ToneBytes has announced the release of Vocotron, a new VST instrument plug-in for Windows that combines the functions of a sampler and vocoder. It costs $34.95.
Vocotron's keyboard is divided into two key zones, like on the classic Mellotron and Chamberlin "samplers". However, the zone's functions are slightly different: the left side reproduces samples and is a modulator for the integrated vocoder, and the right side sets the tone, it is the carrier for the vocoder.
To extract the sound from Vocotron, just pick a chord on the right side of the keyboard, and then start pressing keys in the sample zone. By changing the chords you can get the sound of your waves in different tonalities.
For a modulator, you can use embedded samples (from three internal banks) and custom wave files. For those purposes Vocotron has a built-in sampler with such possibilities as: key mapping, wave looping and reversing, pitch tuning and pitch shifting.
The heart of Vocotron is a high precision 32-band vocoder with a frequency range from 100 Hz to 16 KHz. In order to fine-tune the tone, you can tweak the bandwidth as well as the level of each of the 32 frequency bands.
The carrier is set by an internal synthesizer with two oscillators with detune and FM-modulation, mono/stereo modes and glide. The short right side of the keyboard is compensated by the extending range of coarse tuning.
The Vocotron is not limited to working with vocals and drums. Combining a sampler and vocoder provides a new original way to get unusual sounds. With a Vocotron you can get interesting-sounding basses, pads, textures and rhythmic backing.