Showing posts with label Sennheiser. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sennheiser. Show all posts

Thursday, February 18, 2021

$39,500.00 Sennheiser VSM201 Vocoder

Note: Auction links are affiliate links for which the site may be compensated.

via this auction

"Here is it, one of the rarest and most legendary vocoders and synthesizer effects on the planet. The Sennheiser VSM 201. These supposedly cost upwards of $20,000 when built new and apparently only a few dozen were ever made. It's hard to say how many are still left in existence. In the past 10 years of searching we have only seen a handful of these for sale. We have previously owned a few of them, including one that was owned originally by Herbie Hancock and one we sold directly personally to Daft Punk before their Random Access Memories release. Other legendary users include Kraftwerk. This one is in great shape and fully functional. Fantastic for collector/curator or showpiece to have in your studio. A joy to play with, no other vocoder is quite like it. A multitude of knobs and tone shaping possibilities. The last one we saw for sale sold for $28k over 2 years ago. Since then vintage gear has only continued to climb in value. A great investment. Don't miss out!"

Priced at US $39,500.00

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Spectral Voyage : E&MM Spectrum // MFB Tanzbär // TC Electronic AlterEgo // Sennheiser AMBEO

Published on May 24, 2020 Reuben Jones

"This was only meant to be a few minutes long so sorry if it drags, but it's a long journey to where we're going."

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Voice of the Cylon - Battlestar Galactica, The ARP 2500, and the EMS Vocoder 1000

Published on Nov 20, 2019 supajc

Amazing series sent my way via John L Rice. Playlist and descriptions for each video in the playlist above, directly below. Enjoy. ;)

See here for previous posts featuring Battlestar Galactica.


1. Voice of the Cylon Pt. 1 The Synthesizer [ARP 2500]
Battlestar Galactica fans & synthesizer community, rejoice! For the first time in history the mysterious sound of the Cylon voice is revealed. I tracked down probably the last person alive who knows the entire formula, very private individual still works in visual arts. To him it was just a job he did 40 years ago, to me it's one of the most mesmerizing sounds in musical/sci-fi fx history. 6 parts to this series as of 11-2019.
2. Voice Of The Cylon Pt. 2 the Voice Recording
My contact told me "they brought us the voices" on Nagra III and IV tape machines. Vocoder recorded back to Nagra for film sync. Voice actor Micheal Santiago was hired to do the voice, but didn't, telling youtube user intromix later that "they ended up getting someone cheaper" to do it. One actor did all the voices, for consistency, reading the script in a lifeless, monotone voice as to not shift the frequency spectrum in the vocoder.
3. Voice Of The Cylon Pt. 3 The Vocoder [EMS Vocoder, specifically the Vocoder 1000]
Finally it is known exactly which vocoder was used for the Cylon voice. Universal Studios had rented the EMS and Sennheiser, and when sound designer Peter Berkos was asked about it circa 2008 he mis-remembered due to having the Sennheiser manual still. Youtube user intromix has owned both and tested oscillators, it could not have been the Sennheiser but now we know for sure anyway.
4. Voice of the Cylon Pt. 4 the Phaser & Distortion [Countryman Associates Type 968A Phase Shifter]
The rare, quirky effect box that was used as an impromptu distortion device. My contact told me that they floated the idea of using a guitar amp and/or pedals, but did not even try it once they found this. ** Also, he told me NO Marshall Time modulator was used as it hadn't even been released yet.
5. Voice of the Cylon Pt. 5 Recording Gear
Two main pieces of studio recording gear that were present at Universal Studios in 1978 that had a big impact on the sonic character of the Cylon voice recording. Big thanks to Ken from Electrodyne for all his advice, as well as and
6. Voice Of the Cylon Pt. 6 Audio Demos & Credits
Resurrecting the sound of the Cylon Centurion from the original Battlestar Galactica 1978 using the original equipment. Once the vocoder was recorded, it was further altered/degraded by multiple tape transfers in the video editing process, post-production techniques (EQ and reverb, to "place" the character in a big room, spaceship, etc) My contact said there were just pieces of tape on the gear to place knobs/switches back where they were; and that the synthesizer frequently sounded very different from day to day or after a power outage. In the series there are wildly differing Cylon tones, tiny movements in gain or EQ settings (especially the ringy ARP 2500 filters) radically alter the vocoder due to the ultra-harmonic richness of the tone. So many preamps and transformers involved, it was hard for THEM to make the Cylon voice consistent. Supposedly sound designer Peter Berkos wrote notes on the process, Universal Studios couldn't locate any info at all, it likely all burned down in the great fire of 2008 as well as the golden ARP 2500 oscillator used all throughout Galactica 1980.
Preamp was running a bit hot in this demo, didn't catch until after, so this tone sounds extra crunchy in this example. I sampled my tones with lowpass filter a bit too low, hope to get another chance with the real thing some day.
7. Gold Cylon Voice Vulpa [extra video]
Recreating the lower voice of the Gold Cylon commander. There are so many steps and factors to re-creating the Cylon voice even the original crew could not make it consistent on a day-to-day basis. Out of hundreds of test files this year I'm only really happy with about 5 of them but will keep working to recreate it perfectly.

