or large sections of the sequence using this
method.
Overdubbing
Use Overdub mode. To activate Overdub mode,
press and hold the RECORD button.
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Getting to know VL3X
Overdub Mode activated (indicated by the
Circle icon)
Once you are in overdub mode, pressing the
button again will begin an overdub recording.
This will add any new button presses into the
sequence while preserving existing ones. To deactivate Overdub mode, press and hold the RECORD button again.
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Getting to know VL3X
Importing and Exporting Performances
We’ve made it really easy to import and export
Performance Export
Performance Import
►► a
►► From
►► With your USB stick inserted, press the STORE
Preset,
associated Backing Track and
►► Sequence information.
►► the
The file format is called “package”, with the
“.VL3pkg file” suffix.
the Backing Track screen, press the Preset UP button to enter the Function menu.
►► Press the Reverb button (USB stick icon) to
export your performance.
►► A notification is shown when export is complete.
button.
►► Use the > arrow button to navigate to the PERFORMANCE IMPORT tab.
You can use the Import/Export feature to back
up your own work or share it with other people.
TC-Helicon is NOT responsible for maintaining copyright integrity on audio tracks. If you
don’t own the track, don’t share it without express permission of the owner!
PERFORMANCE IMPORT tab
Performance Export function (USB stick) in the
Backing Track function menu
►► On
the PERFORMANCE IMPORT tab, you can
select the performance package(s) you would
like to import and also choose the Preset
number destination.
►► Use the far right MIX knob to select the destination Preset location.
Keep in mind that if you choose a Preset location
that already contains Preset data (with or without
a sequence) that Preset data will be overwritten.
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Getting to know VL3X
Direct to USB Recording
Another great feature of VL3X is the ability to
stream stereo audio directly to a connected USB
flash drive.
Here is how to use Direct to USB Stereo Recording:
►► Simply
connect your FAT32-formatted USB
flash drive to the host port.
►► Wait about 5 seconds for the device to be detected and set up.
►► To initiate recording, press and hold the
GENRE and SETUP buttons simultaneously
for about 2 seconds.
►► To stop recording, press and hold the GENRE
and SETUP buttons simultaneously again for
about 2 seconds.
Notes about Direct to USB Recording
Each time you start and stop recording, a new
file is generated on your USB flash drive.
The audio captured is a direct mirror of the main
output signal. This recording is always in two
channel stereo format and also includes Backing
Tracks or loops, if you are using these features.
Recordings have a maximum length of 120 minutes.
If you bring a camera to your show, you can easily capture video from the camera and audio from
the VL3X, making for a super easy performance
video with good quality! Simply mute the camera
audio in your editor and replace it with the VL3X
audio. Just don’t call TC-Helicon for video editing support…
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Getting to know VL3X
Using the Mix Controls
As you probably have realized by now, there
is a lot going on under the hood of your VL3X.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could control the levels
of the signals going in and out of VL3X?
Main Mix
Main Mix controls the sounds that come from the
XLR Out and Guitar Out jacks.
As it turns out, you can – and you do not even
have to press any buttons.
Output Mode set to Unity Gain
►► While
►► If
on the Home screen, touch (move) any
of the four Mix knobs right below the display
to enter the Mix screen.
There are actually three separate mix pages or
“tabs”:
►► Main Mix
►► Headphone Mix
►► Effects Mix
Select the mix you want to control using the Arrow buttons under the Control knob. The last selection will be remembered, so when you use the
Mix knobs later, you will be editing the previously
selected mix.
Main Mix controls
you wish to vary the output level of the Guitar Out (e.g. when you are connecting VL3X
to a mixer or recording interface), change the
setting to Variable Level.
Use the Mix knobs to adjust the levels of the
signals shown on screen. Scroll down using the
control knob to see and adjust additional levels.
►► Guitar
►► Looper
►► Aux
►► Main
Output Mode set to Variable Level
Out
►► Metronome
►► Track
You can set the levels of both Aux and Metronome signals to Off if you wish to remove their
sounds from the XLR outputs and only use them
over your headphones or IEMs.
Keep in mind that if you are connecting the Guitar Out jack to a guitar amplifier, you likely want
a fixed output level. In the Guitar tab of the Setup menu, you will find a parameter called Output
Mode that controls this.
►► If
you set Output Mode to Unity Gain (this is
the default), this will set one master output
volume for the guitar signals coming from the
Guitar Out jack.
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Headphone Mix
Headphone Mix allows you to independently set
the signal levels for the headphones or IEM connected to the Headphone jack. In other words:
You can have a headphone or in-ear-monitoring
mix that is independent of what goes out to the
XLR outputs.
Getting to know VL3X
limitation this imposes is that you cannot set the
Guitar or Loop controls in the Main Mix to Off
and still hear them in your headphones.
Effects Mix
Headphone Limiter parameter
Use the Headphone Limiter parameter to set the
limiter level for the headphone output.
►► Voices:
0 dB allows for maximum potential headphone
output. Levels below 0 dB (-3 dB etc) will restrict
or “limit” the maximum potential headphone output. When using in-ear monitors, you may want
to set the limiter in order to prevent hearing damage by transient loud noises such as feedback.
Headphone Mix controls
Use the Mix knobs to adjust the levels of the
signals shown on screen. Scroll down using the
control knob to see and adjust additional levels.
Effects Mix allows you to adjust the overall
sound of your presets.
Controls the overall level of any voices generated by VL3X. This includes Harmony,
Double and Choir.
►► Voc Reverb: Controls the overall level of the
Vocal Reverb effect across your presets. If you
find yourself in a venue that has a lot of (or
very little) natural Reverb, you may not have
the time to adjust the Reverb settings in all
your Presets manually. Instead, use this control to better match the Reverb settings in your
Presets to the physical space you are in.
►► Guitar Reverb: Performs the same function
as Voc Reverb for the Guitar Reverb in all your
Presets.
►► Guitar
Trim
►► Loop Trim
►► Metronome
►► Headphones
►► Main (Trim)
►► Monitor
►► Aux Level
►► Track Level
►► RoomSense
►► Room Limit
►► Room LoCut
►► HP Limit (Headphone Limiter)
The Guitar Trim and Loop Trim controls allow you
to increase or decrease the levels of Guitar and
Loop relative to the Main Mix settings. The one
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Getting to know VL3X
Tips and tricks for working with layers and effects
General Vocal & Guitar Layer usage
As we discussed in “Concepts” and “Footswitches overview” , VL3X is comprised of three “Layers”: Vocal, Guitar and Looper.
The basic concepts of accessing effect settings
and going from simple to advanced editing are
explained in “Editing an Effect”.
Tapping the Layer button will give you access to
the Layer you would like to control: Guitar or Vocal. Press and hold the Layer button to access
the Looper.
Keep in mind that as we discuss editing Vocal
or Guitar effects, the editing process is independent of the Layer you are currently controlling.
Put another way: You can have the Vocal Layer active (blue LEDs will show that you can use
footswitch to control the vocal effects), but simply press the Guitar button (the blue one on the
top panel) to enter and edit the Guitar effects.
In addition to the effects tabs in the Vocal and
Guitar edit screens, you will find the Buttonmap,
Expression and Preset tabs.
Editing Vocal effects while on the Guitar Layer
As there are no effects linked to the Looper Layer, we will cover Looper operations in a separate
section of this manual.
Editing Guitar effects while on the Vocal Layer
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Getting to know VL3X
Mic Control and Footswitch tabs: Remapping footswitches
We have already made some changes on the
Buttonmap tab in “Remapping a footswitch” – so
you have seen it before. Let’s dig a little deeper
into it now.
►► Enter
the Vocal or Guitar edit screen.
to the Mic Control or Footswitch tab.
►► Navigate
Earlier in the “VL3X overview”, we remapped a
footswitch and changed the Mode from Latched
to Momentary.
On the Mic Control and Footswitch tabs, each
effect footswitch is represented by sets of two
lines. Use the Control Knob to select a set, for
example µMod.
The first word in the first column is the name of
the effect footswitch, as it is printed on the device. The name of the effect currently assigned
to this footswitch is shown directly below it.
►► Press
the Home button to return to the Home
screen.
You will see that the effect you have chosen is
now shown in the top left corner of the screen
and will activate if you press the µMod button.
Parm1 and Parm2
By now, you know how to remap footswitches
and choosing between Latched and Momentary
mode. But what are the other two parameters –
Parm1 and Parm2 – good for?
Typically, remapping footswitches is great for
three situations:
Parm 1 and Parm 2 are part of the Loop Trigger Buttonmap. If you assign Loop Trigger to a
footswitch, you need to choose which loop and
which track you would like to trigger when you
tap that footswitch.
►► “That
darn button is in the wrong place! I hate
where it is and want to move it!”
►► “I would like footswitch access to an effect
that isn’t already assigned to a button.”
For example, you might want access to Synth
– so you decide to remap the Delay button.
►► “I want access to a guitar effect on the vocal
page.”
For example, remapping the Double footswitch
to Guitar HIT will give you access to guitar effects on the Vocal Layer – right beside Vocal
HIT.
►► Parm
1 defines which Loop slot you are using
(see “Basic loop concepts and terms”
►► Parm 2 defines which track (or combination of
tracks) you would like to trigger when pressing
the button.
The available options are Loop A, Loop B,
Loop C, A&B or A&C.
Learn more about the Looper in “The Looper”.
For now, you should see µMod with µMod directly underneath. If you are on the Guitar edit page,
you will see µMod and G µMod respectively.
►► Assign
another effect to the µMod footswitch
by turning the Mix Knob directly below the parameter.
It doesn’t matter if the effect you choose here
is already mapped to another button. For example, if you choose Harmony, you will now
have Harmony mapped to both the µMod button and the Harmony button (default). That’s
OK – it just shows how remapping works.
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Getting to know VL3X
Exp. Pedal tab: Getting the most out of your expression pedal
If you have connected an expression pedal to
your VL3X, you can define what the expression
pedal should control in each Preset.
Being able to define the expression pedal “target” in each Preset gives you a lot of flexibility
from one pedal.
completely. To achieve this effect, you would set
MinPos to something higher than 0% (try something like 50 or 70%). This allows you to make
large (easy to perform) movements with the pedal without changing the level of the harmonies
too drastically.
►► Select
the Footswitch Jack parameter and set
it from Switch-3 to Expression pedal.
Calibrating your expression pedal
If you are connecting an expression pedal, it
must be calibrated.
►► To
enter the calibration screen, press the Setup button.
►► Use the < and > arrows to navigate to the
“Pedal Calibration” tab.
Setting Expression Pedal MinPos and MaxPos
Setting the Expression Pedal target
►► Use the Expression pedal parameter to choose
from many controllable “targets”.
the Exp MinPos parameter to define the
parameter value that should be associated
with the minimum (down) position of the expression pedal.
►► Use the Exp MaxPos parameter to define the
parameter value that should be associated
with the maximum (up) position of the expression pedal.
►► Use
The MinPos and MaxPos parameters can be
useful when you would like to limit the effective
range of the pedal.
For example, if you assign the expression pedal to control harmony volume, you may want the
harmonies to turn down slightly when you rock
the pedal all the way back – but not turn them off
It can be useful to limit the expression pedal
range for parameters such as Guitar Volume,
Harmony Volume, Delay Feedback, Rhythmic
Depth etc.
Expression Pedal Calibration
►► Follow
Working with a second expression pedal
If you want to, you can use a second expression
pedal with your VL3X. Connect this second Expression pedal to the Footswitch jack.
As opposed to the expression pedal connected
to the Expression jack (which can be used differently in each Preset), the pedal connected to
the footswitch jack only has a global setting – it
will control all Presets in the same way. To use a
second expression pedal:
►► Press
the on-screen instructions.
The Preset tab
The Preset tab allows you to make changes to
the Preset as a whole.
Most importantly, you can adjust the overall level of the Vocal or Guitar signals within a Preset.
This allows you to balance your Presets so they
all have the same apparent volume.
Setup.
to the Buttonmap tab.
►► Navigate
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Getting to know VL3X
to one side and then add effects. There’s a Delay Pan control in the Delay edit parameters too.
Try panning the lead vocal to the far right and the
Delay Pan to the far left for interesting results.
Preset tab for the Vocal Layer
Preset tab for the Guitar Layer
When you are adding effects to the (Vocal or
Guitar) signal path, each of these effects inevitably adds some gain (volume) to the signal chain.
This means that after adding several effects,
your Preset may end up louder than it started. At
this point, you may want to compare the apparent level of the current Preset to other Presets in
VL3X – and then use the Level Trim controls on
the Preset tab for Vocal or Guitar to make adjustments.
There is also a Pan control available in both the
Vocal and Guitar Preset tabs that allow you to
pan the vocal or guitar signal left or right. The
default setting is “C” (for “Center”). It can be
especially useful to assign Guitar Pan to an expression pedal if you would like to create stereo
guitar loops, which we will discuss later.
Additionally, you can create some interesting vocal sounds by panning the lead vocal completely
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Editing the Vocal Layer
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Introduction
Press the Vocal button to enter the Vocal edit
screen.
For more information about editing Style, Level,
Control and other parameters associated with
each effect, see “Editing an Effect”.
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Harmony effect block / tab
Harmony is TC-Helicon’s most popular effect –
and some might argue the most impressive one,
too.
The Harmony effect creates harmony vocals
from your lead voice. This harmony can contain
up to four voices, each with different intervals,
key/scale sources, pan, humanization and other
settings.
Harmony effect block parameters
The Harmony effect block has the following parameters that allow you to adjust the effect:
►► Harmony
►► Lead
Style
Level
►► Level
►► Hit
Control
►► Humanization
Harmony can be used to add a single voice of
harmony, up to a larger “group” sound depending on your application.
►► Humanization
►► Vibrato
Style
Amount
Style
►► Vibrato Amount
►► NaturalPlay Source
►► Tuning
►► Mode (for each voice)
►► Voicing (for each voice)
►► Level (for each voice)
►► Gender (for each voice)
►► Pan (for each voice)
►► Portamento (for each voice)
►► Portamento Smoothing (for each voice)
►► Attack
►► Release
►► Hold Release
►► Low Gain
►► Low Frequency
►► High Gain
►► High Frequency
►► Mid Gain
►► Mid Frequency
►► Mid Bandwidth
►► Global
Tips and tricks for working
with the Harmony effect
►► “Subtle”
is often better when using any Harmony effect. Typically, when we hear complaints about the created voices sounding
“robotic” or “fake”, it can be attributed partially to the Harmony voices being overly loud in
the vocal mix.
