Best Vocal Effects Pedal / Processor Guide (Sept 2023)

The Highest Rated Vocal Effects Pedals

Level up your vocal performance with our Best Vocal Effects Pedal and Processor guide. Delve into each option and discover the ideal match for your unique singing style.

Vocal effects are great for improving singing and speech. They allow various effects, from subtle reverb to transformative pitch and formant shifting.


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Low compression, reverb, and EQ levels would be enough to improve vocal performance. But some situations call for something more dramatic, like a megaphone, robot, alien, pitch shifting, and other outlandish effects.

While some vocalists do not bother with effects, some have successfully adopted them into their workflow. This includes solo live-loop performers, DJs, singer-guitarists, and more.

Interestingly, even non-musicians are now using vocal effects. Many professionals, including podcast hosts, voiceover artists, live streamers, and digital content producers, use these resources to craft engaging shows.

Whether you're a singer, podcaster, or gamer, a quality vocal effects processor can enhance your microphone usage.

Here, we explore the top vocal effects pedals and processors. Get detailed info on their features, and see which ones fit your stage or home use needs.

Best Vocal Effects Pedals and Processors

Author's Pick

Here is the vocal effects processor that I personally recommend.

Rodecaster Duo


92 out of 100. Incorporating 40+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

Rodecaster Duo Podcast Audio Interface Mixer with Vocal Effects


  • No dedicated effects for instruments
  • Not stage friendly


  • Intuitive Interface perfect for streaming / podcasting
  • Great quality vocal effects
  • Efficient input and output options
  • Good balance of features and compact size

Vocal effects are finding increased utility among streamers and content creators. As such, it is only proper to feature ideal vocal processors for their craft.

The author's pick for this edition is the relatively new Rodecaster Duo, an all-in-one solution for mics in audio production and content creation.

The Rodecaster Duo mixer has built-in audio interface functionality and vocal effects. And it excels at providing all these functionalities with its intuitive interface.

Its audio quality floored me. Vocals sound full and clear, and you can get a good representation of the audio output when monitoring via headphones.

The built-in vocal effects are also equally impressive. APHEX processing lets you shape your vocal sound with EQ-type effects like Depth, Sparkle, and Punch. And the results are outstanding, especially for broadcast and streaming use. Other useful vocal processing includes a compressor, equalizer, de-esser, aural exciter, and noise gate.

The unit features six customizable smart pads that can be programmed to trigger sound samples, mixer functions, built-in voice-changing effects, and more. The voice-changing effects are fun. My favorite is the disguise effect, which can mask your true voice. Other noteworthy effects include robotic, megaphone, and pitch shifting.

The Rodecaster Duo also comes with various input and output options, which should be enough for most content creators, voice actors, or vocalists recording in their home studio setups. It even has Bluetooth connectivity that allows for less cabling.

Finally, it has two USB-C interfaces, which can work with dual-PC setups. It sits perfectly on a table but can also be placed on mic stand mounts.

For more control and functionality, Rode offers something bigger called the Rodecaster Pro II.

With its intuitive control and quality effects, the Rodecaster Duo is excellent for multi-talented vocalists and content creators.

Tech Specs

  • Profile: Table Top
  • Harmony: None
  • Pitch Correction: Pitch and Formant Shifting
  • Looper: Record and Playback Phrases via Smart Pads
  • Effects: Reverb, Echo, Megaphone, Robot, Disguise, Pitch Shifting, Compressor, Equalizer, De-esser, Aural Exciter, Noise Gate, Big Bottom, High Pass Filter, Panning, Depth, Sparkle, and Punch
  • Phantom Power: 48V
  • Inputs: 2 x Combo XLR-1/4", 1 x 1/8" (Aux in), 1 x Toslink (Optical)
  • Outputs: 2 x 1/4" TRS (line), 2 x 1/4", 1 x TRRS (Headphones)
  • USB Port: 2 x USB C
  • Power: 9V DC, 3A power supply (included)

The Best Vocal Processor Pedals

Below are the vocal processors that garnered the highest ratings. This section includes both multi-feature vocal effects processors and compact single-pedal units.

