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 Post subject: I just made a vocoder using only ableton components!
PostPosted: Mon Dec 24, 2007 4:20 am 

Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2004 2:22 pm
Posts: 12591
yep,
that's right !

Using only basic Ableton components I have made an actual working vocoder.

Of course it absolutely munches CPU, because of the amount of filters it uses. On my dualcore 2.6 it takes 40% CPU, which is frankly stupid.
But it was more of an experiment than an idea I could make a low CPU effect.

HERE'S a LivePack to download which shows you how it works.
Image Download the Live Pack (1.4 meg)

Or, just download the Vocoder rack (128k)

Here's an MP3 of the output, so you understand that this is a real, actual vocoder.


How to use the Rack:
The most usual situation for a vocoder is that a vocal modulates a synth sound, so to use this vocoder you need:
  • One track with a synth on,
  • a separate vocal track with some vocal sample on.

Set it up
  1. Put the Vocoder effect after the synth on your 'synth' track .
  2. In the Vocoder effect look at the section called 'INPUT' . Choose the vocal track in the compressor sidechain input.
  3. mute the vocal track.



This is a Depeche Mode vocal, it's not me, just incase you happen to think that I " only find myself in someone else". Because I don't .

Happy seasonal thing.

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Last edited by Angstrom on Sat Feb 02, 2008 2:49 am, edited 5 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 24, 2007 5:00 am 

Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2005 8:34 am
Posts: 7225
I wasn't very excited till I heard that mp3 example. sounds fantastic! I've no idea how you did that actually I would have assumed resonator but not eq3. very odd.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 24, 2007 5:21 am 

Joined: Thu May 26, 2005 10:31 pm
Posts: 745
Location: Atlanta, GA
so, 13 bands and eq 3?

that would be.... 4 eq3's total?

i'm trying to make it!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 24, 2007 5:30 am 

Joined: Wed Nov 02, 2005 5:31 pm
Posts: 1279
Location: leadville, CO
the sample sounds really good, given this is a hack. i don't get how you did this with only the items you ID's, from what i understand re vocoding -- not much beyond basics of how it works. look forward to seeing rack or hearing further explanation (i'm now trying to make one).


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 24, 2007 10:06 am 

Joined: Fri Dec 16, 2005 2:18 am
Posts: 480
Location: C@L
Thanks for the idea - I've got to try this.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 24, 2007 10:13 am 

Joined: Sat Dec 28, 2002 3:38 pm
Posts: 4935
Location: Second row from the expensive puddle, under ten others
That is quite possibly the best vocoder I have ever heard... all grungey and mean.

Wonder how the iBook would cope with it...

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 24, 2007 10:26 am 

Joined: Mon May 15, 2006 12:15 pm
Posts: 3473
waow.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 24, 2007 10:27 am 

Joined: Thu Sep 28, 2006 12:15 pm
Posts: 2025
Location: Portugal
I wouldnt say the best vocoder, but very interesting, quite metalic character.
Altough, if it munches 40% of your dual-core, i imagine what it would do to my single core pentium 4...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 24, 2007 12:44 pm 

Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2007 4:43 pm
Posts: 203
Location: London
Johnisfaster wrote:
I wasn't very excited till I heard that mp3 example. sounds fantastic! I've no idea how you did that actually I would have assumed resonator but not eq3. very odd.


ditto

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 24, 2007 2:06 pm 

Joined: Wed May 10, 2006 7:51 pm
Posts: 161
I'm impressed :D


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 24, 2007 2:29 pm 

Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2007 8:55 am
Posts: 2203
Sound good to me! Surely worlds better than NI Vocoder or the one on my Alesis Micron.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 24, 2007 2:41 pm 

Joined: Fri Jul 07, 2006 6:35 pm
Posts: 534
Location: DE
you should add some white noise as carrier for the hiss noises

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 24, 2007 3:37 pm 

Joined: Fri Jul 01, 2005 7:06 am
Posts: 872
A great idea! Damn!

So, let me get this correctly... You used multiple EQ3s to split the signal into individual frequency bands, and then slapped a compressor on all of those individual signals. Then you split another signal in the similar manner, and use each of those bands to feed the key inputs on the corresponding compressors, right? Edit: No! This would have a completely inverse effect :P ... I'm guessing that the Utility comes into play at that point. Yes.

But hmmm. Have you considered trying out a sidechained gate in the manner I described above, in the place of the compressor? I wonder how that would sound. Might even work, somewhat, without the need for phase inversion tricks? Although the bands wouldn't react nearly as smoothly...

A very nice Christmas hack, sounds great :lol:


Last edited by Nokatus on Mon Dec 24, 2007 3:54 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 24, 2007 3:44 pm 

Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2007 3:55 pm
Posts: 320
That sounds great for a software vocoder. I have no idea how you did it but I want it!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 24, 2007 6:21 pm 

Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2004 2:22 pm
Posts: 12591
Nokatus wrote:
A great idea! Damn!
So, let me get this correctly... You used multiple EQ3s to split the signal into individual frequency bands, and then slapped a compressor on all of those individual signals. Then you split another signal in the similar manner, and use each of those bands to feed the key inputs on the corresponding compressors, right? Edit: No! This would have a completely inverse effect :P ... I'm guessing that the Utility comes into play at that point. Yes.


you are very close, with your guess.
The sidechain input of compressor has a filter, which is used to asses the incoming vocal, so for example a band pass on the sideband at 1k will only make the compressor compress when a signal is present in the vocal at 1k.

Now, of course the synth is the carrier, so the compressor will turn down the synth when the vocal goes loud (at 1k), which as you say , is the wrong way round. So how do we invert it? Like you guessed, A duplicate rack-chain in parallel, with a Utility set on phase invert. This cancels out similar signals and lets disimilar signals through. When the compressed synth goes quiet it is because A - B = 0 , IE both channels are the same, but if A is quieter due to the sidechain modulation then A- B = 0.14231234 (or whatever) and we hear the difference.

so I can extract positive values from each frequency band by bandpass, sidebands and phase inversion.

Well, you may notice that I have linked the demo Project (ALP) in the first post, so you can play with it yourself. It can be improved, I just did this late last night. I would suggest playing with the compression response times a little (remember that 'copy to siblings' is your friend here :) )

It sounds a little different to the mp3, because I swapped the synth I was using for a Simpler and added a little pink noise to try and get some sibilants enunciated.

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