Pellegrino's Fairlight Voicetracker

Fairlight Voicetracker - A Top Interface Between Acoustic & Electronic Music

This auction is for a Fairlight Voicetracker equipped with Revision 8 software. It includes the original User Manual plus the User Manual Updates for both Revision 7 and 8 software as well as a MIDI cable. A green monotone Taxan monitor is also include free of charge if the buyer requests it and pays shipping costs. The Voicetracker has an NTSC display output so any monitor with an NTSC input can be used to display Voicetracker menus and specific operations within the instrument. Every function on this Voicetracker is in perfect working order.

One owner. One player. Acquired in 1978 for Electronic Arts Productions, the studios of Ron Pellegrino, composer and pioneer in the electronic arts of sound and light (

The Fairlight Voicetracker is a great tool for music performance, composition, and research. Because the provided visualization of what it does is so well thought out and implemented, the instrument, despite its complexity, is highly intuitive. It has a great Users Manual with good presets and excellent application hints, but, if you like, you can just use the manual as a reference and point of departure for your own explorations.

In a nutshell, the Voicetracker is a powerful combination of computer, synthesizer, and processor/controller. It's programmable, presettable, and highly tunable. It can "track" or follow acoustic information and then convert it to MIDI signals and/or analog control voltages and timing signals. It can harmonize with specific intervals or entire chords. It can also displace by octaves in either direction. It's sensitivity to acoustic information is programmable via threshold settings to filter out noise and unnecessary spectral components. It will accept up to six footswitches to be assigned to various functions.

The Voicetracker can also extract information from an incoming MIDI stream so as to control frequency, amplitude, and gating on an analog synth. So, as well as being an interface between acoustic and electronic domains it's also an interface between digital and analog synths and it works in both directions. This is the sort of gear that encourages the neurons to jump for joy and generate new branches and synapses.

The Voicetracker is aptly named. It works beautifully with any acoustic information but in my experience it excels when it tracks the human voice. After initially exploring the full range of its functions, I entered a stretch of time when all visitors to my studios were asked to relate personal stories or dreams so I could record them and later use the recordings as input to the Voicetracker. What I discovered was that every person has their personal modal scale as well as tonal center and dominant and subdominant pitches, and that those were apt to change over the course of the day; they also changed in ways reflective of the general psychic state of the individual from day to day. It became clear that center frequency, frequency range, dynamic range, and spectral shapes are all personal attributes that vary with time and circumstance. Some people, especially those who were more likely to be called expressive, had a wealth of melodic curves, spectral inflections, and rhythmic structures directly connected with the psychological content of their stories and their telling of those stories. We tend to listen to speech for the textual information but more often the musical information is far more arresting and informative. Word painting or tone painting is not simply a figment of some composer's imagination - it happens all the time in the everyday world; we tend to relate to it mostly on a subliminal level but it can definitely make for some fascinating music when you have an instrument like the Fairlight Voicetracker that can convert vocalizations to music control information.

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