There’s a versatile vocoder lurking in Sonar’s Producer Edition

Objective: Use the Pentagon I soft synth as a vocoder. Background: The Producer Edition of Sonar 5 bundles the Pentagon I soft synth from rgc:audio; one of its little-known features is the ability to do vocoding. The Pentagon I provides the carrier, while an audio input or audio track provides the modulator. Here’s how to set up Sonar for vocoding.


1. Right-click in an audio track FX bin and select Pentagon I from the Soft Synths category.

2. Create a MIDI track, and assign its output to the Pentagon I.

3. Assign the Input of the track hosting the Pentagon I to the audio interface input to which your mic connects.

4. Turn on the Input Echo function. This sends the track’s audio input into the Pentagon I’s vocoder.

5. Select the bank containing the Pentagon I patch you want to use as the carrier, then right-click on the Pentagon’s front panel to select a patch from within the bank.

6. Click on the Pentagon I logo, and set Voice Modulator to “on.” Hold down a chord to trigger the Pentagon I, speak into your mic, and you’ll hear the vocoder effect.


-Use a patch that’s rich in harmonics for the most realistic vocoder effect.

-You can load or record audio into the track hosting the Pentagon I, and this can serve as the vocoder’s modulator. Input Echo does not need to be on in this case.

-For a more “vocal” effect, click on the Pentagon I logo and set Formant Filter to “on.”