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The Korg VC-10 is an analogue vocoder launched in 1978. Vocoding refers to voice encoding of speech and singing with musical synthesis. It gained popularity in the '70s following utilisation by bands such as Kraftwerk and Electric Light Orchestra. The VC-10 allows basic functionality in operation and modulation of signal carriers. It has two microphone input options.
The VC-10 "achieved a measure of popularity because it was simple to use, relatively inexpensive and completely self-contained." It features 20-channel polyphony, ensemble mode with speed and depth controls (akin to a chorus function), accent bend control (adds a slight pitch wavering effect so that the sound produced is more like a human voice), octave-up control (extends the range of the keyboard), and tune control as well as various settings relating to input and output mix.
Microphone input options
The unit was originally supplied with a gooseneck microphone (the Korg MC-01) which plugged into a bespoke BTS connector. This type of connector is now obsolete. It appears to have originated around 1965 and was phased out when XLR became the standard in later years. It is almost impossible to source a microphone that would connect to it. The unit also has a front panel standard microphone phono input jack.
Use in popular music
The Korg VC-10 has featured in music by :
|Roger Waters||(used in Animals (album)) "Floyd first used a Vocoder in Animals (recording during 1976) for Roger’s lead vocals in “Pigs” and for the bastardised psalm on “Sheep”, as well as for the treated barking sounds and other effects in “Dogs”. Rick’s keyboards were also fed through the Vocoder, notably during the middle section of “Dogs”. Although it is not documented which particular model was used in Britannia Row studios for the recording of Animals, it is reported that they used the -now classic- Korg VC-10 model"|||
|Apollo 440||Listed in Apollo control gear in sound on sound article|||
|Klaus Schulze||Documented in 1977/1978 he used Korg as well as Sennheiser vocoders|||
|Isao Tomita||Used on 'The Bermuda Triangle' (1979) on the track 'Vocoder'|||
|Joe Zawinul||Documented to use VC-10 in Sound on Sound article.|||
|Goldfrapp||In the 'Black Cherry Making Of..' videos, there's an unmistakable Korg VC10 vocoder.||TBC|
|Air||'Sexy Boy' video shows Air using the VC-10|||
|Yes||In the 1980 album Drama, Geoff Downes uses a Vocoder||TBC|
|The Stranglers||Used on meninblack album around the 1980s|||
Official 1978 VC-10 demo recording
The VC-10 and MC-01 microphone owners manuals
- Vintage synth explorer: KORG VC-10
- John Shepherd (27 February 2003). Continuum encyclopedia of popular music of the world: VolumeII: Performance and production. Continuum International Publishing Group. p. 268. ISBN 978-0-8264-6322-7. Retrieved 26 January 2011.
- Analog Vocoder info : VC-10 Accessed 26 01 2011
- Keith Emersons keyboard clearout
- Richard Wright and Pink Floyd : Keyboard, Synthesizer and electronics equipment
- APOLLO FOUR FORTY: Ad Astra |accessed 27.01.2011
- Klaus Schulze's Instruments
- Bermuda Triangle Recordings
- Joe Zawinul: Jazz Keyboardist| accessed 27.01.11
- youtube video Air Sexy Boy live 1998 NPA canal Moon safari
- Mark Jenkins (2 August 2007). Analog synthesizers: understanding, performing, buying: from the legacy of Moog to software synthesis. Elsevier. pp. 150–. ISBN 978-0-240-52072-8. Retrieved 1 January 2006.
- Vintage Synth - Korg VC-10 | Accessed 27 .01.2011
- Official 1978 VC-10 demo recording
- VC-10 and MC-01 microphone owners manuals