It's basically the keyboard version of the 350. It comes with some cool retro string and choir sounds which can be blended with the vocoder section. It's very easy to use, and has a wonderful tone -- JB
I like the EMS 2000 a lot, it's the best vocoder I have played around with easy to use & sounds great.. Also there is an old Electro harmonix unit that can sound OK & is quite a bit cheaper.
An altermative would be a modular Vocoder from the likes of Doepfer.
What's your budget? Is it $1k, $2k, $5k or unlimited? According to the subject it's unlimited. The best vocoder ever built it definitely the EMS Vocoder 5000.
If you can't find one (only a few were built), or if you can't afford it (I guess $20k wouldn't be enough), you'll find the Sennheiser VSM-201, the EMS Vocoder 3000 and the Synton Syntovox 221 in the next division. From what I've heard of them they are all excellent vocoders. In fact all Synton and EMS vocoders are great. And then there's the Moog too of course...
If we're talking about more reasonably priced vocoders both the SVC-350 and the EMS Vocoder 2000 are great ones as well. I would go for the EMS if I had to choose, even if I have the SVC-350 at the moment. But remember...this is Gearslutz.com. Here you don't have a choice. It's simple. You have to get both.
I don't know about the best best, but the Waldorf Micro-q can be had for cheap on ebay. It has a 25 band vocoder section that works very well plus filtering effects for other types of input. Good stuff!
i like Rolands a lot, tho i'd say VP-330 and SVC350 aint exactly the same. the latter is more flexible, with indiv band level control, and a bit cleaner and inteligible sound imo. otoh you get killer ensemble strings and analog choir on-board 330 ..
both represent that warm, mushy, "aquarel" type of vocoding.
for cutting, cleaner sound, kreaftwerksque type for sml cash - check the MAM Vocoder. real analog , used nowadays arround 150.
none of them is as flexible as modular vocoder types (more $$), where you have insert points between modulator env followers and carrier bpf envs per band. if you mix the patching a bit, or introduce some extra cv modulation, it gets very interesting.. dark side of the force..
By the way I did a quick demo of the SVC-350 some time ago for some friends. Sorry about some distortion. It's easy to raise the level of a band too much on any vocoder...
I start fading in the vocoder. After that I play around with the levels. At 1:07 I turn off the ensemble function and turn it on again a few times. At 1:21 I start using the hold function and then fade in the original again.
More Wacky Vocoder Questions for you thoughtful people
I wonder if people have opinions on the Alesis Ion, and its vocoder? I have a stand alone (the Electrix Warp Factory), but i'm attracted to the Ion because i like the synth (based on playing it in a music store), and i'd love to have something i could just plug a mic into and use that as my vocoder machine for my funk band... without having to deal with aux sends and patching, etc. I was thinking of getting a headset type mic, and plugging it right into the Ion, and using that as my vocoder (as well as using the synth for its leads, etc)
Does that sound sane enough? Any thoughts on the Ion and its vocoder? Maybe some people would suggest i try the Korg MS2000 instead? It's about the same price range. Thanks to all sluts who proffer advice and opinion. Best,
if you want something newer the nord modular vocoder spunds great plus you get a nice synth with it
I'm a huge fan of the Nord Modular (the original and the newer G2 version) but I have to say the Vocoder module is not it's strong point. It just does not sound as good as some of the other vocoders that are currently available. But of course, if you're into patching synths, you can easily make your own D-I-Y vocoder patch in the Nord using banks of filters, VCAs, and Envelope Followers. It's more work, but you can set it up exactly the way you want it.
For another option, I think the vocoder section on the Novation Supernova synth sounds very good. I believe it's a 48 band vocoder. You may be able to pick one up for a good price on the used market.
I have the SVC350 - it is good if you want fuzzy 1970s synth choir type sounds
I got quite excited recently using it as an effect with one spiky synth part modulating another smooth one, but it ended up probably an experiment too far
If you want intelligible vocoding, more diverse tones & a range of other cross synthesis options then something digital could be a better option eg at the high end, the Capybara which is awesome on anything vocal, or the Orville which has vocoding too. Yes they also cost an arm and a leg new but I got both of mine second hand for a similar price to a vintage keyboard and you get a ton of other stuff you could never get to the end of. If you do want the vocoding 3 times like another poster said you would still be using these boxes on every project.
I am analogue all the way on most things (we're talking walls of modular) but vocoding & similar is one exception where I would generally think DSP is better.
Of course it depends what you want it to sound like. If the answer is "Oh Superman" then you do want the VP330 mentioned above.
it's a recent 11 band analog vocoder, based on the vintage roland VC 350, really similar sound...same limitations too, but quite cheap...better than a vintage Korg VC10 but of course not as good as an EMS...
en Waves also has a Vocoder - forgot the name but it sounds totally cool
I do not believe you need an expensive / vintage device to create great Vocoding effetcs - However, your Source and Sidechain sounds have got to be decent ...
I have had great results with plugins .. Also Logic has a Vocoder built in Evoc 20 and then there's Kantos ...
I would only buy a vocoder if it would be with a keyboard, so I could use it live - or if I would really use it a lot for a dancerecord or something -
Then, I think I'd go for the Korg MicroKorg -- it's also very hiphop ! that cute little casio look alike
I have used the vocoders within several of my hardware units as welll as software plugs
1) Access Virus Ti
2) Waldorf Micro-Q
3) Korg MicroKorg Kb
4) Roland VP 550
5) NI Razor
Of all units, the most ethereal and intelligible is the NI Razor..and its a plug! You may say, NO WAY but yeah..WAY! It has simply beautiful sounding vocoder patches due to the immense range of filtering and carrier (synth) signals allowed in it.
My second favorite is the VP 550...it creates male and female string-esque harmonies that remind me of the tape loops used by 10CC in I am not in love...this wonderful, 'whisper-whoosh-hushing quality that meld beautifully with the modulator (your voice) in ways other vocoders don't. It is great because it comes out so musical in the context of a mix. It is unique in that it remains synthetic yet sounds so expressively natural/human...so in that..the VP is the MOST usable for backing vocoder influenced natural harmonies while the RAZOR just sounds otherworldy in ways other hardware vocoders of yesteryear simply cannot duplicate due to their limited carrier tone possibilites...yes, they were unique in THEIR sounds but as far as Value for Money and cost to performance ratio, the new units can mimic the older ones for 1/100th the cost of say an EMS or VP330 so my two cents, for what its worth, is to go with the VP or the Razor Plug.