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In-depth Feature:  Emagic EVOC20
Trevor Curwen writes: .

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Tracking Oscillator

The Tracking Oscillator
A second EVOC20 plug-in is also a vocoder but this time is configured as an insert FX plug-in that can be found in the effects filter section and used on any audio track or virtual instrument. This is the EVOC20 TO Tracking Oscillator which is basically a vocoder equipped with a monophonic pitch tracking oscillator designed to track any cleanly pitched monophonic signal although it will give some quite wild results if asked to track a polyphonic or a non-pitched source. Analysis and synthesis signals are freely selectable from a variety of sources - the analysis from a side chain input or the track into which the EVOC20 is inserted and the synthesis from either the track, the side chain or the monophonic oscillator. This obviously allows the track to be vocoded by itself which with a bit of of formant shifting can create some spectacular deviations from a bog-standard vocal. Diverse analysis inputs can vocode diverse synthesis inputs - the enthusiastic Emagic chaps give the example of vocoding an orchestra with train noises - which probably explains why (with the honourable exceptions of Kraftwerk and Can) German records don't sell outside of Germany! With the tracking oscillator as the synthesis input you have the option of a sawtooth wave or an FM tone generator with plenty of adjustable leeway. The sort of stuff you can conjure up with this are the sound of a jaws harp or Rolf Harris (bless him!) vowel sounds from a drumloop and a variety of electronic voices from a vocal analysis input that follow the pitch of the original voice rather than a separate synth part as they would with the PS. There is a pitch quantisation available so that the oscillator will playback notes in a scale in the correct key reducing unpredicable pitching events and allowing a greater degree of musical viability. There is plenty to experiment with here and for weirdness the TO scores highly. It is a fine tool for creating aural chaos from any tame source.

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