TC Helicon Ditto Mic Looper


91 out of 100. Incorporating 175+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

TC Helicon Ditto Mic Looper - Vocal Effects Pedal


  • Limited to looping


  • Easiest to use vocal looper on the market
  • 48V phantom power means you can use it with Condenser Mics in addition to Dynamic Mics

With the success of the TC Electronic Ditto looper pedal for guitar, it's only natural for their sister company, TC Helicon, to cash in on the hype with their take.

The TC Helicon Ditto Mic Looper follows after the original Ditto Looper pedal. With simple controls and a compact profile, it is designed for use with mics.

It has a single loop level knob and two footswitches. So it doesn't take long to master its controls, which include record, play, stop, erase, undo, and overdub.

A big plus is that they included 48V phantom power. This means it works with all good hand-held condenser mics, such as the Shure Beta 87A and standard dynamic mics, like the Shure SM58.

Even though it only has 5 minutes of loop time, this is not an issue for live use, which is what it's intended for. For more looping features, look at our guide to The Best Loopers.

Aside from good looping, this pedal doesn't offer anything else, so it may not be ideal for singers who want more effects.

For those who want a compact vocal looper with high-quality sound, it doesn't get any simpler than this.

Tech Specs

  • Profile: Pedal
  • Effects: Looper
  • Total Loop Time: 300 Seconds
  • Phantom Power: 48V
  • Inputs: 1 x XLR
  • Outputs: 1 x XLR
  • USB Port: Updates
  • Power: Power Adapter

Rating Source Highlight

Website Source *Rating Value
Sound On Sound Paul White 96/100
*Displayed values are prior to the Gearank Algorithm's adjustments it makes when evaluating the source.

TC Helicon VoiceLive Play Acoustic


89 out of 100. Incorporating 950+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

TC Helicon Play Acoustic Vocal Effects Processor
At publication time, this was the Equal Highest Rated Vocal Effects Pedal along with:


  • I wouldn't use the vocal harmonizer on recordings


  • Great for acoustic guitarists who sing
  • Both the guitar and vocal effects are strong

The TC-Helicon VoiceLive Play Acoustic features vocal and acoustic guitar effects in one stompbox. It is ideal for singers who play acoustic-electric guitar.

The vocal processor section has a dedicated mic preamp and lets you utilize some of TC Helicon's popular vocal effects. Included here are essentials like reverb and echo. As well as dynamic processing, pitch correction, and smart harmony.

Popular TC Electronic effects make up the guitar section. The most notable of which is BodyRez (acoustic guitar sound enhancer). It also comes with Corona Chorus, Flashback Delay, Hall of Fame Reverb, feedback suppression, and EQ controls.

To top it all off, it comes with built-in looper functionality.

The acoustic guitar effects are all quite good, especially BodyRez. It helps thicken the usually thin sound of piezo pickups.

On the vocal side, reverb and compressor do the job nicely. The harmonies sound good live, but I wouldn't use them on studio recordings.

Other popular pedals from this company include the TC Helicon VoiceLive 3, and Harmony G XT.

In addition to its singing and guitar-friendly features, it is also compatible with condenser mics. All these features make this the best vocal pedal for solo live performers who play acoustic guitars.

Tech Specs

  • Harmony: Smart Guitar-Controlled Harmony
  • Harmony Voices: Up to 2
  • Pitch Correction: Auto Chromatic, Hard Tune
  • Looper: Up to 30 seconds
  • Effects: µMod (Modulation), Transducer (Synth), Doubler, Reverb, Delay, Adaptive Tone (Smart EQ, De-essing and Compression)
  • Phantom Power: 48V
  • Guitar Effects: Hall of Fame Reverb, Corona Chorus, BodyRez (Acoustic Guitar Tone Enhancer), Feedback Suppressor, EQ,
  • Inputs: 1 x XLR, 1 x 1/4", 1 x 1/8" (Aux)
  • Outputs: 2 x XLR, 1 x 1/8" (Headphones), 1 x 1/4" (Footswitch),
  • USB Port: Direct Recording, Update, and Control
  • Power: DC Power Supply

Rating Source Highlight

Website Source *Rating Value
Acoustic Guitar Forum Guitaurman 92/100
*Displayed values are before the Gearank Algorithm's adjustments it makes when evaluating the source.

