Behringer Vocoder VC340

90

Vocoder

  • Analogue vocoder and string ensemble synthesiser
  • Keyboard with 37 semi-weighted and velocity sensitive keys
  • "Human Voice" (Male and Female) and "Strings" sections mixable for classic string and choir sounds
  • Analogue vocoder with tone control
  • BBD chorus for ensemble effects
  • Vibrato LFO
  • Pitch shift fader
  • Metal case with wooden side parts
  • Dimensions (H x W x D): 103 x 649 x 257 mm
  • Weight: 6.6 kg
  • Suitable protective cover: Art.481849 (not included)
  • Suitable case: Art.482980 (not included)

Connections:

  • Stereo / mono audio output: 6.3 mm jack
  • Headphone output: 6.3 mm jack
  • Microphone input: XLR / 6.3mm jack
  • External audio input: 6.3 mm jack
  • Hold and pitch input for vocoder: 6.3 mm jack
  • MIDI In / Out / Thru
  • USB-B port
Number Of Keys 37
Touch-Sensitive Yes
Aftertouch No
Split Zones Yes
Modulation Wheel No
Sound Engine Analogue
Storage Medium None
USB-port Yes
Effects Chorus
Arpeggiator No
Number of Analog Outputs 2
Digital Output No
Display No
available since April 2019
Item number 458341
sales unit 1 piece(s)
Pedal Connections None
B-Stock from £325 available
£349
Free shipping incl. VAT
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The perfect trio

The Behringer Vocoder VC340 has been created with the sound and looks of a long-discontinued vocoder classic from 1979 in mind and keeps the tradition alive. In terms of design, a vocoder, a string ensemble, a human voice sound generator, and a keyboard with 37 velocity-sensitive keys have been combined here to create a high-performance analogue instrument equipped with an opulent control panel and up-to-date MIDI and USB-MIDI interfaces. Get ready for those classic, warm-sounding, and musical tones that fans of the 70s and 80s know and love.

Speech, choirs, and strings

The vocoder plays a unique role in electronic music, since it allows synthesizers to talk. The voice signal comes in via an external dynamic microphone, which allows an internal or external sound source to speak or sing via an analogue filter bank with ten frequency bands. But that is not all: The Vocoder VC340 also combines an analogue string ensemble and the sound of a human voice choir, which can be played polyphonically and assigned to different parts of the keyboard. Combined with the integrated vibrato and chorus effects, this provides wonderfully smooth-sounding textures that do a lot more than perfectly enhance the vocal effects.

An electronic time machine

Vocoders became a regular part of electronic music at the end of the 1960s and were heard on countless chart hits in the two decades that followed. Polyphonic sounds at this time were often obtained from string ensembles, which means that the combination on offer here almost automatically delivers a vintage feel, making the Vocoder VC340 the perfect choice for those looking to revive the sounds of this era. At the same time, the instrument’s intuitive user interface makes sound generation easy, which in turn makes this without doubt a musical instrument that is perfect for the stage and the studio.

About Behringer

The company, which was founded in Germany by Uli Behringer and now manufactures its products in China, has been known for affordable and great-value equipment since its very first product, the Studio Exciter F. An array of mixing consoles (such as the Eurodesk MX8000), signal processors, and later sound amplification and monitoring equipment, has made it possible for countless musicians to fit out their home studios, practice rooms, and mobile PAs within budget limits that were previously unthinkable. The acquisition of other companies, including Midas, Klark Teknik, and TC Electronic, meant that new product groups were added - and also resulted in the technical expertise of these companies being incorporated into product development.

Strings and vocals

The Vocoder VC340 gives you an analogue vocoder that reproduces the warm and distinctive sounds that have become synonymous with artists like Vangelis, Laurie Anderson, Tomita, and even Genesis and Pink Floyd. These are accompanied by dense string ensemble and choir sounds that can be played polyphonically and formed intuitively as well as enhanced with chorus, vibrato, and pitch-bend effects and distributed across two sections of the keyboard. Together with the 37 dynamic keys, this gives you a uniquely intuitive performance instrument that will excel both on stage and in the studio.

