Paia vocoder

Kurt Dwight Bleach gghegel at
Fri Mar 27 03:26:16 CET 1998

Lucas A Heckman wrote:
> I was thinking about buying one of these.  Does anyone have anything to
> say about it.  Is it worth the money or are there cheaper alternatives?
> And how easy is it to build?
> Lucas

Yes, it's worth the money. I'm not a vocoder expert, by any wild stretch
of the imagination and I know there are a lot of better vocoders out
there, but there is nothing even close in price (in answer to the second
question) and it has a pretty decent sound, particularly if you do the
mod to get it to respond to more bands.
There's a couple vocoder pages out there that compare the specs of most
models in detail. (I don't have the address handy, by I they're easy to

As far as how easy it is to build--I would definately say that it is not
a beginner's kit. The main problem is simply that the instruction manual
is not written very well and assumes that the builder has a pretty
decent knowledge of electronics to begin with. (By comparison, their
theremin kit assumes you know nothing and explains everything in great
detail and simplistic terms. Why they don't just rewrite the vocoder
manual, I couldn't tell you...) The construction itself isn't that hard,
although there's a fair amount of intricate panel wiring. I would say if
you don't have much prior experience, you might want to pick up a copy
of Craig Anderton's "Electronic Projects for Musicians" and read the
intro chapters before you begin. Also, don't even think about it if you
don't have a good soldering iron (variable temp a must). The good thing
about Paia, though, is that you can call for help and John will walk you
through almost anything over the phone. Also, if you really screw up,
you can always send it to them and they'll make it work for something
like $30.

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