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PROS: Simple, easy to use, good effects selection.
Guitarists have long been able to use small pedals to alter/enhance their sound, while vocalists have been relegated to huge racks and systems that are expensive and difficult to control. TC Helicon’s Mic Mechanic brings analog control to advanced vocal processing.
The layout is simple. XLR connections mean this is meant for singers. The mic level control is placed on the side, keeping it out of the way from stray feet. A USB connection is there for software updates and helpful suggestions from TC’s VoiceSupport software. There is a mic control function on the side that enables remote control of the unit via TC’s MP-75 Mic (not included). The unit also works well with phantom mics – and since phantom power is always on, there’s no need for an enable/disable button.
The Tone button is like a master “fix-it” button, adding EQ, compression, and noise gating. It doesn’t seem to get in the way sonically, as it’s quite subtle. Options include Hall, Club and Room reverbs, plus individual Slap and Echo effects; there is even a pitch correction effect available. All of the effects are great; finding the right setting for the style of the vocalist and type of music takes a bit of tweaking, but it’s well worth it. The ambience it gives is very natural, regardless of genre. The Echo’s tempo can also be set via a very simple tap tempo function. The Pitch Correction is equally subtle, as it won’t do over the top “Auto-Tune” effects. So, can you cover up a lack of talent? No. Smooth out some minor rough spots in vocals? Yes.
Overall, it’s a great “set it and forget it” pedal. Live performers won’t be able to switch effects easily on the fly, but for the singer who wants to control his/her effects and not get caught up in presets, it’s well worth it.
Construction: Two-part die cast metal, rubberized base
Mic Input Level at 0 dBFS: -42dBu to +1dBu
EIN at Max Mic Gain Rg = 150 Ohm: -126 dBu
Mic input SNR: >104 dB
Connections: Analog Outputs
Dynamic Range: >104 dB, 20 Hz to 20 kHz
Frequency Response: +0/-0.3 dB, 20 Hz to 20 kHz
Power Supply (included): 12V 0.4A
Dimensions: 5.4 x 3.5 x 2.3 in., (140 x 90 60 mm)
Weight: 0.92 lb. (0.42 kg)