Techno-Synth-Pop, TRANS, Vocoders and Neil Young
(Click photo to enlarge)
So some interesting comments on the recent post Synchronicity and Neil Young with a video of the song "Transformer Man" and some gadget discussion involving vocoders and synthesizers.
While it is very unclear exactly what is happening in terms of the vocals, instruments and devices, it does allow for some possibilities.
From a comment by Matt L.:
Is he dialing up sounds on that thing? Is that a vocoder?You're right Matt. We did go back and check and it does seem that it's a hybrid PONO.
Nils and Neil are both singing through the vocoder, if you check out the other tracks. Particularly in Sample and Hold, and Computer Age, where both are playing guitar. They have (wireless?) headsets being used to process the vocals through the vocoder.
At one point Neil sings through both the wireless and the stage mic and you can hear his natural voice combining with the vocoder-affected voice (on Computer Age), which I think is a really nice touch, as it melds the human and the electronic sounds into one - very symbolic of what he was getting at as well.
So, I don't know, I think he's pantomiming.
Okay, I just checked, and all the photos of 1980-era vocoders appear to be of large, rack-mount boxes. So I think the little box is an imaginary ipod.
Or perhaps a PONO!