►► Level settings of -6 or dB lower can often yield
great results, even if the voices aren’t immediately obvious.
►► “High” and “Low” styles are the most commonly used harmonies in popular music. If you
are a male or have a lower voice, try “High”.
If you are female or have a higher voice, try
“Low”.
►► When using a multi-voice Harmony style like
“High & Low” or “High & Higher”, try adjusting the Pan and Level parameters in the Vocal
Edit screen to adjust the location and volume
of each voice.
►► To expand on the above, try turning on Voice
3 and Voice 4. Set each to copy the settings
of the existing two voices. Pan them opposite to the existing voices and reduce their
level slightly. This puts one “High & Low” pair
on the Left and Right of the stereo field with
“High” being slightly dominant on one side
and “Low” on the other.
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HighLowLeadHighLow
Harm. (1) Harm. (2)
Voice
Harm. (3) Harm. (4)
NaturalPlay, Scale, Fixed
& Pedal Modes
< Left
Right >
Panning Harmony Voices
To further expand, try adjusting the Smoothing
and Humanization parameters for each of the
four voices, so that each voice ends up a bit different from the other.
►► On
the Buttonmap tab of the Setup menu,
you can remap the Step footswitch to various
controls. Try remapping the Step footswitch
to Harmony Hold. When the Harmony effect
is active, press the Step footswitch (now assigned to Harmony Hold) to “fix” the current
harmony note and hold it. You can then sing
other notes as the Harmonies continue to sing
the note you held.
►► We suggest to also changing the Step Button Mode to Momentary to avoid accidentally
turning Harmony Hold on and letting it hold a
note indefinitely. You will find that brief use of
the effect is typically the best approach.
VL3X offers a completely new way of combining
harmony voice modes that allows you to make
some really great sounds.
In previous products, all harmony voices were
defined by a single “type” – i.e., they were guided by an instrument (NaturalPlay) or defined by
a fixed key and scale. In VL3X, you can define
a different method of harmony note output for
each voice!
The new “Mixed Mode” harmonies allow you to,
for example,
►► set one voice to follow your guitar (NaturalPlay),
►► the second voice to follow a key/scale,
►► a third voice to only sing a single “Fixed” note
and
►► a fourth voice to only sing the “root” note
of any chords you are playing on your guitar
(Pedal).
Mixing NaturalPlay, Fixed, Pedal and Scale
modes in one Preset
Keep in mind that when you are using mixed
mode harmony, you will need to define the correct key/scale (Scale) or note (Fixed) and play
your instrument (NaturalPlay/Pedal) in order for
the combination of voices to sound good together. Otherwise, a Fixed voice could be singing a
completely inappropriate note for your song.
Harmony can suffer from “warbles” when sound
other than your voice is picked up via your microphone. Check out this Craig’s Corner video for a
bit of TC-Helicon Harmony history and some advice on reducing warble:
youtube.com/watch?v=pT-CCTmv2ZM
This flexibility allows you to create some very sophisticated setups and vocal arrangements.
Changing Step Button Mode to Momentary
You can mix and match any of the available
modes for the four harmony voices. You could
have three NaturalPlay voices and a fixed voice,
or two scale-based voices, one fixed and one
NaturalPlay voice. It’s completely up to you!
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Double effect block / tab
Often referred to as “Doubling” or “Double
Tracking”, the Double effect mimics a singer
recording multiple versions of the same vocal
passages and playing them back simultaneously. The small differences in timing and pitch that
result from the two recordings create a more full
and “doubled” sound.
Double effect block parameters
The Double effect block has the following parameters that allow you to adjust the effect:
►► Double
Style
►► Humanization
Amount
►► Level
It’s quite common in contemporary music for
some sort of Double effect to be active during
the entire song, albeit with varying intensity.
►► Hit
Control
►► Humanization
Style
►► Portamento
►► Portamento
Smoothing
►► Level (for each voice)
►► Panning (for each voice)
►► Gender (for each voice)
►► Voicing (for each voice)
►► Portamento (for each voice)
►► Portamento Smoothing (for each voice)
►► Lead Level
►► Global
Tips and tricks for working
with the Double effect
►► “Tight”
Double styles will have less pitch and
timing variation than “Loose” styles will. Tight
styles therefore tend to be a bit more subtle
even at higher effect levels.
►► Try turning the “Lead Level” parameter to OFF
when using one of the “Wide” styles. This will
effectively remove your voice from the middle
of the stereo field and helps recreate the widepanned vocal style that can be heard on many
recent recordings.
►► Adding some “1 Voice Tight” Double effect
when using the Harmony effect can add some
presence to your lead voice, preventing it from
being overpowered by the Harmony.
►► Adding some “4 Voices Wide” Double effect
when using the Harmony effect can significantly enhance the “group” sound of the Harmony voices, especially when using two or
more Harmony voices.
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Vocal Delay effect block / tab
Delay is often referred to as “echo” and emulates
sound “bouncing” or repeating at regular intervals. As opposed to Reverb – whose reflections
of sound can be somewhat chaotic in the representation of a physical space – Delay is much
more consistent in its sound output.
Delay effect block parameters
►► Global
The Delay effect block has the following parameters that allow you to adjust the effect:
►► Delay
Style
amount
►► Feedback
Typically, Delay is used either as a special effect,
with levels high enough to be clearly heard, or as
a more subtle companion to Reverb.
►► Level
►► Hit
Control
►► Source
►► Tempo
Using Delay as a special effect can create very
interesting highlights within a performance but
can, like Reverb, become distracting or overwhelming when used too heavily.
Stereo Delays can be especially interesting if you
are performing with a stereo PA or for studio recording.
►► Filter
Style
►► Ducking
►► Division Left
►► Delay Left
►► Division Right
►► Delay Right
►► Feedback Left
►► Feedback Left to Right
►► Feedback Right
►► Feedback Right to Left
►► Low Cut Frequency
►► High Cut Frequency
►► EQ Insert
►► Ducking Threshold
►► Ducking Amount
►► Ducking Time
►► Lead to Delay Level
►► Panning
►► Harmony to Delay Level
►► µMod to Delay Level
►► Choir to Delay Level
►► Lead Level
►► Width
►► Trails
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Tips and tricks for working
with the Vocal Delay effect
►► Make
sure to set the correct tempo for any
Preset with Delay, either
►► via tempo tapping (see “Tapping tempo”) or
►► on the Delay Edit tab.
Delay timed to your song sounds great, while
off-time delays can sound terrible.
►► Experiment with different amounts of the
Feedback parameter. More Feedback creates more echoes, while very low amounts of
feedback can create “Call and Answer” style
effects.
►► Try out the various Filter Style options within
the Delay Edit screen. They allow you to make
the “echoes” of your Delay sound different.
These filter styles can add interesting effects
to your delays – such as megaphone, radio or
lo-fi sounds – or mimic the sound of classic
analog and digital hardware delays.
Filter Style parameter
►► When
using Delay on both your guitar and
vocals, experiment with using the same OR
different divisions on each Delay to crate interesting rhythmic landscapes.
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Vocal Reverb effect block / tab
Reverb is one of the most basic effects. You will
probably find some form of Reverb at every live
performance and on every recording.
Essentially, Reverb simulates a physical space
and how the sound of your voice is positioned
in it. Typically, Reverbs are defined by the space
they are trying to replicate or the device/processor/medium used to generate the reverb effect.
Reverb effect block parameters
The Vocal Reverb effect block has the following
parameters that allow you to adjust the effect:
►► Reverb
►► Level
►► Hit
Control
Reflections
►► Reverb Tail Level
►► Predelay
►► Ducking
►► Low Color
►► High Color
►► High Factor
►► Diffuse
►► Modulation Speed
►► Modulation Depth
►► Ducking Threshold
►► Ducking Amount
►► Ducking Time
►► Lead to Reverb
►► Harmony to Reverb
►► Delay to Reverb
►► Choir to Reverb
►► Lead Level
►► Width
►► Global
►► Early
With the above in mind, you will see Reverb
styles in our products with names like “Amsterdam Hall” or “Hockey Arena” when representing a physical space. You might see “Plate” or
“Spring” when referring to the type of device
used to create a particular kind of Reverb.
Reverb tab
Style
►► Decay
Tips and tricks for working with
the Vocal Reverb effect
►► “Timing”
your Reverb to the song you are performing can really enhance your overall sonic “landscape”. Try picking shorter Reverbs
(lower decay time) for faster songs and longer
Reverbs (higher decay time) for slower songs.
►► A 1.3 second Decay Time is very common for
mid-tempo popular music.
►► Timing a Reverb so that it “breathes” with
your song can sound great. By “breathing” we
mean that the Reverb ends on a beat, or every
other beat, for example.
►► Use this calculator to figure out what Reverb
time to set in order to “time” your effect to the
song:
nickfever.com/delay-calculator/
Use the chart provided on this page to determine which note division to use. If, for example, you would like your Reverb to end on every other beat, use the ½ note result.
►► Overuse of Reverb can make your vocals
sound washed out and hard to understand.
►► Underuse of Reverb can result in a flat sounding vocal. However, it’s very common in contemporary pop music to use very little or no
Reverb, opting instead for Doubling, HardTune
and other effects. Listen to popular records
from your favorite genre and analyze how they
are using reverb.
►► When using Reverb on both vocals and guitar,
it can be useful to use the same settings or at
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Editing the Vocal Layer
least the same “Style” for each, so the listener
gets the impression of vocals and guitar being
in the same simulated physical space.
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HardTune effect block / tab
This effect has become very, very common in
recent years. Most people remember when Cher
released the song “Believe”, featuring the first
commercially represented use of heavy and robotic-sounding pitch correction.
Since the release of “Believe”, there have been
many advances in pitch correction technology, allowing both extreme and subtle or transparent vocal correction. It’s a misnomer to only
equate vocal pitch correction with AutoTune™
and T-Pain™. Subtle use of pitch correction is a
staple of almost every recording, and many live
performances too.
HardTune effect block parameters
A neat little bit of music history…
The HardTune effect block has the following parameters that allow you to adjust the effect:
The Beatles used pitch correction on their albums! How?
►► HardTune
Back then, a control called “VariSpeed” on their
tape recorders was used to manipulate the playback speed – and therefore the pitch of recorded
material. Often, it was done for effect, but VariSpeed was used for all sorts of purposes.
Style
►► Gender
►► Shift
►► Hit
Control
Source
►► Rate
►► Amount
►► Window
►► Manual Key
►► Manual Scale
►► Note Select
►► Note Enable
►► Global
►► Key
It’s fun to keep that fact in mind when people
disparage modern music for its use of pitch correction or any other effect or recording technique. The Beatles used every tool available to
them at the time, just like today’s musicians do!
Here is an interesting article about the Beatles
and their use of VariSpeed:
ofbuckleyandbeatles.wordpress.com/
2010/12/05/
beatles-production-tricks-part-ii-varispeed/
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Tips and tricks for working
with the HardTune effect
►► When you want the “HardTune” sound, choose
the “Pop” style.
takes some practice to sing the right way
and get the most out of HardTune. Practice
sliding and gliding from note to note, in order
to emphasize the jumps in pitch provided by
the “Pop” setting. After a while, you will be
able to enhance the effect as you sing.
►► When you are using HardTune with a wedge
monitor or in-ear monitors (IEMs), it’s totally
normal to hear some “phasing” type sounds
as your natural voice interacts with the corrected voice output from VL3X.
Check out this Craig’s Corner video for more
about phasing:
youtube.com/watch?v=KWrEIuiDXsA
►► If you would like subtle correction that still respects any key/scale you have set for Harmony, try the “Correct Natural” style.
►► To emulate some of the effects used on the
Beatles recordings, try the “Gender Bender”
style and turn the Gender control down a few
clicks to slightly lower the sound of your voice.
►► Any time the HardTune effect is active, Global Pitch Correction settings in the Setup
menu are temporarily overwritten. When the
HardTune effect is turned off, any settings
from Global Pitch Correction will reactivate.
►► It
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Synth effect block / tab
Synth effects are created when a “carrier” sound
modifies a signal (your voice) to create an interesting combination of the two elements.
Common use includes the classical guitar “talk
box”, where the notes played on an electrical
guitar dictate the pitch and sound of the voice
output, regardless of what you sing. You don’t
have to use a guitar though – it could also be
sounds from a keyboard or other instrument.
Synth effect block parameters
The Synth effect block has the following parameters that allow you to adjust the effect:
►► Synth
►► Level
►► Hit
Control
►► Carrier
►► Lead
VL3X offers polyphonic (more than one note at
a time) Synth effects, so you can play chords on
your instrument and have them act as the “carrier” sounds. It’s a really great effect to have fun
with!
We have also included several “carrier” sounds
in VL3X, so you may use the Synth effect block
without an instrument signal.
Style
►► Gender
Mix
Source
►► Carrier Shift
►► Carrier Mix
►► Resonance
►► Global
►► Note
Tips and tricks for working
with the Synth effect
►► When
using the Synth block to generate the
well-known talk box effect of the seventies, it
really pays to know exactly the notes you want
to output and practice them ahead of time. It
sounds great when you play the right melody –
but the effect can lose its luster pretty quickly
if you meander around or play the wrong notes
for the song.
►► With the above in mind, there’s nothing wrong
with shredding a crazy solo either!
►► Synth effects tend to best be used as an accent during a particular passage of a song,
not full-time.
►► Manipulating the way you sing/speak words
into the microphone while Synth is active
can greatly increase the effectiveness of the
sound. Elongating vowels and/or over-pronouncing consonants will really make the effect stand out.
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Transducer effect block / tab
The Transducer effect is often referred to as
“Megaphone” or “Distortion”, but it really covers any manipulation of gain structure and EQ
filters. Distortion and filter effects are common
across Rock, Pop, Country, Hip Hip, EDM and
other genres.
