Last week I received a Behringer VC340 that I ordered a few months back. This is a recreation of a classic synthesizer, the Roland VP-330 Vocoder Plus, which was made in 1979 and 1980. Although the production of this synthesizer was short, it, along with the rackmount version, the SVC-350, is found all over music of the early 80s, including artists as far apart as Vangelis and Laurie Anderson.
The VC330, like the original VP-330, instead of being a general synthesizer is divided into three main parts: a string synthesizer, a “human voice” synthesizer and a vocoder.
The string synthesizer is just what it sounds like, a synthesized string ensemble sound that uses simple analog technology of the day. String synths were very popular in the late 70s and the Roland version can be heard on a lot of music by a wide variety of artists. It offers a simple tone (brightness) control, attack (how quickly the sound starts) and release (how quickly the sound fades after you take your hands from the keys). Continue reading