This article features free vocoder VST plugins. For more categories, return to Free VST Plugins.
The most common musical use for a vocoder effect is to make the human voice sound robotic. The classic robot singing vocal was used by many bands and artists, from Kraftwerk and Giorgio Moroder to Daft Punk and Chromeo.
However, the vocoder can do so much more. Depending on the characteristics of the carrier signal, a vocoder can be used to create whispers, monster sounds, and all sorts of sound effects. Some early examples of such vocoder-made sounds are the robot voices of the Cylons in Battlestar Galactica and the voice of Soundwave from the Transformers series.
Likewise, the modulator signal doesn’t have to be the human voice. Sending a drumbeat to a vocoder is a neat technique for creating rhythmic chord sequences and percussive riffs.
Without further ado, put on your robot helmet, queue the disco lights, and dive into our list of the best free vocoder plugins. Daft Punk fans all around the world, this one is for you!
TAL-Vocoder by Togu Audio Line
TAL-Vocoder emulates the vintage hardware vocoders from the early ’80s. It features an 11-band vocoder engine that combines analog modeled components and digital algorithms like the SFFT (Short-Time Fast Fourier Transform). The carrier signal can be either internal or external. The internal carrier features pulse, sawtooth, sub, and noise oscillators with oscillator sync, tuning, octave range, and portamento speed controls. It can operate in monophonic and polyphonic modes.
The plugin is optimized for voice processing and making the vocoded vocal sound more intelligible. The user can adjust the vocoder’s tonal character with an 11-band EQ. TAL-Vocoder features the “Ess” control for enhancing the sound of the sibilant consonants and the “Harmonic” control, which adds more harmonics to the carrier signal. The built-in chorus effect is a great add-on. It instantly makes the vocoded vocal sound more interesting and adds a charming vintage vibe to the sound.
TAL-Vocoder is the best free vocoder VST plugin on the market. It sounds terrific and comes with all the features needed in a vocoder effect. Most users will be entirely happy with TAL-Vocoder’s built-in carrier synth. For advanced use, experiment with external carriers and play around with the plugin’s side-chain input.
Compatible with 32-bit and 64-bit VST, AU, and AAX plugin host applications on Windows and macOS.
More info: TAL-Vocoder
FBVC by Full Bucket Music
FBVC is a free vocoder VST plugin based on the vintage Korg VC-10 analog vocoder. It emulates both the sound character and the signal chain of the original Korg VC-10 hardware while introducing a few modern features. Much like TAL-Vocoder, the FBVC plugin is excellent at delivering the classic vocoder sounds.
The front panel features the global tuning control, volume level controls for the carrier and modulator signals, vibrato controls, and the built-in patch browser. The advanced control panel is where you’ll find the adjustments for FBVC’s 20 analysis bands, as well as the controls to fine-tune the built-in ensemble effect and the VCA properties.
Our favorite feature in FBVC is the plugin’s ability to load a WAV file, which will be used as a modulator. If you don’t want to mess with audio routing in your digital audio workstation, simply load an old recording and give it the vocoder treatment.
Compatible with 32-bit and 64-bit VST and AU plugin host applications on Windows and macOS.
More info: FBVC
More Free Vocoder VST Plugins
Here are a few more free vocoder VSTs that aren’t included in the main list.
Best Paid Vocoder VST Plugins
These are the top-rated commercial vocoder VST plugins.
For more freeware plugins and instruments, return to our Free VST Plugins page.