USB Audio: Which TC Helicon products can act as an interface?

Question

Which TC Helicon products support USB audio for use as an interface to record with my computer?

Answer

Many TC Helicon devices support USB audio, allowing you to use your device as an audio interface to record with your computer.  Not all gear is created equal however, and some are more capable than others when it comes to USB audio.

For Windows users, a couple of our products do require their own driver install, and the rest are compatible with Windows drivers like DirectSound, WaveOut, Wasapi, and Asio.
If your DAW cannot see your connected TC Helicon device, please see this page.

If you’re on a Mac, no additional drivers are necessary as our gear is class compliant with Macs.
 
Below is an overview of which TC Helicon gear supports USB audio and to what extent…
 

VoiceLive Play, Play GTX, PlayAcoustic, PlayElectric:

  • 2 channels, locked as a stereo pair in both directions
  • USB audio from your computer to your VoiceLive is a stereo pair (channel 1 is left, channel 2 is right) useful for sending backing tracks to the VoiceLive
  • USB audio from your VoiceLive to your computer will always be a wet stereo mix of vocals and guitar (except Play which doesn't utilize guitar)
  • It is not possible to send the vocal and guitar signals from your VoiceLive both simultaneously and separately.  If you wish to process multiple stereo tracks, we recommend recording guitar and vocals in separate passes – for example recording your guitar in stereo first, and then recording stereo vocals over that.
  • 16-bit @ 44.1kHz, and 16-bit @ 48kHz


VoiceLive 2:

  • 2 channels, with various input and output modes
  • Input modes: “Stereo” and “Vox L / Inst R”
  • Output modes: “Full Mix”, “Dry Vox&Gtr”, and “Wet Vox&Gtr”
  • 16-bit @ 44.1kHz, and 16-bit @ 48kHz
  • Pages 33 and 84 of manual


VoiceLive 3 (original and Extreme):

  • 2 channels, with various input and output modes
  • See this article for more details
  • 16-bit @ 48kHz
  • Page 72 of manual


VoiceLive Rack:

  • 2 channels, with various input and output modes
  • Input modes: “Stereo” and “Vox L / Inst R”
  • Output modes: “Full Mix” and “Vocal & Guitar”
  • More info here
  • 16-bit @ 44.1kHz, and 16-bit @ 48kHz
  • Page 39 of manual


VoiceLive Touch 1:

  • 2 channels, with multiple i/o modes
  • USB audio modes: “Stereo”, “Insert”, and “Track”
  • 16-bit @ 44.1kHz, and 16-bit @ 48kHz
  • Page 25 of manual


VoiceLive Touch 2:

  • 2 channels, with a couple of different modes
  • In the “Setup” menu, if you leave the “Input” as your microphone (eg. “Dynamic”) and the “Output” as whatever you normally use (eg. “Stereo”) then USB audio coming from your computer to the Touch 2 will be dry in stereo (great for backing tracks), and USB audio going from your Touch 2 to your computer will be a wet stereo mix of vocals and guitar.
  • Setting the Touch 2’s “Input” to “USB” disables the hardware microphone and guitar inputs.  With this setting, USB audio sent from your computer to the Touch 2 is expected to be panned – audio panned left to channel 1 will be sent through the vocal path, and audio panned right to channel 2 will be sent through the guitar path for guiding harmonies.  USB audio leaving the Touch 2 to your computer will be a wet stereo mix of your vocals only – the guitar track is not passed back out of the Touch 2, it’s just being input to guide your harmony voices.
  • Some VoiceLive Touch 2’s have issues with USB audio - see here
  • 16-bit @ 44.1kHz, and 16-bit @ 48kHz
  • Page 55 of manual


Perform-VK:

