Roland VP-330 Vocoder Plus

Roland VP-330 Vocoder Plus

Release date: 1979
Type: Analog synthesizer


Launched in 1979, the VP-330 Vocoder Plus was a 10-band vocoder combined with a 49-note keyboard, and it quickly became the machine behind the popular 'talking robot' sound of the early '80s. But there was more to the VP-330 than met the eye, thanks to three onboard sound sources that could be played and blended with your voice. The string section was particularly expansive and lush, thanks to the ensemble circuitry that widened the sound, while the choir and human voice sounds could be used either subtly or in a more adventurous manner, depending on how much color you needed. The VP-330 also became a firm favorite with more experimental musicians who were interested in merging tonal textures to create something entirely new. Ethereal and majestic in equal measure, the VP-330 is a fascinating stop-off point on the evolutionary journey of electronic musical instruments, and it remains in demand and in use to this day.

The strings sound very similar to Roland's RS Series. The VP-330 was built in two main versions. The original MK-1 had rocker switches and the MK-2 had buttons eith LED's. The MK-1 is said to sound richer.


Ghost Town

Liam's comment:

"I've got this upstairs -- I borrowed it from a friend to record some stuff for the new album. I think it's one of those things you can use a couple of times, and then throw in a cupboard. It's got some nice strings on it, but you can't get many sounds from the vocoder. The typical '80s electro voice, but not much else. "


"I'm using [the VP-330] on Ghost Town. I don't surround myself with loads of gear. I'm better with limited stuff and getting the most out of it."

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