Electro-Harmonix has made a quick-and-dirty vocal effects box. Usable parameters, good fun, and $200 – sure, it may not be the highest-fidelity vocal box ever, but what’s not to love? Our friend Collin Cunningham at MAKE gets the jump on this one.

It’s got some surprisingly unique features:

  • 256-band vocoder “designed by the same EMS genius who made vocoding famous,” they say
  • It will harmonically match electric instruments as well as vocals.
  • 2- to 4-part harmonization, at the 3rd and 5th (labeled “Low” and “High” in case you slept through Music Theory class)
  • 9 programmable presets
  • Gliss
  • Gender bender male/female formant mod (which actually sounds decent, and could be fun with instruments, as well)
  • Mic pre, phantom power, balanced XLR output (thanks for not making this like a cheap consumer toy)

And the whole thing is built in NYC. I have to go see where they’re making these things.

I think this line is hilarious: “Diana Ross had the Supremes, Brian Wilson had the Beach Boys, Kraftwerk had The Robots. You have the Voice Box.”

Well, speak for yourself. I want the Kirnaires backing me up (matching sweaters and all) and I still want a Voice Box.

Above: proof you can have a product demo video that isn’t lame. (I’m looking at you, um … almost entire music instruments industry!)

EV appear to have seeded these to other folks to make some YouTube videos. You know what that means: it’s time for a really odd and wonderful cover of Knights of Cydonia. That’s funny, “No One’s Going to Take Me Alive” is the line I last used when I neglected to return a demo hardware loaner.

For an impressive, competing line of products, check out the TC Helicon line. They’ve recently offered up the smaller, stompbox-style Voicebox line, which nicely reduces their high-end effects to a smaller form factor. It’s a good time to be a vocalist shopping for gear.