How to set up a vocoder?
How to Set Up a Vocoder Step 1: Creating an Audio track for Modulator Signal (Vocals) Step 2: Creating a MIDI track for Carrier Signal (Synth) Step 3: Adding Vocoder to the track with Vocals
A vocoder is one of the more esoteric production tools that music producers have at their disposal. Initially designed to encrypt voices in telecommunications, vocoders are now a mainstay of electronic music genres, enabling producers to morph and shape sounds in fascinating ways. This guide will explain how to use a vocoder.
Before you can effectively use a vocoder, you need to understand what it is and how it works. At its most basic, a vocoder is an audio processor that can combine two audio signals in a way where one controls the other. It does this by analyzing the spectral content of one sound (the modulator) and applying this analysis to another sound (the carrier).
Setting up Your Vocoder
Using a vocoder for the first time might seem a bit intimidating, but once you understand the basic setup, it becomes a much easier process.
Step 1: Choose Your Modulator and Carrier Signals
Your modulator is the audio signal that your vocoder analyzes and then uses to transform the carrier signal. The carrier signal is the one that gets modified. In many cases, the modulator is a vocal track, and the carrier is a synthesized sound.
Step 2: Connect the Signals to the Vocoder
Routing your signals into your vocoder will vary depending on what DAW you’re using, if you’re using hardware or software vocoders. Generally, you’ll need to create two tracks - one for your modulator and one for your carrier – and both should be sent to your vocoder.
Manipulating Your Sound
Now the fun part begins! A vocoder gives you a tremendous amount of control over your sound. Here are a few tips to get you started.
Using the Formant Control
The formant control in a vocoder adjusts the spectral shape or harmony content of the modulator, which modifies the tonal sound of the carrier.
Using the Envelope Follower
The envelope follower in a vocoder smooths the amplitude of the modulating signal, meaning it controls how quickly the carrier signal responds to changes in the modulator signal.
In conclusion, understanding and using a vocoder can be a powerful tool in your audio production arsenal. The options are limitless once you learn to navigate through the process.
Now it’s time to plug in, experiment, and find the sounds you love!