How to Use VoCodeX in Ableton Live

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Ableton Live is an audio editing program which can be used to record, edit and mix music tracks. VoCodeX is a freeware audio unit vocoder, which is used to manipulate a voice through an incoming synth signal. These are then combined by the vocoder to create an electronic and musical sounding voice effect. A vocoder can be used subtlety to produce effects similar to pitch correction, or more complexly to produce synthesized human sound melodies.

  • Visit the VoCodeX homepage and download the plugin. When you have downloaded it, drag it to your "Components" folder. This is under "/Library/Audio/Plug-ins."

  • Open Ableton Live. Select the first track that is open. Select the "Record" button to begin recording your voice. This is a circle button at the top of the program. Select "Stop" to stop recording. This is a square button next to the record button. Alternatively, you can drag an already-recorded audio recording of a voice from your desktop into this track. Pan this track to the left by moving the pan knob to the right of the track all the way to the left.

  • Select "Insert" then "New Track" from the top menu. On the panel all the way to the left side, click on the icon second from the top. This is your instruments panel. Select "Instruments" then "Synth" and select whichever synthesizer you want to use with your vocoder. Select the keyboard icon at the top right of the program. This looks like a little keyboard, and will open up a synthesizer keyboard controller which allows you to use your computer keyboard.

  • Press "Record" to begin recording your synth track. Press a single note on your computer keyboard and sustain it for the length of your voice recording. When you are finished, select "Stop." Pan this track to the right by moving the pan knob to the right of the track all the way to the right.

  • Select "Insert" and "New Track." Now click on the icon that looks like a plug from the panel all the way on the left side of the program. This will open the "Plug-ins" menu. Scroll down until you see "VoCodeX" and double-click on it. This will insert VoCodeX into this track.

  • Click on the Output drop-down menu to the right of track 1. This will be directly above "Track In." From the menu, select "3-VoCodeX." Repeat this for track 2. Your tracks will now be routed into the VoCodeX plug-in. Open up VoCodeX and adjust its settings until you have a sound that you like. The frequency controls will adjust the pitch of your voice, while the level controls will adjust how much of the vocoder is added to your tracks.

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