Voice Synth for iPad Created Computer Voice in “2084”
For my new short film, 2084, I needed to create the booming voice of an all-powerful, brain-washing computer overlord. So, naturally I turned to my iPad.
Actually, that’s not entirely true. First I turned to my Mac. I spent two days searching for a vocoder plugin (for Logic Pro X), capable of transforming my actor’s performance into a synthesized computer voice without killing the comedic nuances. I came up empty handed. Sure, there were plenty of vocoder options (including one built into Logic), but they were either too complicated, too restrictive, or way too expensive.
THAT’S when I turned to my iPad. And that’s when I found an amazing vocoder app called Voice Synth ($9.99). This awesome audio tool makes it incredibly easy to alter your voice (or any audio input) with a wide range of tonal options. You can harmonize, synthesize, and generally pulverize your voice — all live! You can record directly into the app, and even use if for live performances with its MIDI functionality. I won’t go into all the features, since you can read all about that here. Instead, I’m just going to tell you how I used it during the post production of 2084.
First thing I did was record my actor into a Zoom H4N audio recorder. I dropped all of the raw audio files into Logic Pro X (where I also mixed the finished film), and edited a complete performance. Then I piped the finished audio from my iMac directly into my iPad by using an 1/8″ cable and an iPhone/iPad audio adaptor from KV Connection.
With Voice Synth running on my iPad, I selected a vocoder preset called “Robot Gold” (the app has dozens of presets to pick from) and tweaked it just a little. Then I played back the clean, edited performance from my iMac, and recorded the newly effected version directly in Voice Synth. After that, it was simply a matter of exporting the new recording from Voice Synth, and importing it into Final Cut Pro X where it was placed into the cut.
Using Voice Synth was a total breeze, mountains of fun, and it gave me exactly what I was looking for. Go check it out!
2084 has just finished up its festival run and will be premiering online on February 25th, 2016. In the meantime, I’ve embedded the trailer below. More details can be found on the film’s website: YouMustConform.com.
Voice Synth is a professional live voice processor and music synthesizer played by your voice. With the vast set of integrated tools including Vocoders, Auto Pitch, Harmonizing Pitch Shift and Speed-Shift Sampling, you can
• Sing in Tune like P-Tain & vocoded like Duft-Pank
• Speak with Hollywood-quality Robot voices like 1978 Cylons
• Play by Voice, no fingers needed: scream to play rock guitar, hum a church organ
• Make professional funny voices: animal, evil, weird & much more
• Create unique organic and rhythmic soundscapes
• Sing multiple voices in harmony within any musical scale
• Sample, speed shift and dress up your beatboxing to create the strangest rhythms inspiring new compositions
• Live-pause and stroboscope your voice
• Save and share your creations as presets and audio files
• Use all of the above in your DAW and audio setup via Audio Units & MIDI
On Voice Synth you will find no conventional ADSR, LFOs or filters. Even the keyboard is optional. Instead, Voice Synth uses the most expressive all-in-one tool you were born with: your voice! It's unique so be ready for a jump in voice creativity, sound design and rhythmic inspiration.
To give you an easy start in this adventure, we included over 250 factory presets! Speak, sing, hum and scream live into the mic, and start exploring the unconventional controls: 24-band vintage analog modeling vocoders, Auto Pitch Tracking, live-voice-pause, speed-shift sampler, multiple voice harmony arranger, spectrum stroboscope, pitch and formant shifter, 24-band equalizer, classic FX as distortion/delay/chorus/reverb, and an extensive vocoder designer with oscilloscope. We included a manual for in-depth use.
Musicians, DJs, sound designers, voice artists: Voice Synth is a must-have in your audio toolbox! Voice Synth is available on the iOS and Mac App Store, and has a dedicated interface designed for iPad/Mac, and a compact interface for iPhone/iPod Touch that includes all features so you can create anywhere you go.
• Engine 2x32 bit 44.1 kHz poly x24
• All effects fully integrated, simultaneous, live, realtime, low-latency
• Background audio
• VoiceOver (iOS)
• Audio Unit V3, instrument/effect, parameter automation
• Audio routing
• Repeater, anti-audio-feedback
• Noise gate manual/auto
• Keyboard 1.5-2.5 oct (midi 10), hold/mono/poly
• Tapes to record/export your performance
• 250+ factory presets, unlimited user presets, import/export
• 4 vintage analog modeling vocoders 24 bands 5th order filters (Natural Robot Breath Designer)
• Auto Pitch, track/fix/double/inverse pitch
• Multiple Voice Harmonizer, any musical scale (choirs, rich 70's vocoder sounds)
• Speed-Shift Sampler ±800%, pause/zoom/loop/hold
• Live-pause & strobo voice
• Pitch Shifter 8 octaves (e.g. lion/gender/child/baby/duck)
• Formant Shifter adapt spectrum ±1 octave (child to giant)
• Registers 4 octaves (add brilliance, chords)
• Arpeggiator pattern/gate/speed/grouping
• Equalizer 24 bands, 10 presets (loudness, low-pass, telecom, etc)
• Autogain/Compressor, Clip/Distortion, Stereo Panning, Delay, Chorus, Reverb
• Slew rate: special vocoder reverb (plucked strings, wind, thunder, storms)
• Mic thru and Vocoder mix to add-in your unprocessed voice (e.g. for beat-boxing)
• Sync rhythmic effect timing
• Realtime oscilloscope
• Sine/square/triangle/sawtooth, adjustable frequency/harmonics/clip/width/skew/slope
• Noise white/voiced, adjustable filter/clipping
• Mix additive/maximum/multiplicative synthesis
• Test mode, design/play without voice