One way to change your vocal range

I know I have led a sheltered life but one of evening entertainments when we were away on holiday at the hotel was a male singer playing a bit of keyboards with backing tracks and singing.

I should say at the outset I am not being critical he was very good indeed. After a few songs I thought this chap has really large vocal range, then I realised what was going on, he had a “pedal” on top of keyboard which he kept adjusting and he was singing songs like Whitney Houston and down to bass/baritone ones. One that really stood out was Sonny and Cher’s duet I got you babe, alternating between the two ranges, very clever and entertaining.

However I know a little bit about singing and at times my brain found it a bit disconcerting.

I just wondered if anybody has tried one of these “pedals”


PS David @BurnsRhythm Could be the answer to all of our singing issues


Oh an autotune octave shifting pedal of some sort? thats clever!

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Micheal I have no idea whatsoever of what you’re talking about but I’m very curious to find out…so I’m waiting with you for someone to reply :blush:

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Something like one of these


Haha :joy: I don’t think so Michael!

The last thing that I would want to portray is a false voice. Keep it real!
The reason you found it disconcerting is because you recognised that it wasn’t real.
It’s maybe ok for a bit of light hearted, gimmicky entertainment but, nah, not something I would do.

I would need a row of “pedals” + auto tune + special effects to get Whitney Houston. She’s a fantastic singer! Quite possibly the best!

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The funny thing here is OP is talking about Cher, who was one of the first to use autotune (but tbh in a creative way)


We have a guy here in the community - Ron, very talented - who has used a pedal to do a harmony with himself. Quite amazing stuff. I think you have to already be a good singer to do it effectively.

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Hi Mike,

Yes @jkahn Ron’s stuff is pretty good.

@MAT1953 I asked Ron (I think) what he was using and it was the TC Helicon Play Acoustic. The YouTube demos of them are a pretty good. They appear to have the capability of doing what you describe.

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I’m not sure either if I completely understand the topic, but Jeff @nzmetal said he used a pedal for tuning vocals when recording his amazing Billy Idol cover project …


Yup, this was it - it was done by actually pushing it too far past the auto correct point.

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To do that you would need an Octave shift plus the Autotune effect, either separately or maybe if one is made a combined effect box. Harmonisers don’t usually do a wide differential so I doubt that you would get Contralto to Soprano (or Bass to Tenor) ; however unless you’re prepared to dig deep into your pockets it might sound a bit artificial.

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Thanks for the shout out, Franz! :smiley: That’s spot on, I use the TC Helicon Mic Mechanic pedal for my vocals (thanks to great advice from Richard and DavidP :slight_smile: ). It allows for adding three different types of delay and reverb plus the ability to dial-in some auto-tune to your preference (using a dial from zero to max). The max setting is not like Cher’s song above, it’s a lot more subtle that that :wink: It also doesn’t have any of the fancier effects that Ron’s Play Acoustic does but I think it does do some automatic gain control and some other wizardry in the background - I need all the help I can get! :joy: I certainly recommend it for anyone wanting an easy option to help with vocals. From what I’ve seen online, plenty of professionals use it or similar :sunglasses: :+1:


No but I think you wig might be like hers. :stuck_out_tongue:


The topic seems to have sparked some interest.

Rob @RobDickinson
Yes, some sort of octave shifting pedal had to be involved.

Yes, I googled it as well and came up with a similar list, however a comprehensive description of what it was being used, it was white and small, only kidding.
I was not very close and seemed to have a touch pad, to turn on/off and a single dial, not multiple dials. Not been able to track down the actual pedal on the internet yet.

I have looked at the Cher video you identified, never realised before the trickery that goes on.

They do say you learn something every day.

David @BurnsRhythm
As you say not really any good for us, I think you have to have a good and controlled singing voice to make use of it.

JK @jkahn
As I said I have lived a sheltered life when it comes to modern day musical effects.
I think you are right in that you need to be a very good singer to make it work, as I can imagine it is a bit disconcerting to be singing and what you hear is quite different to your normal voice.

Craig @CD02
Will have to track downs some of Ron’s songs.

Mark @markr31
See my earlier comment back to Rob, don’t think what i saw was among these

Franz @franzek
I do remember Jeffs Billy Idol cover, but the technicalities of what he was doing were way beyond my understanding.

Darrel @DarrellW
You mention Cher, it is like photos these days you can’t believe what you see anymore and the same with singing.
I would say the pedal was doing more than one octave change, given that he was probably baritone or tenor then to go up to soprano is quite a few octaves.
He did Eurythmics Sweet Dreams Are Made of This, a song I know very well and if I shut my eyes, I would swear it was Annie Lennox singing.

Jeff @nzmetal
The man himself with TC Helicon.
Does it make small changes or is capable of significant changes in octaves and do you find it a little strange hearing yourself back although I do know that what you hear within yourself is not what other people hear.

Stefan @SgtColon
Visual effects definitely matter!!!


I have a pedal that will do 3 octaves, but they’re not very common, it’s a pedal built from a kit!

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Darrell @DarrellW

I am thinking that the singers pedal was like yours with at least three octaves.
Not intending to get one but what is the one you have got.

Apologies Michael, should have elaborated above! The pedal doesn’t have the ability to change octaves, just some minor auto-tune which doesn’t really change the sound of your voice, just subtly pulls it closer to the note it thinks you’re going for, I believe. I didn’t really notice anything odd when using it but also didn’t set the auto-tune dial to max either. But yes, the overall effect is subtle and only a small change to your voice :slight_smile:


Jeff @nzmetal
Thanks for the clarification.

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TC Helicon have had a range of pedals for a long long time that offer different options in this area. I have the TC Helicon Harmony GXT. Most of the time I use mine with most of the additional options (harmonies, auto tune) off and just use it for the compression, de-ess that it provides. It makes a real difference to overall vocal tone. The Harmonies are good too but you have to use them sparingly and be used to using a foot pedal to trigger them on and off at the right part. Harmonies work best if you’ve got a guitar plugged in as they will follow the key it picks up from that. In general their pedals don’t play nicely with condenser mics as the pedal will pick up feedback. They work fine with dynamic mics in my experience.

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