The Moog 16 Channel Vocoder – “The Greatest Hardware Vocoder I’ve Ever Used”

In this recent Noir Et Blanc Vie video, host Stephen Fitzgerald tries out the Moog 16 Channel Vocoder, the company’s reissue of a classic design from 1978.

Fitzgerald says that the Moog Vocoder is the best sounding vocoder that he’s ever used and demonstrates its sound with a variety of demos. But he also talks about the Moog Vocoder’s $5K price and how a premium piece of gear like this doesn’t make sense for him and a lot of musicians.

In the second half of the video, he also shares his take on some free and relatively inexpensive alternatives.

Check it out and share your thoughts on what you think the best vocoder is for the money in the comments!

13 thoughts on “The Moog 16 Channel Vocoder – “The Greatest Hardware Vocoder I’ve Ever Used”

    1. Perhaps Moog had permission, or licensed the design from Bode, and/or perhaps Bode was no longer in business. Perhaps such information could be researched– if one was curious.

      Moog has a well-earned reputation for original and brilliant designs. B-word has a well-earned reputation, as well.

      1. “Perhaps such information could be researched”

        That argument works both ways stub

        But for the sake of argument, it’s mentioned right there in the video by a respected youtuber

        I presume he did his research

    2. Your favorite brand or employer doesn’t license products. They make knock-offs. Try harder.

      “Bode Ring Modulator (1964)
      Bode Frequency Shifter (1964)
      Bode Vocoder 7702 / Moog Vocoder (1977)
      Note that above three products were also licensed to Moog Music as a part of the Moog Synthesizer.”

  1. It’s a little more flexible than other vocoders as u can switch up frequencies bands, but in the end a vocoder is always an one trick pony – always has this bandpassy sound.

    1. I’d say a vocoder has maybe three main tricks:

      1. make synth chords sound like they are saying words
      2. make drum beats sound like they are sounding synth chords
      3. sound design as a sort of old-school convolution– apply the spectrum/envelope of one sound to another– where you aren’t using either a mic or synth chords, but other sound sources

      Yes, they are all three the same trick, but in use, these applications don’t all three sound like the same vocoding “signature”.

      As for them sounding “bandpassy” I guess that depends on generation of vocoder and the mod/carrier signals. I have a ElectroHarmonix V256 and it has full-spectrum sound.

      1. I like the boring ambient mix vs. drum computer thing, vocoder vocals are to cliche for my taste.
        But how often do I do that? once every 10 years?
        A plugin will do.
        this imprint this on that stuff sounds better with spectral voodoo algos than bandpassfilters and envelope followers. (thats what I meant with bandpassy sound …)

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