VP-330 Alternative?

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VP-330 Alternative?

Postby Rumbler101 » Thu Jan 04, 2018 9:51 pm

Is there a good alternative (not the VP-03, sounds meh) that can do the job of a VP-330?

They're really hard to find and can be expensive. I'm not interested in plugins.

I did do some research and I found that the SVC-350 is the Vocoder from the VP-330 (close enough anyway), but there's no synth section in it.

I did see on Gearslutz that a guy suggested to get an RS-202 or an RS-505 and put that in as the synth source.

However, he did say that there might also be another (cheaper) way of achieving the VP-330 sound with the SVC-350.

What could that be?

Thanks.

Source: https://www.gearslutz.com/board/so-much ... 330-a.html
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Re: VP-330 Alternative?

Postby Z » Thu Jan 04, 2018 10:53 pm

In my opinion, the SVC-350 is is better than the VP-330 since you can tweak the sound with the 11 band "equalizer" and you can also disable the ensemble effect.

Is there a particular reason why you want the VP-330?

If you didn't know already, Behringer has been teasing us with photos of products they're working on and one of them happens to be a VP-330 clone.
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Re: VP-330 Alternative?

Postby Rumbler101 » Thu Jan 04, 2018 10:58 pm

Z wrote:In my opinion, the SVC-350 is is better than the VP-330 since you can tweak the sound with the 11 band "equalizer" and you can also disable the ensemble effect.

Is there a particular reason why you want the VP-330?

If you didn't know already, Behringer has been teasing us with photos of products they're working on and one of them happens to be a VP-330 clone.

I just really like the breathy sound of it. Plus Vangelis used it extensively and I love the "Blade Runner" soundtrack.

What really turned me onto the VP-330 is the fact that when I was looking in the liner notes of "Face Value," the Phil Collins LP, I noticed that he used the robotic voices i.e. the vocoder on "In The Air Tonight" in the background -- adds a bit of mystery to the track.

Yes, I did see that Behringer was making a VP-330 clone, they seem to be doing a better effort than Roland these days.

But yeah, do you by any chance know of any other alternatives? Thanks.

You're probably right too, the SVC-350 is very likely better than the VP-330... you can get them rather cheap (well, cheap in synth terms that is) and they aren't too hard to find. Just wish they had a synth section like the VP-330.
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Re: VP-330 Alternative?

Postby Z » Fri Jan 05, 2018 3:18 am

Rumbler101 wrote:
You're probably right too, the SVC-350 is very likely better than the VP-330... you can get them rather cheap (well, cheap in synth terms that is) and they aren't too hard to find. Just wish they had a synth section like the VP-330.


The VP-330 does not have a synth section. You're thinking of the RS-505. The VP-330 has basic strings and choir. Pretty much the same string sound as on all of the Roland RS string ensemble keyboards.
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Re: VP-330 Alternative?

Postby Rumbler101 » Fri Jan 05, 2018 1:40 pm

So synths and strings are different then?

That's the only alternative to a VP-330? Get an RS-202 or an RS-505? Nothing else?
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Re: VP-330 Alternative?

Postby Z » Sat Jan 06, 2018 2:26 am

Are you not familiar with string ensemble keyboards?
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Re: VP-330 Alternative?

Postby Rumbler101 » Sat Jan 06, 2018 4:04 am

Z wrote:Are you not familiar with string ensemble keyboards?

Yeah, by name... how they work, no. I did look it up though and basically they're based on one oscillator being divided down several times.
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Re: VP-330 Alternative?

Postby celebutante » Sat Jan 06, 2018 11:42 am

I've owned both the VP-330 and SVC-350 (and plenty of hardware and software vocoders). IMO, the answer is that nothing sounds as good as a real-deal analog vocoder. There ARE other vocoders that sound as good as (or possibly better) than the vintage Rolands, but nothing cheaper (vintage Synton, Sennheiser, and EMS vocoders for example, but they're crazy $$$). I've never heard a digital emulation that really captures the "bark" of the real thing, or the cool sound of the bands overlapping as a vowel changes.
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Re: VP-330 Alternative?

Postby knolan » Sat Jan 06, 2018 2:24 pm

I own both a VP330 Mk1 and 2 - so I’m biased!

There are no alternatives. :-)

If you can get a Mk1, do.

All three sections are excellent, and as was pointed out above, Vangelis is the main champion of this instrument. He used the strings on the opening to Bladerunner and on Chariots of Fire, while some or all sections feature heavily on albums such as See You Later, Private Collection, Mask and Soil Festivities among others. Indeed we go on about the importance of the CS80 to Vangelis but the VP330 was arguably as important to his music of that era.

