Behringer is filling the analogue vocoder gap in the market with its latest keyboard vocoder, the VC340. This new board faithfully recreates the circuitry and functionality of the rare, expensive Roland VP-330 vocoder keyboard.
The VC340 transports you right back to 1979 via the reddish brown side panels, orange livery and pastel-shaded LED buttons.
The unit feels surprisingly heavy and is sturdily built into a solid metal case with sloped front panel, laid out in a similar fashion to the VP-330, with the most obvious difference being that the keybed is one of Behringer’s own 3-octave designs (with velocity) and it feels nicely responsive for fast lines and chord playing (though we'd also love an expanded version with a 4 or 5-octave keybed and aftertouch for controlling vibrato in the future).
The advantage of three octaves is obviously that it makes the vocoder more transportable for gigs and for flying/travelling with, plus it can sit on a desktop more comfortably, too, and the keyboard transmits MIDI, which lets it slot into most rigs.