A vocoder brings together two signals, a carrier signal and a modulator signal, and combines them into an output signal. If the modulator signal is a vocal recording, and the carrier signal is a synthesiser sound, then the result is a robotic effect, a bit like Cylons in the old Battlestar Galactica (according to Wikipedia, they used an EMS Vocoder 2000).
Here’s how to do something similar using a vocal recording and a synth of your choice in Synapse’s Orion… We’ll assume that you have a suitable vocal signal for the modulator (perhaps a long vocal sample) on one mxing channel and a good, solid and simple synth waveform (keep it simple, use something like Wasp or Triangle 2) on another.
- Send the carrier signal (i.e. your synth) to a bus, hard panned right
- Send the modulator signal (i.e. your vocals) to the same bus, hard panned left
- Open the master console, and add the vocoder to an insert slot (you’ll find the Orion Vocoder in the Direct X effects section)
That’s your routing sorted. You’ll find that you’ll only hear anything if both the carrier AND the modulator are outputting something at the same time. This means that in your song playlist you’ll need to have any chords/notes sorted out in the carrier synth, and in sync with your modulator parts.