Paia Vocoder or Electrix Warp Factory?

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Paia Vocoder or Electrix Warp Factory?

Postby Automatic Gainsay » Fri Jan 25, 2008 3:27 pm

I swear I am not Vocoderman.

It's just that lately I have been irrationally missing my Roland SVC-350... but I do not want to pay for an SVC-350 being as that I use vocoders relatively rarely for loving them like I do.

Of course, I would love to have an EMS 2000, but I only know of one for sale and I'm pretty sure if I don't want to buy an SVC-350 for eBay prices, there is no way I am going to buy it for this retailer's prices.

Anyway... so I wondered about both of these cheap-ass vocoders...

I want an analog vintage-sounding vocoder which will be used for melodies and chords ala vocoders of the 70s, and not one that will be used to make robot noises or statements designed to persuade people to dance harder like the 80s and 90s.

Is the Electrix capable of this sort of thing? Is it analog?

Can anyone describe these vocoders' limitations?

Thanks!
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Postby pricklyrobot » Fri Jan 25, 2008 6:01 pm

I'm not sure I know exactly what kind of sound you're going for based on your description, but I can say that I've gotten a pretty wide variety of sounds out of my WarpFactory (then again I guess to a large extent a vocoder is only as good as what you put into it) very few of which fell into robot voice category, though it can do plenty of robot sounds too. I've been very happy with the WarpFactory (it's built like a tank too), but I don't have a lot of experience with other vocoders so take that for what it's worth.

I can say for sure that it is not analog. I found this Sound On Sound review that probably covers some of the technical aspects and possible limitations better than I can: http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/oct99/a ... ectrix.htm
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Postby Automatic Gainsay » Fri Jan 25, 2008 7:38 pm

Thanks Prickly, that was extremely helpful!

It sounds like the Electrix might work well for me based on that review. Except that it's digital... but I'm not so concerned about that in this instance.

Anyway, thanks for the help!
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Postby pricklyrobot » Fri Jan 25, 2008 9:37 pm

Automatic Gainsay wrote:Thanks Prickly, that was extremely helpful!

It sounds like the Electrix might work well for me based on that review. Except that it's digital... but I'm not so concerned about that in this instance.

Anyway, thanks for the help!


You're quite welcome, sir.

I too would like to hear opinions of the PAiA vocoder if anyone here owns one. I've recently gotten into kit-building and that one looks like it may be a good intermediate project to try once I have a few more FX pedals under my belt.
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Postby killedaway » Fri Jan 25, 2008 10:00 pm

i've had the WarpFactory for several years now, and while it covers the bases pretty well, i find it has a brittle and decidedly un-analog character to it, which is about my only grievance with it. i use mine primarily for robot voices and some soft "is that talking i hear?"-type pad and string voices. the other 'coders i own are the Behringer Virtualizer Pro (which has a surprising intelligible vocoder included) and the inbuilt ones in the microKORG and Ion. of them all, the WF is probably the most detailed and intelligible, and like pricklyrobot said, it's casing is quite tank-like. it's chuck-it-out-the-window-and-it-still-works quality.

if the old sound-demos are gone from the current Electrix website, i'll be glad to post them here for you. also, if there's anything specific you'd like to hear, i could probably cobble a demo together for you, myself.

good luck!
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Postby minime123 » Sat Jan 26, 2008 4:33 pm

none of these touch the sound of our ems2000, but if youre not a serious vocoder nut with a good budget to work with then the warp factory would be the one i would recommend. does way more than the paia, which is a low budget vocoder and sounds it. the paia may sound more analog but the warp does so much more and sounds a lot better, IMO. i would never get rid of my personal warp factory (or ems for that matter).
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Postby Automatic Gainsay » Sat Jan 26, 2008 8:35 pm

minime123 wrote:none of these touch the sound of our ems2000, but if youre not a serious vocoder nut with a good budget to work with then the warp factory would be the one i would recommend. does way more than the paia, which is a low budget vocoder and sounds it. the paia may sound more analog but the warp does so much more and sounds a lot better, IMO. i would never get rid of my personal warp factory (or ems for that matter).


E.L.O. used the EMS, and E.L.O. is who got me interested in vocoders. I've always wanted one, but of course, they're rare and expensive. In stumbling about the internet searching for a Paia, I saw that you have an EMS. Of COURSE you do, you always have the cool shit. Is your EMS not for sale? I thought I saw that it was.

I am a vocoder nut, but I like them more than I use them. I had an SVC-350 for 20 years, and I found that I wanted something more than it so I sold it. Of course, not having one means that every rare instance where you think "a vocoder might be nice here" you kick yourself for not having it, whereas if you DID have it, you'd probably never think to use it.

So, I am looking for a vocoder that will at least keep me from kicking myself every time I have the urge to vocode.

I keep telling myself the Electrix is the way to go because they are plentiful and inexpensive, but I am irrationally put off by the digital technology of it. I wonder if perhaps I would enjoy using the Paia more even if it is limited because of the goofy pleasure I get from using things buzzing with electricity instead of data.
Hell, I don't knowwwwwww.
There are no Paias to be found, and I am not about to attempt to buy the kit, so I may just have to go with Electrix.

Thanks for your input, Minime.
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Postby Automatic Gainsay » Sat Jan 26, 2008 9:25 pm

killedaway wrote:i've had the WarpFactory for several years now, and while it covers the bases pretty well, i find it has a brittle and decidedly un-analog character to it, which is about my only grievance with it.