Transducer effect block parameters
The Transducer effect block has the following
parameters that allow you to adjust the effect:
►► Transducer
Style
►► Routing
►► Post
Gain
►► Hit Control
►► Distortion Type
►► Distortion Amount
►► Low Cut
►► High Cut
►► Threshold
►► Pres Gain
►► Pres FC
►► Pres Bandwidth
►► Global
Tips and tricks for working
with the Transducer effect
►► The
first and most important tip is that any
distortion or EQ filter effect can be very prone
to feedback, so bear this in mind when connecting your VL3X to a 50,000 watt stadium
PA or the system at your local pub!
►► Use of Gate within the Transducer advanced
edit parameters can reduce the chances of
feedback when the effect is active. Set the
threshold such that the gate “opens” to let
your voice through but closes (mutes) very
soon after you finish singing.
►► This Craig’s Corner video covering feedback
can help a lot for both general PA use and
Transducer effects:
youtube.com/watch?v=VlN1RJ4gcAo
►► Changing the Buttonmap setting for the
footswitch assigned to the Transducer effect from Latched to Momentary allows you
to quickly add doses of the effect to specific
words or phrases in your song. Simply remap
one of the Vocal Layer footswitches to Transducer and change its Mode to Momentary
– see “Mic Control and Footswitch tabs: Remapping footswitches”.
µMod footswitch remapped to Transducer
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Vocal µMod effect block / tab
Pronounced “Micro Mod”, the µMod block includes effects like micro-pitch shifting (hence
Micro Mod), Flanger, Chorus, Rotor and more.
These effects can be subtle, like “Thicken”, or
quite extreme with “Tube Up” or “Alien Voiceover”.
Vocal µMod effect block parameters
The Vocal µMod effect block has the following
parameters that allow you to adjust the effect:
►► µMod
Style
►► Level
►► Hit
Control
►► Speed
►► Detune
►► Depth
►► Width
►► Phase
►► Wave
►► Inverse Phase
►► Delay Left
►► Delay Right
►► Low Cut Frequency
►► High Cut Frequency
►► Feedback Left
►► Feedback Right
►► Cross Feedback Left
►► Cross Feedback Right
►► Lead to µMod
►► Harmony to µMod
►► Global
Tips and tricks for working
with the Vocal µMod effect
►► Try
combining µMod set to one of the “Clone”,
“Wider” or “Thicken” styles with your Harmony or Double effects to increase the depth of
sound.
►► Songs like “Believe” by Lenny Kravitz use
Flanger to create its iconic sound.
►► If you use styles like “Cylon” or “Alien Voiceover”, it’s probably best to use them for small
sections of a song or for a fun effect while addressing the audience, rather than a full-time
effect.
►► The advanced controls allow you to determine
which other effects, like Harmony, are sent to
the µMod block. This allows you to add µMod
effects to whichever components of the signal
you would like and keep other signals “clean”.
Lead to µMod and Harm(ony) to µMod
parameters
►► Remember
that 0 dB means “high volume” –
not “no volume”!
►► Most level controls max out at 0 dB, but a few
– such as Guitar Trim in the Headphone Mix –
can go higher.
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Choir effect block / tab
Formerly a part of the Harmony effect block,
Choir was split into its own effect in the TC-Helicon VoiceLive Touch 2. Separating these effects
gave us the opportunity to provide more styles
and parameters for controlling the Choir sound.
We have defined Choir as its own effect block in
VL3X too, so you have extra control over the way
it sounds.
Choir makes a great companion to Harmony, especially when you are trying to create a “group”
sound. You can use Choir by itself too, which can
give its own unique flavor to the vocal.
Choir effect block parameters
The Choir effect block has the following parameters that allow you to adjust the effect:
►► Choir
Style
►► Level
►► Hit
Control
►► Lead to Choir
►► Harmony to Choir
►► Global
Tips and tricks for working
with the Choir effect
►► When
using Choir with Harmony, start with a
low level setting and move up from there. Using too much Choir level can make the overall
output sound a bit robotic or “effected”.
►► With the above suggestion, keep in mind that
high levels of Choir can be used to create a
very pronounced effect sound – which could
be just what you want.
►► The “Speaking” style can be used with any
kind of Hip Hop, Rap, Spoken Word etc. to
add a sense of a group saying something together.
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Vocal Rhythmic effect block / tab
Rhythmic effects use VL3X’s tempo to chop,
break up, pan or otherwise manipulate your
voice in time with the music.
Depending on how you set the depth and target
controls, Rhythmic can be mild or wild and apply
to either your lead vocal or the Harmony voices.
Vocal Rhythmic effect
block parameters
Tips and tricks for working with
the Vocal Rhythmic effect
The Vocal Rhythmic effect block has the following parameters that allow you to adjust the effect:
►► Using
►► Rhythmic
Style
►► Target
►► Depth
►► Hit
Control
►► Division
►► Type
►► Global
Vocal Rhythmic in combination with
Guitar Rhythmic can create some really interesting sounds.
►► Try increasing and reducing the “Depth” parameter to alter the relationship between the
lead or harmony voices and the Rhythmic effect.
►► Setting the “Target” parameter to Harm Level
and using a long division makes the Harmony
voices swell and fade slowly.
►► Try changing the Type parameter to create
dramatic variations in the output sound.
►► Rhythmic can benefit from momentary use,
applying the effect to brief sections of your
vocal. Try remapping the Rhythmic effect to
a footswitch and set its mode to Momentary.
µMod footswitch remapped to Rhythmic, Mode
changed to Momentary
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Editing the Vocal Layer
Stutter effect block / tab
Stutter is essentially a small sampler, used to
make a quick recording of your vocal and play it
back repeatedly, in time with the music. Depending on the division setting, the sample used for
the Stutter effect can be longer or shorter.
Stutter effect block parameters
The Stutter effect block has the following parameters that allow you to adjust the effect:
►► Stutter
Stutter is great for Pop, Hip Hop and EDM
genres, but can find a home in any style of music
when used creatively.
Style
►► Division
►► Direction
►► Hit
Control
►► Path
►► Capture
►► Global
Tips and tricks for working
with the Stutter effect
►► It
takes some practice to learn when to press
the stutter button in relation to your singing
in order to get a good working sample. Take
some time to experiment with the timing of
footswitch pressing and the division parameter to see how the two interact.
►► There is a Direction parameter that can play a
reversed version of the sample. Try changing
it from Forward to Reverse.
►► Stutter is much easier to control and integrate
into your performance when the button is set
to Momentary operation. When remapping
Stutter to a footswitch, remember to set that
footswitch to Momentary.
►► Stutter can be used in a similar fashion to Harmony Hold – see “Tips and tricks for working
with the Harmony effect”. Try starting the stutter effect on a note, then sing around that stutter note with your lead voice while the stutter
runs. It can help to mimic the stutter sound
with your lead voice while you do this. Phrases like “yeah”, “nah-nah” etc. can work well.
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Editing the Vocal Layer
Vocal Buttonmap tab
Buttonmap is probably one of the coolest new
features in VL3X.
Remapping buttons
►► Use
►► Don’t
like where the Harmony button is?
Remap it!
►► Want to have direct footswitch access to an
effect that isn’t µMod, Delay, Reverb, HIT,
Double (Comp) or Harmony (Drive)?
Remap it!
►► Don’t feel like switching between the Vocal
and Guitar Layer?
Remap a Vocal button to a Guitar effect or
vice versa!
►► Want to trigger a loop with one button from
the Vocal or Guitar Layer?
Remap a button to Loop Trigger!
the Control Knob to highlight the button you would like to remap. Physical button
names are on the top in each selection box,
and the mapped button is on the bottom.
►► Use the Mix Knob on the far left to change the
button mapping.
►► If you wish, set the footswitch to Momentary
mode using the Mix Knob under the Mode
column.
Tips and tricks for working
with the Buttonmap
►► There
are separate Buttonmap tabs on the
Vocal and Guitar edit screens. They are independent of one another, so you can remap
footswitches for each Layer.
►► When you have remapped a footswitch, the
Home display will show you which effect has
been remapped. If you forget where you have
remapped a button, look there.
►► Vocal effects have a small microphone image
next to them, Guitar effects have a small guitar, and system controls have a small wrench.
This can help you to see what the remapped
footswitch will affect.
►► When remapping footswitches from one Layer
to another, footswitches from another Layer
(Guitar effects used on the Vocal Layer and
vice versa) will be dimly lit in either blue (Vocal) or red (Guitar) when they are off to remind
you that pressing that footswitch will activate
an effect from a different Layer. This is a good
reminder showing you at a glance which inter-Layer remappings you have made.
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Editing the Vocal Layer
Remapping Loop Triggers
Loop triggers allow you to map a specific loop
to a specific button, PER PRESET. This can be
used for a loop you have saved and want to integrate into every performance of a specific song
or can even be used to store an entire song that
you can associate with the Preset.
Remapping a Loop Trigger is slightly different
from the Vocal or Guitar effects because you
need to define a couple of additional parameters. For more information about the Looper, see
“The Looper”.
First, you need to select a particular Loop (slot)
from which the Trigger should use tracks.
Next, you determine which Track or Tracks that
particular footswitch will trigger when pressed.
Essentially the Loop Trigger acts as a simple
start/stop for the tracks you have recorded.
Delay footswitch remapped to triggering Loop
track B from Loop Slot 3
Keep in mind that tempo/metronome settings are
saved with each Loop. Accordingly, triggering a
Loop using a remapped footswitch will invoke
these settings. This means that when you have
mapped Loop tracks from two different Loop
slots to two footswitches and they have different
tempos, the other tempo-dependent effects in
your VL3X – such as Delay and Rhythmic – will
change tempo to follow the newly activated loop.
A footswitch remapped to a Loop trigger has a
special “loop” icon and shows which loop slot
and track is associated with it in the display.
The available options are Track A, Track B, Track
C, Track A&B and Track A&C.
You can assign multiple footswitches to different
loop triggers and switch between them at will.
µMod footswitch remapped to Loop Slot 3 /
Tracks A and C, Delay footswitch remapped to
Loop Slot 3 / Track B
µMod footswitch remapped to triggering Loop
tracks A and C from Loop Slot 3
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Editing the Guitar Layer
Editing the Guitar Layer
VL3X – Reference manual (updated 2015-05-12)110
Editing the Guitar Layer
Introduction
Press the Guitar button to enter the Guitar edit
screen. For more information about editing Style,
Level, Control and other parameters associated
with each effect, see “Editing an Effect”.
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Editing the Guitar Layer
Amp effect block / tab
The Amp effect not only simulates physical amplifiers, but also provides controls for
►► EQ (pre and post)
►► Gain (pre and post)
►► Tube/Transistor simulation and
►► speaker emulation.
Amp effect block parameters
►► Speaker
Frequency
Bandwidth
►► Low Cut Frequency
►► Global
►► Speaker
The Amp effect block has the following parameters that allow you to adjust the effect:
►► Amp
Style
Gain
►► Post Gain
►► Hit Control
►► Low Post Gain
►► Mid Post Gain
►► High Post Gain
►► Low Pre Gain
►► Mid Pre Gain
►► High Pre Gain
►► Low Cut Frequency
►► Low Frequency Pre Gain
►► Mid Frequency Pre Gain
►► High Frequency Pre Gain
►► Low Bandwidth Pre Gain
►► Mid Bandwidth Pre Gain
►► High Bandwidth Pre Gain
►► Pre Gain
►► Post Gain
►► Amp Mode
►► Low Post Gain
►► Mid Post Gain
►► High Post Gain
►► Low Frequency Post Gain
►► Mid Frequency Post Gain
►► High Frequency Post Gain
►► Low Bandwidth Post Gain
►► Mid Bandwidth Post Gain
►► High Bandwidth Post Gain
►► Speaker Gain
►► Pre
The level of EQ control in the Amp block is huge,
providing controls for both the pre-gain and
post-gain stage parametric EQ – something that
most real-world amplifiers don’t offer.
There are multiple controls for each low, mid and
high EQ including bandwidth (commonly known
as “Q”) and frequency.
If you don’t like one or more of the factory Amp
Styles, the EQ options allow you to change it to
suit your particular taste and tone requirements.
Adjusting Amp EQ settings
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Editing the Guitar Layer
Tips and tricks for working
with Amp simulation
►► On
some amplifiers, what is called “PreGain”
and “PostGain” in VL3X is called “Gain” and
“Volume” respectively.
►► More PreGain results in more distortion at
high levels. If you want a crunchy or distorted
sound, turn down the PostGain, adjust PreGain until you reach the amount of distortion
you like, then turn up PostGain until the output
volume is similar to that of other guitar Presets. You can do this by ear.
►► Styles that have “Clean”, “Crunch” etc. in their
names can still be adjusted to have more, less
or no distortion using the PreGain and Post
Gain controls.
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Editing the Guitar Layer
Drive effect block / tab
VL3X’s Drive effect can act as a Boost, Drive or
both.
Essentially, the Drive block has its own set of
PreGain and PostGain parameters, which are independent from the Amp simulation block. When
Boost is active, these settings replace the currently active Amp settings, changing your sound.
There are a few preconfigured Drive styles –
make sure you give them a try.
Drive effect block parameters
The Drive effect block has the following parameters that allow you to adjust the effect:
►► Drive
Style
Gain
►► Post Gain
►► Hit Control
►► Global
►► Pre
Tips and tricks for working
with the Drive effect
►► Since
the Amp settings are replaced by the
Boost settings when Boost is active, it’s possible to make your amp quieter or less distorted when Boost is active.
►► You should probably avoid setting PreGain
and PostGain for the Amp and Boost blocks to
wildly different values. You may encounter unwanted feedback or drastic volume changes.
Test settings in rehearsal before trying them
out at a gig.
►► Boost can be used when playing acoustic guitar, simply to raise the level slightly for a solo
etc.
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Editing the Guitar Layer
Guitar Delay effect block / tab
The Guitar Delay block works in the same manner as the Vocal Delay block. Please see “Vocal
Delay effect block / tab” for an overview of the
Vocal Delay block.
