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The Vocoder

THE VOCODER

Much of today's pop music involves synthesized sounds. Many performersincluding Cher, Madonna, and the Beastie Boyshave tried to incorporate this distinct sound into their voices, by using a voice-coding device known as the Vocoder. Although the sound is very high- tech, the Vocoder was originally developed in the 1940s to improve telephone service. Inventor Homer Dudley of Bell Laboratories designed a way to break speech patterns into modules that could be transmitted over a narrow bandwidth. The Vocoder was also used during World War II to enhance poor trans-Atlantic messages between British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt.

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