Everyone loves a handy pitch-shift plugin or other effects unit to be able to play with vocal recordings to add a cool or funny sound to their tracks. Most of the time, multiple pieces of software and hardware need to be combined to achieve the perfect end result. That, however, is where Roland comes in, with the new Roland VT-4 Voice Transformer, — a compact, all-in-one system aimed at handling vocal processing and modulation in real time.
On the input end, the VT-4 has a mic sensitivity knob and volume control knob to adjust and achieve the ideal input signal volume, as well as an LED indicator to let the user know when the signal has clipped. Two buttons directly below, ‘Robot’ and ‘Megaphone’ contain two built-in effects to jump to or provide a place to work from. Below that are a pitch shift fader (allowing +/- 1 octave of shifting), and a formant fader. The unit has 4 memory bank buttons to save their favorite presets after tweaking its settings and a large knob at the bottom which is used for automatic pitch shifting.
On the right-hand side of the unit is a key selector so that the user can allow the device to snap incoming notes to a grid using any key, although we are curious if the default setting is major keys, minor keys, or if they are even interchangeable at all. Seated directly below that is a button allowing the users to manually control their settings across the system, and a bypass button for when the system will not be used. And towards the bottom sit an effects balance (or mix) fader, and a simple reverb effect fader.
One more exciting addition to the Roland VT-4 Voice Transformer is it’s ability to connect to a MIDI controller device and allows the user to use the box as a vocoder, or to harmonize their voices automatically.
The Roland VT-4 Voice Transformer is a brand new announcement from the company, and therefore is not yet available at online marketplaces at a set price. However, it is available for pre-order through some outlets and will be sold at a price which appears to be set at about $275.