Vocoding Voices in Live 8 from Bjorn Vayner on Vimeo.

Continuing our growing collection of Live 8 video tutorials, our friend Bjorn of Covert Operators sends over a terrific tutorial on making use of the vocoder. Now, unlike the “misuse” tutorials we’ve been running, this is actually how this effect is designed to be used. On the other hand, if you’re still interested in misuse – and you’re not terribly interested in conventional effects – this can be a great way to wrap your head around the tool’s proper function, before you start warping it in another direction.

I think it’ll be fantastic having a vocoder ready to use, and if you haven’t played with a software vocoder, Live 8 should be a nice place to start. If any of you take this in another direction, do let us know.

Covert Operators has a whole bunch of downloads, tips, and tricks some available cheap, some free.

Encounters for Live 8 looks especially interesting. It’s a Live Pack intended specifically for performance and DJing, with some interesting bits and pieces:

  • 25 Arpeggiator racks
  • 40 effect racks geared for live playing – with some specifically designed for Live 8
  • 50 Groove presets, taking advantage of Live 8’s new groove extraction
  • 100 Dummy Clips for triggering automation

That’s the first time I’ve seen a download of Dummy Clips. Trigger these, and you can control other instruments, audio, and effects using dynamic envelopes. If that starts to piqué your interest, the Covert Operators have done a tutorial on how to use these clips:

Encounters Audio Modulation Clips from Bjorn Vayner on Vimeo.

That package sells for EUR25. I’m a little too idiosyncratic in my own work for it to be of much interest to me personally, but I love the ideas there. And power users, if you haven’t started to experiment with Dummy Clips, this is worth a look.

And be sure to check out the live slicing pack and tutorial we worked on with Bjorn (and myself) – that works with Live 8 just as well as Live 7.

Exclusive: Free Ableton Live Slicing Pack by Covert Operators

More Live 8 Tutorials:

Psuedo Scratching with Ping Pong

Misusing Groove Extraction

Misusing Frequency Shifter

  • Jammo

    Cool video – what effect was he using on his own voice?

  • I used one of the Mac's built in voices.
    Automator was used to save text as sound.
    Thats why it sounded a bit robotic to begin with.
    The voice I used was "Alex" I think.

    If you're actually asking what was used on the narration voice: A Belgian accent.

  • zenzen

    "A Belgian accent" –> LOL, nice one! Thanks for the excellent video tutorial.

  • nice and short tutorial, thanks a lot. makes me think about buyin' the upgrade to live8.

    i also wondered 'bout the accent – as jammo was mentioning previously – which sounded even for me as a german pretty funny. i especially like the part you're mentioning kraftwerk and daft punk. *grin*

  • fran

    This year I decided to hold off on the Live 8 upgrade.

    For about the same money, I bought Numerology 2 and U-He's Uhbik effects plugs instead.

    Now I'm finally making use of all those awesome Togu plugs I laying dormant on my hard drive, one of which is….a vocoder!

    Meanwhile, when the good folks at live finally give Live something as basic as *scrollwheel functionality*, then I'll upgrade.

    Now back to the land of endless LFO's and integrated step-sequencers…..

  • Hey, I'm a huge fan of Numerology — and you'll see so is Depeche Mode.

    There are always choices, and choice is a very good thing.

  • one thing that is key in the vocoder use is how you assign the outputs on your audio interface…
    in a live perfromance setting we ran into a problem with the M-Audio ProFire 610. the software interface to control the outputs required adjusting in order to silence the output from XLR input 1. The Live 8 manual is dead on in describing how to set up the vocoder but then you have mute the mic output in order to hear just the vocoder effect otherwise you get a mixed signal.

  • Kyran

    The Belgian accent is really convincing. It really sounds like my neighbour trying to speak english 🙂

  • Many thanks for the article. I will have a link back to this information from our fresh blog. Thanks again.