How to Operate a DigiTech Vocalist VHM5

By Pamela Benetti ; Updated September 15, 2017

Things Needed

  • DigiTech Vocalist VHM5
  • Microphone
  • XLR mic cable.
  • Instrument cable
  • Monitoring system, such as a power amp with speakers
  • Midi cable
  • Midi controller

The DigiTech Vocalist VHM5 is one of the first intelligent harmony signal processors designed specifically for vocals. It tracks a vocalist's pitch and generates up to four harmony parts either above or below the input note, in the selected key. It has a variety of input and output options, including an XLR input, line in, line out, and midi in, out, and thru.

Connect the microphone to the appropriate end of the XLR cable. Connect the other end to the XLR input on the Vocalist VHM5. Connect one end of the instrument cable to the left output on the VHM5. Connect the other end to the power amp, mixer or other monitoring system. Make sure all volumes are all the way down before applying power; this avoids unpleasant feedback.

Apply power to the VHM5 and the power amp. While speaking or singing into the microphone, raise the input fader on the top panel of the VHM5 till the signal strength LEDs only occasionally flash red. Raise the vocal output level fader on the top panel of the VHM5. Raise the volume of the power amp or monitoring system. Dry, unprocessed vocal signal should now be heard.

Select a preset that closely matches the harmonies desired. This is achieved by pressing the up-down buttons. Raise the effect output level fader on the front panel of the unit. Harmony should now be heard when vocals are input. To alter settings within the preset, press the right parameter button. Successive presses of this button access additional parameters within the unit. To alter parameter values, press the value keys to increment or decrement the selected parameter. When the desired sound is achieved, press the store button on the front panel to save the preset.

Attach the midi cable to the midi in port on the VHM5. Connect the other end to the midi out port of a midi controller. Set midi channels on the midi controller and the VHM5 so they match. To access the midi menu on the VHM5, press the parameter down button. Select appropriate midi channel. If preset selection via midi is desired, select "yes" in the program receive setting page. Presets can now be selected from the midi controller.

Tip

The DigiTech VHM5 is a complex piece of equipment. For in-depth operation, reference to the product manual is highly recommended.

About the Author

Based in Ypsilanti, Mich., Pamela Benetti has written grants since 2003. She has worked for Pridesource Media Group and writes commentary. Her work has been published in the "Huron River Review," of Washtenaw Community College in Ann Arbor, Mich., where she studied human services.