VP-330 "Human voice" synth recreation?

Discussions about anything analog, digital, MIDI, synth technology, techniques, theories and more.
Post Reply
logix
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 108
Joined: Sun Feb 01, 2015 3:17 pm
Location: Norway

VP-330 "Human voice" synth recreation?

Post by logix » Wed Jan 13, 2021 10:06 pm

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?

User avatar
ppg_wavecomputer
Expert Member
Expert Member
Posts: 1055
Joined: Wed Feb 06, 2013 3:37 pm
Gear: more keys than hands (and feet)
Band: ['ramp]
Location: teutoburg forest, eastern westphalia, germany
Contact:

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

Post by ppg_wavecomputer » Wed Jan 13, 2021 11:20 pm

Multiple bandpass filters and a nice-sounding BBD chorus (preferably based around Reticon SAD1024A or Panasonic MN3005).

Stephen
"Like the light from distant stars, Stephen Parsick's music has existed for some time, but is only now reaching us on Earth." Chuck van Zyl

https://doombientmusic.bandcamp.com/

https://ramp1.bandcamp.com/

https://stephenparsick.bandcamp.com/

logix
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 108
Joined: Sun Feb 01, 2015 3:17 pm
Location: Norway

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

Post by logix » Thu Jan 14, 2021 10:01 am

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?

User avatar
ppg_wavecomputer
Expert Member
Expert Member
Posts: 1055
Joined: Wed Feb 06, 2013 3:37 pm
Gear: more keys than hands (and feet)
Band: ['ramp]
Location: teutoburg forest, eastern westphalia, germany
Contact:

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

Post by ppg_wavecomputer » Thu Jan 14, 2021 9:00 pm

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
"Like the light from distant stars, Stephen Parsick's music has existed for some time, but is only now reaching us on Earth." Chuck van Zyl

https://doombientmusic.bandcamp.com/

https://ramp1.bandcamp.com/

https://stephenparsick.bandcamp.com/

logix
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 108
Joined: Sun Feb 01, 2015 3:17 pm
Location: Norway

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

Post by logix » Thu Jan 21, 2021 12:50 am

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.

User avatar
celebutante
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 175
Joined: Thu May 04, 2006 7:57 am
Location: Las Vegas
Contact:

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

Post by celebutante » Fri Jan 22, 2021 4:51 am

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.
synthesizers.com modular • Sequential Prophet-5 • Roland Jupiter-4 • Korg Delta • Oberheim SEM • Ensoniq SQ-80 • Korg MS-20 • Moog Minimoog • Yamaha CS-15 • Cordovox/Moog "White Elephant"

http://www.mitchellsigman.com
http://www.celebusite.com

logix
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 108
Joined: Sun Feb 01, 2015 3:17 pm
Location: Norway

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

Post by logix » Mon Jan 25, 2021 10:01 am

Good suggestions.
Unfortunately no spectrum analyzer available here though.

Post Reply