Exxon designed Autotune? Apparently so! The bit about Cher lying that she used a TalkBox to hide that fact that she used Autotune is baloney! I own a Digitech Talker and you can get it to sound exactly like what Cher did. Here’s a photo of my Talker: click here. Hey, for once Weird Al seems an appropriate cameo. If you want some meme for $2.99 grab the “I Am T-Pain” AutoTune iPhone: click here
Most of the time I like to leave my vocal mistakes as is. Anyone who follows my music knows that! When I do need some pitch correcting I grab Melodyne. By the way that Direct Note Access thing was released this week.
I use vocoders quite often. Mostly I vocode, mirror and pan hard a few last words of a verse to add tension. Although cliche the technique used subtly is one of those tricks that keeps the listeners ear interested. I prefer the sound of my Digitech Talker to any software vocoder (it’s really a pseudo talk box) but having one built-in to Ableton Live 8 is a treat. It’s all about workflow people…
“A vocoder, IPA: [?vo?ko?d?r] (a portmanteau of the words voice and encoder), is an analysis / synthesis system, mostly used for speech in which the input is passed through a multiband filter, each filter is passed through an envelope follower, the control signals from the envelope followers are communicated, and the decoder applies these (amplitude) control signals to corresponding filters in the (re)synthesizer.
It was originally developed as a speech coder for telecommunications applications in the 1930s, the idea being to code speech for transmission. Its primary use in this fashion is for secure radio communication, where voice has to be encrypted and then transmitted. The advantage of this method of “encryption” is that no ‘signal’ is sent, but rather envelopes of the bandpass filters. The receiving unit needs to be set up in the same channel configuration to resynthesize a version of the original signal spectrum. The vocoder as both hardware and software has also been used extensively as an electronic musical instrument.” – Wikipedia
There are many great hardware vocoders. One is the Roland SVC-350. Check it out over at Vintage Synth Explorer: click here
Do you have a favorite vocoder or vocoding technique?
Today I decided to hook up my Digitech Talker. I took it off the shelf and realized the power supply was missing. I have a huge box of cables and adapters that goes back to the days of Scuzzy connections! So in I went diving into the past searching through countless power bricks. Then I found the one you see pictured above. Hey it’s labeled “Digitech Guitar Talker”! Hallelujah! So thats the tip of the day: Label your power bricks.
Many electronics manufacturer use OEM power supplies which means they are not labeled with the manufacturer’s name or logo.
Original equipment manufacturer, or OEM, is an ambiguous and abstruse phrase that refers to containment-based re-branding, where a company uses a component of another company in its product, or sells the product of another company under its own brand. OEM refers to the company that originally manufactured the product. – Wikipedia.org
Never use the wrong power supply or risk your drum machine or synth getting fried. By the way the Talker sounds amazing.