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Vocoding in Qtractor

Hi everyone!

This video is just out, showing to the world how to use the Calf Vocoder aboard the Ardour war ship :

- Create a 4 channel audio bus, put the Vocoder plugin on it ;
- Redirect the stereo output of a stereo Audio track (Vocal: Carrier) to the Vocoder bus 1 and 2 inputs ;
- Redirect the stereo output of a stereo MIDI track (Synth: Modulator) to inputs 3 and 4 of the vocoder bus.
- Profit

My problem, in all my previous attempt to do this in our beloved "light assault vehicle" sequencer, lies in the points 2 and 3 of this deceptively short list : How to I expose the outputs of my Carrier and Modulator tracks in order to redirect them to specific inputs of the bus? The "connections" window only shows busses in/outs, not tracks. Same if I use "Outputs" by right-clicking on the very track (?) And if I try to check, in the options window, the Plugins/Instruments/Dedicated audio outputs, not only does it not solve my problem (and where would be my vocal/carrier - audio - track outputs anyway?) but everything begins to work in a weird way. I'm not really sure what that option does (it seems to be cool though, like the "right click/ins-outs") and I'm clearly not using it as it should be.

Is this Vocoding technique/procedure simply possible? And if not, is there any alternative?

rncbc's picture

long time ago, thanks to autostatic:
- Tiny Tutorial: Vocoding in Qtractor


yPhil's picture

So... No. Oh, well :( I guess only the "alternative" end of my question is possible, and yes, it's better than nothing :/

yPhil's picture

Will somebody at least admit that Jeremy's procedure (that for the life of me, I somehow cannot reproduce, ever since the video was posted. I tried several times, there are holes in it. It simply doesn't work for me, otherwise I wouldn't be searching for an alternative, at least not so helplessly ; And yes, I will try it again) is several orders of magnitude more complicated than the "every track outputs are exposed" and "your session is self-contained" Ardour (and huh, AFAIK a lot of others) approach?

rncbc's picture

there's nothing to admit.

i always said for the whole time that qtractor is not, never was, suited for vocoding nor side-chaining, let alone being easy or not at all; moreover, Jeremy's solution is very imaginative but probably too specific for that vocoder plugin and nothing else. sorry again.


It works well, e.g. in the nearly-A-capella part in the mid of Augenleuchten

I think you just messed carrier and modulator.

CALF Vocoder sits in a 4 channel audio bus. The carrier comes from a fluidsynth choir and is routed to the first 2 inputs if I remember correctly (if all else fails abuse an insert send in that midi/synth track). Modulator (voice) goes to input 3 and 4. Output is at 1 + 2.

To get the latencies right do it like this:

- audio track -> subgroup bus 1 -> mastersubgroup bus -> master in
- midi track -> subgroup bus 2 > mastersubgroup bus -> master in
vocoder controlling tracks insert sends -> vocoder bus (4 chan) -> master in

This aligns latencies due to the vocoder processing that are the more audible the bigger your buffer size in jackd is (up to 4096).

This is a brain dump. If needed e-mail me at and I'll check it again how I did it in that song.

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