Things You'll Need
- DigiTech Vocal 300
- XLR microphone cable(s)
- 1/4-inch or other cables if the monitoring system requires
- Monitoring system, such as a mixer, PA amplifier or digital recorder
The DigiTech Vocal 300 is a digital multi-effect processor designed for vocalists. It is equipped with an assignable expression pedal, several microphone preamp types and XLR input and output jacks. It also features a 1/8-inch CD input jack to connect a CD player. The Vocal 300 can produce seven effects simultaneously, and each effect has four adjustable parameters. The unit also features 40 factory and 40 user preset locations. While good sound is subjective, there are commonly used effect combinations many people will agree sound better than others.
Getting Good Sound
Plug the microphone and cable into their respective jacks on the Vocal 300. Connect XLR, 1/4 inch, or other type of cable to the monitoring system or digital recorder. Plug Vocal 300 into the supplied AC adapter. Turn on the monitoring system or digital recorder. Raise the volume gradually on the monitoring system or digital recorder to avoid overloading them. Turn up the Vocal 300's "Input gain" knob while singing until the "Input clip" LED lights. Check that the input level controls for the monitoring system or digital recorder are not now overloading.
Step through the presets by stepping on the "Up" or "Down" foot-switches. Make a note of which presets sound better. Turn the "Parameter" knobs and step on the "Expression" pedal when you find a preset that is "almost there." Ask yourself if adjusting the knobs or expression pedal altered the preset to a fully usable state. Store the preset by pressing the "Store" button. Continue until you've found the number of presets you would like to use.
Turn effects on or off as required. Enter edit mode by pressing the "Select" button. Turn the "Master level" knob to taste. Press the "Store" button to store the preset. Organize the presets you've found by copying them to preset locations you won't be using. Refer to the notes you made in Step 2 to find which locations these are. Copy presets by pressing the "Store" button, then using the "Master level" knob to move the preset to a desired location.
Use good quality cables. Avoid putting too much reverb or delay effect on vocals. Chorus or flange effects can make vocals sound fuller.
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.