Our free VST 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 TAL Vocoder free VST 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's 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.
Audio Ear Training for Music Producers and Sound Engineers