I've researched but came across nothing. Does anyone here know how to change a person's voice into a demonic sounding creature ala Evil Dead, Drag Me To Hell, etc?
Thread: Voice Manipulation
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08-04-2009 05:11 AM
08-04-2009 05:34 AM
This isn't too tricky depending on what kind of voice you're trying to get. But effects like Chorus, Delay, pitch adjustment etc play a big part in these effects. Also reverb, compression, multi tracking (recording the vocal several times over). For a demonic sort of sound, I imagine recording the vocal a few times over on seperate tracks, make one of the takes really low (pitch shifting), then the rest as you see fit (maybe one take really high), then playing with chorus, adding some reverb, EQ etc. Experiment and see what you like.
The best thing to do would be to download a bunch of "VST" plugins or effects for your audio editing program/whatever you're using and go from there.
A lot of editing suites (premiere etc) now support VST plugins (think of it as an instrument or effect plugin) so you can search for free plugins and load them up in your editing suite, as a place to start. If you have audio software this would be better. But anything that lets you play around with these sorts of effects will get you started.
You should be able to get a number of these sorts of plugins for free. For example: http://www.kjaerhusaudio.com/classic-series.php
Do a google search for more. You should be able to download pitch adjustment plugins as well, see what else you can find. Play around in audacity, it's free and has some of these effects too.
Once you learn more about the individual effects (by reading up and mucking around with them) you'll be able to create something much more specific, and it will also help you with other areas of sound.
Let me know how you get on with it.
Last edited by ChrisHurn; 08-04-2009 at 05:49 AM.
08-04-2009 08:16 AM
In your search for plug-ins look for vocal or voice formanting. I occasionally use the formanting effect in Digital Performer with a good deal of success.Filmmaking is the art of being invisible; if anyone notices your work you haven't done your job right.
08-04-2009 11:29 AM
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Back in the dark ages we used ring modulators made of a simple audio transformer and a waveform generator to create voices such as the cylons on Battlestar Galactica. (Triangle wave).
08-04-2009 11:31 AM
I haven't watched Evil Dead in some time (going to have to fix that), but I recall it sounding like a harmonizer was used to layer the original voice with one or more pitched-down versions. As Chris pointed out, there are plenty of free VST plugins floating about.
Another method of making a voice sound heavier is to use a rectifier, bass-extender, or sub-bass synthesizer to add another sub-harmonic layer to the voice. This effect is rather subtle, but it can add a great deal of menace without drawing attention to itself.
Creative reverb use can also add to the "otherworldly" sound of the voice. A backwards reverb (think back to Carol-Anne's voice in Poltergeist, or maybe give "Whole Lotta Love" another listen) can also make things sound pretty creepy. Its a pretty simple proccess: select a section of dialogue, reverse it, add reverb, and reverse it back again along with the reverb. You'll hear a kind of ghostly chorus leading up to each line of dialogue.
Lately, however, I've been doing a lot of my creature dialogue using TL space (a convolution reverb). By loading in custom IR samples, you can wind up with all sorts of heretofore unheard textures. The learning curve can be pretty steep, but it can pull of some downright amazing results.
Of course, the performance itself is the most important element in the signal chain. If you're recording the voice as ADR, it may be helpful for the actor to hear their voice processed in real-time on headphones.
08-04-2009 08:21 PM
Thanks guys, I'll give it a shot.
08-04-2009 11:35 PM
08-05-2009 09:20 AM
Well I know that for Drag Me to Hell they recorded another actor with a deep voice and matched their lines to the principle actor's lines. They also added a pitched down version of the main actor's lines. So in essence it was 3 voices going on at once. On top of that, the sound designer would put various animal growls in at key points in the dialog to enhance the demonic aspect.
I attended a lecture in LA where Mark Mangini was talking about the sound of the Beast's voice in the Disney movie Beauty and the Beast. He said when they were originally recording the actor who was voicing the Beast, they had him try and do little growls at the beginning and end of every line. They would also layer in various growls from wild animals when the Beast was angry to help sell his beastliness. Basically I think it all comes down to layering the elements that you want in with the principle actor's dialog and playing with it until you get the effect that you want. ADR can be a big help in this aspect.
08-05-2009 09:34 AM
I've heard a lot of processors that do this, and I believe TC-Helicon's products are some of the most authentic (check out the "plug-ins" section in the link below):
Full Compass Systems