Vocoder Plus

Roland VP330 plus Vocoder.


The VP330 is one of the finest Vocoders, only 2000 were produced between 1979 and 1980. It went through two different versions, MK1s had organ style rocker switches, MK2s had electronic switching, the sounds are similar but with the Mk2 sounding cleaner and the Mk1 sounding warmer or so they say. I have heard both and to be honest there is no difference. I think the first version of something always seems better for some reason even when it is not. The main difference is in the sound of the chorus ensemble. The sweep and cycle are different.

The vocoder section has little in the way of controls but who cares,think Kraftwerk, instant "o-superman" or Mike Oldfield. It is a great instrument for experimentation and just larking around with.

The Human voice is far better than you`d get out of an analog synth as it also uses multiple filters and can sound very Mellotron at times. The strings are very Solina and therefore better than most string machines but still "string machine" however this is very cool in my opinion. Some people assume the strings are the same as the RS505. But owners of this superb string machine would say that they are infact superior to the VP as they are sonically and mechanically different.

The keyboard and hardware (except switches) are typical of the Jupiter-4 era and very solid. There is no doubt that the VP330 has a very special sound but if you want to experiment you`d probably be better of with an EMS or Sennheiser which to me are "technically" far better but lack the VP330`s soul, character and warmth.

Comments about the sounds :
has Human voice and string sections as well as the Vocoder. Basically, it's great at what it does but it does a limited amount of things.

Sounds to check out :
Strings and Human voice on slow attack run through a reverb.


  • Synthesizer type: Synthesizer
  • Synthesis Type: Analog/Vocoding 10 band
  • Polyphony: Max: 49
  • Typical in use: 49
  • Multi-timbral (number of parts): 2 via split
  • Oscillators per Voice : Min : 1
  • Max : 3 (as string machine mixing)
  • Controllers : Vocoder hold switch, pitch
  • Effects : Chorus
  • Number of Keys : 49
  • Sounds can be split by : Keyboard Zones
  • Number of Audio Outs (excluding Phones) : 2
  • Number of Audio Ins :2
  • MIDI : N/A
  • Upgrade Options : retrofit Kenton midi in
  • Power Consumption :24W
My VP330

Filter circuit with mostly 4000's series IC's and TL082 op-amps.

I had to replace the 4016 IC's as one had died and stopped the vocoder from filtering properly.

Underside Of Pitch Board Underside of switch board showning metal keepers which are supposed to bite into the wood. These get loose and break free making the pitch board loose.
vp330 transformer & PSU PSU and Transformer
My Mk2 vp330 plus vocoder With mic