Radial Engineering has announced the Voco-Loco, a combination microphone preamp and effects loop insert that enables vocalists to add guitar effects like delay, reverb or distortion to the voice using a simple footswitch.
The design begins with a high-performance preamp section that delivers over 60 dB of gain, more than enough to adapt to virtually any microphone via standard XLR input. And with a built-in 48V phantom power generator, condenser mics can also be used.
Radial’s unique Accustate level control automatically sets the gain and sensitivity via a dual wafer potentiometer for improved signal-to-noise. A simple two band shelving EQ lets the vocalist add bass or accentuate the highs to enhance.
The signal then feeds an effects loop that has been optimized for guitar pedals via standard 1/4-inch guitar jacks. Separate send and receive level controls let you adjust the levels going to the pedals to reduce distortion and optimize the signal path.
A tone control on the return path can then be used to tame overly bright pedals for a smoother more natural tone while the wet/dry blend control enables the artist to mix in as much of the effect as desired. The Voco-Loco’s output is fully balanced and able to drive a typical mixing console input.
Two footswitches are top mounted. The right hand footswitch is used to turn on or off the effects loops while the left-hand footswitch can be used to either mute the Voco-Loco output to turn off the mic when not in use or be assigned as an on-off switch for the loop, bypassing the wet/dry function. You could, for instance, create a weird telephone effect with all of the sound passing through a distortion pedal or toggle the signal so that a blend of the unprocessed voice plus some reverb can be heard together.
A 180-degree polarity reverse switch ensures the pedals are in phase with the original signal when the wet/dry blend is in use.
Radial sales manager Roc Bubel states: “We have been enjoying tremendous success with both our stand-alone and 500 series EXTC effects insert module. The EXTC makes it easy to interface unbalanced hi-Z guitar pedals with balanced lo-Z pro audio devices.
“And with so many fun pedals now available on the market, we felt it would be cool to enable live vocal performers to get into the fun. The Voco-Loco lets you turn on or off a series of pedals with a simple foot stomp - right on stage. This is particularly beneficial for bands that do not have a full-time sound engineer as the vocalist can set up the effects and turn them on or off just like a guitarist does when playing a solo.”
Measuring 5 x 7 inches (12.7cm x 17.8cm), the Voco-Loco is compact to fit on pedalboards. It comes equipped with an external 15VDC supply.