Boss VE-20


90 out of 100. Incorporating 1350+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

Boss VE-20 Vocal Effects Processor Pedal
At publication time, this was the Equal Highest Rated Vocal Effects Pedal along with:


  • Extremely limited looper


  • The harmony features are easy to use
  • Heaps of effects ups its value for money

The Boss VE-20 Vocal Performer showcases what the company is all about. It packs as much sound quality and features inside a compact, robust metal enclosure. This unit follows Boss' dual-pedal multi-effect profile, as seen on their guitar effects; only this one is meant for vocalists.

Basic delay and reverb effects are included to add subtle ambiance to your voice. But it can also go all out with pitch-correction and auto-tune effects used by artists like Black-Eyed Peas and I don't use those effects styles, but the Boss Auto-Tune (pitch-correction) feature does the job nicely. It works as it should to my ears.

Harmony Factory is a harmonizer that matches keys and scales. Selecting the intervals you want without playing a keyboard for reference makes the harmony features reasonably easy to use. This makes the VE-20 a good vocal harmonizer pedal.

However, I do find the looper's 38 seconds very limiting. You'll need a separate looper for complex routines. I do a lot of looping, which is an issue for me.

Boss added other effects, including chorus, distortion, robot, strobe, and more. Being a Boss vocal pedal, it is built like a tank.

If you're mainly looking for vocal effects and don't do much looping like I do, then you'll be pleased with the VE-20.

Tech Specs

  • Harmony: Key/Scale Based Harmonies (Not Smart Guitar Based)
  • Harmony Voices: Up to 2
  • Pitch Correction: Auto Chromatic, Hard Tune
  • Looper: 38-Second, Single Track
  • Effects: Dynamics, Doubling, Reverb, Delay, Distortion, Radio, Strobe, Chorus, Flanger, Robot
  • Phantom Power: 48V
  • Inputs: 1 x TRS/XLR Combo
  • Outputs: 1 x TRS/XLR Combo (Line), 1 x Mono
  • USB Port: None
  • Power: DC Power Supply or 6 x AA Batteries

Rating Source Highlight

Website Source *Rating Value
Guitar Interactive Magazine Editor 80/100
*Displayed values are prior to the Gearank Algorithm's adjustments it makes when evaluating the source.

Boss VE-500


89 out of 100. Incorporating 175+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

Boss VE-500 Vocal Performer


  • No Power Switch
  • No Headphones Out
  • Not as Intuitive


  • Wide range of useful effects
  • Three-part harmonies
  • Pitch correction
  • Allows for deep editing of parameters

The Boss VE-500 is a versatile multi-effect pedal for vocalists, packed with different effect types tweaked to work well with vocals.

It can run up to 9 effects simultaneously from its wide selection of effects, and it does so while keeping a relatively compact profile. It has the same level of versatility as multi-effects pedals that guitar players use, only this one is specifically for vocals.

You can use the VE-500 to subtly polish your vocals with essential effects like EQ and reverb. Or you can go all out using more dramatic effects like modulation, distortion, formant filters, etc.

But this pedal stands out because of its intelligent harmonizer that can generate 2- to 3-part harmonies. And it does so in conjunction with an instrument that is also plugged into the unit.

It's a given that the tech behind smart harmonies has yet to evolve to a point where they can be mistaken for actual people. But the harmonies on the VE-500 are quite good, and I'm impressed at how accurate the harmonies are in terms of pitch. Adding effects like a subtle chorus makes the harmonies sound even better.

This pedal also features real-time pitch correction and pitch shifting. You can use it subtly to help you sing in tune, or you can use it as a dramatic shifting effect, as can be heard in many EDM, pop, and hip-hop tracks.

Given its extensive feature set, the learning curve is quite steep, especially for those without experience with pedals and effects. However, the extra effort in learning the ropes will allow you to make the most out of the VE-500's capabilities.

The built-in looper rounds up the features of the Boss VE-500. It lets you record, playback, and overdub loops for up to 30 secs. And having been made by Boss, this is a solid and reliable unit that'll outlast your other gear.

The Boss VE-500 is the perfect choice for vocalists who want a reliable multi-effects processor for improving their singing.

