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How comfortable would you be in a band with a vocoder player?


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I remember when Herbie Handcock went through his vocoder phase. Even with his talent it was not a good period in his musical career. Vocoder is best used sparingly. It is not a replacement for a singer, as much as we would LIKE to replace singers. :)



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I think it all depends on how you use it. FOr backing its fine, but to replace a singer with it is kinda cheesey.


One thing I do with my VC2 card in the VSynth is to use it for Hermeto Pascoal/Tania Maria brazilian style scatting.. its awesome for that... MIDI up a piano sound and start soloing and scatting into the mic at the same time... I got the idea after watching a video of Joe Zawinul from 1985.

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Given some of the vocoder technology out there, it would be a great way to add some harmonies to a lead vocal (if you have only one singer), or for a single backup singer to cover 2+ parts ... in tune, too.


When I go to NAMM, I always catch Marc Cooper demonstrating TC Electronics' voice boxes and harmonizers, and always thought it would be cool to use one of those in a live setting.


Vocoders don't have to be used just for cheezy "Mr. Roboto" or Cylon effects in an originals setting, either. I agree with orangefunk ... it depends on what you're doing with it ...



Nord USA


What objectivity and the study of philosophy requires is not an 'open mind,' but an active mind - a mind able and eagerly willing to examine ideas, but to examine them criticially.


-- Ayn Rand, Philosophy: Who Needs It

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Speaking of "Maniac", a band i worked for over twenty years ago had a keyboardist who used a Roland vocoder for that song. Gigs had been a bit boring so I decided to make a board tape plus. Try it some time.


Take the vocoder mic, plug into a splitter with one output going to the vocoder and the other down the snake. Record a mono PA feed to the left channel and the unprocessed vocoder mic to the right. Record and listen in front of as many as you can. You'll bust a gut!!!! :freak::freak::eek::eek::rolleyes::rolleyes::freak::freak:

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Heheh... true enough.


I think it speaks volumes for the quality of this forum that nobody has gone off on this clown yet... try what he did over at that other forum and the electronica kiddies would be vilifying him up one side and down the other... :rolleyes:


Kudos for the KC community! :thu:




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You know.....I have been playing around with the Roland G-70s harmonizer....it's going to take some serious practicing to get it to sound like I want it. For some reason, I keep getting it switching to an ogre sound. Since I am already a Bass, it makes the singing sound pretty bad.
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It was getting to be a bit much, but it was almost endearing to see someone so enthused with a piece of equipment....although his 'stalker-like' obsession with the vocoder does make me a bit .... um .... queasy!


Shades of Joe's Garage!!!!


Sy Borg.....gimme dat gimme dat Sy Borg.....gimme dat chromium.....leg!



Hitting "Play" does NOT constitute live performance. -Me.
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Last November, I got hired to play keys for a Rhythm & Blues Ball. One of the acts was a vocoder guy playing a micro something or other.


He did like four tunes by some mutts named "Zapp & Roger" who apparently are vocoder specialists. I thought this was about the worst thing that I'd ever heard - especially a cover of Marvine Gaye's "Grapevine". It sends chills down my spine just thinking about it again.


Anyway, I thought "well you're an old fart - this will grow on you and you might actually get to like it if you give it half a chance." I wasn't crazy about rap or hip hop but I did a few sessions and I like some of it now. It grew on me.


Not this frickin' vocoder music though! Every time I heard it, it drove me crazy. It has to be as loud as the lead vocal to be effective but there's something about the frequencies used in the popular vocoder music that sends me up a wall.


I wouldn't bail on any gig that I committed to but I was sorely tempted on this one. Afterwards, I told the guy not to call me anymore if the vocoder was involved.


Blue JC

Everybody's got to believe in something. I believe I'll have another beer. W. C. Fields
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Originally posted by bluejc:

He did like four tunes by some mutts named "Zapp & Roger" who apparently are vocoder specialists.

Roger Troutmann used a talkbox, not a vocoder. And he played some pretty damn fine funky music in his day.


I have no idea how badly your vocoder dude mangled it tho'.



"I keep wanting to like it's sound, but every demo seems to demonstrate that it has the earth-shaking punch and peerless sonics of the Roland Gaia. " - Tusker


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