Aug 31

Here is something new, small and handy for vocalists – it is the Roland VT-12 Vocal Trainer announced in Rolands third quarter of the year announcements of new products. This looks very interesting, it is quite colourful and compact. It has been described as a practice and warm-up tool for vocalists and has a visual pitch display, built-in exercises and backing tracks, two-voice support, and so much more.

So how does it work? Well it tracks your pitch and quickly displays it in real time in half-step increments with an illuminated pitch meter. The meter brightens as you approach the correct pitch, and darkens as you move further away. In addition, a guide tone (over a range of 24 semitones) can be played with a button press to help singers identify the correct pitch.

You can practice on your own or with someone else such as a Teacher and the VT-12 will detect the two voices simultaneously and display the note names. Three pitch-detection modes are provided for single-voice singing or two-voice singing in equal temperament or just intonation. This allows choir members or a cappella groups to use the VT-12 to visually check if their harmonies are correct.

You also get a companion book by Anne Peckham called – Vocal Workouts for the Contemporary Singer, which has a wide range of exercises.

Also built in are the world-standard Concone Op.9 Fifty Lessons for medium voice with piano accompaniment and melody guide tracks. With these exercises, the VT-12 displays the pitch of the guide melody and the user’s pitch simultaneously. For those pursuing classical training, there are even selections from the G. Schirmer collection of 24 Italian Songs and Arias distributed by Hal Leonard.

A metronome allows singers to develop their timing skills, with options for manual entry of the desired tempo or real-time entry with the tap tempo function. Roland says that the Review feature is great for self-evaluation, letting the user record their singing and listen back with the VT-12’s built-in speaker or through headphones.

Ten user tracks allow singers to easily record songs from an external music player like an iPod and store them in the VT-12 for vocal practice. Each user track provides 10 minutes of recording time. Singers can employ the Review feature with user tracks to record their voice along with the music to evaluate their performance.

The VT-12 is available in three different colors: Black, Aqua Blue, and Metallic Orange. A convenient strap hole lets users attach a lanyard and wear the VT-12 around their neck for hands-free use. There’s also an integrated tilt stand for tabletop operation. The cost is about £150.

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