In the spotlight: Vocoder

The vocoder was developed by Bell Labs in the 1920s with the aim of transmitting spoken conversations via telephone lines with a low bandwidth. This technology was initially also employed in military applications before finding use in the musical sector. A vocoder works by passing the input signal – human speech – through a large number of parallel band-pass filters whose level curves are recorded by envelope followers. On the output side, these modulation signals are applied to a second filter bank, which is fed by a carrier waveform. The carrier signal thus takes on the modulations of the speech signal and is made to “speak”. The pitch of the carrier signal is variable, which means that the synthesised speech information can be played musically using a keyboard and can even be used polyphonically.

o
High quality sounds and a high quality build
ocelot 26.05.2020
I was searching for a good vocoder for such a long time, the digital ones didn't appeal to me... Then the VC340 came just at the right time for the right price. It is now my main instrument for vocoding but I'm also using other features quite frequently.

This is a pure vintage sounding synth, very warm sounding strings and human voices and a beautiful analog vocoder. Since it resembles the Roland VP-330, it's pretty much hands on, you can see all of your controls without any menus - just the way I like it! Mixing sounds with faders while playing feels very organic and it flows very well.

The built quality is also excellent, the control board is made of metal with sturdy buttons, knobs and faders. The controls generally have a nice feel and they certainly don't feel cheap. The keyboard itself is by far the best one I have in my home studio and it doesn't feel flimsy at all.

Same goes for the ins and outs, it can be used as stereo and it sounds wonderful.

I have no cons whatsoever, well done Behringer! And thanks for bringing this synth back to life. Pure analogue joy!

If you are looking for a very vintage and analog vocoder sound and have no need for million other sterile vocoder options beside it, this would be a good choice!
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near perfect
springr 04.06.2019
This is an amazing achievement by Behringer, I've put this next to the original and its excellent, I compared both synth sections and the vocoder and the Behringer nails it !
I will probably sell my original VPP330 now which was retrofitted with midi as I love the added velocity response of the Behringer, it's also lighter and smaller.
The only problem I have is that the ensemble effect sounds like one of the delay lines is running too fast, so Im hoping I can tweak this inside when that info becomes available.

Its only a small point but being able to switch the ensemble effect off the strings would have been a nice touch.
It would have been great if the external in could have been routed through the ensemble effect, I think they should release that as a stand alone effect.
I also think this should be released as a module with no keyboard.
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Sounds Great, Built...Meh
SF Matt 09.07.2021
First, the good. This is a GREAT sounding string machine and vocoder. It really nails the classic Roland sound, and is a sweet looking machine. However...build quality is quite disappointing, particularly for the price point (I bought when these were around $700; Behringer has since dropped the price). The keyboard feel is pretty mediocre (I understand Behringer designed it themselves; might be wise to outsource this to a manufacturer with some expertise) and some of the toggle switches are already starting to fail (require multiple presses to engage / disengage). I love the sound, but don't have much confidence this thing will last for more than a few years. Disappointing - really wanted to like all this new Behringer gear and for the most part it does sound great, but quality is still pretty poor and remarkably uneven. Oh well - I guess you do get what you pay for, don't you?
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From the masters of analogue clones!
nightfly35 02.12.2019
You can read the specs and watch videos on how the unit sounds. I will focus my review on other aspects. The unit is heavy and feels sturdy and is anything but a cheap clone: it is well made, well thought of and is astonishingly close to the original. I do not own the original of which this unit imitates, though as a prospective buyer I watched all the available comparison videos online (of which I believe you've already done so, if you are reading this). If you are after the sound of vintage string instruments, this will fill the gap somewhat. I also own the original ARP Solina and I must say, I use both instruments depending on the situation. They are similar but complement each other perfectly. VC340, of course, is more versatile with human voices, adjustable vibrato effects, and the built in vocoder. However, it must be said that, once the novelty has worn off, you might realize that there is limited use for the unit. This did not bother me at all, because it does what it is supposed to do very very good. You might want to decide whether it is worth to buy it for that occasional use.
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