More Orange Vocoder Tips

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Orange Vocoder Suggestions. After reading the tutorial on using Orange Vocoder with Ableton Live, SonicTransfer readers had some questions about how to improve the sound even more. Here are some tips for getting a better vocoder sound.

Gustavo LP wrote:

Really, i am a lot thankful to you for the tutorial you wrote about
vocoder! Now it works very fine for me!
I do admire ppl that believes knowledge should be passed ahead to others.

There is only one remaining issue for me: the raw vocal. Like, if i am
singing a C, but playing a Bm, than i’ll have some very tense chord,
right? =]
Is there a way to avoid listening to the raw vocal?

Again, thanx for the very very well written tutorial!

SonicTransfer’s Reply:

I’m really glad you liked the tutorial. It is the second tutorial of many more on

Getting the raw vocal completely mixed out of the vocoded output can be tough. If you aren’t hearing any vocoder at all, go into the Orange Vocoder window and try hitting the “Input Flip” button above the “Use Synth” button. If you are hearing the vocoder but the microphone source is too prominent then try this:

1) In the Orange Vocoder Mixer, make sure that the Filter level (labeled FILT) is up around 5 or 6. The Carrier level (labeled CARR) and the Modulator level (labeled SPCH) should both be zero. This is because you only want to hear the vocoded output and not the original carrier or modulator inputs.

2) Listen to your carrier and modulator signals. Are they in the same frequency space? For example, are you blending a high alto voice with a low synth bass? Or, are you blending a deep tenor voice with a high string patch? If you are, then you can use the Orange Vocoder Graphic Equalizer to make your vocoding sound a LOT better. If you have a high voice (modulator) and low synth bass (carrier), then cut the frequencies around 1kHz and boost the frequencies around 500Hz.

NOTE: Don’t drag one of the green Graphic Equalizer control points all the way to the bottom of the graph. If you do, it will disable the control point completely. Drag it up a little bit to re-enable it.

3) A great way to get more vocoder is to turn up the Filter Bank Release. In the Orange Vocoder control section, try turning up the Filter Bank Release (labeled F.B. RELEASE) to around 5. This will give your vocoder output a longer release time. In other words, you will have longer tails on your vocal transients.

4) If you still aren’t getting the sound you want then you may need to try another carrier signal for your modulator. Not all carriers are created equal and some will sound great with certain modulators and terrible with others. Luckily, Orange Vocoder has a decent bank of built-in carriers. Click the “Use Synth” button to turn it on. Now you can use the Orange Vocoder 8-Voice Synthesizer to test out common vocoder carriers. There are a lot of options for this synthesizer, but here are the biggies:

  • Try changing the WAVE preset under OSC A and OSC B.
  • Try changing from SAMPLES to WAVES under the OSC Control section
  • Try increasing and decreasing the OCTAVE under the Keyboard section
  • Try changing the keyboard notes played under the Keyboard section.
  • To hear what the Orange Vocoder 8-Voice Synthesizer is producing for a carrier wave, look at the Mixer section and turn down the FILT and SPCH to zero. Then turn up the CARR to around 5.

This will help you get a much better vocoder sound!

If you have any questions or comments, please post a message on the SonicTransfer Forums. Click here to visit the SonicTransfer forums.

Happy Producing!

Matt Sonic