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Production of highly sought-after Moog 16 Channel Vocoder resumed

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After more than 40 years, Moog Music has resumed production of the highly sought-after Moog 16 Channel Vocoder.

The instrument works by continuously analyzing the timbral characteristics of one sound (program) and impresses these timbral characteristics upon a second signal (carrier).

Moog 16 Channel Vocoder

The Moog 16 Channel Vocoder, originally introduced in 1978 (and heard most famously on the title track of Giorgio Moroder’s E=MC2), has been used to transmute vocals, transform synthesizers, and electronically encode sound for decades.

With the instrument’s reintroduction, Moog Music has gone to great lengths to ensure that this distinct electronic voice carries on.

Derived from the original schematic, the Moog 16 Channel Vocoder’s analog voice circuits are hand-soldered at the Moog Factory in Asheville, North Carolina to preserve the original instrument’s classic sound.

Moog 16 Channel Vocoder build

Updated mechanical connectors and a modern power supply improve reliability and long-term serviceability while ensuring that the analog soul of this instrument—and its unique character and idiosyncrasies—remains unchanged.

Moog 16 Channel Vocoder features

  • 16 Bands: The Moog 16 Channel Vocoder offers 16 patchable bands ranging from 50 to 5,080 Hz for optimal encoding of the fundamental spectral characteristics of the human voice. In addition, a selectable DIRECT mode passes an additional high frequency channel (above 5,080 Hz) to the vocoder output for a greater degree of vocal intelligibility. While traditionally associated with vocal effects, the Moog 16 Channel Vocoder’s ultra fast response time makes it additionally useful for capturing the fast transients of percussive sounds.
  • Sample & Hold: When you articulate a sound and press the Sample/Hold switch, the tonal characteristics of that sound will be held until the switch is returned to the out position. This function is particularly useful in creating sustained vocal phrases without pausing for breath and can be controlled via remote footswitch.
  • External Patch: Use the included patch cords to interconnect this powerful vocoder with other analog gear, or create unusual “cross patches,” allowing you to select any frequency range of the program and impose those characteristics upon any frequency range of the carrier.
  • Hiss, Buzz, and Balance: Selectable Hiss (sibilance), Buzz (plosive), and Balance controls allow you to fine-tune the fundamental details of your electronic voice.
  • Footswitch Operation: The Sample/Hold, External Patch, and effect Status parameters may be remotely controlled for live performance via footswitch.

Moses Sumney, accompanied by a full band, recently visited the Moog Sound Lab in Asheville, North Carolina to perform a reimagination of “Conveyor” from his forthcoming album græ.

In this rendition of the unreleased track, Sumney processes his vocals through the Moog 16 Channel Vocoder, using the Matriarch synthesizer to serve as the vocoder’s carrier signal in order to transform and resynthesize his voice.

Sumney also incorporates a looper pedal to manipulate both the dry and vocoded vocals, creating rhythmic patterns throughout the track. He is accompanied by Zach Cooper on bass, Mike Haldeman on guitar, Darian Thomas on violin, and Ian Chang on drums and sensory percussion.

The Moog 16 Channel Vocoder is now available for order with select Moog authorized dealers worldwide.

More information: Moog Music

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