Are there directions somewhere for the Easy Vocoder effect?

Hi everyone,

I’m working with Audacity 1.3.12 beta and I’m wondering if there are directions somewhere for the Easy Vocoder effect plug-in?

I already found the instructions for the original Vocoder effect, but a few months ago I installed the Easy Vocoder plug-in… I’m still not able to get much of an effect when trying it.

Thanks for any direction,


It would be a good idea to upgrade. 1.3.13 has a year’s worth of bug fixes…

If edgar-rft doesn’t get around to see this, you could perhaps send him a Private Message. But before then, why not upload a sample MP3 or OGG (maximum 1 MB) that doesn’t give you the desired results, together with a note of your Easy Vocoder settings?


Hi Gale,

Attached is a screenshot of my Easy Vocoder settings and an MP3 of my before and after sample of the effect that I’m getting and it includes a sample of the type of Vocoder effect that I’m trying to get close to.

Basically, I’m looking for some kind of guide showing how to get different variations with this plug-in effect.

Let me know what you think.



If you are trying to vocode the voice with the music beat at the end, or with some other carrier wave, you can only (try to) do that with the shipped Audacity vocoder. Put the beat in the right hand channel of a stereo track and the voice in the left, then “Make Stereo Track” using the Track Drop-Down Menu. I just tried it with your voice and the beat from the desired example (default settings) and it wasn’t bad in my opinion.

The “easy” vocoder is just for getting some sort of vocoder effect on a voice track by selecting it on its own, choosing some settings and pressing OK. By definition there isn’t a huge range of choice about the carrier wave you can impose on the voice.


Hi Gale,

Per the text in my last post, I included the sample with the music at the end as “…a sample of the type of Vocoder effect that I’m trying to get close to.”

I’m not trying to vocode the already vocoded voice in the song… that is a sample of the desired effect.

I think what I’m able to decipher from your answer is that there are no instructions posted anywhere about how to set the settings to get various levels of the effect with the Easy Vocoder plug-in.

Thanks for your info on the built-in Vocoder effect… I thought I’d have more luck with the Easy Vocoder.

Thank you,


As yet there are no official instructions for the Easy Vocoder effect (the author Edgar Franke has it on his “To Do” list).
Here’s some information that the author posted on the forum:

The “Easy Vocoder” needs no special stereo audio tracks with “carrier” and “modulator” channels, it can be applied to an ordinary Audacity mono or stereo audio track like any other Audacity effect. The “Easy Vocoder” works best if applied to voice recordings, but also works with any other audio tracks.

Technical details: Instead of using “carrier” and “modulator” channels of an Audacity stereo audio track the “Easy Vocoder” uses built-in “sinewave” &optional “noise” and “pulse” carriers for each vocoder band and then adds the amplitude-modulated carriers together to produce the vocoder sound.

Advantage: No “split stereo track” / “make stereo track” fiddling any more like with the original Audacity “Vocoder” effect.

Disadvantage: The “Easy Vocoder” cannot modulate a “voice” onto a music track, it can only make a voice recording sound like an alienatic robot.


I agree, the “Vocoder” is a fundamentally different effect than the “Easy Vocoder”, even if both names sound very similar.

The main internal difference and the main reason why combining both effects is not as easy as it sounds is that the “Vocoder” uses one single carrier for all vocoder bands, while the “Easy Vocoder” uses many different carriers with different frequencies, i.e. one carrier per vocoder band.

The “Vocoder” uses one single carrier for all vocoder bands. The carrier as well as the modulator are spitted into frequency-limited “bands”, then the “carrier” band is modulated by the respective “modulator” band, the resulting signals are bandpass-filtered again to remove the aliasing, and in the end all bands are summed together to produce the vocoder sound.

The “Easy Vocoder” doesn’t use a bandpass-filtered “carrier”, instead it uses one sinewave oscillator per vocoder band. The oscillators are modulated by bandpass-filtered “modulator” bands (produced from the Audacity audio track) with the same mid-frequency as the respective oscillator frequency. The modulated oscillator signals then are bandpass-filtered again to remove the aliasing, and finally summed together to produce the vocoder sound.

You will find the full discussion here:

Sorry if I misunderstood, but that sample included music. If it had just been a voice it would have been clear. Voice vocoded with music is a vocoder effect. Also because the voice is mixed with the music, it isn’t easy (for me) to pick out the type of voice you want.

I didn’t post what Steve posted because I didn’t think it would help; it sounds as if you want a description of how each control affects the sound. I don’t know enough about that to answer, but you can get the general idea by varying one control at a time to see what each does with your original voice sample.

If you want the words to last as long as they do in your sample, you will have to use Effect > Change Tempo first to slow the voice down, which will create its own distortions.

