Sound Design: Any Idea How I Could Make This Robot's Voice Using R

I’ve always loved this particular droid’s voice in Star Wars and since this film was made decades ago I got to thinking that it mustn’t be that hard to create this vocal effect. It was my favourite droid voice in the film series and I’d truly love to know how to make it. Any suggestions folks?

Thanks in advance for any advice you can help dish out!

Warmest wishes to all my fellow trackers,

Ardeer/ Swedger

Ideas I just found on this:

With the right speech sample. Experiment with sine ring modulation as stage one. Like 100% amount to a freq that will alias, then to that freq plus one octave afterwards. Then again with an offset +/- 4,6,8,10 semitones or best would be slightly off these values, until you hit sweet spots. To make it more throary/raw put yet another ring mod in at the first freq minus one octave, and only slowly dial in amount until it is raw anough. Also experiment with slight “soft” distortion to saturate, and eqing to boost the lower freqs & saturate the distortion stronger with them, and also low pass filter to remove higher freqs and distortion scratching as needed.

This can make the “am radio” style effect in the voice if tuned right, but not the cold metallic definition of voice. I found it hard to control the ringmods so they let through enough definition of the voice through. so:

To achieve this, use a vocoder in a parallel chain. Feed as modulator the original voice. As Carrier, feed some looping filthy broadband whitish noise sample with extra metallic noises in, and the ring modulated part mixed and probably distorted together.

To make it more metallic/tubeish, you can experiment with a comb filter tuned to the first ring mod freq, or from there deliberately detune it to make it metallic. You can experiment placing it into the ring mod chain, or the vocoder carrier, as you like. Too offensive will make it a lot more metallic than in your example, use it subtly.

In the end, mix the ringmod and vocoder together, probably filtering each and especially highpassing the vocoder chain to make them fit well together. No easy job with my complicated way. I bet the original was made much more simple.

It does sound like a ring mod. You can hear this chopped sound and lower pitched artifacts that ring modulators make.

Looked into this a few years ago, but was looking for how the Daleks (from Dr. Who) voices were done. Not exactly the same as the OP’s example, but within the ballpark.

Ring mod. –

The Dalek effect is “slower” ringmod than in the movie sample. I like how different ringmod freqs are used to create different characters that allows to recognise them in their silly dialogues.

I tell the freqs here for the renoise 3.1 note ringmod, you can look into the spectrum view to find the frequencies for other ringmod plugins that work by Hz.

Tune the renoise ringmod from c-2 to c-3, dry/wet from 10% to 60%, and distort it a bit, this is dalek like.

Tune it from c-3 to c-5, 100% wet for an radio effect a bit like in the movie. Place another ringmod an octave higher, before or after the first, to make the effect a bit stronger/wider and more singing.

If you do it, you can also give it rawness by bringing another 10-50%wet ringmod an octave lower (in the dalek realm) to the final output. You control how raw it is, but the more wet you dial in, the weaker the radio effect will get. I believe I hear it a bit through in the movie passage.

E-3 as center frequency (and then e-4 for making it stronger, and e-2 at less dry/wet to make the voice rawer) is a good starting point. Choosing other notes gives different speech timbres, how it reacts also depends on the pitch of the speech sent into it.

I think the movie sample does it kind of this way, and layers the hiss noises from the original speech back in to make it more intellegible (and fishy…). Because the heavy ringmod destroys the hisses too much. I tried a vocoder for this, makes it even more synthetic and cold with the right carrier. But in the movie there is probably some wildly overdriven kick ass analog ring modulator used. Maybe only one ringmod is used, and it just kicks in so strong because of the drive and does a bit what the other 2 I suggested would be delivering all by the overdrive distortion. Which you could try to going into that direction by using distortions or driven filters in between with the right eqing.

I think its a flanger with lot of feedback, the delay following the pitch of a voice. or maybe comb filter.

It sounds like the RingMod effect you have in Renoise (but yes, perhaps that’s not enough).

I still think it’s an effect with a bit of feedback usage, so giving the voice a body. A ringmod normally doesn’t have any feedback. Here a test using chorus, flanger and then delay:

Attachment 7213 not found.

I suggest trying a free VST plugin called KeroVee, it can produce some nice robotic sounds:

If you want to beefen it up a bit, maybe Clone Ensemble would be up for the job: (this one is shareware, a free limited version, pay for full licence)

chorus, flanger, delay… then ringmod :lol:

in fact i tested the ffx_away XRNS (thank you!!) and just added the RingMod (with default init settings)

old skool ring mod ( analog ) , frequency shifting is also a good candidate

Just sounds like ringmod to me, try this on a baritone

copy and paste this into the mixer

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<FilterDeviceClipboard doc_version="0">
 <DeviceSlot type="RingMod2Device">
 <SelectedPresetLibrary>Bundled Content</SelectedPresetLibrary>
 <Visualization>Device only</Visualization>
 <Visualization>Device only</Visualization>
 <Visualization>Device only</Visualization>
 <Visualization>Device only</Visualization>
 <Visualization>Device only</Visualization>
 <Visualization>Device only</Visualization>

I’d be more interested in Darth Vader sound, i vaguely recall some audio guru make this kind of effect with dBlue’s Glitch 2, any chance it would be doable in Renoise too?

I’d be more interested in Darth Vader sound, i vaguely recall some audio guru make this kind of effect with dBlue’s Glitch 2, any chance it would be doable in Renoise too?

I find your lack of faith… disturbing.

I find your lack of faith… disturbing.

I have no lack of faith, but the force is not as strong with me yet.

I dunno about darth vader. Record james earl jones’s voice and mix in some recording of a breathing apparatus in use?

The guy who did this stuff for star wars said he coined the term ‘sound designer’ more or less because he didn’t know what to call himself in the context of all the other sound people on the staff?!