Natural M2 VOC


The illustration below show you a simplified block diagram of the M2VOC. Both base version (green) and extra options (red) are shown. First I will explain the features of the Base version. Then the optional features will be explained in its essence. Details on both the Base version and the optional features only will be discussed with the clients whom joined the program for the first release.
New Window: Read about how joining this program.


Base Version

The Base version has all components to achieve a Natural Vocoder effect and to make patches to create other Vocoder effects. This patching can be done at the Patch Bay with patch cables. It counts 24 channels which are divided into 6 sections. These are Low, Mid-Low, Mid, Mid-High and High). These 6 sections can mixed with 3 controllers to the output. Thus you already can achieve special effects by using these 3 mixing controllers. This mixing section consists of 2 balance controllers and one depth control (the High - unvoiced - section).
On the input side you will notice that the Carrier signal is split up into 2 source possibilities. This is to serve the difference in the VOICED and UNVOICED spectrum transformation. The Unvoiced input may be fed by a different input signal (internally connected to a Noise generator) and can be Balanced between this Unvoiced input and the Voiced Carrier input. Both the end mixing of sections and the Carrier input configuration are special for the M2VOC. The Noise generator serves both the purpose to generate a 'Noisyfied' Vocoder effects and the transformation of the Unvoiced spectrum of the human voice into a Vocoder effect - if required for the desired result. This noise generator is a analog / high quality type.
To this base principle all kind of modifications can be made based on the desires of the client. This only will be discussed with clients whom have joined the first release program.


Optional features

There are quit some optional features. Some of them concern extra modules which also could be add externally. Others are achieved by slight modifications and bringing the features available at the front panel. And others concern principle adds which require extra circuits and front panel parts.
You have to realize that the more optional features you would like to have included, the larger the physical dimensions of the case will be.
Each optional feature will be explained in its main course. Details only will be discussed with clients whom have joined the first release program.


More Bands

The M2VOC base version counts 24 channels. The frequency range is set from ~50Hz to ~10Khz. The way these 24 bands are divided over this frequency spectrum is a specialty for the M2VOC to create a natural Vocoder effect with possibilities beyond the standard Vocoded Voice effect. The M2VOC has excellent possibilities to play an instrumental Carrier input with your voice as a controller with the result of hearing a new instrument which more or less is humanized. This instead of Vocolizing a Carrier input as you normally are used to. As an example: a mouth-harp or Australian Didgereedoo are with the M2VOC far more better and natural to create and played with than with other Vocoders.
The 24 bands the M2VOC counts also is a compromise between the costs for more channels and the effectiveness of them. A female voice usually is one Octave higher than the male voice. Adding extra channels to also cover the higher region of the female voice is an option. To extend the frequency range in the Unvoiced region up to 18 Khz you need to have 4 channels extra. Even in the lower region you (rarely) might want to extend to cover frequencies from 30 to 50 Hz.
A more easy way to extend both the lowest and the highest region is to have a bypass controller added for these regions. It is also possible to replace these bypass regions by a full channel (thus with active ENV & VCA) controls. Also a 24 band can be configured to be shifted higher into the total audio frequency range to cover specific applications. What exactely would be the best for you in relation to your wishes and budget will be discussed customary.
Conclusion: 24 bands works goods and can be customary modified. But, extra facilities on the low and high regions of the spectrum or more channels up to 28 can be customary designed. Having all the options included of course gives you the most widest range of possibilities.

Note: Software Vocoders already may count 50 bands but, this does not mean that they give a better resolution nor a better sound. This is because the filters act with each other in a negative way (overlap, resonance and phase shifting problems). In the design of the M2VOC these problems were recognized and tackled down to very acceptable proportions.


Pre - Amplifier

If you do not have a high quality Microphone Pre - Amplifier available you might choose to have one included into the M2VOC design. The Pre-Amp module basically amplifies up to 60 dB with a S/N ration over 80 dB. Amplification can be set with the GAIN control between 2 and 1000x (6....60dB) in combination with a Amp-Range switch (2...100x and 2---1000x) to let you apply any input signal.
In a studio setup you might not need this because you already have everything you need for Pre-Amplifying weak signals such as a Microphone. But, in the case you need this option you may think about what kind of input plugs you need, Phantom power for Mic's and/or Input configuration.
You even may wish a gain control on both Carrier and Voice inputs with different specifications for the input sensitivity / gain range


Mixed Output(s)

Instead of a MONO mixed output (6 section joined in a single mix) you also may choose for a stereo mixed output.
There are several configurations to mix the 6 sections to stereo. For example: The Low section fully to the left, the LowMid section fully to the right, the MID section in the middle, The MidHigh at 75% to the right and at last the High section at 75% to the left.

