Time (the Revelator)

July 24, 2020 2:05 PM

More microKORG experimentation, this time a Gillian Welch cover. I've finally gotten around to listening to this album recently, and a lot; it's really latching on to me. The title track is gorgeous and where I can't match Welch's vocals I can get weird instead, so: vocoder time.

I'm trying to get into a headspace of posting rough stuff more. I'm not satisfied with the construction on this in a lot of ways: it's a goofing-around rough draft and I haven't sung the actual song enough to feel confident with my vocal phrasing or delivery the way I'd like to in the long run. The sparse two-part harmony on the album is just so, so fucking good, unforgivingly so. So, more practice there; it'd be nice to do a more proper acoustic and vocals cover some time, would be a nice collab even.

But the vocoder doesn't care too much about my phrasing, and the words all but disappear into the resynthesis process, so it was a nice excuse to just wing it a bit and lean into the weirdness. The result is a couple of separate vocoder tracks, a nice little bass sound, and a slightly brittle synth pad filling in some later in the song.

Improvised vocoded synth solos were fun to throw in, just ran with it to see what happened. I like what happened!

There's more stuff I might have added with more of a rhythm element, but my timing with the initial tracks was loose and messy enough that I didn't have any satisfactory go at tying in an arpeggiator in a way that wouldn't sound distracting, so I decided to stop here and leave that to a future experiment.

posted by cortex (4 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

I totally hear you on vocoding; it's a great escape from the typical trials and tribulations of recording vocals. Also, giving the vocoder treatment to more acoustic/folky type songs is a great idea. And my JD-XA has a vocoder... hmm.
posted by CarrotAdventure at 11:12 PM on July 24


What a cool cover...it's a very fitting vibe for this song. (Just looked up the original, which I love...thanks for the tip!)

Vocoding is pretty hard, especially when you try to get expressive with it. I always think of it a lot like singing along with and trying to exactly match guitar lines I'm playing. To do it, you have be able to both play and sing well, and together.

I've been working on vocoding lately too. I recently got a Boss vocal pedal with a built in vocoder, which I use w/ my Korg Minilogue XD. It's tough, but so so fun!
posted by nosila at 1:27 PM on August 4


Dang, I love this!
It really highlights how darn weird the changes are for a "folk" song.
posted by TheCoug at 7:20 AM on August 11


this is one of my favorite songs, so, you know - oh the audacity of covering it - but damn, this is a strong approach.
posted by entropone at 5:07 PM on August 24


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