In this product article review, we’re going to be talking and going into detail about TC Helicon’s Duplicator pedal, which is a highly compact multi-effects processor, primarily used for its doubling, vocal reverb, pitch correction and its adaptive tone EQ/compression/gating.
TC Helicon is a company who’ve been around since the early 2000’s, and were actually recently acquired by Music Tribe, the parent company of Behringer, Bugera, Midas, Turbosound & Klark Teknik.
They are renowned for being one of the pioneering companies who has been leading advancement, especially within the vocal effects technology industry.
With that being said, they have had a range of successful vocal effects pedals, including the VoiceLive and VoiceTone Series.
However, going back to this product review!
We’ve arranged this article review in a format which not only discusses the pedal’s features, but also includes high-quality images and video demonstrations of the TC Helicon Duplicator in action.
Therefore, we’re confident that you’ll have a well-rounded insight into whether the Duplicator pedal is suitable for you.
Ok, so with that being said, let’s begin discussing the TC Helicon Duplicator:
TC Helicon Duplicator
- Easy to use stompbox
- Doubling, Reverb, Pitch Correction & Adaptive Tone
- High-quality & low-noise mic preamp
- Built to last with durable die-cast metal casing
- Portable stompbox-style with a single footswitch
- Optional battery-powered operation (4 x AA batteries – 4/5 hours)
- Pitch correction is auto-chromatic
- Auto-intelligent mic input gain adjustment
- Talk mode (dry signal) for when speaking to audience
- Compatible with TC Helicon’s ‘Remote Mic Control’ when using the TC Helicon MP-75 or MP-76 or by using the TC Helicon MCA100 with any dynamic microphone
- USB connection for firmware updates
- A power supply is included
- Designed & engineered in Canada
- 3-Year Warranty Program*
- Have to manually change the doubling/reverb/pitch correction style with the control knob, as it does not have a footswitch for this… meaning you’ll have to stick with one style per song. But you can easily engage and disengage the pedal’s doubler with the main footswitch.
- Access to the ‘Remote Mic Control’ functionality means that you have to purchase and use the TC Helicon microphones (MP-75/MP-76) or TC Helicon MCA100 (cheaper option)
As with a lot of TC Helicon’s products, the Duplicator has been designed with ease of use and usability at the forefront of their agenda.
Let’s discuss the specifics about the unit’s controls:
The pedal has three main control knobs, a main footswitch and a button which control all of the unit’s functionality.
The left control knob is used to choose the style/type of doubling effect, and users have the option between Tight, Loose and Octave. [we’ve featured a video demonstration of the pedal in action further below]
Not only does this knob choose the style of doubling effect, but it also controls the severity or amount of effect added to the output signal.
The middle control knob is used to choose the type of reverb effect, with users having the option to pick from Room, Club and Hall reverb. [we’ve featured a video demonstration of the pedal in action further below]
Similarly to the doubler control knob, the Reverb control knob also controls the amount of reverb added to the signal.
The final control knob is used to control the amount of auto-chromatic (semi-tone increments) pitch correction that is added to the output signal.
Setting the dial at around 50% provides a subtle, yet effective amount of pitch correction, which is enough to move sharp and flat notes to the nearest semi-tone, without making your vocals sound like T-Pain.
The unit has one footswitch which is used to engage/disengage the doubler effect, meaning that when disengaged, you’ll still hear the reverb and pitch correction (assuming that their specific control knob dials are active).
Directly under the pitch correction dial is the ‘Tone’ button, which when pressed, engages TC Helicon’s patented “Adaptive Tone” Technology. Engaging this button activates an analysis of the input signal, and then EQ, compression, filtering and gating is added to provide a brighter sounding output signal… Helping your vocals cut through the mix.
Finally, the TC Helicon Duplicator has an extremely useful feature where users can control the unit directly from their microphone, which is called Mic Control™.
However, TC Helicon has just released an adapter (TC Helicon MCA100) which can turn any dynamic microphone into a Mic Control™ compatible unit, all by just plugging in the MCA100 to the bottom of your favorite mic.
With that being said, let’s take a look at the back of the unit:
As you can see, TC Helicon have done a great job in making the rear input/output section of the Duplicator extremely easy and intuitive to use.
It has 1 XLR microphone input, 1 XLR output, a 9V power supply, on/off switch and a USB input (for firmware upgrades).
Not to mention, the unit has the ability to be used via battery-power, with it having room for 4 x AA batteries, which will provide around 4/5 hours of operation… Fantastic for rehearsals, although we advise that you plug it in for on-stage/live performance usage.
We’ve included a video demonstration of the TC Helicon Duplicator in action, which also includes commentary from one of the lead designers of the unit:
In our opinion, the TC Helicon Duplicator is a fantastic vocal solution for singers looking for a unit which provides duplicator/octave/reverb/pitch correction & EQ/compression, all within a physically compact chassis.
Not to mention, due to the simplicity of its operation, it’s ideal for use in both a rehearsal and live performance environment.
The main advantage of this unit over other pedals is that you can set effect parameters (duplicator, octave, reverb) whilst ensuring that any slightly flat/sharp notes are being pushed up or down to the nearest semi-tone, and whilst also making sure that your vocals are cutting through the mix with its adaptive tone EQ, compression and gating.
Not only this, but with the unit having adaptive input gain, you don’t need to worry about microphone clipping, so that’s another relief.
Overall, it provides incredible value for money, and as with all of TC Helicon’s products, the duplicator comes with a 3-year warranty.
We have to give this unit a thumbs up, and we highly recommend this to any singers looking for a simple solution for getting a better overall vocal sound.