Voice encryption, transformation, and synthesis device / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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A vocoder (/ˈvkdər/, a portmanteau of voice and encoder) is a category of speech coding that analyzes and synthesizes the human voice signal for audio data compression, multiplexing, voice encryption or voice transformation.

Early 1970s vocoder, custom-built for electronic music band Kraftwerk

The vocoder was invented in 1938 by Homer Dudley at Bell Labs as a means of synthesizing human speech.[1] This work was developed into the channel vocoder which was used as a voice codec for telecommunications for speech coding to conserve bandwidth in transmission.

By encrypting the control signals, voice transmission can be secured against interception. Its primary use in this fashion is for secure radio communication. The advantage of this method of encryption is that none of the original signal is sent, only envelopes of the bandpass filters. The receiving unit needs to be set up in the same filter configuration to re-synthesize a version of the original signal spectrum.

The vocoder has also been used extensively as an electronic musical instrument. The decoder portion of the vocoder, called a voder, can be used independently for speech synthesis.