Tech Specs

  • Harmony: Key/Scale Based Harmonies / Can also be based on an instrument
  • Harmony Voices: Up to 3
  • Pitch Correction: Soft to Hard Tune
  • Looper: 30 Second, Single Track
  • Effects: 9 different effects (Reverb, Delay, EQ, Filter, Distortion, Vocoder, Modulation, and more) Looper, Harmonizer
  • Phantom Power: 48V
  • Inputs: 1 x XLR (mic), 1 x 1/4" (instrument)
  • Outputs: 2 x XLR (L/R), 1 x 1/4" (instrument thru)
  • USB Port: Updates / Librarian
  • Power: 9V DC Power Adapter (Included)

Rating Source Highlight

Website Source *Rating Value
Sound on Sound Paul White 90/100
*Displayed values are prior to the Gearank Algorithm's adjustments it makes when evaluating the source.

Things to Consider when Buying Vocal Effect Pedals / Processors

Types of Vocal Effects

The most common reason people use vocal effects is to improve the sound of their voice. Basic effects like EQ, compression, and reverb usually accomplish this.

Most PA systems have these effects built-in for sound engineers to use. But having your own vocal reverb pedal with EQ gives you more control.

Vocal processing effects also let you alter your sound in unique ways. Those who are into experimental styles of music will appreciate vocoder, synth, alien, robot, and other out-of-this-world voicings. These vocal effect types are also great for creatives, streamers, voice actors, podcasters, and other media content creators.

Vocal effects processors nowadays utilize Digital Sound Processing (DSP) technology to create distinctive sound effects. Some can change the character of the voice using "formant shifting" effects. This can deepen or lighten the character of the sound to artificially alter the singer's apparent gender and/or age.

Pitch correction used to require high-end equipment. But now, you can easily get a mobile processor or autotune pedal. This accessibility has made pitch correction a staple in popular music.

Some use multiple effects to achieve a unique tonal character. In contrast, others use it subtly to polish their singing. It can also be used in conjunction with harmony for male/female voice-style backups.

Input/Output and USB Recording

Most vocalists use a basic XLR connection to a PA or mixing console. But those who sing and play guitar may need dedicated outputs for guitar and vocals.

Having extra outputs allows for more routing control. The guitar can be routed separately to the guitar effects/amp, while the vocals can go straight to the PA. Most vocal processors come with headphone outs, allowing them to double as Headphone Amps.

Direct USB recording was considered a secondary feature. But you need this feature if you're into home recording, live streaming, podcasting, voice acting, etc.


Loopers are popular among one-man-band performers. But even regular vocalists appreciate their advantages. Using a looper lets you layer and texturize your voice in ways that would not be possible otherwise.

Most vocal effects processors come with built-in looper functionality. While some even offer looper-only vocal pedal effects. Aside from spicing up your performances, loopers can also be great for practicing and training your ears and voice.

Vocal Harmonizer

One of the most prominent features of vocal processing is the ability to add one or more harmonies to a part being sung. They serve as virtual backup singers that you have total control over.

Some can even automatically change the harmonies to match the chords being played on an instrument. This feature is what we call 'Smart Guitar-Controlled Harmony'.

Without this feature, you need to set the key for each song manually. You'll have to change patches if you want to adjust the interval of the harmonies within that key.

The number of simultaneous harmonies varies, ranging from 1 to 4 additional voices. Some have enough processing power to let you tweak the character of the harmonized voices in various ways. You can change pitch and timing variations and even gender.

Pitch Correction (AutoTune)

Pitch correction has taken some genres of music by storm, and it's not just being used to fix tuning problems but also for its distinctive sound.

It can be handy to help with a few challenging songs. And it's an excellent tool for replicating the vocal sound of T-Pain, Kanye West, etc. You can usually control how pronounced the effect is, which means pulling the pitch of your voice toward the desired note. If you're looking for a natural sound, then a lower speed and amount of correction are usually better.

The 'Hard Tune' effect quickly locks the pitch to a target note, producing an artificial sound that many have used in modern EDM / Hiphop songs. It can also result in a rapid warbling if you drift between notes.

Most vocal processors allow you to set a scale to tune to. But chromatic mode should be sufficient if you get anywhere near the note. However, the scale setting can be useful for that pronounced hard tune warbling effect to control which notes it warbles between.

