Free Ableton Vocoder tool to nail that sound
If you have had a play with Ableton’s Vocoder (or any vocoder plugin for that matter), you may find that your results are coming out pretty crappy. That gritty robotic sound you want just isn’t there & instead, it just sounds weak.
The issue most likely is not your Vocoder (and it’s definitely not Ableton’s Vocoder), but instead it’s got to do with your carrier signal and Vocoder processing. There is certainly not a wrong way to create a carrier signal, if you know what you are looking for, but like anything, there are a few tips to get you going.
A lot of people like to use a rich Saw wave as their carrier signal, but I prefer to use Square waves. This is fairly easy to do in Ableton’s Operator synth.
I use 3 Square wave oscillators and 1 since wave, each running into the next (FM synthesis), Oscillators A & B, I crank full up. Oscillators C & D, I set to taste. I turn on Operator’s Filter and set it to Notch 24db & set the frequency to around 1khz.
I follow that with Ableton Saturator & cranks it up between 15-20db.
Next I bring in an EQ8 and pull down around 1khz to soften the mids even more
You can then drag a limiter at the end if you want to keep things under control.
I start the vocoder chain with a strong Compressor (10:1 ratio, attack 10ms, release 450ms)
Then I have the vocoder itself, which I leave pretty much as is except attack at 9ms & release at 135ms(I set macros for full control). I set the carrier tab to external & then choose my carrier track, post fx.
Next I create an EQ8 group (drag in an EQ8, highlight and hit command/G or control/G to group). Once the group is created, I set a high pass at 100hz on 1 EQ8 and a low pass at 100hz on the other. I also add a utility on the low EQ for low bass control.
Then I end the effect chain with a limiter.
Check out the video to see it in action:
To download the Free Vocoder Tool, jump over to my facebook page & grab it there:
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The Mental Game of Music Production
The Process for Electronic Music Producers
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Happy music making!