Guitar Delay effect block parameters
The Guitar Delay effect block has the following
parameters that allow you to adjust the effect:
►► Delay
Style
►► Feedback
►► Level
►► Hit
Control
►► Source
►► Tempo
►► Filter
Style
►► Ducking
►► Division Left
►► Delay Left
►► Division Right
►► Delay Right
►► Modulation Depth
►► Modulation Speed
►► Ducking Threshold
►► Ducking Amount
►► Ducking Time
►► Feedback Left
►► Feedback Left to Right
►► Feedback Right
►► Feedback Right to Left
►► Low Cut Frequency
►► High Cut Frequency
►► Width
►► Trails
►► Global
Tips and tricks for working
with the Guitar Delay effect
►► There
are benefits to using the same Delay
division for both guitar and vocal effects. You
can sync up the “taps” of the echoes on both
signals and create some very interesting effects.
►► With the above in mind, using similar – but
different – Delay divisions can also be very effective. For example, try ¼ note on your Vocal
and 1/8 note on the Guitar.
►► “Slap” echo is a very common guitar setting
for classic country music sounds.
►► Using Delay effectively can make a very simply played guitar passage sound much more
complex. “The Edge” from U2 makes heavy
use of Delay.
►► Using Delay briefly can highlight a portion of
a song quite effectively. Listen to “Tangerine”
by Moist. In the verses, they use a brief “Ping
Pong” type delay to expand a mono guitar to
the stereo field. (0:42 into the video)
youtube.com/watch?v=6tkY81YGB44
(Sorry for the less-than-awesome video quality on this one.)
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Editing the Guitar Layer
Guitar Reverb effect block / tab
The Guitar Reverb block works in the same manner as the Vocal Reverb block. Please see “Vocal
Reverb effect block / tab” for an overview of the
Vocal Reverb block.
Using surgical skills that would make Victor
Frankenstein green with envy, we have transplanted TC-Electronic’s popular Hall of Fame
Reverb pedal into VL3X’s Guitar Layer. Now you
can enjoy the classic HoF sound alongside your
vocal effects!
Guitar Reverb block set to TC Electronic’s Hall
of Fame Plate reverb
Guitar Reverb effect
block parameters
Tips and tricks for working with
the Guitar Reverb effect
The Guitar Reverb effect block has the following
parameters that allow you to adjust the effect:
►► Try
►► Guitar
Reverb Style
►► Decay
►► Level
►► Hit
Control
Reflections
►► Reverb Tail Level
►► Predelay
►► Ducking
►► Low Color
►► High Color
►► High Factor
►► Diffuse
►► Global
►► Modulation Speed
►► Modulation Depth
►► Ducking Threshold
►► Ducking Amount
►► Ducking Time
►► Width
►► Global
►► Early
using same style of Reverb for both Vocal
and Guitar. This helps “glue” the two sounds
together into a shared physical space.
►► Using a very obvious Reverb during a solo
section can help differentiate the solo from the
rest of the song.
►► If you are playing very fast, heavy music you
may be tempted to use no Reverb at all. Typically, if you listen to a recording of this type of
guitar sound, there will be a small amount of
Reverb used. Try one of the “Cozy Corner” or
“Wool” type Reverbs for a very subtle addition
of the effect.
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Editing the Guitar Layer
Comp(ression) effect block / tab
Compression is used across almost all modern
music production styles, from studio to live. In a
nutshell, Compression “brings the loudest bits
and quietest bits” of the music closer together in
apparent volume, creating a more even sound.
Compression effect block parameters
The Compression effect block has the following
parameters that allow you to adjust the effect:
►► Compression
For guitar, using compression can
►► Threshold
►► Ratio
►► enhance
►► Hit
►► limit
sustain or attack,
levels and/or
►► smooth out your overall sound.
►► Attack
Control
►► Release
►► Makeup
For acoustic guitar, it is common to use some
compression full-time, while compression is often used during solos and boosted sections
for electric guitar. That being said: Like with any
other effect, there are really no rules. Use what
sounds good to you!
►► Global
Gain
Style
Tips and tricks for working with
the Compression effect
►► “Threshold”
is the level at which the Compressor begins to affect the sound. The lower the
Threshold (-30 dB is lower than -20 dB), the
sooner the Compressor will engage.
►► “Ratio” determines “how much” Compression
takes place. Ratio is typically defined as “1:X
ratio” where “X” is the number of decibels (dB)
of reduction in level for every 1 dB over the
“Threshold” value. This can sound confusing,
but simply try to think of “lower Threshold and
higher Ratio” as “more Compression”.
In studio recording, Compression is common on
almost every track or group of tracks.
Compression can raise the output level of your
guitar – so be aware that it can also contribute
to feedback.
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Editing the Guitar Layer
Wah (Wah-Wah) effect block / tab
If you haven’t heard “Voodoo Child (Slight
Return)” by Jimi Hendrix (or later Stevie Ray
Vaughan) go listen to it now. That’s Wah in a nutshell.
Wah effect block parameters
youtube.com/watch?v=d81fdU8EP28
(In fact, there’s also some interesting delay effects and reverb in there, too.)
►► Wah
The Wah effect block has the following parameters that allow you to adjust the effect:
►► Level
►► Hit
Wah is basically a carefully constructed EQ filter
that you can sweep up and down the frequency
spectrum with a foot-operated pedal.
Style
►► Resonance
Control
►► Type
►► High
Cut (only for Type = Manual)
Minimum (only for Type = Manual)
►► Pedal Maximum (only for Type = Manual)
►► Frequency Maximum (only for Type = Touch
or Auto)
►► Sensitivity (only for Type = Touch)
►► Response (only for Type = Touch)
►► BPM (only for Type = Auto)
►► Shape (only for Type = Auto)
►► Order
►► Global
►► Pedal
Tips and tricks for working
with the Wah-wah effect
►► Our
Wah effect block also includes a few
“Touch Wah” styles that simulate moving a
foot pedal based on your playing volume and
pace. If you don’t have an expression pedal,
try one of the “Touch” styles.
►► Playing with Wah can increase your chances
of feedback, since this effect is boosting a
range of frequencies. Of course, Jimi would
have a great argument for feedback being a
good thing!
►► Try combining the Wah effect with Octaver for
a Wah-Bass sound.
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Editing the Guitar Layer
µMod effect block / tab
Similar to the Vocal version of this effect, µMod
provides micro-pitch shifting and timing effects
for your guitar. Some of the most famous µMod
effects include Flanger, Chorus and Detune.
Guitar µMod effect block parameters
We have conspired with TC-Electronic’s guitar
pedal gurus – namely Tore Mogensen – to recreate two of their best modulation effects for VL3X:
Vortex Flanger and Corona Chorus.
►► µMod
Guitar µMod block set to Corona Chorus Fast
style
The Guitar µMod effect block has the following
parameters that allow you to adjust the effect:
Style
►► Level
►► Hit
Control
►► Speed
►► Detune
►► Depth
►► Dry Gain
►► Width
►► Phase
►► Wave
►► Inverse Phase
►► Delay Left
►► Delay Right
►► Low Cut Frequency
►► High Cut Frequency
►► Feedback Left
►► Feedback Right
►► Cross Feedback Left
►► Cross Feedback Right
►► Global
Tips and tricks for working
with the Guitar µMod effect
►► Modulation
effects aren’t just for electric guitars. Styles like “Silky Detune” and “Medium
Detune” can really enhance the sound of an
acoustic guitar.
►► Flanger creates a very “obvious” effect and
can make an electric guitar part stand out
from the rest of the song.
►► Chorus sounds great for both acoustic and
electric guitar.
VL3X – Reference manual (updated 2015-05-12)119
Editing the Guitar Layer
Octaver effect block / tab
When we released VoiceLive Play GTX, lots of
folks loved the guitar processing, but kept on
asking for a single guitar effect addition: an Octaver. The ability to “play bass” on your guitar
opens up a whole new world of song composition, especially when looping.
Octaver effect block parameters
The Octaver effect block has the following parameters that allow you to adjust the effect:
►► Octaver
Style
►► Shift
The Octaver is a monophonic pitch shifter that
allows you to play single-line guitar parts and
have them shifted to another note. The most
common use, as we mentioned above, is to simulate a bass guitar – but there are other implementations as well. You can blend your original
guitar signal with a shifted signal to create some
great sounds!
►► Mix
►► Hit
Control
►► Global
Tips and tricks for working
with the Octaver effect
►► When
using the Octaver effect, remember to
play one note at a time. Unlike some of our
other pitch shift processing, Octaver is monophonic, not polyphonic.
►► Try turning the Mix % control up or down to
blend some of your regular guitar sound with
the shifted effect.
►► When simulating a bass line, it helps to “play
like a bassist” . Your bass parts will sound
much more convincing if you approach them
with a bass player’s ear.
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Editing the Guitar Layer
Guitar Rhythmic effect block / tab
The Guitar Rhythmic block basically works in
the same manner as the Vocal Rhythmic block.
Please see “Vocal Rhythmic effect block / tab” for
an overview of the Vocal Rhythmic block.
For the Guitar Rhythmic block, we have included
an improved “tremolo” sound to better replicate
the classic effect.
Guitar Rhythmic effect
block parameters
Tips and tricks for working with
the Guitar Rhythmic effect
The Guitar Rhythmic effect block has the following parameters that allow you to adjust the
effect:
►► Using
►► Rhythmic
Style
►► Target
►► Depth
►► Hit
Control
Chopper or Pan based Rhythmic effects can add a lot of flavor to your sound, especially when used as a special effect.
►► Similar to the suggestions for Delay, experiment with using the same Delay and Rhythmic divisions for guitar and vocals. Conversely, try different divisions to create more exotic
sounds.
►► Division
►► Type
►► Global
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Editing the Guitar Layer
Guitar Buttonmap block / tab
The Guitar Buttonmap works in the same manner as the Vocal Buttonmap. Please see “Vocal
Buttonmap tab” for an overview of the Vocal Buttonmap.
Keep in mind that the Vocal and Guitar Buttonmap settings are independent of each other, representing the Vocal and Guitar layers respectively. To learn how you can create inter-Layer mappings, see “Remapping a footswitch”.
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The Looper
The Looper
VL3X – Reference manual (updated 2015-05-12)123
The Looper
Introduction
VL3X has a three-track Looper, which is an extremely powerful performance tool. We have
taken our experiences from past products – including VoiceLive Touch 2 and VoiceLive Play –
to create our most exciting and flexible Looper
ever.
VL3X – Reference manual (updated 2015-05-12)124
The Looper
Loop button parameters
Press the Loop button to access the following
parameters.
Current Slot display
Mix Looper to NP parameter
The Current Slot display shows you which Slot
the Looper is currently working with. You can’t
change the slot from here. This is just a reference
so you don’t have to go back to the Looper Layer
to know what Slot you’re on.
Use the Mix Looper to NP parameter to mix the
audio output from the Looper into the NaturalPlay algorithm.
This is not an individual audio path (like guitar),
but rather is mixed into the existing audio to supplement it. If, for example, you play guitar chords
into the Looper, you could sing a cappella with
the recorded loop part and it would keep Harmony/HardTune in key.
However, if you play chords on your guitar that
are completely unrelated to the recorded loop
audio, the system may get confused by conflicting information.
VL3X – Reference manual (updated 2015-05-12)125
The Looper
Auto Met On parameter
Auto Met Mute parameter
ODub Decay parameter
If you set the Auto Met On parameter to ON, the
Metronome will activate as soon as you press
RECORD.
If you set The Auto Met Mute parameter to ON,
the Metronome will mute when you finish your
first recording on any track.
Use the Overdub Decay parameter to reduce the
level of any previous loop (per track) when an
Overdub is recorded. This prevents audio level
overloading. Typically 98% is a good setting, but
lower levels will allow you to creatively “morph”
from one loop into something completely different as older overdubs are “pushed down” in
level.
VL3X – Reference manual (updated 2015-05-12)126
Queue ODub parameter
If you set Queue Overdub parameter to ON, each
overdub will be forced to start at the beginning of
that track’s loop. If you press ODub at any point
during playback, the ODub will hold off until the
track “comes around again” then will automatically begin the ODub.
The Looper
MET FOLLOWS PLAYBACK
parameter
If you set the MET FOLLOWS PLAYBACK parameter to ON, the Metronome will mute and unmute automatically whenever the Loop is playing. This prevents the metronome from continuing after you press STOP.
VL3X – Reference manual (updated 2015-05-12)127
The Looper
Basic loop concepts and terms
Let’s make sure that you understand the basic
concepts and the terminology used in this chapter.
►► Loop:
A “loop” or “loop track” is a basic recording of music (or any kind of audio, for that
matter) that can be recorded and then played
back repeatedly.
►► Overdub: Something that is recorded while
another, previously recorded piece of audio/
music is being played back. In theory, you
could pile up hundreds of overdubs, turning
one basic loop into a complex piece of music.
►► Loop track: In each Loop slot (see below),
VL3X allows you to store three separate
Loops: Loop track A, Loop track B and Loop
track C. Depending on the setting you made
in the Sync sub-menu (see “Sync sub-menu”),
you can either switch between these three
tracks or play them in certain combinations
(Loop tracks A and B or Loop tracks A and C).
Remember that each of these Loop tracks can
encompass one or many overdubs.
►► Loop slot: A Loop slot is a place where you
can store the Loops you have recorded. Each
Loop slot can contains three Loop tracks as
described above (A, B and C).
Loop Slots / Loop Tracks,
Presets and the Buttonmap
You can assign Loop Slots and Loop Tracks to
footswitches using the Buttonmap feature, and
these settings are stored as part of every Preset. This allows you to select a Preset that will
not only contain your Vocal and Guitar settings,
but also the basic building blocks for a song,
mapped to your VL3X’s footswitches.
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The Looper
Entering and exiting Loop mode
To enter Loop mode, press and hold the Layer
button. The LED of the Layer footswitch will turn
purple, and the screen will display loop tracks
and other information.
The loop screen shows a combination of controls, which relate to the six footswitches, and
track “thumbnails” that show you what you have
recorded.
To exit Loop mode and return to the previously
active Layer (Vocal or Guitar), press and hold the
Layer button.
Loop mode activated
VL3X – Reference manual (updated 2015-05-12)129
The Looper
Your first loop
Just to get you started, let’s make a quick loop.
Setting up the metronome
►► If
►► Let’s
you are not already on the Looper Layer, go
there now by pressing and holding the Layer
button.
turn on the Metronome (MET) so you can
make your loop to a consistent beat.
As you can see, there are six segments in the
display, which correlate to the six footswitches. The lower left segment is labeled “MET”
and represents the HIT footswitch.
►► Tap the HIT footswitch.
