MAM VF11 Vocoder

MAM VF11 Vocoder. MAM VF-11 Vocoder. MAM VF 11 Vocoder.

How I got it

This all ties in with the vocoder story on my Nord Micro Modular page. Suffice it to say that a MAM VF11 turned up in Buy & Sell within about a fortnight of me getting the Nord. I hummed and hawed, as the Nord’s vocoder hadn’t exactly blown me away, and then gave the number a call. Geographically it was to be a difficult buy. I was buried in the worst fortnight of work for some time, and couldn’t find the time to go to the location (near Swords) where this device was waiting for me. Incidentally, the seller was a very nice gent from Canada who had experience with electronic engineering and a good few classic synth machines.

Nearly two weeks after my initial phone call I found myself waiting at a quiet northurban DART station for a lift to the seller’s apartment. In the past I’ve bought items from Buy & Sell on the very day it the paper was sold, and only the Juno 6 had seen a similar delay in purchase. Coincidentally, this was just up the road from where I got the Juno 6.

Oh, and all this happened the day Columbia was lost.
He told me about it when I got into the car.

Anyway, we got there, watched vapour trails plummet earthwards on Sky News, and then he plugged in the MAM. I approved fairly quickly, since there’s no point in fannying about with these things. The MAM VF11 went into my Tesco reusable shopping bag, I gave him some dough, and then he played me a few nifty tracks from his rather nice synth setup. After that he generously give me a lift back into town. A very nice fellow indeed…

Home: the MAM VF11 certainly gave up the goods a lot faster than the Nord, and is a hell of a lot easier to use. Furthermore, its signal chain includes a pretty clean mic pre-amp with a little bit of compression thrown in, so there are no problems with annoyingly diverse signal peaks. The sound it produces is damned sweet, and can be tweaked in flat seconds with the eleven front panel band adjustments. Overall it’s a very satisfying and attractive instrument* to play, and my AN1X saw waves seemed to get on with it straight away. I don’t think it sounds as good as the best Wendy Carlos vocoding I’ve heard on Clockwork Orange, but the price tag was a hell of a lot lower, and it satisfies all my current vocoding requirements. The only little thing I’ve noticed is that it tends to leak a little "fizz" when vocoding (and there’s a bit of a hiss too) but this is all tiny stuff that would be buried in any remotely realistic mix. It’s also the small price paid for a fairly classic analog sound.

* instrument – I reckon vocoders are more of an instrument that an effect.


Jeez - it isn't exactly a user forum kind of machine...
Here's the official MAM site - (a flash site, and google has totally ignored it)
Read a Harmony-Central review (or two)

please note - the MAM site has a very informative user manual you can download, but it also has a very dodgy demo of the VF11 with fascinating lyrical content. But they make a good vocoder and that's what counts...


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