Techno vocal effects


I was just curious. Does anyone know why type of effects people tend to put on techno music? For example, Daft Punk uses an effect where there voice sound manufatured, as if the voice is being played through the keyboard or something. Any ideas on what this would be? Or any other ideas of how to put effects on vocals for techno music? I was thinking of making some remixes of some of my songs for fun, and was curious what kind of effects you would put on it.



There maybe some plug-ins that will handle it.

I downloaded the free vocoders from kvr-vst. 4ormulator seemed to be able to do alot, but had tons of unexplained buttons. Plus, I don’t think you can really do anything besides the presents w/o getting the registered version. (it seems that any setting changes to the 32 presets revert back to the preset when you are done messing with it. and all the presets suck). I also downloaded the mda ones (I had to download the entire mda package to do it, though. what a pain. my fx list is filled with useless stuff. I will have to go back and delete some now.) The only one that seemed to sound decent was mda Talkbox. And that had no settings. The settings on the others did very little. Anyways, so now I found a good sound, but can’t vary it at all (other than adding phasers and stuff). sigh

edit Ok. I figured out that I needed to use the “VocInput” fx to create the carrier signal, and then use the vocoder to combine it. But I the mod sound created by VocInput isn’t very good. Any other suggestions? Or I guess I could try to create my own track and imitate a carrier signal… ???

I don’t know much about the plug-ins. Probably most of what you hear is a hardware box. I’ve got one, but haven’t used it years and have never tried any of the plug-ins.

Based on what they all do there shouldn’t be much reason the plug-ins can’t do as well as the hardware devices, assuming they are coded relatively well. Well, that’s a thought anyway.

Setting up the one I have was easy, but getting it to sound the way I wanted it to sound was a trial and error ballgame – LOTS of little tweaks and little changes made some big differences and some big changes didn’t see to do much of anything.

I suggest grabbing the one that lets you change the most stuff and spending some time with it. Be very aware of the voice source – change the EQ of that to see how it changes the output from the vocoder.

Adjust the sibilances that can be hear from the voice – the are usually added into the synth or keys that supply the body of the sound you hear. There’s a very fine line where the dry voice goes away and the synth sound overpowers. You need it right in the middle.

Look for lots of frequency bands, if that info is given. Vocoders are nothing more than fancy multi-band EQs with each range voltage controlled from the input. The narrower the bands the better for the most part.

These things are cool, but they are hard to use sometimes, unless the presets are right-on.

Ok. I have a vocoder that will do what a vocoder does, but it needs a carrier signal. What I want to do is to somehow create a carrier signal from my voice. I do not want to go back and create a midi file of the song, because that will take a while and won’t exactly be accurate. I was thinking of getting one of those wav to midi utilites that everyone hates. What do you think?


I have used some that seem fairly accurate. Others (like “Amazing MIDI”, a free program I downloaded just now) really suck and add lots of artifacts.

I’ve never seen a wave to MIDI converter that worked well. The best I ever used was on an Amiga and it didn’t work very well at all.

Why are you looking to convert wave to MIDI? The carrier is wave and the track being carried is wave as well in every vocoder I’ve seen.

I need something to CREATE a carrier signal. What I have will do the combining, but I don’t have anything to create the carrier signal. And I’m wanting to combine with a synth file, not a guitar or something. And I don’t want to create the synth file by hand. Perhaps you know something I don’t? (likely)


Gotcha. MIDI to wave will do it, which is built into n-Tracks. Not Wave to MIDI. But, I assume you want to convert an existing vocal track to MIDI so it can be used as the carrier. I really don’t think any wave to MIDI converters would give you what you want. It would be much easier to do MIDI by hand (sorry). All you need is a single note melody, using a sound that has lots of harmonics - square and sawtooth work pretty good.

Yeah. I am just worried about singing it differently than the melody I write. You know? I mean, I could go in and try to write it note by note following a recording. But that is quite a pain. I was going to mix the sound of the vocoder with the dry signal, but perhaps not. Maybe I could just write another molody that is similar to what I sang, and just use the vocoder by itself…


One point of a vocoder is that it takes the inflections, some tonal characteristics, and sibilances of one track and applies it to the pitch and tone of the other track. Pitch of the controlling track is not that relevant except for the tonal characteristics. That includes volume if the vocoder is doing its job.

Start off with a single long sustained note and control it with your vocal track. That should give you a feel of how it will work. There’s no huge need for the synth track to follow the vocal track perfectly. These things (the hardware ones I’ve worked with) are so picky that simple is better.

Hey, I don’t know if this is any help, but there IS a way around this… not a great way, but it’s worked on a couple of things a friend and I did a little while back.
Rather than recording the vocals pure and then distorting them separately, get a guitar effects pedal, run the mic through that and the into computer- we used a bodgy ZOOM one we picked up for about $90 second-hand- and voila, instant vocal effects. It takes a bit of playing with but it’s kinda fun.

Hmm… That is true. It does have the traditional hardware problem in that it is unchangeable when done. It avoids the MIDI tracking issues, though. But what effects would it be adding? Chorus, phaser, flanger, distortion? I have those as plugins. I mean, what kind of effects are you talking about? BTW, I did finally get OB Tune. I found that if I set the attack really quick on it and the pitch control to really strict, it gives it that “synthy” feel, and then I add phaser and chorus to it. It works pretty well on main vocals, which I don’t want TOO effected. What I might do is take the BGVs and just create the vocoder track for them. It will give it that nice talkback feel.


the best thing I have ever found is some plugins
(z-cutter,filter,spshift,spvoc) all z-’>>>>’ something or other they are free but I haven;t been able to find them again to see what other new things they have done…

After a search, I found them. I’ll check them out. Thanks.

edit ok. I checked them out. They will work well with mda vocoder. They work under the same principle. A split stereo channel with the carrier signal on one side and the original signal on the other. thanks. end edit