If you want my opinion you would be better to use the shipped Vocoder and experiment with different types of noise, maybe even with a synthesized string tone to give the “harmonic” quality that your vocoded sample seems to have. Also see for some other vocoders you could try.

But if you’re desperate, PM edgar-rft. He’s more of an expert about this sort of voice processing.


Thank you Gale and Steve,

One thing I’ll have to try in an effort to get a greater vocoder effect from the Easy Vocoder plugin is to do some other manipulations to the voice before applying that plugin… that may help a little.

Thanks for the references to the other pages on this topic and others… I noticed a “Bass/Treble” plugin that I didn’t know about before that may help with some audio that needs a treble boost… the Equalizer works but it is difficult to get an improvement in the treble area with.

Also, I’m sure you all probably know about this already, but in case you don’t, here it is. I found a GVST Gsnap AUTO-TUNE effect plugin that can be added to Audacity… here’s someone’s tutorial video about its use and how to set the settings in one basic way to get an AUTO-TUNE effect…

There is a required VST enabler ( ) and then the Gsanp AUTO-TUNE plugin can be installed in the Audacity plug-ins folder. ( ) It works with manipulating any sound that has a musical or changing tone, like words that a person sings. I’ve experimented a little with it and it works. This one also works a bit better if the pitch of the voice is changed first before applying the AUTO-TUNE effect.

There are all kinds of settings in this Gsnap plugin interface and that video tutorial gives the basic settings needed for this AUTO-TUNE effect to work. Also, here’s a link to the full manual for using the Gsnap AUTO-TUNE plugin…

This effect works better and is more evident if it is applied 5 or 6 times over and over to the same audio clip in Audacity.

Here is a link to the Artifex blog page about this GVST Gsnap plugin for AUTO-TUNE in Audacity…

Thanks for your info about the Vocoders,


The VST enabler is only required for Audacity 1.2.x and should not be used with Audacity 1.3.x
Audacity 1.3.13 has built-in (and improved) support for VST effects without using the VST enabler.

Thanks, digi. Autotuning in the manner of T-Pain is often asked about.

Just as a final clarification, VST bridge is needed for Audacity 1.3.7 or earlier:

Though no-one should be using pre-1.3.8 now, except possibly people on OS X 10.3 who can’t use greater than Audacity 1.3.3.


Hi Gale and Steve,

Gale, I don’t know who or what “T-Pain” is, I’m not a fan of some of that new-fangled music. The vocoder music sample that I used in my posted MP3 is from an “E.L.O.” song that was released in 1978 called “Mr. Blue Sky”… Jeff Lynne and his band E.L.O. (Electric Light Orchestra) was one of the first to use a vocoded voice in popular music.

Steve, thanks for that bit of info about Audacity not needing the VST Bridge. I read this in the blog post about the Gsnap plugin, so I thought it did need it…

“I would recommend using Audacity version 1.3 beta or higher. The second thing you need is a free plug-in called Gsnap. Gsnap is a VST plug-in which must be installed into Audacity’s plug-in folder in order for it to function. The address path should be something like, “C:/Program Files/Audacity/Plug-Ins/”. Unfortunately, Audacity doesn’t natively support VST effects so it will require a VST Bridge Plug-in to be installed.”

That is written on the page at this link…

I guess the Artifex guy (Nick) who wrote that blog post has somewhat imprecise data about which version of Audacity needs the VST bridge.

With respect to upgrading to the newest Audacity 1.3.13 from my version 1.3.12, if I install the newer version, will I have to re-install my additional plugins, Lame encoder, etc.?.. or will it be an in-place upgrade.



Thanks, I’ve posted a comment to that blog.

By default it will be an in-place upgrade assuming that you did not do some sort of custom installation of 1.3.12, however it may overwrite any non-standard plug-ins that you have put into the plug-ins folder, so I would advise making a backup copy of the plug-ins folder before you update. (I’m not sure if the plug-ins folder is overwritten or not on Windows, so perhaps you could let me know for future reference).

Thanks Steve and Gale.

The 20 plug-ins (and any other files) that are explicitly installed by the Audacity installer are silently overwritten as per normal Windows practice. So if you had a customised version of say vocalremover.ny you would lose it. All other files are left as is, except we remove specific 1.2.x-only help and other files and old Microsoft dlls and manifests that won’t work with the current Beta.

If you use the zip to update the Audacity version then most extraction utilities would ask if you wanted to overwrite files, assuming you had any such setting enabled.

The main change you should find in 1.3.13 for VST effects is that processing will be faster than in 1.3.12 (a bug fix for a slowdown that started a few Betas before).