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 instrument to create incredible new voices, choirs, sounds and soundscapes, based on your own unique voice. Take a journey into sound design and discover the endless possibilities: Speak, sing, hum and beatbox in the mic, to turn your voice live into a popstar on AutoPitch, an engaging voice actor, a robot from Cylon to iDalek, a baby or tenor, a church or close harmony choir, animals from birds to dogs and lions, musical instruments from organs, guitars and a groovy bass to percussions and rich 70's vocoders, amazing effects and ambient, lush string/storm soundscapes.
To get you started, we included over 250 factory presets! Play and tweak live with four 24-band vintage analog modeling vocoders, live-pause your voice, AutoPitch, Audio Units V3, audio routing, midi, sampler, multiple voice harmony arranger, spectrum stroboscope, pitch and formant shifter, 24-band equalizer, distortion, delay, chorus and reverb, and a voice designer with oscilloscope. Voice Synth Modular provides a free try-out and full functionality via in-app purchases.
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.
• Sound engine 2x32 bit at 44.1 kHz
• 4 vintage analog modeling vocoders with 24 bands, 5th order filters (Natural, Robot, Breath and Designer)
• All effects simultaneous, live, real-time, low-latency
• 24 voice polyphony
• Audio Unit V3, midi controllable instrument (sampler mode) and effect (live mode), 11-192 kHz, automation on most parameters
• Choose input and output audio route
• Background audio (iOS)
• VoiceOver support (iOS only)
• iOS and macOS presets are interchangeable
• Repeater to prevent audio-feedback (when used live with built-in mic/speaker)
• Sampler to record/import/play/pause your voice, with zoom/loop/hold, speed ±800%
• Tapes to record/play/share/export your performance
• 250+ factory presets, unlimited user presets, import/export
• Keyboard 1.5-2.5 octaves, hold on/off, mono/poly
• 49 registers to add voice brilliance, set a chord
• Arpeggiator with pattern/gate/speed/group keys & registers
• Equalizer with 24 bands and 10 presets (loudness, low-pass, telecom, etc)
• Pitch Shifter 8 octaves (e.g. for lion voice, tenor, gender change, child, baby, duck, squeak)
• Formant Shifter adapts voice spectrum ±1 octave (change headsize from child to giant)
• Adjustable pitch tracker
• AutoPitch (always sing in tune)
• Harmony synthesis of multiple voices in adjustable musical scale (choirs and rich 70's vocoder sounds)
• Autogain, distortion, stereo panning, delay, chorus and reverb
• Slew rate: special vocoder reverb (plucked strings, wind, thunder, storms)
• Stroboscopic gate: special vocoder effect to sample and hold your voice spectrum
• Mic thru and Vocoder mix to add-in your unprocessed voice (e.g. for beat-boxing)
• Sync timing of sampler/arpeggiator/delay/strobo voice to create rhythms
• Noise gate, manual/automatic and frequency adaptive
Designer vocoder includes
• Real time oscilloscope, what you see is what you hear!
• Mix additive/maximum/multiplicative synthesis with phase adjustment
• Sine/square/triangle/sawtooth wave with adjustable frequency, harmonics, clipping, width, skew and slope
• Noise white/voiced, with adjustable filter and clipping (e.g. for shot noise)
• Test mode to design while bypassing your own voice