Friday, April 19, 2019

Kraftwerk's Sennheiser VSM 201 Vocoder

Published on Dec 5, 2011 DJ DNA (Urban Dance Squad)

"This is the very vocoder Kraftwerk used on their albums Computerworld and Man Machine, I purchased it from their Kling Klang studios in 1999, it is modified and came with a 19" Telefunken midiunit that connects via a SCSIport in the back of the vocoder, rerouting the 20 bands of processed signal, thus enabling xtra controls (presumably for liveshows)."

Monday, October 22, 2018

The Voice of Q

Published on Oct 22, 2018 VoiceEncoder
Update: looks like VoiceEncoder pulled the video.
I found other uploads and a link to the 12" on Bandcamp for those interested.
This of course went up as a demo of the Sennheiser Vocoder VSM201 according to the original description from VoiceEncoder further below.

"12" Now On Bandcamp:

The leftfield electro disco gem originally released in 1982 finally gets an official reissue. Bootlegged badly in recent years, Isle Of Jura does it right with fully remastered versions from Matt Colton and the added inclusion of a previously unreleased Q song ‘Keep It Strong’."

Original description from VoiceEncoder:

"Q: 'The Voice of Q' (Full VINYL album uploaded in 1080p HD). Sennheiser Vocoder VSM201. Full VINYL album.


1. "The Voice of Q" (Original 12").
2. "Keep It Strong" (Unreleased Dub Edit).
3. "The Voice of Q" (Vocoder 12")."

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Synth Spotting with Meat Beat Manifesto

Three pics via dwell, where you'll find the full post.

Photos by Joe Fletcher.

Mmm... vinyl.

Synth spotting:
E-mu modular on top of ARP 2500
Small Buchla system? on top of KORG MS series, on top of KORG PS3300
EMS SYNTHI & Elektron Analog Four
Roland Jupiter-4 over Jupiter-8
Roland System 100m modular over complete System 100 minus speakers
White EML 101 minus keyboard over blue EML 200 expander
Sennheiser VSM-201 vocoder over EMS Vocoder 2000 racked on the left
Big Briar Model 91A Theremin on the right (thank you Theremin World!)

Spotted this one on TRASH_AUDIO

Thursday, October 06, 2016

bFAKE - Kraftwerk Vocoder (Official Video)

Published on Sep 29, 2016 bFAKEVEVO

Moog Source, Crumar Trilogy, Synton modular & Sennheiser vocoder!

"The first single Kraftwerk Vocoder, by bFake! Stream the single elsewhere:

bFake is PinKi & da Bruin and DJ DNA"

via Synthtopia

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Happy Birthday Herbie Hancock!

Today is Herbie Hancock's birthday!

Found this great shot of Herbie with a Moog Minimoog & Sennheiser VSM201 vocoder via @moogmusicinc.

BTW, unless he owned more than one VSM201, that exact VSM201 was up for auction here back in 2011. Crazy to think someone out there has that little bit of synth history.  Curious what happened to the Mini.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

La fabrication de Moscow Diskow (Telex)

Published on Nov 28, 2012 nygmatrash·9 videos

"Dan Lacksman et Marc Moulin décomposent leur tube de génie !"

Sennheiser VSM-201 Vocoder, PPG 350 Sequencer, Moog modular & more.