Guitar Effects

Many vocal processors already have a guitar input for their smart chord-based harmonies. It makes sense to add guitar pedal effects to make it into an 'all in one' performance unit.

Generally, these effects are tailored towards acoustic players. They offer reverb, delay and modulation, EQ/Filters, and more. You'll want these features if you're a singer who plays guitar and wants to keep your rig simple.

Best Vocal Effects Pedal Selection Methodology

The first edition was published in 2016. This update was published in Sept 28, 2023.

We ended up with a short list of 37 vocal effects processors for this edition. We then collated over 19,600 review and rating sources, which included reviews from retail stores, expert reviews, forum discussions, video reviews, and more.

All these data were then processed using the Gearank Algorithm. This gave us the rating scores out of 100 that we used to develop our recommendations that reflect market sentiment. We also used this to report each recommended item's notable pros and cons.

The author's pick for this edition was the Rodecaster Duo, highly recommended for its audio quality and intuitive workflow, perfect for streaming. For more information about our methods, see How Gearank Works.

About the Author and Contributors

Here are the key people and sources involved in this guide's production - click on linked names for information about their music industry backgrounds.

Lead Author & Researcher

Alexander BrionesAlexander Briones

I've written about and researched music gear for many years, while also serving as a music director at my local church, in addition to teaching guitar, bass and mentoring young musicians.

I personally use a Boss RC-300 Loop Station which has effects I sometimes apply to vocals, reverb and looping mostly but sometimes chorus too. I use it with acoustic-electric guitars such as my Martin OMCPA4, Martin DCX1E, Ibanez AEL20E and Takamine GY11ME.


Jerry Borillo: Product research.
Alden Acosta: Product research.
Jason Horton: Editing and Illustrating.


Main/Top Image: Produced by using photographs of the Boss VE-20 and TC Helicon VoiceLive Play Acoustic.

The videos have been embedded in accordance with YouTube's Terms of Service.

The individual product images were sourced from websites, promotional materials or supporting documentation provided by their respective manufacturers.


I see you mention in the

I see you mention in the "Harmonies" section that "Some units have enough processing power to let you tweak the character of the harmonized voices in various ways including pitch and timing variations and even gender." Can you say which ones do this? This is something I am looking for. Thanks a lot for the informative article!

The TC Helicon PlayLive

The TC Helicon PlayLive Acoustic offers multiple harmony styles including pitch, and allows for advanced controls like setting the slide time of each note, and a “Humanize” setting that adds a bit of timing and pitch variance to make the harmony sound more “human-like”.

The Boss VE-20 also has smart harmony options along with a gender setting. VE-8’s harmony is similar to VE-20.

Finally, the Zoom V3 has 5 harmony pitch options (Lower, Low, Fixed, High, Higher).

Hope these details can help you pick your vocal processor.

Awesome, the gender thing is

Awesome, the gender thing is what I was looking for, so I will take a closer look at the Boss VE-20 and VE-8. Thanks for your generous help sir!

My band works in 432, not 440

My band works in 432, not 440. So which of the best in sound quality could you recommend? Thanks.

If you are talking about

If you are talking about 432Hz tuning, then basic effects and looping should work fine. In theory, smart harmony should also be able to work with that tuning, but it may be best to contact the manufacturer if you want to be sure.

Yes, tuning in 432. The

Yes, tuning in 432. The question is to find out if any of the brands can lower the tuning to 432 to make harmonies. It will then be asking the brands. Thanks.

I've done some research, but

I've done some research, but I'm not seeing any mention of 432Hz tuning specifically. Theoretically, "Smart Harmonies" should work fine with 432Hz if the harmonies are based on audio input (vocal or guitar). But "Fixed Harmonies" probably will be a problem if they are set to a specific tuning. You are doing the right thing by contacting the manufacturers to get further information.

Thanx for all the info.

Thanx for all the info.
One question .. Can I trigger the abilities of the TC voice live 3 with a bamboo flute ?

Hi! Great guide. About TC

Hi! Great guide. About TC Helicon Perform VG, it has Phantom power (can't be phantom powered, but you can power a condenser mic with it). Also the USB port is just for firmware update, not able to direct recording or control.

