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Did you want to know how a vocoder works? (You know, that thing Newcleus used to put the robot voice in their songs.)

Assuming you said yes, you’re in luck! I have a step-by-step walkthrough that explains how the original vocoder worked right here:

And after you’re done going through the walkthrough, there’s a New Game+ so to speak, in which you can just use the web app as a vocoding tool.

This kind of vocoding produces some pretty rough stuff, though. I tried for a few hours, and I could not find a way to use it in a composition. (Contemporary sources report than Homer Dudley’s original vocoder was fairly harsh, too.)

Still, I was thrilled to get something going that could produce the recognizable (if not intelligible) combination of a pitched signal and an unpitched speech signal, and I look forward to attempting to make a slicker vocoder. (And then possibly a weirder vocoder.)

More modulation!

This channel vocoder explainer is a followup to this finding on modulation in general. And all of these efforts are a part of my attempt to learn about signal processing during my time at the Recurse Center.

I’ve really enjoyed the Recurse Center so far. Ironically, I can’t write about that right now because it tires me out.

Songs, collected

One more small note before my writing juice runs out: I put together a site that collects my “weekly” songs. It also has an RSS feed.

Even though I fell off the weekly thing, when I was doing it, it was good for the spirit and for the composing muscles, regardless of the quality of the output, which varied wildly. I hope to get back to it once Recurse is over.

I hope your haps are good. You should email some haps to me, in fact!