The first thing you will notice about using the Studio Vocalist is how precise the harmonies are. This will probably come as quite a novelty after years of trying to get real singers to be as precise as this, and early Queen style vocal harmonies come out of the speakers almost unbidden. Eventually, you may wish for something a little more like what ordinary people can manage, so Digitech have thoughtfully provided a number of 'humanising' features. These are Gender, which I have already mentioned, Detune, Vibrato, Scoop and Timing. Gender here isn't just a matter of being male or female. You can choose which you want to be and then set a value from -50 to +50. A masculinity or femininity value if you like. The idea is to make multiple harmonies sound as though they are coming from different people instead of clones of the soloist, and it works. The Detune function adds what Digitech call 'a subtle out-of-tuneness' to the harmony voices. Human voices are rarely perfectly in tune and Studio Vocalist doesn't have to be either. Vibrato is another human feature, one that often becomes more pronounced the older the singer is! Vibrato parameters include Depth, Rate, Type (sine, square wave, sawtooth up, sawtooth down), Delay and Randomness. Scoop is a technique (or do I mean mannerism?) where a singer hits a note slightly below pitch and then slides up to correct pitch. Scoop can be introduced randomly, or via MIDI velocity data. Timing is a variable delay before the onset of a harmony note, which also can be randomised.
With all this functionality, you might think that creating and storing programs would be pretty difficult, since each time you use the unit you will probably require a different harmony. Fortunately, Digitech have provided a 'Style' feature where you can edit harmonies and each of the humanising functions in detail, and then store them independently as Styles. Styles can be mixed and matched as necessary to create new harmony effects. I won't say that it is the work of a moment to create a harmony that exactly suits what you are trying to achieve, but if you compare it with the alternative of writing it all down and working with a group of singers, then I think you will see it in its correct proportion.
Great home recording starts with a great home recording studio. It doesn't need to be expensive if you know how to select the right equipment for your needs.