Telex - Moskow Diskow (1979)

Published on Jul 10, 2012
"Telex - Moskow Diskow

Version : Original 1979

"Telex-Moskow Diskow", sound recording administered by: EMI"

Thursday, September 06, 2012

The Analog Lab NYC-Sennheiser VSM 201 | EML POLYBOX

YouTube Published on Sep 6, 2012 by TheAnalogLab

"A brief, stereotypical vocoder demo featuring the amazing Sennheiser VSM 201 Vocoder with an EML POLYBOX.

These were both units that were in for repair at The Analog Lab in NYC.

The tone generator is routed through the EML where it is divided into user selected pitches/chords. The chords remain static, but the pitch shifts with the change of the frequency of the tone generator.

-Also featured- One of Harlan's favorite snuck in and I didn't notice until afterward.

And an Oscilloscope for awesomeness."

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Meat Beat Manifesto Synthesizer Test

YouTube Published on Jun 19, 2012 by carrierfreQ

"A synthesizer test recorded in real time."

In Order of Appearance:
Roland System 100 & System 100m
EMS Synthi 100 & EMS Vocoder
EKO COMPUTERHYTHM (see this post)
Syntovox 221
Sennheiser Vocoder VSM201
EMS Synthi
EMS Universal Sequencer
ARP 2500
EML 200
Moog Minimoog Model D
Emu Modular
Moog 16 Channel Vococer

Sunday, June 10, 2012

SENNHEISER VSM-201 Vocoder SN 16

Note: Auction links are affiliate links for which the site may be compensated. via this auction on eBay Italy

Note I normally do not post pics with watermarks that obstruct the image, however, considering the rarity of this item and as it was sent in via the seller, the post goes up.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Sennheiser Vocoder VSM 201 Serviced by Studio Electronics

via this auction
"Selling a VSM 201 Classic Sennheiser vocoder. It literally looks brand new OUT OF A TIME MACHINE.. and its more than 30 years old! i believe. This piece was worth more than 20k when it came out and they only made about 30 of them.

What is special about this unit is that this unit its serial number 11. Most of the units that came out to the public where serial number 13 up, therefore this unit is one of the original, It comes with a custom case. I had it checked by David Kulka las week and its all good to go. Look at the pictures and feel free to ask me any questions.


This is the famous vocoder used for the robot voicesin the Grandmix intro's. It has several inputs of which the voice input and the carrier input are the most important.
What it does is this. It takes a carrier sound (synth waveformor any other sound containing sufficient harmonics) and articulatesthat sound with your voice, much in the same way as your mouth articulates the sound coming from your vocal chords. It achieves this by detecting frequencies in the voice section, andopening the corresponding frequencies in the carrier section.The more frequency bands used, the better is the resulting effect.The sennheiser uses 20 frequency bands. Many more than most other vocoders, making it one of the best vocoders ever built. There are only 3 copies of this model in Europe, one probably ownedby Kraftwerk. Other people using this model are Herbie Hancock, the Cylon robots in Battlestar Gallactica, and some droids in Star Wars."

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Sennheiser Research, Wireless MIDI Microphone Prototype Demo

YouTube Uploaded by Moogulator on Oct 27, 2011

"Andy from the Sennheiser Research Center in Palo Alto, CA showed us this neat MIDI Wireless Microphone with Controllers & Buttons.- iPhone recording in the dark, sorry for bad quality."

Thursday, September 08, 2011


via this auction

The pics and description appear to come from Los Angeles Guitar Shop which shows it as sold. The top of the listing on eBay claims "make it yours for $1800!" but the seller has 100% feedback with 2873 transactions. The sellers other items appear to be all over the place. You be the judge. The seller also had a Waldorf Q+ that was pulled.

"Sennheiser Vocoder VSM 201!
#32 with Original Wood Case!
Perfectly Serviced, 100% Original!

For your consideration is this extremely scarce 1978 Sennheiser VSM 201 Vocoder. With regard to design, sound quality and historical context, the VSM 201 is considered by many to represent the absolute pinnacle of vocoder effects. With production believed to be under 100 units total, combined with an original price of $20,000.00 US, claiming the Sennheiser VSM 201 was reserved for a highly specific clientele would be a serious understatement: there are simply none available. Take advantage of this probable once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to buy the best vocoder ever made.

