Summer NAMM 2014: TC-Helicon Play Electric revealed

TC-Helicon have unveiled Play Electric, their latest multi-FX pedal. Touted as a sort of simplified VoiceLive 3, the unit aims to offer a wide range of TC-Elctronic guitar fx and 'studio grade' vocal treatments for the singing guitarist.

Play Electric should be available next month (August 2014) at an estimated price of $349.99/£299/€349.

TC-Helicon Press Release

Like a VoiceLive 3 without the complexity, Play Electric allows users to rock out with confidence. They get easy access to the hottest vocal sounds and perfect backing harmonies, combined with best-selling TC Electronic guitar FX and enough amp emulations to quench even the most hardened player's thirst for tone, making Play Electric the new standard for performing singer-guitarists.

Main Features:

  • Guitar FX styles from TC Electronic's award-winning range of TonePrint pedals
  • Professional Vocal Effects and Tone with natural sounding Vocal Harmonies guided by your guitar
  • Powerful amp emulations from VoiceLive 3 with a dedicated guitar output
  • User-friendly design with per-preset Vocal and Guitar FX combinations for easy performance controlProfessional Vocal Sound

Play Electric comes packed with all the studio-grade vocal effects that TC-Helicon are renowned for: Unbelievable vocal harmonies, tasty delays, lush reverbs, thick doubles, cool modulations, edgy hardtuning, and raw distortions.

Best of all, the portamento and humanization of the harmony effects have been improved - like on its acoustic counterpart - making Play Electric's tireless two-singer backing group more realistic than ever. And users don't have to worry about setting the key. Play Electric follows the guitar chords automatically for harmonies that stay in tune and in time.

Perfect Guitar Tone

Lifted from the improved engine of TC-Helicon's newest flagship processor - VoiceLive 3 - Play Electric is equipped with a powerful and comprehensive selection of amp emulations, complete with editable control of style, drive, volume and a 3-band tone stack. Ranging from vintage British to classic American these amp styles are designed to thrill the room when bringing a heavy amp and cab isn't practical; users may even find that they prefer plugging directly into the PA/monitors or an FRFR (full range frequency response) cab. But, for anyone still rockin' it oldschool, the dedicated guitar output ensures signal fidelity all the way from Play Electric to the guitar amp of choice.

Tailor-made guitar FX from TC-Helicon's sister company TC Electronic add raw tonal magic to Play Electric with essential styles from their bestselling TonePrint pedals - Flashback Delay, Hall of Fame Reverb and Corona Chorus - while cool compression, evocative modulation FX and distortion/overdrive pedal emulations round out the sonic smorgasbord.

Finally, separate mono XLR outputs for vocals and guitar makes it painless for any sound engineer to mix the levels perfectly for the audience, or users can set the output to Stereo and create their own custom panoramic stereo mix.

Feature Overview

  • Complete vocal path including Tone, Harmony, HardTune, Reverb, Double, Delay, uMod (chorus/flange, etc.), and Transducer (megaphone/distortion FX)
  • Global Adaptive EQ, Compression, De-ess, Gate & Pitch Correction
  • Note-perfect Vocal Harmonies using Auto Chord Detection from guitar input
  • 2 Voices of NaturalPlay Harmony, plus 2 voices of humanized Doubling
  • TC Electronic guitar FX with styles from Flashback Delay, Hall of Fame Reverb and Corona Chorus
  • Wide range of additional popular guitar effects with lots of styles
  • Wide choice of guitar amp emulations from VoiceLive 3, including no amp and Acoustic Shape (BodyRez) setting
  • Dedicated Guitar and Vocal FX access/edit buttons
  • Separate vocal and pro-quality guitar outputs or stereo mix
  • Different amp settings per preset or global lockdown to one
  • Low-noise Mic-preamp
  • VLOOP performance looper for vocal and/or guitar with undo and redo
  • Loop time: Stereo: 15 seconds with Undo (30 seconds without). Mono: 30 seconds with Undo (60 seconds without)
  • Simple effects customization with styles and icons
  • RoomSense microphones for monitoring and practicing
  • Key/Scale harmony mode for setting specific song keys via the footswitches
  • Plug in and practice with your mobile device via AUX or stream tracks and record over USB including a Vocal Cancel function
  • Navigate factory presets by Genre and mark Favorites
  • USB for audio streaming and connection to VoiceSupport, our free app for firmware updates, preset management, and tips & tricks
  • Compatible with the MP-75 Modern Performance Vocal Microphone and Sennheiser e 835 fx microphone with Mic Control
  • Optional Switch-3 for additional performance control
  • Headphone output

For more info see the Play Electric site.

Will Groves

I'm lucky enough to be MusicRadar's Editor-in-chief while being, by some considerable distance, the least proficient musician on the editorial team. An undeniably ropey but occasionally enthusiastic drummer, I've worked on the world's greatest music making website in one capacity or another since its launch in 2007. I hope you enjoy the site - we do.