AMM: Reason Exercise #5:

Using The vocoder

How Does A Vocoder Work?

(From the Reason 3.0 Manual)

A "vocoder" accepts two different input signals, a "carrier" and a "modulator." It analyses the modulator signal, applies its frequency characteristics to the carrier dignal and outputs the resulting "modulated" carrier signal.

In the most typical case, the carrier signal is a string or pad sound and the modulator signal is speech or vocals - the result will be a talking or singing synth sound. The modulator could also be drums or percussion (for rhythmically modulated sounds and effects) or any sound with changing frequency content.

In the 70's and 80's some performers, notably Stevie Wonder and guitarist Peter Frampton, used vocoders ("voice boxes") to modulate "talk/ sing" solos on their instruments. (sythesizer with Stevie Wonder, guitar with Peter Frampton.)

Here is an example of a "talking" guitar solo performed by Peter Frampton. His voice shapes the sounds of the guitar, in the same way our mouths shape the sounds from our vocal cords as we speak, and/ or sing.

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Audio Demo of Vocoder as used by guitarist Peter Frampton

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Audio Demo of Vocoder as used by Stevie Wonder.

Mostly used by an answering background vocal starting with;

"Baby, Baby...."

 

Video of Guitarist Peter Frampton using a Vocoder. (Voice Box)

Video of Stevie Wonder demoing a Voice Box 

NB: Unfortunately you will not be able to watch these "youtube" videos from school, but make sure to check them out at home. The "talking box" guitar solo is in the introduction to the song.

Note that Frampton has a second microphone which is feeding his voice into the vocoder to allow his "guitar" to "talk."

Stevie Wonder is using his keyboard sound as the carrier.

Reason Exercise #5:

1. "Modulate" a synthesizer output (the carrier) with a drum rhythm (the modulator).

2. "Modulate" the synthesizer output with a recorded voice.

 

 

  • Carefully follow the instructions found at:

 

Reason Exercise #5: Instructions

(use this link if "YouTube" link fails)