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This tip is an expanded version of a tip originally written by Craig Anderton for EQ Magazine. You can read the original here.
The Pentagon I is a performance oriented synth that offers the warm, classic sound of vintage analog synthesizers. Although it has a lot of uses, in this tip we're going to discuss a less common use for Pentagon I - using it as a vocoder.
What is a vocoder?
From Wikipedia: "is a synthesis system 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."
What does that mean?
A vocoder is basically two parts:
A carrier which is the sound you want to run your signal through (Pentagon I in our case)
A modulator which is the signal you want to run through the vocoder
So the general idea is that we are going to use the filters and effects in the Pentagon I synth to manipulate an audio signal. If your really craving for even more, then check out this article.
Let's Get Started
To get started we need to insert Pentagon I into your project.
Right-click in an audio track FX bin and select Pentagon I from the Soft Synths category.
Create a MIDI track and then assign its output to the Pentagon I instrument
Assign the input of the track hosting the Pentagon I to the audio input that your mic is connected to
Turn on the input echo function, this will send the track’s audio input into the Pentagon I’s vocoder.
Select the bank containing the Pentagon I patch you want to use as the carrier, then right-click on the Pentagon’s front panel to select a patch from within the bank.
Click on the Pentagon I logo, and set Voice Modulator to “on.”
Hold down a chord to trigger the Pentagon I and then speak into your mic. You should now hear the vocoder effect.
More Tips by Craig Anderton:
Use a patch that’s rich in harmonics for the most realistic vocoder effect.
You can load or record audio into the track hosting the Pentagon I, and this can serve as the vocoder’s modulator. Input Echo does not need to be on in this case.
For a more “vocal” effect, click on the Pentagon I logo and set Formant Filter to “on.”