Of course it is also possible to design a panning and a volume control for each of the 6 sections. You have to consider your already available equipment and possibilities to decide which output design fits at best.

If you would chose to have an external output for each of the five sections, you would have the option to connect them to five channels of a mixing table and have all the features of the mixer available for each section.
If you do not have a mixing table with 6 available free channels (or not a mixing table at all), you then need at least the Mono output which simply is standard. Of course you might think ahead and choose for some options in combination to be flexible in different situations.



Using a Compressor / Expander improves the all over quality of the Vocoder effect on a dynamic level. You might need it to improve non stable voice dynamics and/or to improve Signal to Noise ratio. If you already have a Compressor / Expander module you do have an advantage above this option. This is because the mass produced Compressor / Expander modules nowadays have great possibilities in treating both input and output signal. nevertheless, you might want a simple but specifically designed unit included into your Vocoder design. In this case both Compressor and Expander do have a by pass switch to generate certain 'effects'. You even may have them externally available by patching in and outputs.



The so called 'positive' and 'negative' ACCENT outputs deliver a Up-going and Down-going control voltage which is related to the mix of Envelope Voltages from each of the 24 channels. A primary purpose is to control a VCF (Voltage Controlled Filter) in relation with the Vocoder. The more Voice control is transferred (by the ENV's) the higher the more the Filter (VCF) turns open (or turns down). This will give an extra accent to the Vocoder effect ranging from subtle to very effect full.

Of course the Accent outputs also can be designed to deliver these voltages for each of the 6 sections individually.


Patch Card Slot

Besides the 'normal' Vocoder effect, you can create different patches with the Basically included patch bay to generate alternative Vocoder effect. This means that you change the control order of the channels. For example transpose all channels up or down, cross patching channels or sections. This all to alternate the normal control setup and create the 'alien' sounds or to specifically modify specific sounds (they might turn out to be sound natural but are achieved by alternating patching). View the diagram: red marked is the ENV output and blue marked is the VCA control input.
Doing so by using the Patch Bay works fine for experimenting but becomes unhandy when you quickly want to retrieve a certain patch. Therefore you may choose to have a Patch Card Slot included. View in diagram: "PS SLUT". You then can fixate your patches on a plug-in preset card. They are easy to make your self with standard available components which you can buy at your local electronics store. Simply change the plug-in card to generate a complete different effect. With this option included are 3 preset cards.
Note: the diagram shows you the Preset Card Slot in a complete configuration with other options.


Multiple In/Out

Multiple Voice & Carrier inputs
Instead of having a single Voice input and two Carrier inputs, you also may choose to have a Voice and Carrier input on each section (2x5). This would allows you to patch for each section a different input and thus extend your range of effects and even to split-up the Vocoder into independent Vocoder effect machines (with respect to the frequencies band range for each section).

Multiple section outputs
Having an individual output for each section would allow you to send sections to other effect modules and also to independently mix them out on your mixing table. It is interesting to think about having a Vocoder effect with a certain effect for example only on the middle section, another effect on the low section(s) and again another effect on the high section(s).


Depth Control

Although balancing the 6 output sections to a final mixture, a Depth Control on each channel opens a new horizon to create specific effects. This option provides you to have an ENV DEPTH control on each channel. View diagram: the diagonal arrow crossing the line from the LP unit to the VCA unit symbolizes the ENV DEPTH control.


Patch Preset Bank

As you can understand, using plug-in cards to change the patch presets also can be inconvenient in a studio situation when guests have to experiment with the Vocoder standard effects quickly. Therefore you may choose to also have a turn switch included to easily switch between the standard Vocoder effects. This option you would take together with the Patch Card option. You then can switch between normal / external patch bay, patch card, 6 fixated standard effects and 4 variations on these standard effect. View diagram: the diagram above shows you a matrix and PreSet Switch with 12 positions. This symbolizes the Patch Preset bank option and shows you how it principally is wired up.


Response Speed Control

The response time of the base version is fast. This means that the VOICE input dynamics are transferred to the CARRIER (through the envelope followers and VCA's) without smoothing. This to have the dynamic details in the VOICE also represented in the Vocoder output effect.
An option is to have control over this so called response speed to be able to smooth these detailed dynamic changes in the VOICE signal. It makes the Vocoder effect less natural (when related to the human voice) but opens a horizon for certain effects.
This response speed control can be of a 'single' type: to control all the 24 channels at once. But, you also could wish to have such a speed control for each section (5x) or even for each channel - depending on the refinement of your desire.


Additional Units

Because the M2VOC is an analog modular design, you could add all kind of other analog modules to it. Normally you would patch additional modules externally. But, if you do not have them or you have the idea that it is nice to have them included and adapted into the M2VOC design, then it is possible to included any module to serve the expanding of the Vocoder effects.

To be Continued Soon...


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