Our free plug-in this month is a vintage vocoder emulation – designed to recreate the sound of hardware from the early 1980s. It includes a combination of analogue modelled components with digital algorithms that do some helpful things, such as making consonants more intelligible.
Vocoders are a combination of two components – a `carrier` synth that forms the basis of the sound, and the vocoder itself which shapes the sound of the carrier – normally into the form of a voice.
The plug-in contains an internal carrier synth with a range of controls; pulse, saw, sub oscillator, noise, mono, poly, portamento, sync mode and tune. It is also possible to use an external synth as the carrier – if you want to do this, it`s worth reading the manual in order to make sure you route everything correctly. This is a nice feature that means that the range of vocoded sounds you can create with this plug-in is almost limitless; you can literally plug any of your synths into it to use as the basis for your vocoded sound.
The vocoder itself has 11 bands and a couple of other useful controls. Firstly, there is an `Ess Volume` control which detects and boosts your esses. This is especially useful for carrier signals that don`t contain many high frequencies. Also included is a `Harmonic` control, which can be used to add extra harmonics to either the internal or external carrier signal.
TAL-Vocoder is available as a VST, AU or AAX plug-in. Both Mac and PC are supported and 32 and 64 bit versions are available. You can download the plug-in for free from the TAL website.