My goodness, what a glorious day! After more than 40 years, Moog have announced that they’re reissuing the game-changing 16 Channel Vocoder; the vocal synth that started it all.
Although Moog weren’t the first to invent the Vocoder – it’s been around since 1930, and was famously used to encode classified audio messages by the US military in World War II – there’s no denying that they certainly defined it with the 16 Channel Vocoder. Introduced in 1978, Moog’s take on the vocal synthesiser entered the mainstream Italo Disco don Giorgio Moroder’s utilised it on ‘E=MC2’ (famously sampled by J Dilla), and has subsequently been used several keynote electronic artists.
Now, Moog have recreated the instrument in all its vintage glory, going above and beyond (as per usual) to ensure it’s as as faithful to the original as possible. The Moog 16 Channel Vocoder features hand-soldered analogue voice circuits to produce that rich tone it’s famous for, while an upgraded power supply and mechanical connectors ensure it’ll last for years to come.
To display just what the 16 Channel Vocoder is capable of, Moog invited the inimitable Moses Sumney to their HQ in Asheville, North Carolina to perform his new vocoder-inflected track ‘Conveyer’, which is set to appear on his forthcoming double album Grae. As far as demos go, it really doesn’t get much better than this.
Moog are distributed in Australia via Innovative Music.