Metronome settings
►► Press
and hold the Layer button to re-enter
the Looper.
If you are connected to a PA, you should hear
a Kick Drum Metronome.
►► If you don’t hear a metronome sound over
your P.A.:
►► Press the Home button.
►► Move any of the MIX knobs to access the
Mix page.
►► Navigate to the Main Mix page using the
Arrow buttons.
►► Turn up the Metronome Level.
►► Press and hold the Layer button to re-enter
the Looper.
►► The flashing HIT button now represents Tap
Tempo, so you can tap in a new tempo now
if you wish. While you are tapping, the current
tempo will be displayed.
When you stop tapping, the unit will return to
the main Loop screen.
►► If you haven not tapped a new tempo, press
BACK (µMod footswitch) to return to the main
Loop screen.
The HIT footswitch will begin flashing purple,
indicating that the Metronome is now active.
If you are using headphones, you should hear
a Kick Drum Metronome.
►► If you don’t hear a metronome sound over
your headphones:
►► Press the Home button.
►► Move any of the MIX knobs to access the
Mix page.
►► Navigate to the Headphone Mix page using
the Arrow buttons.
►► Turn up the Metronome Level.
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The Looper
Start recording
Set + Overdub vs. Set + Play
Overdubbing
►► When
►► While
►► For
you are ready to start recording, press
the footswitch associated with REC A (the
Harmony/Drive footswitch) to begin recording
your first loop track. You can sing, play your
guitar, or do both.
►► When you reach the end of the segment
you want to record, try to press the REC A
footswitch as close to the beat as you can.
Our LoopAssist feature helps with this, but try
to be as accurate as possible.
recording your first basic loop, you will
see two new options on the screen:
this example, let us end your first basic
loop recording by tap the footswitch associated with Set+Play (Harmony / Drive).
You should hear your loop (Loop track A) playing back.
Next, let’s overdub something on Loop track A.
If you think of your Loop track A as a cake, that
first recording is the base Layer of the cake, and
overdubs are more layers of cake, or jam, or
whipped cream… Mmm. Cake.
►► When
Set + Play and Set + Overdub
►► To
finish recording the current loop and immediately have it played back, tap the footswitch
associated with Set+Play (Harmony / Drive).
Your new loop will be played back.
►► To finish recording the current loop and immediately go into overdub mode (allowing you
to record additional takes over the first one),
tap the footswitch associated with Set+ODub
(Double / Comp).
Your new loop will be played back, and you
can record additional takes. This is a great
feature to use if you have rehearsed your loop
performance and want to quickly build up loop
components on top of one another
you are ready, press ODUB A (Harmony/Drive footswitch) and record an overdub.
►► When you are finished, press END ODUB
(Harmony/Drive footswitch).
Ready for overdubbing
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The Looper
Recording Loop track B
►► Now,
while Loop track A is still playing back,
we will record something else onto Loop track
B. Yes, it’s another cake!
►► When you are ready, press REC B (Reverb
footswitch).
►► If
you chose Set+Odub, continue to record
overdubs until you are finished, then tap End
Odub.
Understanding loop track length
To get a better understanding of how loop tracks
of different lengths are played back in SMART
Sync mode (see “SMART”), start by recording a
simple loop of just counting numbers.
►► Loop
Recording an overdub
►► If
you would like to add several different overdubs, you can keep the overdub recording
running and add new parts each time the loop
begins again.
Recording Loop track B
►► Now
what makes working with separate Loop
tracks so interesting is that your second Loop
track (Loop track B) can be longer than Loop
track A. Still, you will get the best results when
Loop track B is a multiple of the number of
beats in Loop track A.
►► For example, if Loop track A is four beats (one
bar), make Loop track B 8 or 16 beats (two or
four bars).
If you record longer than one multiple, but less
than two, silence will fill in the gap.
►► You will see the same Set+Play and Set+ODub
options you saw when recording Loop track A.
Choose one, and press it when you are finished recording.
track A: Record the words “one, two,
three, four” as close to the metronome beats
as you can.
►► Loop track B: Record the words “one, two
three, four, five” as close to the metronome
beats as you can.
When playing back, you will notice that the
two tracks Low
line up for the first
“four”, then
High
High Harmony
Lead Voice
Low Harmony
Harmony
Harmony
Loop B says “Five” and goes silent for three
more beats, then repeats.
ONE
TWO
THREE
FOUR
FIVE
LOOP B
ONE
TWO
THREE
FOUR
ONE
TWO
THREE
FOUR
Other Sync modes are discussed in more detail
later – see “Sync
sub-menu”.
LOOP C
LOOP B
Next, let’s try Swap.
LOOP A
LOOP A
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The Looper
Undo and Redo
Using Swap
Have you made a mistake, maybe in your fourth
or fifth overdub? No reason to throw away the
whole track. You can easily undo your last overdub (i.e., remove it from the Loop track) – and if
you change your mind, you can restore it.
Swap is a great new feature that allows you to
maintain your Loop track A, while moving seamlessly between two additional tracks (Loop track
B and Loop track C).
►► To
undo the last overdub, tap the Looper
footswitch.
►► To redo (“undo the undo”, thereby restoring
the last overdub), tap the Looper footswitch
again.
►► If
you chose Set+ODub, continue to record
overdubs until you are finished, then tap End
ODub.
►► Now, tap Swap. You will see in the display that
Loop track C continues to play until it reaches its end, then VL3X automatically switches
to Loop B!
We are still following our “Your first loop” example, and at this point, you should have recorded
Loop track A and Loop track B. Let’s move on to
recording Loop C.
►► When
you are ready to record a new Loop
track as Loop C, tap Swap.
Loop track B will stop playing, and you will
begin recording LOOP C.
Press ALL STOP to stop recording
►► Stop
loop playback by pressing ALL STOP
(HIT footswitch).
This completes our tutorial.
Using Swap
►► You
will see the same Set+Play and Set+ODub
options you saw when recording Loop track A
( see “Set + Overdub vs. Set + Play”).
►► Choose one, and press it when you are finished recording.
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The Looper
The Utility menu
We will now explore the UTIL(ity) menu, where
you will find many of the Looper options.
►► Tap
the footswitch linked to the Utility menu
(the µMod footswitch) to enter the Utility menu.
►► If you see “SWAP” in the top left menu segment, press and hold the µMod footswitch to
enter the Utility menu. This press/hold action
is designed to allow the Swap button to do
double duty, depending on whether you have
a “B” and “C” loop recorded.
Once you have entered the UTIL menu, you
will see several new menu options.
Back
Input sub-menu
Tap BACK (µMod footswitch) to move “up” from
the Utility menu or one of its sub-menus until you
are back on the main loop screen.
Tap INPUT (Delay footswitch) to open the Input
sub-menu. In the Input sub-menu, you choose
which input(s) the Looper will record. This feature
allows you to use a specific input or inputs for
various loops (e.g. your microphone for a beatbox section and your guitar for a chord progression), while preventing sound from other inputs
entering your loop.
With the above in mind, you could be playing
guitar and singing simultaneously, while only recording your voice or your instrument into the
Looper. This gives you a lot of flexibility.
The available input options are:
►► Voc+Guit:
Utility menu
For recording your vocals (with effects) and your Guitar.
►► Guitar
►► Aux: For recording the signal at your VL3X’s
Aux jack.
►► Voc: For recording your vocals (with effects).
►► All: For recording vocals, guitar and the Aux
signal.
Loop input sub-menu
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►► Select
the option you want to use by tapping
the respective footswitch.
►► Press BACK to exit the INPUT menu.
The Looper
Save
Metronome sub-menu
►► Tap
Tap MET (the HIT footswitch) to enter the Metronome sub-menu. In the Metronome sub-menu,
you can turn the metronome on or off and
change its sound.
SAVE (Reverb footswitch) to store your
loop to the current Loop slot.
The current Loop slot number is shown below
the UP and DOWN arrows on the far left of the
Loop display.
►► To switch to another Loop slot, press the Preset up and Preset down footswitches.
The Loop slot number is saved with your other Preset information and is automatically recalled when you load a Preset.
►► Undo/Redo information is NOT stored with the
Loop when saved.
Saving your Loop to the current Loop Slot
Metronome sub-menu
The options in the Metronome sub-menu are:
►► MET ON: Tap MET ON (Double / Comp
footswitch) to turn on the metronome and all
related sync features.
The Metronome is more than a simple “click
track”. It generates an audio signal guiding
you when you are recording loops – but it also
syncs with and controls the tempo.
►► MET MUTE: Tap MET MUTE (Harmony / Drive
footswitch) to mute the audio output for the
Metronome. If you mute the Metronome, it will
still be active for tempo and LoopAssist™, but
it won’t make any sound.
►► MET OFF: Tap MET OFF (Delay footswitch) to
turn off the metronome and all related sync
features.
Please note the difference between MET OFF
and MET MUTE: When you turn the Metronome off, VL3X’s LoopAssist™ no longer
guides your recordings, and the Loop may fall
“off time” with other time based effects like
Delay or Rhythmic.
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►► TAP:
Tap TAP (HIT footswitch) rhythmically
to define a new tempo. While you are tapping a tempo, the Preset Up and Preset Down
footswitches will be lit in blue, indicating that
you can use them to fine-tune the tempo in
BPM steps.
►► SOUND: Tap SOUND (Reverb footswitch) to
open a new sub-menu where you can choose
which sound the metronome should make.
When you have chosen a sound you like,
press BACK.
The Looper
cannot be changed later. To change the tempo,
you would have to delete the Loop completely or
switch to another Loop slot.
If you record a Loop with the Metronome OFF,
you can still change the tempo later.
Sync sub-menu
Tap SYNC (the Double / Comp footswitch) to enter the Sync sub-menu. In the Sync sub-menu,
you can define how VL3X’s Looper should sync
to a given tempo.
The options in the Sync sub-menu are described
below.
SMART
Select SMART to use all features of VL3X’s LoopAssist™.
LoopAssist™ chooses how and when to trim and
extend loops, based on what you have already
recorded.
Metronome sound sub-menu
Metronome level
As you can adjust the audio output for the Main
Mix and Headphone Mix independently (see
“Mix knobs”), it’s your choice if the audience
hears the metronome or not.
Tempo and Metronome
As long as you haven’t recorded anything into
a Loop slot, you can freely define the tempo for
your loop using the TAP button.
Once you have recorded a Loop with the Metronome ON, the tempo will be locked – meaning it
Pressing the SWAP button will toggle between
Loop track B and Loop track C, making the
change when you reach the end of the current
loop. Loop tracks A and B or Loop tracks A and
C can play simultaneously.
SMART enforces a relationship between the primary Loop track (track A) and Loop tracks B and
C. In other words: Loop tracks B and C can exist
as a multiple (in bars) of Loop track A, but they
cannot be shorter.
See the QUANTIZE section below for a step-bystep comparison between SMART and QUANTIZE. It’s much easier to hear and see than to
read about!
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SERIAL
When you choose SERIAL in the Sync submenu, Loops are played back one after the other,
waiting for each loop to finish before proceeding
to the next.
In SERIAL mode, Loop tracks A, B and C play independently and cannot be played at the same
time.
The Looper
QUANTIZE
Just like SMART, QUANTIZE uses VL3X’s LoopAssist™ feature. It will make your loops fall onto
the nearest beat of the current tempo. But other than SMART, QUANTIZE does not extend or
trim Loops.
Our apologies for such a long list of steps – but
it’s probably best to see and hear the differences in action to fully understand how Smart and
Quantize modes work.
For a good example of the difference, try this:
►► In
This mode is useful if you have three song sections or progressions and want to alternate between them. Of course, you do not have to progress from Loop A to B to C in that order – you
may play back loops in any order.
the Sync sub-menu, select SMART.
►► Record a short loop on Loop track A.
►► Record a longer loop on Loop track B.
►► Let them play back and take note of how it
sounds (and looks in the display).
►► Delete both loops from Loop tracks A and B
(see “Erase sub-menu”).
record a longer Loop on Loop track A.
►► Record a shorter Loop on Loop track B.
►► Notice that the shorter “B” loop is automatically extended with empty space to match
Loop track A.
►► Once again, delete both Loops.
►► Now,
►► In
the Sync sub-menu, select QUANTIZE.
a longer loop on Loop track A.
►► Record a shorter loop on Loop track B, and
try to make it divisible into Loop track A.
For example, if Loop track A is four bars long,
make Loop track B two bars.
Notice how Loop track B now loops multiple
times for each loop of Track A.
This is a better mode if you would like to record a longer Loop track A (perhaps a chord
progression) and a shorter Loop track B (perhaps a beatbox section).
►► Record
VL3X – Reference manual (updated 2015-05-12)137
FREE
This one’s easy to explain: No metronome or
other sync. Loops are all recorded completely
independently and can take any form/length. Go
crazy!
The Looper
Erase sub-menu
Tap ERASE (the Harmony / Drive footswitch) to
enter the Erase sub-menu. In the Erase submenu, you will find options for erasing your
Loops:
►► Erase
Loop track A
Loop track B
►► Erase Loop track C
►► Erase All Loop tracks
►► Erase
Erase sub-menu
Erasing loops directly
You can easily delete a single loop without having to go to the Erase sub-menu.
While you are on the main Loop screen, simply
press/hold the ODUB button for a Loop track
(Reverb or Harmony footswitches respectively).
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The Looper
Loop limits
Individual loop Tracks can be up to 8 minutes.
Your total remaining loop time, across all slots
and tracks, can be displayed by pressing and
holding the GENRE button for two seconds.
Look for “FREE LOOP STORAGE” to find out
how much you have left. It should be a lot! Press
any button to exit the “About” screen.
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The Looper
Loop Management
Loop Slot sub-menu
Since our release of the original VoiceLive 3, we
have made some big changes to what you can
manage (in terms of settings) with the Looper.
When you have read the Looper chapter, you
know that each loop uses a SLOT as the “container” both for the loop audio tracks and the
general settings for how the Looper should behave (synchronization, metronome etc.).
With so many settings available, we’ll need to
discuss where settings are (Slot or Preset), how
you save them and why.
Let’s start by exploring the Looper UTIL menu.
The UTIL menu on the Looper Layer
Saving via UTIL stores the settings and loop audio to the selected Loop slot – not to the Preset.