First and foremost, this particular example (serial number 32) was recently professionally serviced, and is currently in absolutely perfect working condition. The capacitors, resistors and chips that were removed during the maintenance are all intact and included, so the unit remains 100% original. The original wood transportation case and original rubber feet are also included.

Famously used by Herbie Hancock, Kraftwerk and iconic silver screen robots, the VSM 201 is the ultimate vocal effect. Having inspired modern digital representations and miscellaneous plug-in programs, this original VSM 201 is superior in every respect.

A superficial inspection will reveal and impressive; 55 knobs, 69 LEDs, 11 switches and 34 sockets. Technically, this legendary unit features; 20 separate channels with fixed envelope routing internally from each analyzer envelope generator to the corresponding VCA, numerous mic and line inputs with a corresponding VU meter. As the complexity of the control panel implies, there is much much more to describe. All photos are of the actual item!"

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Sennheiser VSM201 Vocoder owned by Herbie Hancock

via this auction

"For sale is a vintage Sennheiser VSM201 vocoder. VSM201's are very rare and perhaps the most incredible and versatile of all analog vocoders. These originally cost $20,000 and very few were made. I have heard only 5 are still in operational condition in the states. This one was fully serviced this past year and is fully functional. It is in great shape for such an old instrument, and even includes the original box! It sounds absolutely amazing. In addition, this vocoder has an incredible history. It was owned by Herbie Hancock! A certificate verifying this will be included in the auction. See pictures below for more details. Here is a short sound demo. This demo only scratches the surface of its features, demonstrating its most basic abilities."

Sennheiser VSM201 by yousenditworks [with Jomox Sunsyn]

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Kraftwerk The Catalogue 2004 PROMO-ONLY RARE!

via this auction

This post, however, is not about Kraftwerk.

"This is the 2004 Promo-only pre-release of Kraftwerk's "The Catalogue 12345678." The CD-sized box contains 8 discs: Autobahn, Radio Activity, Trans-Europe Express, The Man-Machine, Computer World, Techno Pop (Electric Cafe), The Mix and Tour de France Soundtracks. You can search the internet for the buzz and people's passionate opinions of this remastering version when it came out in 2004."

This one in via Reed.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Sennheiser VSM-201 Vocoder

via this auction

"exceptionally rare, consummate piece of musical electronics: the Sennheiser VSM-201 Vocoder SN#19.

Originally available during the late 1970s for $20,000 (back when the vocoder was the most fascinating new development in studio effects), this particular model was considered unmatched in sound quality, useability and design. Many still feel this way today, myself included!

During my life spent acquiring electronic musical instruments, and recording in music studios, I have only seen one other, mounted into a Moog 55 cabinet in the studio of a notable producer in Berlin. The complex feature set and cost meant that few VSM-201 Vocoders were built -- certainly under a hundred. And so, rarely seen nor heard, this is certainly both an artifact of electronic music history as well as a decadant device with few peers."

Thursday, November 18, 2010


via this auction
(more pics there)

"extremely scarce 1978 Sennheiser VSM 201 Vocoder. With regard to design, sound quality and historical context, the VSM 201 is considered by many to represent the absolute pinnacle of vocoder effects. With production believed to be under 100 units total, combined with an original price of $20,000.00 US, claiming the Sennheiser VSM 201 was reserved for a highly specific clientele would be a serious understatement: there are simply none available. Take advantage of this probable once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to buy the best vocoder ever made."

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Electric Independence: Vince Clarke and the Temple of Synth

via Pea Hicks and Matt Musick of Motherboard.TV. Click here and scroll for prior posts.
"The new episode of Electric Independence documents a visit to Vince Clarke's incredible home studio that features more analog gear than, well, probably anyone we've ever encountered. The founding member of Depeche Mode, Yazoo, and Erasure is enjoying the country life in Maine but still cranks out the jams, or as he likes to put it 'making something from nothing.'"
Vince Clark of Depeche Mode, Yaz/Yazoo and Erasure.

Vince Clark's studio synth list via here:
ARP 2600
KORG 700

Switched On Make Synthesizer Evolution Vintage Synthesizers Creating Sound Fundlementals of Synthesizer Programming Kraftwerk

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