  • 4 input channels and 8 output channels
  • A driver install is required for Windows machines, available here
  • USB audio coming from your computer into Perform-VK can be routed to the following input channels:
    • Channels 1 and 2 (“Aux L” and “Aux R” respectively) are a stereo pair for sending a backing track into Perform-VK, this can be used to guide the harmony voices.  These are not passed through USB back to your computer, but they are passed to Perform-VK’s 6.5mm analog outputs
    • Channel 3 (“Dry Voice”) is routed through the unit’s vocal path, then back out the analog outputs and through USB back to your computer.  If signal is detected on this channel, it will disable the XLR microphone input on the Perform-VK
    • Channel 4 (“NaturalPlay Guide”) is a mono guidance track for chord tracking.  This is essentially a ‘silent’ backing track that is not passed to Perform-VK’s outputs, it is only used to guide harmonies
  • USB audio leaves the Perform-VK on these output channels:
    • Channels 1 and 2 (“Mix L” and “Mix R” respectively) are a stereo mix of Perform-VK’s main 6.5mm outputs, less the audio received from USB input
    • Channel 3 (“Dry Voice”) is what you’re singing into your XLR microphone, with no effects added
    • Channel 4 (“Unused”) has no function, it’s just there to keep the others company
    • Channels 5 and 6 (“Dry Inst/Aux L” and “Dry Inst/Aux R” respectively) are a stereo pair of unprocessed auxiliary and instrument signals
    • Channels 7 and 8 (“Dry Harmony L” and “Dry Harmony R” respectively) are a stereo pair of the harmony voices without your input lead voice
  • 16-bit @ 48kHz, and 24-bit @ 48kHz
  • Page 11 of manual

Perform-VE:
  • 5 input channels and 6 output channels
  • A driver install is required for Windows machines, available here
  • USB audio coming from your computer into Perform-VE can be routed to the following input channels:
    • Channels 1 and 2 (“Aux L” and “Aux R” respectively) are a stereo pair for sending a backing track into Perform-VE.  These are not passed through USB back to your computer, but they are passed to Perform-VE’s 6.5mm analog outputs
    • Channel 3 (“Dry Voice”) is routed through the unit’s vocal path, then back out the analog outputs and through USB back to your computer.  If signal is detected on this channel, it will disable the XLR microphone input on the Perform-VE.  When USB audio on channel 3 stops, the Set button will flash - pressing the Set button at this time will change the voice input back to the XLR microphone input.
    • Channel 4 (“Sample”) is a reserved channel for the iOS app to send samples to the Perform-VE.  It has no function in the context of a DAW
    • Channel 5 (“NaturalPlay Guide”) is a mono guidance track for chord tracking.  This is essentially a ‘silent’ backing track that is not passed to Perform-VE’s outputs, it is only used to guide the Hardtune effect
  • USB audio leaves the Perform-VE on these output channels:
    • Channels 1 and 2 (“Mix L” and “Mix R” respectively) are a stereo mix of Perform-VE’s main 6.5mm outputs, less the audio received from USB input
    • Channel 3 (“Dry Voice”) is what you’re singing into your XLR microphone, with no effects added
    • Channel 4 (“Sample”) is a reserved channel for the iOS app to receive samples from the Perform-VE.  It has no function in the context of a DAW
    • Channels 5 and 6 (“Aux L” and “Aux R” respectively) are a stereo pair of the unprocessed auxiliary signal
  • 16-bit @ 48kHz, and 24-bit @ 48kHz
  • Page 24 of manual

Blender:
  • 2 input channels and 12 output channels
  • A driver install is required for Windows machines, available here
  • USB audio from your computer to the Blender is a stereo pair (channel 1 is left and channel 2 is right), the level of which is controlled from the sending computer.  This is sent to all four headphone outputs (A, B, C, D), each of which has its own output gain but no separate input control for this incoming USB audio, meaning you cannot send USB audio from your computer to just one Blender output (eg. just to A).
  • USB audio from the Blender to your computer is a mirror of the 6 stereo inputs (thus 12 channels, each a panned pair).  These USB channels are not affected by the input and output gains on Blender itself, input audio is sent out via USB before your gains, meaning the USB levels are the sending levels of the connected sound sources.
  • 16-bit @ 48kHz, and 24-bit @ 48kHz

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