Ack, that's what I was afraid of!
Have you used it with analog sound sources?



killedaway wrote:if the old sound-demos are gone from the current Electrix website, i'll be glad to post them here for you. also, if there's anything specific you'd like to hear, i could probably cobble a demo together for you, myself.

good luck!

I haven't been able to find suitable demos. If you're in the mood to record some, that'd be cool!
Thanks for your response and info!
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Postby OriginalJambo » Sun Jan 27, 2008 1:45 am

Wait a sec - AG's put off by "digital technology"? ;)
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Postby minime123 » Sun Jan 27, 2008 1:54 am

my personal ems2000, which ive had for many years, is not for sale and probably never will be. the one we have up for sale is inventory. if i didnt have one already, it wouldnt be for sale. :)

in my opinion, owning a paia as well (which im not so attached to) and having had a couple others in the past, the only reason id encourage anyone to go for the paia is if they wanted to build it from scratch and get the DIY experience. it does have a different sound from the warp, but the warp really is an interesting effect that does way more. no other vocoder will sound like the warp. and no other vocoder will respond to MIDI CCs like it does. well, maybe except for a plugin.
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Postby killedaway » Sun Jan 27, 2008 8:05 am

Automatic Gainsay wrote:I haven't been able to find suitable demos. If you're in the mood to record some, that'd be cool!
Thanks for your response and info!


here are all of the old videos and sound demos from the Electrix website. i suggest you steel yourself, as the audio examples are hopelessly, violently cheesy. further still, they aren't very indicative of the WarpFactory's abilities!

video 1
video 2
video 3

mp3 1
mp3 2
mp3 3

don't forget that Jexus has a very fine example of the WF on his website. i'll bang together a short demo tomorrow (Sunday), and post it here, so check back then.
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Postby Automatic Gainsay » Sun Jan 27, 2008 11:56 am

OriginalJambo wrote:Wait a sec - AG's put off by "digital technology"? ;)


You should be saying "Wait a sec... AG's thinking about buying digital technology?"
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Postby OriginalJambo » Sun Jan 27, 2008 4:00 pm

Automatic Gainsay wrote:You should be saying "Wait a sec... AG's thinking about buying digital technology?"


Good point. :lol:

I'd love to check out the PAiA myself as it looks to be good value for money if you are able to build it successfully.

The WARP Factory does look damn good, but the prices up here are on the rise it seems - last time I seen one for sale the guy wanted an offer and I offered £100 ($200) and he said he wouldn't let it go for less than £300 ($600) if I remember rightly because it's "rather rare". In fact if I really wanted a vocoder that much and I had £300 to burn I'd just get an MS-2000 or save for a V-Synth with that vocal designer card.

Software is an option too for most of us...although I know you probably wouldn't favour the notion - I personally think the Orange Vocoder VST is actually quite good from using the demo.
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Postby Automatic Gainsay » Sun Jan 27, 2008 8:12 pm

OriginalJambo wrote:I'd love to check out the PAiA myself as it looks to be good value for money if you are able to build it successfully.

Yes, that's the thing... I would just buy the Paia if I had any sort of soldering skill at all... but I don't. It seems like a skill I should pursue learning.

OriginalJambo wrote:The WARP Factory does look damn good, but the prices up here are on the rise it seems - last time I seen one for sale the guy wanted an offer and I offered £100 ($200) and he said he wouldn't let it go for less than £300 ($600) if I remember rightly because it's "rather rare". In fact if I really wanted a vocoder that much and I had £300 to burn I'd just get an MS-2000 or save for a V-Synth with that vocal designer card.

Yeah, that's crazy. The prices in the US are lower than that, based upon what I've seen since I started looking. They seem to average for about $175 on eBay, which is fine. If it was $300 or something, I might as well get a keyboard with one intact if I'm going to get something digital. For $600 you're inching into the SVC-350 range in America.


OriginalJambo wrote:Software is an option too for most of us...although I know you probably wouldn't favour the notion - I personally think the Orange Vocoder VST is actually quite good from using the demo.

I am in no way arranged to use a software vocoder... the only computer I have in my studio is a Mac 8600 upon which I have my ancient Studio Vision Pro sequencer... but it is far too old to run any modern software. By the time I bought the appropriate equipment, software, and moved my computer into the studio, I'd be able to afford an actual vocoder that I wouldn't hate to use. :wink:
I am not about to make the massive interface change necessary for a software embracing anytime soon. I well remember the paradigm shift that occurred every time I learned a new type of synthesis... it meant months of teaching my creative brain how to be creative in a totally new way. I am done doing that. I have no further urge to let programmers define for me how I create. Mostly, I can't stand the 6 months of "How do I do this simple thing?" and "Why isn't it doing what I want it to" which accompanies the learning of new technology.
I'm not against digital technology at all... but using software as a creative tool simply doesn't work for me... as convenient as it would be.
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Postby Automatic Gainsay » Sun Jan 27, 2008 8:19 pm

killedaway wrote:
Automatic Gainsay wrote:I haven't been able to find suitable demos. If you're in the mood to record some, that'd be cool!
Thanks for your response and info!


here are all of the old videos and sound demos from the Electrix website. i suggest you steel yourself, as the audio examples are hopelessly, violently cheesy. further still, they aren't very indicative of the WarpFactory's abilities!

video 1
video 2
video 3

mp3 1
mp3 2
mp3 3

don't forget that Jexus has a very fine example of the WF on his website. i'll bang together a short demo tomorrow (Sunday), and post it here, so check back then.


Hey, killed! Thanks for posting all of this stuff! It is really helpful.
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