Does anyone know a good app, vst(i) or technique for altering vocals to get a robotic kind of vibe? For example the voice in ‘Das Boot’ by U96.
Untill now I only know some speechsoftware like IBM is developing and TalkingGreeting (wich was also used for the vocal in the track from Benny Benassi ‘Satisfaction’), but I sence there is more out there…

analogx.com has a little speechsynth called “sayit”, tobybear made a free pitchshift plugin which sounds so dirty you might want it … and try around with the lofi and flangerplug of renoise itself.

thanks looza, this thing is really kewl :)

coolspeech.com is pretty nice… I like the sound of the women in space and the matrix alike robtic sound (neo taking the red pill and is kicking in sound) :)

apart from the ‘sayit’ thing that is quite cool theres another application called ‘shittalker’ that is quite handy. you can alter the voice it speaks and some more parameters. worth a check for sure.

besides, if you want to record vocals with a mic and then tear them apart, ‘melodyne’ is a good choice (also for other stuff). good ability to properly f**** things up i think.

oh yeah and for u96 like voices you would probably go for a good vocoder. Native Instruments have really decent one out called ‘Vokator’, guess thats kind of the best software device for that atm, but there are surely cheaper things to do that as well.

so long good hunting
die tonschabe

If you want a robotic voice in the same spirit as Krafwerk, then buy one of these:

TC Works D-Coder
Akai DCVocoder
Prosoniq Orange Vocoder


The first 4 hardware-synths and the first software plugin is actually used by kraftwerk themselfs :)
The tecnique is called vocoding and you use a vocoder to do so. With this tecnique you transform your own voice, or any other optional sound-source, into a robot-voice wich gives you much more possibilities than using a voice completely generated from a computer. One way to produce real cool robotvoices could maybe be to first generate a voice in a speech generator and then process them thru a vocoder :)
There are actually lot of other vocoders out there, I only named a few of them. There is probably also free VST’s with vocoder functionality.

BTW, about speech synth in U96-Das Boot:
You shouldn’t get it using vocoder, cause it was fully synthesed by one of the first world speech synths. The synth program was called ‘SAM / Reciter’ and it runs under Commodore 64 !
I must admit - there are no other software which can produce same specific speech emulation sounds (except Polish ‘HLAS’ on ZX Spectrum maybe)
Recently i deside to recreate some speech samples to make own remix of U96 soundtrack.
For this purpose i download C64 emulator (WinVICE - is da best!) and run ‘SAM’ on it !
WOW! It sounds exactly same as speech synth in old U96 - Das Boot techno remix!
So - back to past… i still remember ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64, Atari, and Amiga times, where i start my tracking way… and it gets me deep in nostalgic mood and turns me on tears… donno why.

Found some other programs:




Best regards,


ceejay: Thank you so much for this information! I’ve always wanted to find out exactly how U96 created that effect, and now, after 14 years, I have SAM running in a C64 emulator on my own computer… Thanks again.

The old speech program for Atari ST can produce the exact same speech used in Das Boot (and many other old techno/rave tunes). I used it as a kid and had hours of fun with it.


Very easy to run it with an Atari ST emulator such as Steem:

Make a new directory on your drive, something like “c:\Steem”.
Download a TOS image (similar to Kickstart on Amiga) such as UK 1.02 and extract it there.
Download Steem and extract it to the same directory (make sure you maintain the directory structure when unzipping).

Make another directory “c:\Steem\harddisk” which will be used for the virtual harddisk in the emulator. You can put random programs in here which are not stored as complete floppy disk images.

Download the speech program and extract it to “c:\Steem\harddisk”

Now run Steem. The first time you run it it will ask a few simple questions like where the TOS image is located, where your virtual harddisk directory is located, etc. Once that’s done you can get started, open up the C: harddisk in the emulator and then run the speech program.

In Steem’s options you can even choose to save the audio output directly to a .wav file, ready to chop up and load into Renoise :)

Here’s a quick demo:


Wow, this stuff is gold. As much as I liked the more natural sound of the Amiga’s speech synth, and didn’t find a single PC synth that caught my ear, I never even thought about emulatiion! Steem here I come :D

Hmmz what about Audio Sculpture on Amiga? It had it’s own voice synthesis… (it has been used for a very famous dance track as well in the 90’s)

Sam is the man. That’s what I use for several c64 Messiah tracks.


Download the track “c64 Messiah” to hear sam in action. Only added a little
reverb to the original sam voice.

Also the song “Chip Design” incorporates the original sam text-to-speech demo at the very end.

Now if I could only get my own vocals to sound right… haha. Same may have to bail me out once again.