Thanks for that, you are

Thanks for that, you are entirely correct!

There were some confusing phantom power specifications on the TC-Helicon website so I checked the manual and have updated the Phantom Power and USB specifications above.

With a lot of the best

With a lot of the best processors being taken off of the recommended list, what processor is currently the the best and is a available?

Hey.. Thnx for all this great

Hey.. Thnx for all this great info! Still playing every day with the Roland 501. ( sultry and melodic type of improv flute ) The pre on this Roland is special. Which one comes close in quality to the Re 501? Just need the basic effects / delay /reverb.

Trying to look for a compact

Trying to look for a compact alternative to the Roland RE-501 is a tall order. So if you're looking for a vocal effects pedal with RE-501 like quality delay/reverb, you may have to lower your expectations.

And If you do, you'll find that many of the pedals listed here can provide workable, if not good reverb and delay.

Thank you for the article! I

Thank you for the article! I am less after effects and more after intuitive and easy to use sampler for vocals and speech. Do you know which direction I should look?

If what you mean by sampler

If what you mean by sampler is looping vocals, then you can go for any of the compact ones with built-in looper, like the Boss VE-20. But if you want an easy-to-use pedal to improve your overall sound, then get the Mic Mechanic from TC-Electronic.

Is there any pedal that you

Is there any pedal that you can choose a specific mode and not just major/minor? I perform lots of folk songs and would love a pedal I could set to the pentatonic scale.

Many harmony pedals allow for

Many harmony pedals allow for either automatic and manual key/scale mode, but I have yet to see one that specifically limits harmonies to the note of the pentatonic scale.

In any case, the pentatonic scale is just a few notes less than the major and minor scale setting, so you can achieve a similar effect with them - albeit with some of the harmonies going outside the pentatonic scale.

I’m trying to get a late 70’s

I’m trying to get a late 70’s early 80’s stereo effect. Does anyone know if one of these can achieve that?

Most likely they were using a

Most likely they were using a rackmount studio chorus effect. This can be achieved via the average chorus effect, which is included in many vocal and looper pedals.

Now if you want to really capture the flavor of the classic chorus, you'll have to research on the actual gear that was used on the recording that you're trying to replicate - and utilize something that's similar sounding, be it actual hardware or digital effects.


I have seen many reviews on the above effects, but the one thing that no one has mentioned so far, is, if you can patch one of these effects into a mixer to be used by more than one vocalist , e.g on several channels of a mixer or does each vocalist has to have their own effects unit?

These types of foot pedal

These types of foot pedal effects are primarily designed to be used by a single performer on stage rather than be used as outboard effects with a mixing console.

You could conceivably use some of them with the effects loop on a mixing console, however only the ones with 1/4" ins and outs would be usable, and the person mixing might find it awkward using the switches that are meant to be foot operated.

Typically, with mixing consoles, you would use rack mount effects units instead.

Are there any that can get

Are there any that can get chords for harmonies direct from tracks instead of guitar or keys?

The pedals don't specify this

The pedals don't specify this feature, but it can probably be done if you route pre-recorded tracks to the guitar input. There are other many apps that can do this though, but you'll have to figure out how to get them to trigger the harmonies off of your pedal.

I am looking for a small unit

I am looking for a small unit similar to BOSS VE20 that can be connected to a keyboard via midi to get the exact key changes for harmony and pitch correction. HELP!

Roland VT-3

Roland VT-3

Thanks for the to the point

Thanks for the to the point and easy to take in reviews. This did help me make a purchase decision. Roland Vocal GTX.
Thanks again.

Glad we could help!

Glad we could help!

BTW - The G XT is made by TC-Helicon rather than Roland.

I haven't seen the term

I haven't seen the term 'vocal vibrato' used in relation to any of these effects units, but the Boss VE-8 does have Tremolo if that helps.

Recommend me a best iOS smile

Recommend me a best iOS Smule sing interface setup . I'm using a Tascam iXZ right now. A vocal mixer will be good to go.

Hey! Thanks a lot for these

Hey! Thanks a lot for these great lists. I was wondering about the TC-Helicon VoiceLive Play GTX. Do you have an opinion about it?

thanks again