Synth with Vocoder or just buy a mic??
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Old 03-07-2013, 10:29 PM   #1
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Synth with Vocoder or just buy a mic??

Hey guys!

So I'm super tempted to go ahead and get myself a MicroKorg or a Mininova (for instance) as I sure do love vocoding and want to get in on the action for my own productions.

However, these two options aren't going to be my main synthesis tool seen as they are 'mainly' performance synths and the attraction is the fun and quick sounds rather than in depth synthesis (although the minnova does have a good synth engine and software control interface). I also have the ableton vocoder and Robotronic by Sugarbytes.

Therefore, does it make a huge amount more sense to go and get a mic instead? My thinking is that using software vocoders I can alter the sound coming in from the mic - the same as if I was using the MicroKorg or MiniNova, except I will probably now find myself with a much better mic that I can use to record other stuff too?

Brain says Mic, heart saying get a MiniNova - but i just don;t know if I'll use it enough??

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Old 05-07-2013, 09:27 AM   #2
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Re: Synth with Vocoder or just buy a mic??

Personally I think ImageLine vocodex and Eiosis Els vocoder are more versatile than the ones you mentiond but that's a matter of personal taste.

If you already own a physical synth or MIDI-keyboard it would make more sense getting a decent mic. Then again if you only have a MIDI-keyboard the analogue sound of the MircoKorg or (the amazing) Mininova might appeal to you and give you a little extra edge over the VST-based sounds.

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Old 05-07-2013, 09:50 AM   #3
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Re: Synth with Vocoder or just buy a mic??

Yep, I think for the time being I'm pretty much set on sticking with Sylenth and Alchemy as my ‘go to’ synths, but I really like the idea of fiddling with the Mininova and having it there - even if it's not my main synth. It can also replace my midi keyboard as I'm already used to small keys (currently use a MicroKey midi keyboard after getting rid of a much bigger one).

The mic route remains the better option as far as I can see… but I find this quite annoying.

I’ve been doing a bit of digging but I don’t have much experience in this area really, but what would be a ‘better’ (other than the R3 or UltraNova) that might be a good vocoder synth?

EDIT: Quick question – If I got the mininova, would I be able to use the mic to route audio through into another vocoder VST like Vocodex or similar? Just wondering…

Last edited by stevemac; 05-07-2013 at 10:03 AM..
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Old 05-07-2013, 10:03 AM   #4
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Re: Synth with Vocoder or just buy a mic??

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Originally Posted by stevemac View Post
I’ve been doing a bit of digging but I don’t have much experience in this area really, but what would be a ‘better’ (other than the R3 or UltraNova) that might be a good vocoder synth?
Neither have I but here are some good threads with comparissons and alternatives, The Viper is recommended a couple of times as it comes with a 32-band vocoder and is of a higher quality build (without a mic though but the mic on the Mininova doesn't seem to be all that anyway..).

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Old 05-07-2013, 10:07 AM   #5
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Re: Synth with Vocoder or just buy a mic??

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Originally Posted by stevemac View Post
EDIT: Quick question – If I got the mininova, would I be able to use the mic to route audio through into another vocoder VST like Vocodex or similar? Just wondering…
Of course!

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Old 05-07-2013, 02:04 PM   #6
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Re: Synth with Vocoder or just buy a mic??

OK so I went to the music tech shop at lunchtime and after playing with the Mininova, had to get it
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Old 05-07-2013, 02:07 PM   #7
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Re: Synth with Vocoder or just buy a mic??

Fantastic! Impulse rapid buys are always the most rewarding and fun. Enjoy it, man

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Old 05-07-2013, 06:59 PM   #8
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Re: Synth with Vocoder or just buy a mic??

Honestly the microphone would be the most economical buy, since it seems you already have a keyboard controller (?)...and there are quite a few software vocoders out there that would work fine using a real mic. I have a friend with that MicroKorg and the little white mic is horrible.

Anyway, you already popped on something so water under bridge.
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Old 05-07-2013, 09:44 PM   #9
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Re: Synth with Vocoder or just buy a mic??

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Originally Posted by Numerical View Post
Honestly the microphone would be the most economical buy, since it seems you already have a keyboard controller (?)...and there are quite a few software vocoders out there that would work fine using a real mic. I have a friend with that MicroKorg and the little white mic is horrible.

Anyway, you already popped on something so water under bridge.

ni razor.
worth it just for the synth.
includes a good vocoder which daft punk has now ruined for everyone.
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Old 06-07-2013, 01:59 AM   #10
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Re: Synth with Vocoder or just buy a mic??

DO NOT get the Mininova, that thing sucks... I recommend getting the Microkorg - I own one. You can get a lot of great sounds out of the korg, and it is an analog emulator, basically. The mic for the korg is pretty horrible, and it's only a 1.5 jack - I'm not sure how you can connect a condenser mic to the korg for vocoding - if you find this out, please give me a link. Software vocoder's can be very useful and can sound legit - you can easily tweak the dry and wet signal to make them sound different. There are lots of vocoding plugins also that you can check out.

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Old 09-07-2013, 11:25 AM   #11
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Re: Synth with Vocoder or just buy a mic??

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Originally Posted by Aphexbeats View Post
DO NOT get the Mininova, that thing sucks... I recommend getting the Microkorg - I own one. You can get a lot of great sounds out of the korg, and it is an analog emulator, basically. The mic for the korg is pretty horrible, and it's only a 1.5 jack - I'm not sure how you can connect a condenser mic to the korg for vocoding - if you find this out, please give me a link. Software vocoder's can be very useful and can sound legit - you can easily tweak the dry and wet signal to make them sound different. There are lots of vocoding plugins also that you can check out.
Really? This seems to be the opposite of all other sources I can find (and talk to).

I've got one now and I'm really happy so far. I think the quality of vocoder, well reviewed synth engine and the fact that programming is easier were the main factors.

gOlem - I have Razor and used it a lot for a while, but definitely plan to use it - might try some vocoding on top of a vocoder This may sound terrible!
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Old 10-07-2013, 12:43 AM   #12
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Re: Synth with Vocoder or just buy a mic??

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Originally Posted by stevemac View Post
Really? This seems to be the opposite of all other sources I can find (and talk to).

I've got one now and I'm really happy so far. I think the quality of vocoder, well reviewed synth engine and the fact that programming is easier were the main factors.

gOlem - I have Razor and used it a lot for a while, but definitely plan to use it - might try some vocoding on top of a vocoder This may sound terrible!
The mininova won't get you classic analog sounds, that's all.

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Old 26-01-2014, 05:02 PM   #13
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Re: Synth with Vocoder or just buy a mic??

Well, whatever opinions you have about the Mininova, it would be nice to hear from someone that actually owns one.
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Old 26-01-2014, 06:56 PM   #14
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Re: Synth with Vocoder or just buy a mic??

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Well, whatever opinions you have about the Mininova, it would be nice to hear from someone that actually owns one.
I've watched several review videos on it, read many forum posts, and demo'd one at the store. I was very disappointed in it, and found that it paled in comparison to the Microkorg or the xl.

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Old 27-01-2014, 01:00 AM   #15
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Re: Synth with Vocoder or just buy a mic??

I use the vocoder from time to time on my Microkorg XL its pretty good, the best software vocoder i ever used was NI vokator but for some strange reason NI stopped supporting it and I've never heard a better software vocoder since.

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Old 25-12-2015, 07:18 PM   #16
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Re: Synth with Vocoder or just buy a mic??

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