While the UTIL menu is displayed, you can also
access an additional menu by pressing the
Looper button.
UTIL – Loop Slot submenu
This submenu contains additional parameters
that will be saved when you use the SAVE command in the UTIL menu. This includes things like
the ability to have the Metronome come on and
off with the looper playback.
The UTIL menu button on the Looper Layer
We already know that many settings related to
the way the Looper records and behaves are
contained in the UTIL menu on the Looper Layer. Parameters such as Metronome on/off, Metronome sounds, the Sync mode, Loop Input etc.
are all here. These parameters are saved when
you use the SAVE command in the UTIL menu.
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Preset sub-menu
UTIL – Preset submenu
This submenu contains parameters related to
the specific Preset you are currently on. For example, these parameters will allow you to load a
specific Loop Slot when loading a Preset.
For a loop performance, the combination of Slotbased and Preset-based controls allow you to
load both the settings for the Looper and the vocal/guitar sounds you need by simply changing
to the appropriate Preset.
The Looper
Navigating Presets while
using the Loop Layer
You can change presets when in the Looper Layer. If you do this and happen to change to a Preset that will normally load a Loop slot… it won’t.
Why? Since you are already in the Looper Layer,
we assume that you are performing/recording a
loop and just want to use the effects from other
Presets.
To use a Slot associated with a Preset you
moved to while recording a Loop in a different
slot, you will need to move away from the Preset
and back again to load the saved Slot.
Here is an example: Preset 1 loads Loop Slot 1,
Preset 2 loads Loop Slot 2. Now if you are recording a Loop on Slot 1 (via Preset 1) and you
switch – within the Loop Layer – to Preset 2, it
won’t load Loop Slot 2. When you have finished
your recording (still on Slot 1) you’ll need to move
away from Preset 2 and back again in order to
load Slot 2.
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The Looper
Loop Triggers
It is possible to assign any Track or Track combination (A, B, C, A&B, A&C) from Slots 1 to 50 to
a button on your VL3X or Switch-3 or Switch-6
and play these Tracks back at any time. This is
called a Loop Trigger.
Loop Triggers and Presets
You can map an audio effect – such as HardTune
– to a button and use it in multiple Presets, where
you have individual settings for this effect in each
Preset. Loop Triggers work the same way. You
can think of each Loop Trigger as a “pointer” to
a specific Loop Slot/Track(s). You can assign up
to eight (A-H) Loop Triggers in each Preset.
Assigning Loop Trigger footswitches
Assigning Loop Triggers to
VL3X footswitches
You can assign Loop Triggers A to H to VL3X
footswitches using the BUTTONMAP tab on the
Vocal or Guitar Layer. Simply pick the footswitch
(Delay, Reverb, Harmony etc.) and assign a Loop
Trigger to it.
Assigning a Loop Trigger to a footswitch
Assigning Loop Triggers to Switch-3
or Switch-6 footswitches
To assign Loop Triggers to footswitches on
your Switch-3 or Switch-6, go to the SETUP >
FOOTSWITCH tab.
Assigning a Loop Trigger to a Switch-3 or
Switch-6 footswitch
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The Looper
Assigning Loops to Loop Triggers
To set up what goes in each Loop Trigger, go to
LOOPER > PRESET.
Here, you will see Loop Triggers A to H with a
setting for SLOT and TRACK.
Assigning Loop Slots and Tracks to Loop
Triggers
Simply choose which Loop Slot and Track(s)
you want to trigger with each button, and you’re
done.
Additionally, if you’d like to globally assign Loop
Triggers, you can turn on “Global Triggers” at the
bottom of the menu. That makes all of the Trigger
assignments the same across all Presets.
Global Triggers parameter
Don’t forget to save your Preset (press STORE
twice) after making changes to Loop Triggers.
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The Looper
Looping and MIDI Sync
The easy question is: “Will the VL3X looper stay
in time with MIDI Tempo I send to it?”
In practice, it’s pretty cool. You can…
►► play
The answer is a bit more complex – but essentially “yes”.
If you have not yet recorded a loop and are feeding MIDI Tempo to VL3X, the MET will be set to
the incoming tempo, and the loop will be recorded at that tempo.
audio and control the tempo from your
DAW,
►► have your Guitar and Vocal Delay and Rhythmic effects line up with the audio track
►► record and play back loops in time with your
DAW audio tracks.
In short: VL3X and a laptop are a really powerful
music presentation setup!
If you change tempo after recording your loop,
the loop will not time-stretch or otherwise transform to stay on time. This is consistent with
VL3Xs existing looper behavior. Tempo gets
“locked” after you record your first loop.
The exception to the above is at the end of a
loop. When the end of a loop comes around, it
will attempt to restart the loop on the next MIDI
Tempo beat. This allows for minor drift in the incoming MIDI Tempo value. Again, it’s not intended for changing tempo during the performance
with the looper running, but can adjust to slight
variations.
Additionally, the looper will respond to MIDI
Tempo values with precision higher than 1 beat
per minute. So if you send a tempo such as
118.4 BPM from Ableton, VL3X will follow that
tempo, although the display will show 118.
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Setup
Setup
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Setup
Introduction
Setup contains all of the system-wide parameters for VL3X. Each page or tab is described in
its own section of this chapter.
►► Tap
the Setup button to enter the system
menu.
►► Tap the Arrow buttons to switch between the
tabs of the system menu.
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Setup
Input tab
The Input page contains settings for all of the inputs in VL3X.
Mic Gain parameter
Use the Mic Gain parameter to adjust the input
level for the Mic input.
If you have completed the Auto-Gain procedure
from the Quick Guide, you likely won’t need to
adjust this.
To adjust the gain manually, do the following.
►► Plug
in your microphone.
►► If you have a condenser microphone, change
Input Type to Condenser.
►► Sing at your loudest.
►► Turn the Input Gain parameter up until only the
green and yellow LEDs of the Level indicator
light up.
►► If you see the red LED light, turn Input Gain
down until the red LED no longer lights.
This is your optimal Input Gain setting.
Input Type parameter
Mic Clip Protection parameter
Use the Input Type parameter to select your microphone type. Choose the one that best matches your setup.
Use the Mic Clip Protection parameter to activate a circuit that will avoid signal clipping at the
microphone input stage.
The available options are:
Dynamic Mic
E.g. SM58, OM5, MP-70 etc.
Condenser Mic
Activates +48V phantom power. This will temporarily mute the microphone to avoid audible
“pops” over your PA.
MP-75 Mic, MP-76 Mic or E835 FX Mic
Selecting one of these microphone types will enable Mic Control. For more information, see “Mic
Control tab”.
VL3X – Reference manual (updated 2015-05-12)147
Setup
Global Pitch Correct parameter
Lead Delay parameter
Lead Mute parameter
Use the Global Pitch Correct parameter to apply
auto-chromatic pitch correction to your incoming microphone signal. This feature is separate
from the HardTune effect block and will be overridden when HardTune is active.
Use the Lead Delay parameter to apply latency
compensation between your lead voice and effects.
Use the Lead Mute parameter to mute all incoming lead vocal signals.
We like to think of Global Pitch Correction as “a
little help”, gently guiding you to the next nearest
semitone at all times. Since this correction is always chromatic, you can still sing a “wrong” note
(relative to the current key/scale of your song),
but it does help with your overall pitch.
Parameter range: 0 to 100 %
Try a setting of circa 40% for a transparent
sound.
If you hear “phasing” between your natural voice
and corrected voice, this is totally normal.
Check out this Craig’s Corner video for more information on pitch correction phasing:
youtube.com/watch?v=KWrEIuiDXsA
Parameter settings: on/off.
Parameter settings:
None
Your lead voice is passed through the unit as
quickly as possible, regardless of the number of
effects and their latency.
Voice Sync
Your lead voice is dynamically delayed (ever so
slightly) so that any generated voices – such as
Harmony – are “lined up” together perfectly. The
amount that your lead voice can be delayed is
dependent on the number of generated voices.
When Lead Mute is on, it mutes either microphone or line level signals, whichever is plugged
into the combo jack. Lead Mute is great for “post
processing” prerecorded dry vocals.
Post processing prerecorded dry vocals:
►► Send the “dry” vocal from your DAW to the
Mic/Line input.
►► Turn Lead Mute on.
►► Record the resulting effects-only signal to a
new track in your DAW.
►► Blend the original “dry” vocal track and new
“wet” vocal tracks together in the mix.
Auto
Similar to Voice Sync, Auto delays your lead
voice relative to the overall latency of all active
effects, not just generated voices. While this
mode is the most accurate in terms of timing, it
can also introduce the most significant feeling
that “what you sing” comes “out of the box” a
split second later. For some, this latency is unnoticeable, for others, it’s distracting.
Try the various modes to determine which one
works best for the “feeling” and the resulting
sound output.
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Setup
Aux Gain parameter
Aux Vocal Cancel parameter
Monitor Level parameter
Use the Aux Gain parameter to control the level
of the signal received at the Aux input jack. If you
are getting distortion when connecting an external music source to the Aux input, try turning this
control down.
When you activate Aux Vocal Cancel, VL3X will
attempt to remove vocals from recorded stereo
music coming into the Aux input.
Use the Monitor Level parameter to control the
level of the signal received at the Monitor input
jack. If your incoming monitor mix is distorting,
try turning this parameter down.
Please note that the ability for Voice Cancel to
“work its magic” is highly dependent on the mix
of the incoming music. Stereo recordings with
vocals directly in the middle and instruments
panned far to the left and right tend to work the
best.
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Setup
RoomSense Auto-Detect parameter
Use the RoomSense Auto-Detect parameter to
add the RoomSense microphones built into your
VL3X to the available NaturalPlay sources.
Parameter settings:
►► On:
VL3X will “listen” to the RoomSense microphones for Key/Scale information if no Guitar, MIDI or Aux signal is present.
►► Off: VL3X will ignore any music “heard” by the
RoomSense microphones.
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Setup
Output tab
XLR Output Mode parameter
XLR Output Level parameter
Use the XLR Output Mode parameter to select
the output mode for VL3X.
Use the XLR Output Level parameter to set the
relative level of the signal going to the XLR outputs.
Parameter settings:
Parameter settings:
►► Stereo:
►► The
left XLR output jack carries the left stereo channel.
►► The right XLR output jack carries the right
stereo channel.
►► Mono:
►► The left XLR output jack carries the summed
(with effects) mono vocal & guitar channel
signals.
►► The right XLR output jack carries the mono
vocal signal without effects.
►► The dry channel includes Tone and Auto-Chromatic Pitch Correction (if applicable).
►► The dry channel does not contain HardTune
effect(s).
►► Dual Mono:
►► The left XLR output jack carries the summed
(with effects) mono vocal channel.
►► The right XLR output jack carries the
summed (with effects) mono guitar channel.
►► Mic
Level: Typically the best setting when
connecting to a mixer/PA. This level closely
replicates that of a microphone going directly
into the mixer.
►► Line Level: When connecting to a mixer/PA
line inputs, this setting is a good choice.
More information about mixing
and configuring outputs properly
►► For
a tutorial on PA basics, Yorkville has an
extremely useful “PA Primer” guide (PDF):
yorkville.com/downloads/other/basicpaprimer.pdf
►► There is also a great Craig’s Corner video episode covering Mixer Setup with TC-Helicon
devices:
youtube.com/watch?v=qq0AOtafIjs
►► And another with tips on eliminating feedback:
youtube.com/watch?v=VlN1RJ4gcAo
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Talk Trim parameter
Use the Talk Trim parameter to adjust the volume
of your lead voice when “Talk/Bypass” mode is
engaged. It’s not uncommon for performers to
want a little bit more or less volume through the
PA when effects are bypassed.
Setting the Talk Trim parameter to OFF allows
you to mute the microphone during TALK/TUNER mode. When used in combination with pressing/holding the Preset UP/DN buttons to enter
TALK/TUNER (which mutes the guitar), you can
effectively mute both guitar and vocal output
from VoiceLive 3.
This can be used as a “break mode”, if you’re
away from the stage. Aux signals still pass to the
outputs – so you can play “80’s TV Theme Tribute Band Volume 1” while you have a beer.
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Guitar tab
Input Gain parameter
Phase parameter
Speaker Sim Enable parameter
Use the Input Gain parameter to adjust the input
level for the Guitar IN. To set this correctly, do
the following:
Use the Phase parameter to invert the phase of
the guitar signal.
Use the Speaker Sim Enable parameter to switch
the speaker simulation portion of the guitar Amp
effect block on or off.
Parameter settings:
►► Plug
in your guitar.
►► Turn your guitar’s volume control to maximum.
►► Play the loudest you normally would.
►► Turn the Input Gain parameter up until only the
green and yellow LEDs of the Level indicator
light up.
►► If you see the red LED light, turn Input Gain
down until the red LED no longer lights.
This is your optimal Input Gain setting.
Parameter settings:
►► Normal:
Signal phase is maintained as it is at
the guitar input.
►► Inverted: Incoming signal phase is reversed.
It can sometimes be beneficial to invert the
phase of a guitar to prevent feedback from
stage monitors. This is especially applicable
to acoustic guitars
►► On:
Speaker simulations are active. This is a
good setting for use with a PA or FRFR (Full
Range, Flat Response) speaker.
►► Off: Speaker simulations are turned off. This is
a good global setting if you are plugging into a
nice amplifier and want to maintain its “sound”
relative to the guitar effects.
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Output Mode parameter
Gate Threshold parameter
Use the Output Mode parameter to specify if guitar output levels should be variable or fixed.
Use the Gate Threshold parameter to set the
threshold for the guitar gate. A gate “closes” or
mutes the sound when it reaches a specific low
volume threshold.
Parameter settings:
►► Unity
Gain: Maintains a constant guitar level
output, regardless of Mix settings.
If you have an expression pedal connected
and have it set to control guitar volume, the
guitar output level will be affected.
►► Variable Level: Changes to the guitar level on
the Mix screen will affect the level of the guitar outputs.
This parameter is only applicable to the ¼” guitar
outputs, not the XLR outputs. The XLR outputs
always allow variations of guitar level via the mix
screen, as long as no ¼” guitar outputs are connected.
