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Creating Creature Voices with VocalSynth 2

Transcript
VocalSynth 2 is known as a powerful tool for elevating your vocal productions in a musical context. But VocalSynth 2 can also be thought of as a sonic playground of opportunities for creature voice construction.

So we’re going to show you three examples of what’s possible when you use VocalSynth 2 to create creature and monster voices. First up, here’s a robot voice in the middle of a laser battle.

[robot voice]

Here’s a well known fictional character from a popular space-themed movie franchise.

[space voice]

And here is a cave monster, warning us about the perils of over-producing.

[cave monster voice]

Let’s go through each voice, do some before and afters, and then I’ll show you how I came up with these sounds.

Now first up is our robot vocal. Here’s what it sounded like before.

[woman’s voice]

And here’s after we colored it with VocalSynth 2, and added some sound effects to situate the robot in a chaotic space battle.

[robot voice with space battle]

This voice began with a preset from the global preset menu here. Since we’re using VocalSynth in auto-mode, I went to the auto folder, Deep folder, and then chose the Bassboxx preset. From here I made some tweaks, and saved the preset as Bassboxx Redux. The preset sounded great, but I wanted to add a bit more clarity, so I turned on Biovox and increased the breath parameter. Have a listen as it adds an airy quality to the vocal.

[robot voice]

The other important change I made was to introduce the dry signal into the overall sound via this level slider here. If I turn it all the way down, we get the affected robot vocal.

[robot voice]

But if I turn it up, we bring a fuller sound to the robot.

[robot, fuller]

And we also give it a hybrid, human-meet-cyborg feel that I quite liked.

Next up is our star-battle space bad guy voice. Here’s what it sounded like before.

[male dialogue]

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And here’s after we transformed the dialogue with VocalSynth 2, and used some epic music to set the scene.

[space voice with music]

Again, I used a preset from the auto-folder in the monster section called, “Rylo Ken.” Then I made some tweaks and saved the new preset down here. The majority of the tweaks I made were in the effects section down here. I should mention that you can rearrange all of these effects to really customize your sound.

I changed the distort, filter, and transform effect to reinforce the sound of a voice coming through a radio speaker, and I’d say the transform effect was crucial in getting the speakerphone effect like we hear in the film. Have a listen.

[space voice]

Finally, we have a monster sound. Here’s what it sounded like before.

[male dialogue]

And here’s after we added VocalSynth 2, not to mention a little cave ambience sound effect to set the stage.

[cave voice with ambience]

To get this deep, dark, monster sound, I started with another preset from the monstrous folder, but this time, the monstrous folder was in the MIDI bank of presets. The preset I used was called, “Light Creeper,” and you can see that I made a few tweaks, and now we have this sound.

The key to getting this sound lies mostly in the PolyVox module, which I enabled. I turned the formant down over here to add depth and spookiness to the vocal.

Have a listen as I bring it from its default down to where it really gets gravelly and menacing.

[cave voice]

Next, I’m adding some delay here. This adds width and depth to the monster voice, giving it lots of strength.

[cave voice]

Also, I increased the level slider, which as we saw earlier, introduces the dry signal into the mix, and the global mix slider, which is like an overall wet/dry slider.

You’ll see that if I bring this slider down completely, we hear nothing but the dry vocal.

[dry vocal]

So there we have none of the effect. So finding the sweet spot between dry and wet meant I was able to get plenty of intelligibility, so we could understand the words spoken, all while keeping the best parts of the overall effect in the signal chain.

[cave voice]

Thanks so much for watching. To learn more about VocalSynth 2 in musical contexts, have a look at our other tutorials where we explore using VocalSynth 2 in genres like Pop and Hip Hop. Take care.

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