Which voice synthesizer is best?
If you’re searching for the best voice synthesizer, it’s important to clarify what exactly you’re looking for. It’s true that the term “voice synthesizer” describes a range of different software, devices and other products, but in general, it describes nearly anything that uses the human voice to create unique, synthesized sounds.
For an all-in-one voice synthesizer that offers you a wide array of sound options, look no further than the Roland JD-XI 37-Key Analog/Digital Crossover Voice Synthesizer, featuring a vocoder microphone and a super user-friendly interface.
What to know before you buy a voice synthesizer
Speech synthesizer vs. synthesizer with a vocoder
The term “voice synthesizer” applies to a few different things, but most commonly to speech synthesizer software or hardware that masks a person’s voice and synthesizers with a vocoder. However, as far as products go, synthesizers with a vocoder are by far the most common thing referred to as “voice synthesizers.”
A voice on a given synthesizer can refer to the initial electrical signal, or signals, generated by your synthesizer. A synthesizer can either produce a single voice from its oscillator, called monophonic, or it can produce multiple voices at once from the same oscillator, called polyphonic.
Often when browsing polyphonic synthesizers, you’ll see them advertised with a certain number of voices, which refers to how many notes can play at once — often in 4-, 6- or 8-voice configurations.
Voice synthesizer pedals
Another voice synthesizer option if you’re not looking to buy an all-in-one synthesizer with a vocoder is to purchase a voice synthesizer pedal. Voice synthesizer pedals let you use their voice alongside an instrument, like a guitar or synth, to affect the ultimate signal of the instrument with sounds generated by the voice.
Just as some of the world’s best distortion pedals have created iconic sounds in songs across generations, voice synthesizer pedals have also defined several decades of music — and they remain a fun, albeit affordable solution for voice synthesis in music.
What to look for in a quality voice synthesizer
Ultimately, the most important thing to look for in a voice synthesizer is functionality. When looking for a voice synthesizer, it’s important to consider how you plan to use the device and what your specific voice synthesis needs are.
Versatility vs. specific use cases
If you’re looking for a full-scale polyphonic synthesizer with a vocoder, a voice synthesizer pedal probably won’t be versatile enough for your needs. However, if you want a specific sound, or you’re just looking for a fun toy not for use in professional audio, you also won’t need to spend the money on a full polyphonic synthesizer with a vocoder.
While it certainly isn’t necessary, many find synthesizers with a vocoder and a keyboard to be the best voice sound creation option. With this choice, you can pick apart and put together electrical signals from scratch and change their tone character and notes using the keyboard. You’re ultimately using sounds projected into the microphone with your voice.
How much you can expect to spend on a voice synthesizer
Depending on what you’re actually looking for, full-scale voice synthesizers or synths with a vocoder usually cost between $150 and $1,000. If you’re looking for a voice synthesizing pedal, you can expect to spend between $100-$200. Toys or devices that simply change your voice usually have a price tag between $20-$80.
Voice synthesizer FAQ
What is a voice synthesizer in a computer?
A. Similar to the overall term voice synthesizer, a voice synthesizer in a computer can refer to a number of things. However, in general, a voice synthesizer in a computer refers to either software or an application that synthesizes human speech using text, audio or other input. This ultimately makes the human voice sound distorted, blended with textures or otherwise different in some way.
How does a voice synthesizer work?
A. Depending on the kind of voice synthesizer, a broad description of how a voice synthesizer works is that it takes the human voice or other sounds, signals and textures, and synthesizes or blends them to make them sound different or the same as a human voice.
What’s the best voice synthesizer to buy?
Top voice synthesizer
What you need to know: This synthesizer offers voice synthesis with an included vocoder microphone, as well as the ability to crossover between digital and analog sound programs. This makes it one of the more versatile voice synthesizer options out there.
What you’ll love: The voice synthesizer features a compact and comfortable 37-key keyboard and a wide range of onboard sounds for use by experts or beginners alike.
What you should consider: This model is more expensive than other synthesizers with a vocoder. It’s also intimidating to many who are unfamiliar with synthesizers.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top voice synthesizer for the money
What you need to know: With a slightly lower price tag than Roland’s vocoder, this model also boasts several years as an industry-standard synthesizer.
What you’ll love: This particular synth is a classic that features six separate arpeggiator types, a wide range of preset and do-it-yourself sound abilities and an easy-to-use voice vocoder for versatile voice synthesis. It also has an included microphone.
What you should consider: The synth’s sounds are more difficult to change on the fly than many synthesizer models. The preset system is also a little confusing when you first sit down with it.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: If you’d like to experiment with some voice synthesis on a separate instrument, this talk box offers a great range of the most classic vocal sounds.
What you’ll love: Its pedal is perfect for fans of Peter Frampton, offering the classic talk box sounds many interested in voice synthesizers want. The talk box features circuitry of its own, allowing you to control the volume and tone. You can also gain level on the voice effect, without having to program an entire synthesizer patch.
What you should consider: This unit won’t generate its own voices like an actual synthesizer. Instead, it requires you to plug a tube into the pedal, and then run your own instrument cables through the input and output ports to the amplifier, speaker or other sound-generating devices.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Zachary Visconti writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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