To set the gate effectively, play a note or chord,
letting it ring out for a while. You will notice that
it reaches a certain volume and then goes completely silent. This indicates that the gate has
“closed”, effectively muting the output. The key
is to find a gate threshold setting that allows for
your instrument to naturally ring and sustain, but
still reduces noise when you are not playing. You
will need to experiment to find the optimal setting for your personal style and needs.
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MIDI tab
Source parameter
MIDI Tempo parameter
Use the Source parameter to determines which
MIDI input VL3X should use.
Use the MIDI Tempo parameter to ON to have
VL3X follow the MIDI tempo from an external
MIDI clock source, e.g. a DAW.
Input Channel and Output
Channel parameters
Use the Input Channel parameters to set the
MIDI Channel that VL3X “listens to”.
Parameter settings:
►► USB:
VL3X receives MIDI information from the
USB port.
►► MIDI: VL3X receives MIDI information from
the hardware MIDI IN port.
Use the Output Channel parameter to set the
MIDI Channels that VL3X uses for sending MIDI
data.
These parameters are useful if you have multiple
MIDI devices and want to send specific commands to individual devices.
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Input Filter and Output
Filter parameters
Use the Filter parameters to filter specific MIDI
information from the incoming or outgoing MIDI
data stream.
These parameters are helpful if you would like
VL3X to respond to certain types of information
– like program changes – but not others, such as
Continuous Controller (CC) messages.
The parameter setting you choose here tells
VL3X what not to send or respond to.
Notes + CC setting
(Input Channel Only)
MIDI Note and Control Change messages are
filtered.
Notes + PC setting
(Input Channel Only)
MIDI Note and Program Change messages are
filtered.
Notes + PC + CC setting
(Input Channel Only)
MIDI Note, Program and Control Change messages are filtered.
Transpose parameter
Use the Transpose parameter to shift incoming
MIDI note data up or down by up to 4 octaves.
If the output note after transposition falls outside
the available MIDI notes (i.e., if it is really high or
really low), the nearest octave note will be used
instead. For example, if you have set Transpose
to -4 octaves, but the note falls too far outside of
the acceptable MIDI note value range, the system will try the next nearest transposition octave
of -3. If -3 is also too low, it will try -2 etc.
Control Change setting
All Control Change messages are filtered.
Program Change setting
All Program Change messages are filtered.
PC + CC setting
Program and Control change messages are filtered.
Notes setting
(Input Channel Only)
MIDI Note information is filtered.
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Pitchbend Range parameter
Split Note parameter
Split Direction parameter
Use the Pitchbend range parameter to define the
range that pitch bend information can affect the
current note(s). This value is represented in semitones. The default value is 12 (1 octave).
It is possible to define a specific area of your
MIDI keyboard for VL3X to respond to. Use the
Split Note parameter to define a split point. Use
the Split Direction parameter to control whether
notes above or below that note are included.
It is possible to define a specific area of your
keyboard for VL3X to respond to. Use the Split
Note parameter to define a split point. Use the
Split Direction parameter to control whether
notes above or below that note are included.
Parameter settings: C-1 to G9
►► Above:
Any notes above the Split note are
“listened to” for MIDI note information.
►► Below: Any notes below the Split note are “listened to” for MIDI note information.
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Vibrato Boost parameter
Sysex ID parameter
Use the Vibrato Boost parameter to set how
VL3X should process incoming MIDI modulation
data.
Use the SysEx ID parameter to set the Sysex ID
that is used for addressing devices.
Parameter settings:
If you are using VoiceSupport for firmware updates and/or Preset management, you need to
set the SysEx ID to 0.
►► Boost:
The modulation data received via MIDI
is added to the vibrato already applied to Harmony voices.
►► Manual: The modulation data received via
MIDI is directly controlling the Vibrato amount.
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Tone tab
VL3X is equipped with a voice-optimized Tone
block that applies Compression, EQ, Gating and
a De-esser to the lead voice. The settings for
these components are not stored as part of Presets, they are applied globally.
Tone parameter
De-ess parameter
Use the Tone parameter to switch the Tone block
on or off.
Use the De-ess parameter to adjust the amount
of adaptive de-essing (removal of “sss” sounds)
that should be applied to your voice. The default
setting is 50.
We recommend using the “Adaptive” settings for
Compression, EQ, and Gating as a starting point
and only adjust these components of the Tone
block manually if you run into specific issues.
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Compression mode parameter
Use the Compression Mode parameter to choose
between adaptive (automatic) and manual compression.
Compress parameter
(Adaptive Compression mode only)
Threshold parameter
(Manual Compression mode only)
Use the Compress parameter to control the
amount of adaptive compression applied to your
voice. 50 is the default.
Use the Threshold parameter to set the signal
level where compression should be applied.
Parameter settings:
►► Adaptive:
Automatically adjusts compression
settings as you sing.
►► Manual: Compression settings are static and
manually set.
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Ratio parameter
(Manual Compression mode only)
Use the Ratio parameter to set the amount of
compression that should be applied when the
signal level is over the Threshold. The Ratio is
defined as a “1:X” ratio, where “X” is the number
of decibels (dB) of reduction in level for every 1
dB over the “Threshold” value.
Gate parameter
The gate turns down the volume of the microphone/line signal when the input signal falls under a certain threshold.
Lead Atten(uation) parameter
(Adaptive & Manual Gate mode only)
Use the Lead Atten(uation) parameter to set the
attenuation of the lead voice once the signal falls
under the threshold.
Use the Gate parameter to choose between
adaptive (automatic) and manual compression.
Parameter settings:
►► Off:
No Gate is applied.
The Gate is adjusted automatically.
►► Manual: The Gate threshold can be set by
the user.
►► Adaptive:
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Harm(ony) Atten(uation) parameter
(Adaptive & Manual Gate mode only)
Threshold parameter
(Manual Gate mode only)
Use the Harm(ony) Atten(uation) parameter to set
the attenuation of the harmony voices once the
signal falls under the threshold.
Use the Threshold parameter to set the threshold for the Gate. When the signal level falls under
this value, the gate is activated and attenuates
the signals as specified by the Atten(uation) parameters.
EQ Mode parameter
Use the EQ Mode parameter to choose between
adaptive (automatic) and manual equalization.
Parameter settings:
►► Adaptive:
Automatically adjusts equalization
settings as you sing.
►► Manual: Equalizer settings are static and
manually set.
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Shape parameter
(Adaptive EQ mode only)
Warmth parameter
(Adaptive EQ mode only)
Low / Mid / High gain parameters
(Manual EQ mode only)
Use the Shape parameter to control the amount
of adaptive equalization applied to your voice.
The default setting is 50.
Use the Warmth parameter to adjust the character of adaptive equalization. When you set it to
On, the equalization will sound warmer.
Use the Low, Mid and High Gain parameters to
set the amount of signal boost (gain) or attenuation that should be applied to the low, mid and
high bands of the EQ.
Parameter range: -12 to 12 dB.
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Low / Mid / High Freq(uency)
parameters (Manual EQ mode only)
Mid BW parameter (Manual
EQ mode only)
Use the Low, Mid and High Freq(uency) parameters to set the frequencies of the low, mid and
high bands of the EQ.
Use the Mid BW parameters to set the bandwidth of the EQ’s mid band.
Parameter range: Narrow, 0.11 to 8,77, Wide.
Parameter range: 20 to 20480 Hz.
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System tab
Global Tempo parameter
Global Preset parameter
Global Key/Scale parameter
Use the Global Tempo parameter if you want to
use one global tempo setting instead of using
the tempo settings stored as part of each Preset.
Use the Global Preset parameter to define a
Global Preset that should be used as a starting point/reference for all Presets where effect
blocks are set to Global ON.
Use the Global Key/Scale parameter if you want
to use one global key/scale. When Global Key/
Scale parameter is set to On and you set the
Key and Scale parameters in a Preset’s Harmony block edit screen, this key and scale will apply
to all Presets and the effects that utilize key and
scale information.
When Global Tempo parameter is set to On, any
tempo set via…
►► Tempo Tapping (see “Tapping tempo”),
►► the Delay effect edit screen or
►► Loop Metronome (see “Metronome submenu”)
will apply across all Presets. The tempo values
stored in Presets will be overridden as long as
Global Tempo is On.
Usually, you will find the Global setting at the
bottom of every effect block edit screen. As
soon as you change Global from OFF to ON
within an effect block, the corresponding effect
settings from your the Global Preset will be applied to that effect.
For more information, see “Important: The link
between the Global Preset and other Presets
goes both ways”.
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All Guitar FX Global parameter
Global NatPlay Source parameter
Mix RoomSense to NaturalPlay
Use the All Guitar FX Global parameter to “lock”
the guitar effects in their current state. This is a
great feature if you would like to use one “set” of
guitar effects across all Presets, much like individual stomp boxes instead of having guitar effects change with every Preset.
Use the Global NatPlay Source parameter to define a global signal source for the NaturalPlay
feature. Use this parameter if you want to make
sure that only audio or control data from a specific source is used to determine key/scale. For
more information, see “What is NaturalPlay?”.
This parameter allows you to have audio from the
RoomSense mics blended with other incoming
NaturalPlay information (like guitar) to enhance
accuracy.
Parameter settings:
►► Auto:
VL3X “listens” to any audio or control data coming from the Guitar input / MIDI
or USB port / Aux input / RoomSense microphones to determine the key/scale that should
guide Harmony voices and HardTune.
►► Guitar: Audio received at the Guitar input is
used to determine key/scale.
►► MIDI: MIDI note messages received at the
MIDI IN jack are used to determine key/scale.
►► Aux: Audio received at the Aux input input is
used to determine key/scale.
►► RoomSense: Audio received by the built-in
RoomSense microphones is used to determine key/scale.
In fact, if the audio received by the RoomSense
mics has sufficient chord information, it can set
key/scale without other input. That means you
can stop playing guitar or MIDI and have VL3X
automatically start “listening to the band” for
key/scale cues.
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Tuner Reference parameter
Hit Behavior parameter
Aux In Type parameter
Use the Tuner Reference parameter to set the
reference frequency for the built-in tuner.
Use the Hit Behavior parameter to define how
manually switching effect blocks on or off should
affect the HIT function.
Use the Aux In Type parameter to specify the
signal you are feeding to the Aux in jack. Available settings are “Live” and “Tracks”.
For more information, see “HIT – Dynamic vs.
Snapshot”.
Setting this parameter correctly improves NaturalPlay chord detection.
The default setting is 440 Hz.
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Contrast parameter
Mix Screen Time-out parameter
Use the Contrast parameter to set VL3X’s display contrast.
Use the Mix Screen Time-out parameter to set
the time, in seconds, that the mix screen is active
before it automatically times out and the display
returns to the last used Layer.
Depending on the angle that you view the screen
from, different contrast settings may make things
easier to read.
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Mic Control and Footswitch tabs
Every VL3X Preset has its own Buttonmap tabs,
allowing you to remap the six effect footswitches (µMod, Delay, Reverb, HIT, Double / Comp and
Harmony / Drive) both for the Vocal and the Guitar Layer. For more information, see “Remapping
a footswitch”.
In addition to these Preset-specific mapping features, the parameters on the Setup menu’s Mic
Control and Footswitch tabs allow you to map
features to
►► the switch (or switches) on your Mic Control-enabled microphone
►► the Step footswitch on your
►► and the footswitches on your optional Switch-3
or Switch-6.
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Mic Control tab
Mic Switch Function parameter
Use the Mic Switch Function parameter to activate Mic Control and assign a function to the
switch/switches on your Mic Control-enabled
microphone (MP-75, MP-76, Sennheiser e 835
fx).
Set the microphone you will be using on the INPUT TYPE parameter on the INPUT menu first!
E.g., to map all four switches of a MP-76, you
will need to select that Microphone type first. For
more information, see “Input tab”.
Mic Switch Function parameter settings
►► Off
►► µMod
►► Delay
►► Reverb
►► Vocal HIT
►► Double
►► Harmony
►► Transducer
►► HardTune
►► Rhythmic
►► Stutter
►► Choir
►► Synth
►► Harmony Hold
We have tweaked Harmony Hold to automatically turn on Harmony, if it isn’t on already.
That saves you a button press!
►► STEP
►► Tap Tempo
►► Bypass
Bypass can be used as a MUTE if you set
TALK TRIM to OFF in the SETUP menu.
►► ALL HIT
►► Preset UP/DN
Use Preset UP/DN as follows to scroll
through VL3X presets:
►► Tap to use Preset UP
►► Hold to change directions
►► Tap to use Preset Down
►► Repeat hold to change direction again
►► Preset Step
►► Hold to change Preset
►► Tap for STEP
►► Tuner
►► 1
Button Looper
Control the Looper with just one button! Here
is how it works:
►► Tap for REC/PLAY/ODUB.
►► Double tap for STOP.
►► Double tap and hold for CLEAR.
Please note that with any one-button looper,
there is a small “burp” of audio if you double-tap and hold for erase when the loop is
stopped (not if it’s playing). If you want to
avoid this, you will need to map STOP/ERASE
to a dedicated button instead.
►► Loop PLAY/REC
►► Loop STOP/ERASE
►► Loop UNDO
►► (Backing) Track Start
►► Preset UP
►► Preset DOWN
All targets can be set to Latched (tap on/tap off)
or momentary (hold on/release off).
* Harmony must be active for this to have an effect.
**Tapping the Mic switch will switch to the next
or previous Preset. Holding the Mic switch will
reverse direction (increment / decrement).
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Mic Switch Mode parameter
Use the Mic Switch Mode parameter to set the
operation mode of the switch on your Mic Control-enabled microphone.
►► Latched:
Tap the Mic switch to activate the
assigned effect, tap it again to deactivate it.
►► Momentary: The assigned effect is on only
when you keep the Mic switch pressed.
For more information, see “Change a button
from Latched to Momentary mode”.
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Footswitch tab
Step Button Function parameter
Use the Step Button Function parameter to remap the Step footswitch to another function.
One of the following functions can be mapped
to the Step footswitch. This setting is not stored
as part of your Presets, it is applied globally. The
Step footswitch LED will light in blue (Vocal), Red
(Guitar) or Purple (Loop/System), depending on
what you have assigned to it.
