Earlier on I said that the old analogue vocoder used a live source, for example,
someone talking into a microphone.
Vokator can also do that but Vokator have many more possibilities than just a microphone
feed and a synthesiser sound. So far we have used the Vokator sound File player to
play a pre recorded sound file (the voice in Classical Vocoder) and a Oscillator
synth. In a way we could say that the sound File is the live source.
Look at the video below, it shows you the top left part of Vocator.
Vokator has two inputs, two sources. They are called A and B (great names....)
In the video you can se that by clicking on the small triangles we can change the
inputs, for example Input A has two input sources to chose from, Live and File Player.
In Classical Vocoder File Player is chosen and it is File Player who plays the spoken
Input B has three different sources to chose from, Live, Wave synth which is the
source chosen in Classical Vocoder and a Wave player, a granular sample player.
Lets use one of your own sounds in File player.
But before we start, File player is monophonic, every new note triggers the sound
file from start. To use polyphonic sample play we have to use the wave player (more
on this later on).
When you try your own sound file I strongly recommend a sound that dynamic changes,
a drum loop a guitar riff, a harp glissando to name a few. A voice sample iwith a
spoken sentence s perfect.
I used one of the Sound files on a CD ROM called G-soul. The file is called 090GTRA1
(sorry guys cant put this on the Internet).
This is how you load one of your own files into File Player
Click on EDIT (you have now enable the edit functions).
Click on IN A (you have now chosen Input A).
Click on TAPE you can then see that the File Player panel opens (why they call it
Tape AND File Player ? Well, I don't know....)
To load a new sound clock on the load button.
Find your sound file and click OK
Your new sound is then loaded and ready for use.
Before we dive in to the serious (?) aspects of Vokator programming
lets look at Vokator's tribute to the analogue vocoder's. I knew there are many of
"I love analogue equipment and sound" people out there.
Those old analogue vocoder's didn't have that many frequency bands so the sound was
not very detailed vocoder sounds.
In Vokator you can simulate this "analogue type, very few filters Vocoder thing"
:-) by grouping filter bands. Actually that's already done in Classic Vocoder!
Look at the video above.
First the cursor shows you that the grouping (GROUP) function is on (yellow button).
Then the cursor goes to the EDIT button witch is on in the video (light color). When
edit is on, we can make edits :-)
It then shows you how to open the out (put) panel and then how to open the GROUP(ing)
Last the cursor goes to the filter group number, here we change from 32 to 8 filters.
Listen to the video, 16 filters.
If you haven't tried to play cords its time to start now :-)
In this example its only 16 filters. Sounds pretty god doesn't it? Kind offa soft
Even if I have just 16 filter bands I can hear all the words and the synthesiser
timbre is smooth.
16, -8 filter.
Here is a favourite of mine, "telephone-vocoder", it sounds like something on a Kraftwerk
record (haven't you heard about Kraftwerk? Shame on you!
If you double click on the lower rectangle the filter is muted. It can definitely
create interesting effects. In a way this is like using a parametric eq with a sharp
(high) q factor.
16, -11 filter.
Why not try something completely different? :-) Here its only five filter band, the
rest is muted.
Using the group function can often "soften" the vocoder effect a bit, an effect some
like some don't .
You should definitely try different filter settings in combination with a small fft
Listen to the video. Its the same programming as in the video 16, -11 filter, but
with a fft window size of 128.
Edit the start and end of the sound file.
Right click to edit the end left click to edit the start, look at the video.
How to loop......do you really have to ask that?
Vocator has a number "if you cant make it better mess it up" things....:-) One of
those the Spectral Modulation. I won't go into any details of how the different Spectral
Modulations work or what they do. There is a short description at the end of the
manual that explain it all...........
At this stage (maybe I change my opinion later...) I find most of them not very usfull,
but I encourage you to try it out, maybe YOU find something interesting..
I use Vocator as a vocoder and I love those typical vocoder sounds. I definitely
think that Vokator (as most other sound manipulating possesses) is at its best when
I can recognize the sound source, that's probably why I don't like most of the Spectral
Modulation presets; hardly any....
In the video to the right you can se how to use one of these Spectral modifications.
Try the other ones for your self, try different sound souses not just one or two.
