[AH] Re: vocoder thoughts ...

From ah@solventcity.com
Sent Wed, Mar 26th 2008, 18:23

> Ninety percent of the quality of a vocoded sound is the  
> preprocessing of
> the modulator signal (e.g. the voice). And only 10 percent of the
> quality is the vocoder.

i do not agree with this at all... i often receive compliments on my  
vocoder work, and while i do credit myself for knowing how to perform  
in order to get a good sound, in my experience the results will vary  
dramatically with different vocoders.... IMO some vocoders just sound  
good while others don't.... of course there are some untalented  
people who can make good vocoders sound bad, and some talented people  
who can make bad vocoders sound good....... but IMO there are  
definitely some vocoders that do not take a lot of work to get a good  
sound out of

> With a good speaker (means: human beeing able to pronounce words as
> required ;-)), a medium microphone, a medium compressor, a upper
> middleclass noisegate (sidechain access and separate hysteresis  
> settings
> are very welcome), a person, who knows how to handle compressors and
> noisegates, and a Alesis metavox you will knock off each $7000 EMS
> vocoder which is used without dedicated preprocessing.

i would like to hear an example of an Alesis Metavox sounding good !

anyway, that is a lot of work to get a good sound...... it reminds me  
of the 1st vocoder that i used, a Korg VC-10, which took a lot of  
work to get a good intelligible vocoder sound out of....... meanwhile  
now i just plug an SM58 into either of my 2 vocoders of choice (a  
Roland SVC-350 / Roland VC-2) & can have a good vocoder sound with  
very little effort

>> I've been planning on purchasing the Doepfer vocoder system for   
>> awhile
>> (just the vocoder modules, none of the other stuff - I've got   
>> plenty of
>> EGs, VCOs, VCAs, etc) but now am wondering if I'd be better  off with
>> just a super high-quality rack vocoder?  I already have the  Electro
>> Harmonix vocoder which, while great, is pretty much a one  trick  
>> pony.
>> Will the doepfer give me the versatility that i need, or should I
>> really be going for something "classic" like the svc 350, a synton or
>> an EMS?

i have never tried the Doepfer vocoder system, but IMO versatility is  
not important if the sound is not right.... and i have yet to hear of  
anyone who loves the sound of the Doepfer vocoder system

the SVC350 is not very versatile, but IMO it is pretty difficult to  
get a bad sound out of it... instant classic vocoder

if you want to have a good, classic sounding vocoder that is also  
very versatile, i highly recommend the Roland VC-2 / V-Synth-XT.....  
i am also an analog snob and this is the only virtual-analog anything  
that has ever sounded amazing to my ears

>> My vocoder experience is limited to the Warpfactory, the EH   
>> (clearly),
>> the MAM VF-11,

the Warpfactory and VF-11 are both absolutely terrible sounding  
vocoders IMO... never heard the EH

>> and pretty much all the software vocoders  (incl.
>> building a few of my own in max) - but I definitely use them   
>> enough to
>> want to have a permanent nice one in the studio.  The  doepfer has
>> seemed like the best option as the modules can be  bastardized for  
>> other
>> purposes when needed ... but maybe a 1u synton  would save me  
>> space in
>> the modular & be just as useful for vocoding?

i would suggest a V-Synth-XT or a VariOs + VC-2 card

PS my vocoder examples:
"In Light" - Roland VC-2
"My Radio" - Korg VC-10 (heavily EQ'd / processed)
"Think Like Us" - Roland SVC-350