MATRIXSYNTH: Moog Music Announces the Return of the Moog 16 Channel Vocoder

Tuesday, February 04, 2020

Moog Music Announces the Return of the Moog 16 Channel Vocoder


"The Moog 16 Channel Vocoder Returns

After more than 40 years, the Moog 16 Channel Vocoder is officially back in production.

Originally introduced in 1978 (and heard most famously on the title track of Giorgio Moroder’s E=MC2), the instrument has been used to transmute vocals, transform synthesizers, and electronically encode sound for decades.

The Moog 16 Channel Vocoder’s analog voice circuits, derived from the original schematic, are hand-soldered at the Moog Factory in Asheville, North Carolina to preserve the original instrument’s classic sound."

via Moog Music

"The history of the vocoder is as unique as the sound it produces.

In the 1930s, Bell Labs introduced the technology as a telecommunications device that could deconstruct the most fundamental elements of human speech and then reconstruct a new electronically synthesized voice. During WWII, the US military used this advancement to electronically encode classified audio messages that could be reconstituted on the receiving end.

Over the following decades, music technologies would explore the artistic applications of the vocoder, whose robotic vocal articulations would soon find their way into mainstream music, television, films, and games. The influential sound machine has been used by the likes of Stevie Wonder, Herbie Hancock, Dr. Dre, Kraftwerk, Daft Punk and many more.


The Moog 16 Channel Vocoder, originally introduced in 1978 (and heard most famously on the title track of Giorgio Moroder’s E=MC2), has been used to transmute vocals, transform synthesizers, and electronically encode sound for decades.



With the instrument’s reintroduction, Moog Music has gone to great lengths to ensure that this distinct electronic voice carries on. Derived from the original vintage schematic, the Moog 16 Channel Vocoder’s analog voice circuits are hand-soldered at the Moog Factory in Asheville, North Carolina to preserve the original instrument’s classic sound. Updated mechanical connectors and a modern power supply improve reliability and long-term serviceability while ensuring that the analog soul of this instrument—and its unique character and idiosyncrasies—remains unchanged."



Moses Sumney | Conveyor at the Moog Sound Lab

Published on Feb 4, 2020

'Moses Sumney, accompanied by a full band, recently visited the Moog Sound Lab in Asheville, North Carolina to perform a reimagination of 'Conveyor' from his forthcoming album ‘græ.’

In this rendition of the unreleased track, Sumney processes his vocals through the Moog 16 Channel Vocoder, using the Matriarch synthesizer to serve as the vocoder’s carrier signal in order to transform and resynthesize his voice. Sumney also incorporates a looper pedal to manipulate both the dry and vocoded vocals, creating rhythmic patterns throughout the track. He is accompanied by Zach Cooper on bass, Mike Haldeman on guitar, Darian Thomas on violin, and Ian Chang on drums and sensory percussion.

Moses Sumney’s upcoming release includes collaborations with a diverse array of contributors and is his first work to be written in his new home of Asheville, North Carolina—also the home of Moog Music Inc. Double LP græ will be released via Jagjaguwar Records, with the first part due digitally this month; the second part, as well as the physical album, will be available May 15th."

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