Classic Vocoder uses the synthesiser Input B for the timbral part in Classical Vocoder.
Lets take a closer look (not that close....) at the synthesiser.
First we must open the Edit panel for Input B, look at the video to se how its done.
Click on IN B.
Click on SYNTH
Click on EDIT (there is more than one EDIT button look at the video to find the correct
The Edit panel for the Oscil synth opens. There you find a basic 2 oscillator synth.
I won't go into details how it works. If you are new to this, there are two videos
bellow that runs trough the most basic stuff.
If you still have trouble with this you can look at the Reaktor page (go to Home)
about Subtractive synthesis in Reaktor (will (hopefully be uploaded in mid March
There is a lot of interesting thing to do with the synthesizer in combinations with
a recorded or live input sound.
If you have worked with an analogue type synthesizer before you will have few troubles
finding your way around.
For the rest of you, you simply have to learn the basics of an analogue synth.
There are two Oscillators .
They both have a slider that goes from a sine waveform to noise at the other end.
There are a couple of weird behaviors here which you may or may not recognize. I
wont go into these, that would demand a lengthy fft course that's already been written
(will hopefully be translated and uploaded late April 2009).
Spend some time with the the parameters introduced in the video, maybe the noise
oscillator is the most interesting thing (?)
More oscillator programming possibilities.
Look at the video, try out the new parameters introduced here.
FM (frequency modulation) can give the sound a nice metallic ring to it.
An effect that I love is the cross synthesis.
Its the same thing as the Vocoder effect when it comes to how its done, the only
exception is that here we use two recorded (one live/recorded and one recorded) sound.
Its possible to say that the Vocoder is a cross synthesis effect to but few call
it that .A Vocoder is a vocoder.....
The Vokator program doses cross synthesis in an beautiful way, better (or more easier)than
any other program i know if, real tim sound possessing IS great :-)
You can download a small harp except her if you like to repeat my sound examples.
Lets change Classic Vocoder's OSC(illator) Synth to the sample player one the WAVE
Look at the video
Click on IN B.
Click on synth
Click on edit
On top, Click on the small triangle to the right of Input B and mark WAWE synth.
As you se the panel changes and we have a sample player!
Load a sound.
There`s probably is a sound in Wave synth already but lets change for one that better
suits me (us?)
Look at the video to se how you replace/load a sound.
At the end of the video the cursor cycles two WERY important controllers. Pitch and
Wave synth is no ordinary sampler, its a granular sample player. That means we have
independent control of Pitch and soundfile length.
Transposing a sound normally means that the sound gets longer (transposing downwards)
or shorter (transposing upwards). In Wave synth this doesn't happened, the sound
file stays the same length :-). The sound quality changes when you transpose but
that also happens in an "ordinary" sampler.
Pitch and Speed.
Speed is the "new" thing hear. When you load a new sound into Wave synth the speed
control can be set to a very low level. Put the cursor one the Speed knob and read
what the info window says, se graphics to the right.
In the example its set to 0.063 (Sample Playback Speed). Normal playback speed is
1.00 so here we have a very slow playback. If you get a programming like this when
you load a sound, you have to adjust it to a more reasonable value (like 1.00).
In the example to the right GROUP is chosen, I think you should switch this of. Lets
go for a much higher resolution (in this example I use a window size of 512 which
gives me 255 filter frequencies).
Its a god idea to play just one note at a time when working with cross synthesis
(at least in the beginning of your work with Vokator) Playing many notes) can make
the sound very complex.
Cross synthesis generally produce"dull" sound (why is easily explained if you know
more about fft :-)
(tutorial in april 2009 ...hopfully).
A nice trick in Vokator to make a cross synthesis sound brighter is to use the Dynamics
MORE function. It increases the levels up to a level where all filter bands volume
is maximised. A sort of giant multi band limiter.
Moderately applied it gives you a sound with more treble. Use it moderately and apply
it on both inputs.
Another way of brightening up the sound is to use the Eq in Output. I'm a little
bit unsure her, I don't think this is an "ordinary" type eq. I think it change volume
in the different filter bands. I haven't used this function much, I prefer to use
the dynamics described above.
Look at the video, her you se that I increase the volume at higher frequency's and
decrees the low, bass, frequency's. If you want to ad a new breakpoint right click
on the line.