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VP-330 "Human voice" synth recreation?

Posted: Wed Jan 13, 2021 10:06 pm
by logix
What does it take to re-create the Roland VP-330 "human voice" sounds with a synth of some kind?
I managed to re-create the "Strings" using a Roland MKS-50 using a single sawtooth waveform and fiddling with the filter. This gave me the basic sound, but of course the thing that makes the VP-330 so special is its "ensemble" effect. So recently I bought the XILS Chor'x ensemble plugin which so far (at least to me) has the most convincing VP-330 ensemble effect. That plugin together with the simple MKS-50 tone resulted in something close enough for the strings.

I suspect the human voice sounds (Male 8, Male 4, Female 4) rely on some sort of special filter that isn't found on most regular synths, or is it just a matter of programming things right?

Re: VP-330 "Human voice" synth recreation?

Posted: Wed Jan 13, 2021 11:20 pm
by ppg_wavecomputer
Multiple bandpass filters and a nice-sounding BBD chorus (preferably based around Reticon SAD1024A or Panasonic MN3005).

Stephen

Re: VP-330 "Human voice" synth recreation?

Posted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 10:01 am
by logix
Thanks for the suggestion.
That XILS Chor'X plugin works for me (instead of having to buy/build a hardware variant).

Please explain about the multiple bandpass filters as I'm not familiar with them.
Is it fair to assume that it's based on a very simple sound source (i.e. a sawtooth as with the strings sound) and like you say, multiple filters after that, to shape it into the end result?

Re: VP-330 "Human voice" synth recreation?

Posted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 9:00 pm
by ppg_wavecomputer
logix wrote:
Thu Jan 14, 2021 10:01 am
[...] Is it fair to assume that it's based on a very simple sound source (i.e. a sawtooth as with the strings sound) and like you say, multiple filters after that, to shape it into the end result?
Exactly -- the VP-330 is based on some simple waveform like sawtooth or pulse-wave (I don't have the schematics around but maybe someone else does to shed some light?).

This simple waveform is filtered, using multiple resonating formants that resemble the human mouth cavity and speech apparatus.

The resulting sound is still a bit bland and not really interesting, and this where Roland's own BBD chorus comes into play.

Stephen

Re: VP-330 "Human voice" synth recreation?

Posted: Thu Jan 21, 2021 12:50 am
by logix
Yes, the ensemble effect is definitely what makes things interesting!

Do you have any suggestion as to how to set up the various resonant filters and how many? I was thinking I'd use one of the many filter plugins available along with the mentioned ensemble plugin after feeding a hardware synth (probably my Roland MKS-50 or MKS-70) into the DAW.
I find those synths easy to work with and I suppose analog is the way to go.

Re: VP-330 "Human voice" synth recreation?

Posted: Fri Jan 22, 2021 4:51 am
by celebutante
You might be able to reverse-engineer the formant filters from the service manual (which is easy to find online). You probably could determine the filter types, how many, and the corner frequencies.

The best way is to run white noise through them and look at the curves on a spectrum analyzer, but obviously that's not gonna help you much if you don't have one.

Re: VP-330 "Human voice" synth recreation?

Posted: Mon Jan 25, 2021 10:01 am
by logix
Good suggestions.
Unfortunately no spectrum analyzer available here though.