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Discussion: record vocoder

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Discussion: record vocoder

Postby Ben Asaro » Sun Apr 11, 2021 4:37 pm

So I’m tracking a few vocoder parts (BOSS VO-1) today and after some experimentation have found a mode, settings, and mic that work well but I’m finding that some opening transients are getting cut off.

I’m tracking the vocoder parts using a pre recorded synth part but I wonder: should the synth part be more like drones and use the vocoder’s gate to create the melody, or is this just a timing issue that I need to get down? Currently the synth part is the melody line and I’m ‘singing’ along with it (I am not a singer).
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Re: Discussion: record vocoder

Postby The Elf » Sun Apr 11, 2021 4:55 pm

Transients can be missed either because there's nothing to vocode at that point, or the modulator is not present at that point. Both have to be in place.
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Re: Discussion: record vocoder

Postby Ben Asaro » Sun Apr 11, 2021 5:00 pm

Thanks, Elf! I think I’ll need the click track for this one ...
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Re: Discussion: record vocoder

Postby ManFromGlass » Sun Apr 11, 2021 5:57 pm

I’ve never had the pleasure of working with a vocoder, but would it work if you held down a pad? Or do the notes have to follow your melody?
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Re: Discussion: record vocoder

Postby Ben Asaro » Sun Apr 11, 2021 6:16 pm

Oh, it's loads of fun!

Yes, you can hold sustained notes and it won't make any sound until you complete the circuit with signal going into the microphone.

Turns out it was a bit of Column A and Column B: metronome helped my timing and I learned that I started just fractionally ahead of the notes, so a simple MIDI edit got it all sorted.

Here's a little sample from the session, https://drive.google.com/file/d/1s2B1SM ... sp=sharing
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Re: Discussion: record vocoder

Postby ManFromGlass » Mon Apr 12, 2021 2:10 pm

Sounds cool :thumbup:
I first heard vocoder on Laurie Anderson’s O Superman. I must have listened to it hundreds of times. Last week I was researching the Boss vocoder pedal that does 4 kinds of vocoder, from “original” to more of a talk box vibe. The talk box vibe didn’t sound so authentic but it was a bit of fun too.
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Re: Discussion: record vocoder

Postby Ben Asaro » Mon Apr 12, 2021 2:28 pm

The VO-1 is great, I'm having tonnes of fun with it!
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Re: Discussion: record vocoder

Postby ManFromGlass » Mon Apr 12, 2021 5:50 pm

That’s the one. Are you leaning to using 1 mode over the others? Or have you been checking them all out?
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Re: Discussion: record vocoder

Postby Ben Asaro » Mon Apr 12, 2021 6:00 pm

All of the modes are great, in my opinion. The modern setting has better tracking and is almost auto tune-ish, which isn't what I'm looking for, so I've been using the vintage setting.

I found that using a dynamic mic, setting the VO-1 to high sensitivity, and aiming the mic at my chin provided a smoother response without plosives or excessive silence.

I had less success using an SM57 or e609 than the Audix D2, which worked really well.
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Re: Discussion: record vocoder

Postby The Elf » Mon Apr 12, 2021 6:31 pm

My tip for vocal(!) vocoding is to use a headset - keeping the mic a consistent distance from the mouth is important to getting clean, sharp results. And the quality of the mic matters not a jot.

(Though it's not something I do by choice!) :frown: :lol:
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Re: Discussion: record vocoder

Postby Ben Asaro » Mon Apr 12, 2021 11:59 pm

Good tip! Once I got the distance and angle sorted it wasn't very difficult to get a good results using the VO-1. I can't speak for other vocoders, though.
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