The key point to note is that, although it uses divide down technology, it is, from a chordal point of view, 48 note polyphonic - and Vangelis used this so well because its the constant flow of well voiced chords and chord progressions in his music (from a classical voice leading viewpoint) that makes it sound so good. The strings, just used for banal chords - sound - quite banal!

So the VP03 cannot emulate the VP330 as a string synthesizer because its limited to 6 voices. it is a big point to take on board if you're after a rich lush string machine.

Similarly, Behringers clone appears to be just 3 octaves! There may be MIDI on it- but again - the VP330 is a performance instrument, so if controlling the Behringer one from a MIDI controller it won't be the same (because even the original VP330 does require constant contact, and work and practice, to make good music on it). It does appear however (as much as it pains me to say it -not because I have an actual VP330 (that I'll never sell) - but because I loath Behringer's technology-theft ideology ) that the Behringer upcoming clone may have a quite convincing 'sound' of a VP330.

The Xils V+ plugin version is actually _very_ good at the strings and human sound - I'd suggest checking that out.
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Re: VP-330 Alternative?

Postby chamomileshark » Sat Jan 06, 2018 6:16 pm

I have a SVC350. I agree the closest you could probably get is a SVC plus a RS -202 which according to the A-Z of Analogue Synths is the closest to the VP strings.

However I'm not convinced that you really need a string machine - a simple mono or poly would work (mono if you are doing mono lines). I've used a Virus, an Obie Matrix 1000 - the point is according to the Roland manual you want the very simplest carrier if you want maximum intelligibility - say a saw tooth, filter full up. Add a sub oscillator for more oomph.
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Re: VP-330 Alternative?

Postby Z » Sat Jan 06, 2018 10:02 pm

chamomileshark wrote:However I'm not convinced that you really need a string machine - a simple mono or poly would work (mono if you are doing mono lines). I've used a Virus, an Obie Matrix 1000 - the point is according to the Roland manual you want the very simplest carrier if you want maximum intelligibility - say a saw tooth, filter full up. Add a sub oscillator for more oomph.


Correct. You would not want to use the output from a string machine as the carrier signal on a vocoder since there is so much motion in the sound from the triple or quad BBD ensemble effect. Unfiltered saw waves usually work best. I'm sure y'all have seen my video:
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Re: VP-330 Alternative?

Postby chamomileshark » Sun Jan 07, 2018 12:00 am

hi Z, yes I saw your vid several times - I've found it really useful.

Question for you - I've been able to get nice spoken stuff from the SVC 350 - also some staccato sung stuff. But if I try doing sustained notes to create simple ooh or aaah choirs it's not smooth. Have you tried that? Perhaps my voice is too shaky and I need to use a mic preamp and a compressor before the vocoder?
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Re: VP-330 Alternative?

Postby Z » Sun Jan 07, 2018 1:37 am

chamomileshark wrote:Question for you - I've been able to get nice spoken stuff from the SVC 350 - also some staccato sung stuff. But if I try doing sustained notes to create simple ooh or aaah choirs it's not smooth. Have you tried that? Perhaps my voice is too shaky and I need to use a mic preamp and a compressor before the vocoder?


Yeah, I can't sustain a note very long with my voice. I wonder how Suzanne Ciani did it on Seven Waves and Velocity of Love.
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Re: VP-330 Alternative?

Postby Broadwave » Sun Jan 07, 2018 8:52 am

Z wrote:
Yeah, I can't sustain a note very long with my voice. I wonder how Suzanne Ciani did it on Seven Waves and Velocity of Love.


Vocoder Hold pedal on the back of the VP330 - As soon as you hit the pedal, the formants are frozen, so you can get an "Ahh" sound without running out of breath ;)

I built the Okita SVC-350 clone - It's amazing what you can get out of 11 bands, but for real clarity I use the Electro Harmonix V256, both have a formant freeze function.
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Re: VP-330 Alternative?

Postby chamomileshark » Sun Jan 07, 2018 12:08 pm

Broadwave wrote:
Z wrote:
Yeah, I can't sustain a note very long with my voice. I wonder how Suzanne Ciani did it on Seven Waves and Velocity of Love.


Vocoder Hold pedal on the back of the VP330 - As soon as you hit the pedal, the formants are frozen, so you can get an "Ahh" sound without running out of breath ;)
.


I tried that with the SVC-350 - I must try that again.
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