Step Button Function Parameter settings
►► Step
►► Pitch Cor
►► All Mute
►► µMod
►► Delay
►► Reverb
►► Voc HIT
►► Double
►► Harmony
►► Transducer
►► HardTune
►► Rhythmic
►► Stutter
►► Choir
►► Synth
►► Harm(ony) Hold*
►► Set Key
►► Tap Tempo
►► Bypass
►► G µMod (G = guitar)
►► G Delay
►► G Reverb
►► G HIT
►► G Comp
►► G Drive
►► G Amp
►► G Rhythm
►► G Octaver
►► G Wah
►► G Mute
►► All HIT
►► Looper**
►► Loop Input Cycle
►► Tuner
►► 1
Button Looper
Erase All
►► (Backing) Track Start
►► L(oop)
* Harmony must be active for this to have an effect.
**Toggles the Loop/Backing Track Layer. You
may find this a more convenient way of entering the Loop Layer quickly, compared to holding the Layer button.
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Step Button Mode parameter
Footswitch jack parameter
Use the Step Button Mode parameter to set the
operation mode of the Step button.
You can use the Footswitch jack on your VL3X
to connect either a TC-Helicon Switch-3, a
Switch-6 or a second expression pedal.
►► Latched:
Tap the button to activate the assigned effect, tap it again to deactivate it.
►► Momentary: The assigned effect is on only
when you hold down the footswitch.
For more information, see “Change a button
from Latched to Momentary mode”.
Parameter settings:
►► Expression
Pedal*: Use this setting if you
have connected an expression pedal to the
Footswitch jack.
►► Switch-3: Use this setting if you have connected a Switch-3 (optional) to the Footswitch
jack.
►► Switch-6: Use this setting if you have connected a Switch-6 (optional) to the Footswitch
jack.
* For for information, see “Working with a second expression pedal”.
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Expr(ession) Pedal
Function parameter
If you have connected a second expression pedal to the Footswitch jack, use the Expr(ession)
Pedal Function parameter to assign a function to
this expression pedal.
Expression Pedal Function
parameter settings
The second expression pedal can be assigned
to one of the following controls:
►► Looper
►► Off
Exp(ression) Min(imum)
Pos(ition) parameter
►► Lead
Octave Down
Octave Up
►► Harmony Octave Down
►► Harmony Octave Up
►► Harmony + DoubleLevel
►► Delay + Reverb Level
►► Harmony Level
►► Double Level
►► Vocals µMod Level
►► Vocals Delay Level
►► Vocals Reverb Level
►► Synth Level
►► Lead Level
►► Vocal µMod + Delay + Reverb Level
►► Vocal Level
►► Aux Level
►► Vocal Delay Sends
►► Vocal Reverb Sends
►► Rhythm Depth
►► Rhythm Division
►► Stutter Division
►► G µMod Level (G = Guitar)
►► G Delay Level
►► G Reverb Level
►► G Delay + Reverb Level
►► G Rhythmic Depth
►► G Rhythmic Division
►► G Amp Post Gain
►► G Amp Pre Gain
►► G Level
►► G Pan
Level
Level
►► G Delay Send
►► G Reverb Send
►► Headphone
►► Lead
If you have connected a second expression pedal to the Footswitch jack, use the Exp(ression)
Min(imum) Pos(ition) parameter in the Setup
menu to define the parameter value that should
be associated with the minimum (down) position
of this second expression pedal.
For more information, see “Exp. Pedal tab: Getting the most out of your expression pedal”.
Exp(ression) Max(imum)
Pos(ition) parameter
If you have connected a second expression pedal to the Footswitch jack, use the Exp(ression)
Max(imum) Pos(ition) parameter in the Setup
menu to define the parameter value that should
be associated with the maximum (up) position of
this second expression pedal.
For more information, see “Exp. Pedal tab: Getting the most out of your expression pedal”.
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FOOTSW-1 to FOOTSW-3 or
FOOTSW-1 to FOOTSW-6
parameters
FOOTSW parameter settings
Each Switch-3 or Switch-6 footswitch can be assigned to one of the following controls:
These parameters are only available when the
Footswitch jack parameter has been set to
Switch-3 or Switch-6.
►► STEP
►► Loop
Input
►► Tuner
►► 1But(ton)Looper
►► LPlayRec
►► PITCH
COR(rection)
(Global in SETUP, not HardTune)
►► ALL MUTE
►► µMod
►► Delay
►► Reverb
►► Voc(al) HIT
►► Double
►► Harmony
►► Transducer
►► HardTune
►► Rhythmic
►► Stutter
►► Choir
►► Synth
►► Harm(ony) Hold*
►► Set Key
►► Tap Tempo
►► Bypass
►► G µMod (G = Guitar)
►► G Delay
►► G Reverb
►► G HIT
►► G Comp(ressor)
►► G Drive
►► G Amp
►► G Rhythm
►► G Octaver
►► G Wah
►► G Mute
►► ALL HIT
►► Go Looper (enter looper Layer)
(Looper Play Record Overdub)
(Loop Stop Erase)
►► Loop Undo
►► L(oop) Erase All
►► Loop Trigger A-H
►► Track Start
►► Track Stop
►► Track Forward
►► Track Backward
►► Seq Rec (Sequence Recording)
►► Seq Undo (Sequence Recording Undo)
►► LStopErase
* Harmony must be active for this to have an effect.
**Toggles the Loop/Backing Track Layer. You
may find this a more convenient way of entering the Loop Layer quickly, compared to holding the Layer button.
Loop Controls on Switch-3 and Switch-6
If you have connected an (optional) Switch-3 or
Switch-6 to your VL3X, you can use it to control
some functions for Track A of the Looper.
For more advanced interaction with the Looper,
we still recommend using the Loop Layer, since
the user interface changes contextually based
on actions you perform.
Keep in mind that loop controls assigned to
Switch-3 oder Switch-6 still adhere to the options for the currently active loop slot, like Sync,
MET, Input etc.
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Setup
FOOTSW MODE parameters
Use the (three or six) Mode parameters below
the FOOTSW parameters to set the operation
modes of the footswitches on a TC-Helicon
Switch-3 or Switch-6 connected to your VL3X.
►► Latched:
Tap the footswitch on your Switch-3
or Switch-6 to activate the assigned effect,
tap it again to deactivate it.
►► Momentary: The assigned effect is on only
when you hold down the footswitch.
For more information, see “Change a button
from Latched to Momentary mode”.
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Setup
Pedal Calibration tab
For more information on pedal calibration, see
“Calibrating your expression pedal”.
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Setup
Product info tab
The Product Info tab contains important information about your VL3X, including:
►► Installed
Firmware Version
►► Serial Number
►► Manufacture Date
This information is valuable if you ever need to
contact TC-Helicon support.
Make sure you provide this information when
creating a support incident!
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Appendix
Appendix
VL3X – Reference manual (updated 2015-05-12)179
Appendix
MIDI CC List
For effects that can be switched on or off:
Value 1-63 = off, 64-127 = on
CC No.
1
16
17
19
21
23
25
27
29
30
31
46
47
50
51
56
104
110
111
112
113
115
116
117
118
119
123
Harmony Vibrato Boost
Guitar – Rhythmic
Guitar – Delay
Guitar – Compressor
Guitar – µMod
Guitar – Octaver
Guitar – Amp
Guitar – Wah
Guitar – Boost
Vocal Harmony – Key (C, C#, D, D#, E, F, F#, G, G#, A, A#, B) – values 0-11 respectively
Vocal Harmony – Scale (MAJ1, MAJ2, MAJ3, MIN1, MIN2, MIN3, CUST) – values 0-7 respectively
Guitar – Reverb
Guitar – HIT
Vocal – Vocoder/Synth
Vocal – Rhythmic
Vocal – HIT
Vocal – Choir
Vocal – Harmony
Vocal – Double
Vocal – Reverb
Vocal – HardTune
Step – value represents Step Number, i.e. 1 = Step 1, 2= Step 2 etc.
Vocal – µMod
Vocal – Delay
Vocal – Transducer
Harmony Hold
ALL NOTES OFF
VL3X – Reference manual (updated 2015-05-12)180
Appendix
System Maintenance/Factory Reset
You can boot VL3X in a special System Maintenance that will allow you to perform several system maintenance functions, including a factory
reset.
Entering System Maintenance Mode
off your VL3X.
headphones (if attached)
►► Using a toothpick or a small wire (we recommend a straightened paper clip), press the
button that is inside the Headphone jack. The
button is small and at the very end of the inside of the jack. You don’t need to use much
force – so please be gentle. You will feel a
small click when the button presses.
►► With the button held down, press the power
switch on your VL3X.
►► Wait until you see the System Maintenance
Screen.
You should see the System Maintenance
screen immediately. If you see the “normal”
VL3X screen (without the “System Maintenance” banner on top), you haven’t pushed
the button inside the headphone jack correctly. Try again.
►► Choose the desired option from the menu using the Control Knob.
Updating the firmware
using a USB flash drive
►► Turn
►► Unplug
If you cannot update the firmware of your VL3X
using VoiceSupport software, you can perform a
firmware update with a USB flash drive.
►► Format
the USB flash drive to the FAT32 file
system (see the manual of your computer/operating system for instructions).
Reformatting a USB flash drive will erase all
data on it.
►► Copy the “.syx” file containing the firmware
update to the USB flash drive.
►► Insert the USB flash drive into the USB host
port on your VL3X.
►► Boot your VL3X in System Maintenance as
described in “Entering System Maintenance
Mode”.
►► Select the “Update from USB drive” option.
VL3X – Reference manual (updated 2015-05-12)181
Technical Specifications
Technical Specifications
VL3X – Reference manual (updated 2015-05-12)182
INCLUDED EFFECTS
VOCAL EFFECTS
GUITAR FX
Technical Specifications
µMod, Echo & Delay, Reverb, Harmony, Double, Transducer, Rhythmic, HardTune & Correction, Choir, Stutter,
Vocoder, Adaptive Tone
Amp Modeling, Drive, Delay, Reverb, Compression, Resonant Filter, Wah, µMod (Flange, Chorus, De-tune), Shifter,
Rhythmic/Tremolo, Talkbox (part of Vocoder)
CONTROL
250 factory presets
Memory for 500 presets
10 steps per preset
10 footswitches
6 preset-assignable footswitches for enabling/disabling FX blocks
Backing track & FX automation control via footswitches
Detailed editing
Genre and Styles preset categories
DESIGN
SIZE
Height
Width
Depth
WEIGHT
Weight
CONSTRUCTION
3 inches (76 mm)
13.8 inches (350 mm)
8.5 inches (216 mm)
5 lb. (2.3 kg)
Anodized extruded aluminum and steel chassis
Rubberized edit/mix knobs
Recessed rubberized handle
192 x 64 blue STN LCD, white backlight display
Tri-colored Footswitch Light ring
Capacitive touch edit controls with LED indicators
VL3X – Reference manual (updated 2015-05-12)183
CONNECTIONS
ANALOG INPUTS
Voice
Connector
Input Impedance Balanced
Mic Input Level @ 0 dBFS
Line Input Level @0dBFS
EIN @ Max Mic Gain Rg = 150 Ohm
Mic SNR
Phantom Power
A to D Conversion
Guitar
Connector
Guitar Input Impedance
Guitar Input Level @ 0 dBFS
Guitar Input SNR >108 dB
A to D Conversion
Monitor
Connector
Input Impedance Balanced
Monitor Input Level @ 0 dBFS
Aux
Aux
Aux Input Level @ 0 dBFS
ANALOG OUTPUTS
Voice
Connectors
Output Impedance Balanced/Unbalanced
Output Range 0 dBFS
Dynamic Range
Frequency Response
D to A Conversion
Guitar
Connectors
Output Impedance Balanced/Unbalanced
Output Range 0 dBFS
Dynamic Range
Technical Specifications
Combo Balanced XLR/Balanced TRS 1/4“ phone jack
3.08 kOhm
-52 dBu to +7 dBu
-40 dBu to +19 dBu
-127 dBu
>100 dB at typical Mic Input gain
+48V (on/off via setup menu)
24 Bit, 128 x oversampling bitstream, 110 dB SNR A-weighted
1/4“ phone jack
1 MOhm
-2 dBU to 14 dBu
24 Bit, 128 x oversampling bitstream, 110 dB SNR A-weighted
Balanced XLR
25 kOhm
+16 dBu
1/8“ stereo mini jack
+2 dBu
Balanced XLR
300/150 Ohm
Line Level: +14 dBu; Mic Level: -2dBu
>109 dB, 20 Hz to 20 kHz
+0/-0.3 dB, 20 Hz to 20 kHz
24 Bit, 128 x oversampling bitstream, 115 dB SNR A-weighted
1/4“ TRS phone jack
442/221 Ohm
Line Level: +14 dBu; Mic Level: -2dBu
>105 dB, 20 Hz to 20 kHz note
VL3X – Reference manual (updated 2015-05-12)184
D to A Conversion
Headphone
Guitar thru
Buffered Guitar Input
Connector
Output Impedance Bal/UnBal
Monitor thru
Technical Specifications
24 Bit, 128 x oversampling bitstream, 106 dB SNR A-weighted
1/8“ Mini stereo jack, 50 Ohm, +14 dBu max
1/4“ TRS phone jack
270/540 Ohms
Direct connection to Monitor input
Connector: Balanced XLR
VL3X – Reference manual (updated 2015-05-12)185
CONTROL
USB
MIDI
Pedal
Mic Control
SAFETY AND REGULATIONS
POWER
External Power Supply Mains Voltage
Power Consumption
SAFETY
EMC – Complies with
Safety – certified to
ENVIRONMENT
Operating Temperature
Storage Temperature
Humidity
Technical Specifications
USB A, Mini-B
In/Out 5 Pin DIN
1/4“ TRS phone jack
Using TC-Helicon MP-75, TC-Helicon MP-76 or Sennheiser e 835 fx microphone
100 to 240 VAC, 50 to 60 Hz (auto-select)
< 14 W
EN 55103-1:2009, EN 55103-2:2009, FCC CFR 47 Part 15B and ICES-003:2004 4th Ed
IEC 65, EN 60065, UL6500 and CSA IEC 65, EN 60065, UL6500 and CSA
32° F to 122° F (0° C to 50° C)
-22° F to 167° F (-30° C to 70° C)
Maximum 90 % non-condensing
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Technical Specifications
VL3X – Reference manual (updated 2015-05-12)187