HELP, looking for good vocoder

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namahshaman
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Joined: Wed Oct 19, 2011 2:55 pm

HELP, looking for good vocoder

Post by namahshaman » Tue Jun 18, 2013 5:11 pm

Greetings Moog brethren.

I am searching for a good analog vocoder (multiband control) similar to the Roland SVC or the Moog. Currently I am using an Electro-harmonix V-256 pedal with the Phatty as my carrier signal. It sounds decent... but not really what I'm going for. I'm looking for smoother, more vocal-sounding, ambient vocoder tones, like the band Mogwai... I believe I've read that they either have a Roland SVC 350 or the VP-330...

Any ideas, suggestions? Is anyone (modular makers or otherwise) currently building something similar, or will I only find what I want in vintage gear.

Thanks.

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thealien666
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Re: HELP, looking for good vocoder

Post by thealien666 » Tue Jun 18, 2013 6:29 pm

One of the best known vocoder is obviously the Roland (keyboard or rack mount). But the Bode/Moog one is pretty well known also. Giorgio Moroder used it on a lot of his records.

Personally, I've had the chance to use a few others, like the one in the Novation Nova (40 bands), the one in my current Alesis Ion/Micron/Akain Miniak (40 bands also), and the Korg MS2000 (16 bands). And surprisingly, I prefer the Korg for the type of sound that you're talking about.

I never was lucky enough to be able to try the Roland or Bode/Moog, because I'm sure I would have preferred them... :mrgreen:
Moog Minimoog D (1975)
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kslight
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Re: HELP, looking for good vocoder

Post by kslight » Tue Jun 18, 2013 8:19 pm

Using the Phatty as your carrier signal might be the problem. Vocoders work best with carriers that are rich in harmonic content...especially chords, and using noise...can enhance intelligibility. So before changing the vocoder out, I'd look at trying a different carrier.

namahshaman
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Re: HELP, looking for good vocoder

Post by namahshaman » Wed Jun 19, 2013 10:02 am

Thanks, gentlemen.

I guess I didn't realize that about using a Phatty as the carrier. I'd tried other synths, Nord Lead, DSI Tetra, but didn't think they sounded as good as the Moog. Although I'd love to have polyphony while vocoding. Guess I need to do some more experimenting and research. I'm now the pleased owner of a Virus TI2. Do you think it would make a good carrier signal for vocoding (even though its digital)? It also has a built-in vocoder, but I've heard so many negative reviews about it that I haven't even bothered trying it (silly, I know). Reckon I just got the idea in my head that I needed a good analog vocoder to get those Mogwai-esque tones.

Any advice on dialing in that sort of sound? Waveforms, filter settings, etc?

thanks again

megavoice
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Re: HELP, looking for good vocoder

Post by megavoice » Wed Jun 19, 2013 12:38 pm

And what about EMS ???
"Losers always whine about their best. Winners go home and fu** the prom queen." —Sean Connery to Nicholas Cage in "The Rock" (1996)
I've never seen any real prom queen here in my country, but if we had some they'd
**** with everyone.

namahshaman
Posts: 398
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Re: HELP, looking for good vocoder

Post by namahshaman » Wed Jun 19, 2013 12:46 pm

^hahaha

Would love to try one, but they are rare to come by and when you do, they're quite pricey...

kslight
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Re: HELP, looking for good vocoder

Post by kslight » Wed Jun 19, 2013 7:29 pm

I don't have first hand experience with Virus vocoder, but I wouldn't discount it just because of internet heresay. I don't really care for the Virus myself, but it should probably be fine. If you are looking for a "vintage"-er sound many vocoders offer you to limit the number of frequency bands, which allows you to go from say...Styx to Daft Punk in terms of fidelity.

You want a carrier rich in harmonics. I would start with a saw or square wave, multiple detuned oscillators if possible, and maybe play a chord...with the filter more open than not (closing it will reduce intelligibility).

namahshaman
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Re: HELP, looking for good vocoder

Post by namahshaman » Thu Jun 20, 2013 11:05 am

Thanks, Kslight.

That's some solid advice. I'm on the road now without my vocoder pedal, but I do have my Virus (and Voyage, ha) so I'll try to build some harmonic-rich patches to test out when I get home.

Analogue
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Re: HELP, looking for good vocoder

Post by Analogue » Fri Jul 26, 2013 6:12 pm

Don't want to get into cross posting (already posted on two other Vocoder threads on this forum), but check out Ray Wilson's Music from Outer Space Vocoder project on Facebook. Once the boards are released, there are people out there that will put them together for you if building one is a bit too much for anyone here with Vocoderlust.

EMwhite
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Re: HELP, looking for good vocoder

Post by EMwhite » Fri Jul 26, 2013 7:25 pm

If you have some spare money and [alot of] spare time, you can build this: http://www.l-1.su/Vocoder.html

I used to own a Korg Radias-R and really liked it's Vocoder. Granted, it wasn't an analog device but worked very well. Of course now that I've sold it, I can think of all sorts of things to say into it; at the time, I was just saying "Intergalactic, Planetary, etc." : )

See here http://forum.moogmusic.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1709
'76 Minimoog, Taurus 3, Oberheim FVS + Son of 2-voice; Sequential ProOne; Juno 106; Moog Model 15; Kurzweil 250; Hammond M3; and a handful of Fender Basses Flickr!

ColorForm2113
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Re: HELP, looking for good vocoder

Post by ColorForm2113 » Sun Jul 28, 2013 4:13 pm

Club of the knobs makes an analog vocoder system. I think it's about $1300 us. Fully analog and modular (so you would have to get a small case and power supply so that will put you closer to $2000ish)
My modular so far: Q104, Q106 x2, Q107, Q108, Q109 x2 , Q116, Q118, Q127 w/Q140, Q130, STG Wave Folder, Mixer and Mankato playing with Moog Voyager, VX-351, CP-251, MF-104M x2 ( STEREO!) Volca Beats and Bass, Arturia Beat step

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robotmakers
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Re: HELP, looking for good vocoder

Post by robotmakers » Tue Jul 30, 2013 5:12 pm

My recent experience with vocoders has been in the digital realm (my old EH Vocoder being but a dim memory), but the one thing that appears to make the biggest difference in "intelligibility" or "quality" of result for me has been the degree to which the modulator signal is compressed. For example, with vocals as modulator, crushing the signal with intense compression will give a tremendous increase in "intelligibility", if that's what you're going for.

Cheers,
Roger

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