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#3074084 12/12/20 05:49 PM
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I just finished writing the manual for it, and I have to say, it's quite something. Technically is what's you'd expect, but in addition to the usual talk-into-mic-while-playing chords thing, it includes a sample player with 12 slots for loading samples. You can trigger these instead of talking, which makes the vocoder more like a keyboard instrument. I've always liked vocoders, but going virtual takes it further.

The biggest problem for me is that if your DAW does allow instruments to accept audio inputs, the ONLY way to use it is with the sample player. Those DAWs include Studio One, FL Studio, Samplitude, and Acid Pro. There's probably a workaround where you can use it stand-alone and use things like virtual cables, but I haven't put the time into discovering it yet.

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I like Arturia, I must have all of their softsynths but didn't know about the vocoder. I haven't been to their site for a while I guess.
For live gigs I use DP and have no problem running vocal and guitar through it for live sound where I use Waves Tune Real-Time on my vocal channel and some of the guitar stuff on my guitar channel on live gigs. Perhaps what you're talking about is a bit different in that what I'm using on live inputs is not a virtual instrument?

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First of all, the Vocoder has only been out a few days, so the word is still getting out.

Second, the Vocoder is a strange animal for a DAW because it's an instrument in the sense that it receives MIDI, but it's an effect in the sense that it processes audio. So, you have to use it with a DAW that can insert it like a virtual instrument, but feed it audio. Of course, it's a different story if you use it stand-alone. Then you just hook it up to your computer's audio input and MIDI input.

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One other really cool thing is it has a voice-to-pitch converter so you can trigger the synthesizer with your voice. BUT you can also trigger it with other monophonic sources - it actually works great with guitar single-note lines.

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I've been playing around with guitar, this is really quite something! I wrote a short article, but if people are interested, I'll probably expand on it a bit and add some audio examples.

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How on earth does this work? I can't find anywhere to set the audio input to the VI instance, and of course it can't be used as an insert effect, but it does show up as an available sidechain for my MIDI Carrier track.

I thought maybe I'd have to trash my original Audio Modulator track and re-do the vocal triggers from scratch, but after quite a bit of time with the tutorials and the user manual, can't find a way to feed audio to the VI!

Maybe it's incompatible with Digital Performer, as that DAW isn't listed as a supported DAW or an unsupported DAW in the user manual, and the Help Button does nothing inside the Voice Input section of the GUI.

Using the pre-recorded samples in the VI presets, I can already tell that this is the most intelligible vocoder on the market, so I'd like to replace my XILS 5000 renditions (Eiosis ELS Vocoder is better but is mothballed).

FYI I was able to get it to work in standalone mode outside DP, setting the mic input from my audio interface and switching from Sample Player to Voice Input in a VI preset, then using its MIDI keyboard while singing.

I have this sinking feeling that this VI isn't going to work inside Digital Performer. Maybe I'll have to export a mix-down of my other tracks and use this in Logic instead, then re-export and re-import the final vocoding.

Last edited by Mark Schmieder; 01/02/21 04:29 AM.

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Not all DAWs allow instruments to receive audio inputs. If a DAW is not listed as supported, then it probably doesn't allow instruments to receive audio inputs.

Studio One is in the same situation. However, what I've found is that if you can sample the audio you want to vocode, you can insert Vocoder V like any instrument, and use its built-in sample play to play back the samples you recorded. Of course it's not the same thing as real-time operation, but it's an option.

The other possible workaround (I haven't tried it yet) is to run it stand-alone, and use a virtual cable program like the apps from AB-Audio. or possible an interface's loopback option, to route the stand-alone vocoder into the DAW.

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Thanks, that's a good idea (both of them). And yes, DP doesn't support audio inputs to VI's. I'm surprised that Arturia didn't include it on unsupported DAW's, but I guess that's the default if it isn't on their list of included DAW's. Logic Pro is listed as supported, as is Cubase, which I own but never use. I sold StudioOne earlier this year, but as you mention it is unsupported anyway.

I'll see if I can "load" my original Modulator audio vocal track as a sample. I think some of the external rewiring options for standalone VI's have changed on macOS and/or in terms of DP compatibility recently, so that might be overly time-consuming at this point, but might be a better option when I get around to doing fresh vocoder tracks vs. re-vocoding older tracks while comparing results against older vocoder VI's/plug-ins and fine-tuning to get the best results.

I'm quite impressed by the live results in standalone desktop runs of Vocoder V. This very much reinforces my notion that this vocoder blows everything else out of the water. Thanks so much for your help, and also your interesting article on guitar vocoding!

