Vocoder and NS2 - is this possible?

High level: I want to run an Obsidian track (using sampler) through a vocoder (voice synth) and “play” the vocoder from another midi track.

if vocoder added as au audio effect I can’t get midi into it.
Can’t separate out the audio from just the Obsidian track to run it through Audiobus or AUM and process externally.

Hoping against hope that somebody out there has a workaround. Thanks!



  • Never mind. I think I figured it out.

  • So…. How’d you do it?

  • I was able to get midi into Voice Synth as an audio effect in the Obsidian track. I found a MIDI “source” setting in VS. This actually surprised me because I have tried to get midi into other audio effects without success. I did not think NS2 allowed that.

  • UPDATE! Alas I did not actually figure it out. I thought I was getting midi to the au via NS2 but it was actually getting there directly from the external keyboard controller. Realized this when I finally recorded something in the track and it did not make it to the au :'(

    So I’m back to.. is there any kind of workaround for using any vocoder with NS2? Even if it involves another app e.g. AUM or AB.

  • I’ve only used vocoder on one track, and for that instance I used Voice Synth, recorded in Audio Share, and imported onto a Slate Track. That’s not traditional vocoder technique, but for a short vocal bit it was good enough.

  • @SlapHappy so you used voicesynth as an instrument in ns? Or as an effect? What did you record In audio share? The raw voice or vocoded voice? Trying to get my old brain around this. Thanks for your help.

  • Rather than normal vocoder technique using Voice Sunth in an FX slot and an Obsidian preset as the carrier, I just chose a preset in Voice Synth and recorded the phrase into AudioShare. That audio clip was imported into NS2 on a Slate pad, triggered by a note in the piano roll.

  • Did it! Flexible and sounds great. Key was using DerVoco vocoder.

    • Create a “none” track and add DerVoco as an au effect. Select “input mode”
    • Create an Obsidian sampler track to hold your raw voice recording (the modulator). Remove key tracking so that different notes dont “transpose” the voice. I.e. every key plays back same recording. Pan it hard right. Create an audio send to the DerVoco track.
    • Create an Obsidian synth track of your choice for the carrier. Pan it hard left. create another audio send to DerVoco track
    • Create another “none” track to record midi performance. Create midi sends to both the obsidian tracks. Assign keyboard controller to this track.

    Now you can “play” your recorded vocals through the vocoder and record the performance. Unlimited choices for carrier sound.

  • That sound facinating! I haven’t used DerVoco. What’s a “none” track? Is that something in DerVoco?

  • edited January 29

    Sorry, An NS2 track whose instrument is “none”. As opposed to Obsidian, Slate etc. The reason DerVoco works is because of its “input mode”. Does not need midi in this mode, just a Bb audio effect. The left audio input becomes the carrier and the right audio input becomes the modulator. So you can control either via midi at their source as well as set the traditional vocoder bands in DerVoco. Took awhile for this to dawn on me. I don’t know if there are other iOS vocoders that can operate this way. I was able to create some really cool vocal lines by using glide and legato in the carrier synth playing along with speech recordings in sampler. You can also change the tuning of the sample which only changes the speed of playback cuz pitch is determined by the carrier. Working on a piece now that will use this. Still in the creative struggle at the moment. Will post it here when I’m done.

    A lot of hoops to jump through just because I can’t sing. :)

  • Ah ha! “Add Track (no instrument)” in NS2. That’s something I’ve never used before, and frankly forgot about, but it seems you have found a good use for this. When I get some time, I’d like to try your technique. Sounds really cool. Look forward to hearing what you create. And yeah, I feel your pain on the lack of singing prowess….. ☹️

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