This quick tutorial walks you through the steps of setting up a vocoder for vocals in a matter of seconds!
Using a vocoder on vocals has been popular in music production for many years now and it only takes a few seconds to set up. All you need is an audio track with a vocal recording, a software/MIDI track with a vocoder plugin loaded and a minute or to your first time through the process. You will want to make sure you set your vocal track to no output, so we do not hear any of the dry (unprocessed) signal. Next, you need to route the audio into your vocoder via the side chain feature. Now you select a preset to get started with and make sure that you have the vocoder set to run in vocal (VOC) signal mode. Once you input MIDI, or play a few notes on a keyboard mapped to the vocoder track, you should hear the effect!
Keep in mind that using a presets is a really great way to get this all set up quickly and easily, but they are also make for nice templates! Load a preset and then begin tweaking the various parameters until it better fits your project and save it! Now you not only have a nicer fit for you music, but you also have a new preset that you can refer to quickly when future needs arise.
You can also use vocoder processing on other elements in your music. Vocals always sound cool when you robotize them, but what happens when you try applying the same effect to a flute or animal sounds? Making time to freely experiment with these types of processing techniques is how you can discover truly unique and original sounds for your music! Keep your expectations low and your sense of awe and wonder high and you will no doubt find many, many awesome uses for a vocoder in your projects.