Last edited by Mark Schmieder; 01/02/21 04:44 AM.

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Setting my consolidated and zeroed audio vocal Modulator track as a trigger sample works as you suggested, as it is in sync with the MIDI Carrier track and thus the "right" part of the original audio track gets filtered through the VI at the right time, but it does switch between the sample banks 1 & 2 for some reason, and I think overall this is not going to be a time-saving or practical approach, and that it’s best to abandon Digital Performer for this vocoder.

I have exported some tracks from DP now to try this in Logic Pro. If that approach works, then it will be no different from what I have to do these days to keep on using Alchemy in projects.

I'll post my results shortly. Hopefully this will be of help to someone.

Last edited by Mark Schmieder; 01/02/21 06:45 AM.

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Using Logic Pro works fine. It's about the same amount of work overall as re-tracking a legacy Alchemy part using the better version that is embedded in Logic Pro.

I export the MIDI Carrier track from DP and then drag that into Logic Pro, reassigning its Instrument from the default Logic Piano to Arturia Vocoder V.

A consolidated and zeroed audio track that represents the original Modulator (in my case a vocal mic track, but it could be anything), is then dragged into Logic as a new audio track.

After selecting a Vocoder V patch and setting it to Voice Input vs. Sample Player, I go to the upper right corner of the VI instance and set the Side Chain to the audio Modulator track.

As Arturia Vocoder V has an internal Dry/Vocoder mix control, there are no further complications in producing the desired audio output track for the vocoded signal.


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Thanks for the additional input, Mark! Windows users could do a similar "dual DAW" approach with unsupported DAWs using Cakewalk, which is supported, and also free.

There's always a workaround, isn't there?:)

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Yep, the results are fantastic, and I think even more articulate and warm than Fabrice Gabriel's abandoned Eiosis ELS Vocoder (which might still work on Windows but never made it to 64 bits on macOS and the 32 Lives wrapper got broken by Apple in either Mojave or Catalina).

For legacy re-tracking, it will be a bit tricky to fine-tune for my own custom settings vs. stock presets (which I rarely use), but I only have a few tracks that need to be handled that way vs. fresh starts, and the presets are actually quite good and don't get tripped up the way most vocoder presets do.

My modulator tracks are quite articulate (I was quite careful!), but that's still not good enough for most vocoders. This new one from Arturia is a winner all-around. And it's got that Moog mojo going on too, of course!

Last edited by Mark Schmieder; 01/02/21 06:43 AM.

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Now that I've reviewed the three takes that I did with different presets, I'm a bit surprised to find that my spoken words (in this case I was solely using the MIDI Carrier for pitch) got changed, probably due to not being intelligible enough for the triggers in the Deep Blue Sea preset.

My lyrics sheet has "lunar cyclone's kicking up", which gets converted to a highly intelligible "lunar cyclone's changing flat".

The other presets that were best for this track, "1 2 3 4" and "I Feel You", did not have this side effect, but obviously have very different settings.

Word up for everyone to keep this in mind when using this vocoder! I don't think I've ever had this happen before, but it's kind of neat in a way, if it "improves" the intelligibility of the original modulator!

This also further exemplifies just how versatile this vocoder is and how broad a set of results can be achieved from it.

Last edited by Mark Schmieder; 01/02/21 07:09 AM.

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Also, don't be afraid to do multiple renditions with different settings and either layer them or alternate between them.

I'm not done producing my track now, and it's well past 2am so I'm stopping for the night, but I'm already noticing that there might be some benefit to layering more than one rendering from different settings and combining with or without panning, or in some cases doing a trade-off so that it sounds like there's more than one "actor" in the "story".

Believe it or not, I had tried this approach on more than one occasion with other vocoders (or combinations of vocoders) in the past, to ill effect. Either there was bad frequency stacking, or muddiness and lack of intelligibility. But when doing this with various takes from Arturia's Vocoder V, there is no frequency stacking or other weird bumps, and intelligibility improves (if that's what one wants); even if stacking with XILS 5000.

In spite of some limitations in workflow for those of us using Digital Performer, this new addition to Arturia V Collection 8 was well worth the $149 upgrade price (for those of us who already had OB-xa).


Eugenio Upright, 60th P-Bass, Geddy Lee J-Bass, Hofner HCT-500/7, Yamaha BBP35, Viking Bari
Select Strat, Select Tele, Am Pro JM, LP 57 Gold, G5422DC-12, T486, ES295, PM2, EXL1
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