Is this a Vocoder? Or a String Machine? Or a Synthesizer? The Waldorf STVC is all in one: It’s the rebirth of the antique multi-keyboard – a type of performance-synthesizer that was highly popular in the late 70s / early 80s. Roland VP-330 (strings / vocoder) or Crumar Multiman (brass / strings / solo instruments) – just to name two of those classic multi-purpose-machines.
Waldorf has already touched the ground with Streichfett – a genious string-sound/solo-voice synthesizer module. Its dual sound engine features a fully polyphonic strings section and an eight voice solo section. And now, there is STVC – the STring-VoCoder Keyboard.
This full-polyphonic (!) section starts with an oscillator bank using octave dividers, followed by a complex mixer, an equalizer and the ensemble effect, just like string machines from the 70’s. A single registration knob sweeps through mixer and EQ settings for Violin, Viola, Cello, Brass, Organ, Choir and more for creating rich and creamy sonic textures.
This vocal-section replaces the equalizer in the string section with the filter bank that models the vocal tract from the speech input. This can produce quite intelligible speech or singing using the fully polyphonic oscillator bank.
Formants can be modified, which can result in a perceived change of gender. Adjustable jitter of the string oscillators renders the voice hoarse, creaky or a complete whisper. The Solo section (the Synthesizer) can pass through the Vocoder or play in parallel.
This solo-sound section is a 16-voice synthesizer that complements the string sounds. A single Tone knob sweeps through many useful settings. Solo is the sidekick to the strings, but it is powerful enough to be the lead character every now and then.
STVC comes with a high quality gooseneck microphone that plugs right into the front panel. Everything’s included. Good news.
The Freeze button lets you freeze a short speech fragment, which is then repeated by the Vocoder whenever a key is pressed. Change of playback speed, like faster, backwards or a complete stop are possible and fun, as well as formant change.
A novel Tweak function allows for modification or modulation of details, like e.g. the solo cutoff frequency or the Chorus LFO rate. It is similar to a modulation matrix, but it also allows to alter implicit settings with a fixed value or an offset.
Three Effects operate simultaneously: Animate is in fact a modulation of the string or vocoder registration, while a Phaser ist a must for any decent string machine. A high quality Reverb with adjustable size can be mixed to the output.
String-Machine / Vocoder / Synthesizer
Retail Price: 749,- Euros