Arturia has added Vocoder functionality to the MicroFreak in the latest update and released the MicroFreak Vocoder Edition with a microphone. But with no audio input how have they done that?
Secret MicroFreakin’ Input
Somehow Arturia has done a bit of magic with the headphone output on the back of the MicroFreak to add in a microphone input. All you need is a TRRS connector like those found on headset mics or mobile phone earbuds – I found it worked well with the IK Multimedia iRig Mic. That’s a good bit of forward-thinking right there.
With the new Vocoder oscillator you’ll be able to hear up to 4 synthesized vocal notes when playing a chord and singing into the microphone in a 70s disco styli. The Wave knob switches between sawtooth, pulse and noise waveforms, the Timbre knob changes the frequency range of the analysis/resynthesis and the Shape knob sets the bandwidth of each filter. Some of these tonal properties are already there in the Formant and Speech oscillators and so it’s no surprise that these can be repurposed into proper vocoding.
This update is available to all current MicroFreak owners.
MicroFreak Vocoder Edition
To celebrate and promote the update Arturia is releasing a limited edition MicroFreak Vocoder Edition in a slightly weird white colour and a specially designed microphone. The gooseneck mic clamps over that headphone socket and usefully gives you another socket for your headphones. This will give you the full “vocoder keyboard” experience – hooray! The microphone is also available separately to use with existing MicroFreaks.