Robot voice modulator Miami Beach Coral Gables
Want to sound like a robot? The HT8950 is a single chip CMOS LSI voice modulator ICs which provide seven steps to shift the frequency of an input voice, producing a dramatic change in the output. Robot voice modulator Miami Beach Coral Gables.
The HT8950 provides two special effects: vibrato and robot. The vibrato effect is generated by alternating the frequency of an input signal up and down at a rate of 8Hz. The robot function, on the other hand, converts an input voice into a robot voice. Both effects can be selected depending on which pin is triggered, either ROB or VIB. For the output frequency level shifting, the chips provide seven steps which can be selected from the two groups of pins namely, SW0, SW1 and SW2 for electronic direct selection and ROB, TGD, TGU and VIB for push-button selection. Robot voice modulator Miami Beach Coral Gables.
The HT8950 include a built-in microphone amplifier with an internal bias, an 8-bit A/D converter, a built-in SRAM as well as a current output type 8-bit D/A converter. The 8-bit A/D and D/A converters with a sampling rate of 8kHz ensures a high quality and high S/N ratio output voice. Robot voice modulator Miami Beach Coral Gables. The chips provide an LED indicator which flashes in accordance with the volume of the input voices. Robot voice modulator Miami Beach Coral Gables.
Yes, you could just run out and buy a vocoder, but they’re kind of pricey and this way is so much more fun! Using a clock, a fluorescent desk lamp, an HT8950 voice modulator, a condenser microphone and some miscellaneous stuff your crafty self is bound to have just laying around, you can make one of your own! Doesn’t look terribly complicated to us, but then, we love things that are terribly complicated. Get to it, sirs — hit the read link for full instructions. Robot voice modulator Miami Beach Coral Gables.
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Even though days of phone pranking are pretty much in the past, this device is still worth making. I am talking about a real-time voice modulator that transforms audio input into the famous “robot voice”. Robot voice modulator Miami Beach Coral Gables.
Heart of this device is Holtek HT8950 voice modulator which needs only a few external components and a power supply to work. The modulator can be built in handheld the box with a battery or as a desk sitting tool as shown in the picture. Robot voice modulator Miami Beach Coral Gables. As the author states, this integrated circuit offers a lot more than the “robot voice”, it can shift audio input two whole octaves in either direction which can be accomplished by pushing appropriate buttons. There is even an mp3 file on the project page with a sample of the modulated voice. HT8950 can be purchased on eBay and it is very cheap for hours of fun that you will have with this device. Robot voice modulator Miami Beach Coral Gables.
n the recent TV ad campaign for Marks & Spencer, they use the Electric Light Orchestra track ‘Mr Blue Sky’. There’s a distinctive robotic vocal sound in it that I am curious about. How was it made? I was thinking at first that it was something like Auto-Tune (as on the annoying Cher single!) but the ELO record was made years before that. Or is it a remix? (I’m not old enough to remember the original!) Robot voice modulator Miami Beach Coral Gables.
The effect is created using a device known as a vocoder, which is short for voice encoder, though it was also briefly known as a ‘voder’. Like so many things in this business, the vocoder dates back many decades and, again like so many things in this business, is derived from telephonic communications technology! Robot voice modulator Miami Beach Coral Gables.
It was originally developed by Homer Dudley of Bell Labs in the ’40s as a means to compress audio for transmission down copper telephone lines. Later, one Werner Meyer-Eppler of Bonn University saw the potential for the vocoder in the then-emerging genre of electronic music. Robot voice modulator Miami Beach Coral Gables.
Basically, a vocoder has two inputs: a modulator and a carrier. The modulator is usually fed by a microphone, typically with sung or spoken words, and the carrier will take a bright, sustained synth sound. Chords are played into the carrier input and words are spoken (or sung) into the modulator. The spoken/sung words are electronically imposed on the carrier signal, to create the effect of the synth speaking or singing. So how does this magic work? Robot voice modulator Miami Beach Coral Gables.
The carrier signal is split into different frequencies, using very tight band-pass filters (not unlike those in a graphic equalizer), and each of these has a voltage-controlled amplifier or, more recently, a digitally controlled amp. Robot voice modulator Miami Beach Coral Gables. The modulator input is similarly split into different frequencies and on the output of each of the modulators’ band-pass filters is an envelope follower that opens and closes the corresponding amplifier on the carrier input (see diagram). Thus, if you were to say ‘ooaaah’ into the modulator, the lower filters on the modulator would activate and open the lower filters on the carrier’s signal; as the modulating signal moved into ‘aaaah’, the modulator’s higher filters would be activated, in turn opening the carrier’s upper filters and creating the illusion of vocals. Robot voice modulator Miami Beach Coral Gables.
The number of filter bands the vocoder has is crucial. In the early days of analog vocoders, for technical reasons (and reasons of cost) they typically only had around 10 bands, making speech somewhat unintelligible. More recent developments using modern DSP allows vocoder designers to include almost any number of filters, meaning that intelligibility is greatly improved, although they still sound like vocoders. Robot voice modulator Miami Beach Coral Gables. Of course, these filters only really deal with the vowel components of a sound; to cater for sibilants and fricatives, such as ‘s’, ‘b’ and ‘p’, noise generators are sometimes used, which are triggered when the modulator detects them. While they help, they are still not convincing. Robot voice modulator Miami Beach Coral Gables.
Vocoders were grossly over-used to the point of cliché in the ’70s (‘Mr Blue Sky’ is a prime example!) and they subsequently fell from grace. However, they can be responsible for some stunning sounds, and one only has to listen to Herbie Hancock’s use of his Sennheiser vocoder in his brief foray into dance/disco music in the ’70s and ’80s to confirm this. Feeding the vocoder with an impeccably phrased Minimoog, Hancock created perfectly realistic and fluid lead vocals but with a curious robotic quality. He is multitracked these to create harmonies and backing vocals to stunning effect. Robot voice modulator Miami Beach Coral Gables.
More recently, the vocoder has become much more than just a ‘speaking synth’ effect, and people routinely now feed drum loops into the modulator to rhythmically chop the carrier signal. Robot voice modulator Miami Beach Coral Gables.
Prominent vocoder manufacturers of old were EMS (whose products are still on sale), Moog (who I believe based their design on the vocoder Wendy Carlos constructed out of discrete modules on her giant Moog modular), Sennheiser, Korg and, of course, Roland, with their famous Vocoder Plus. Robot voice modulator Miami Beach Coral Gables.
More recently, there has been a veritable glut of software vocoders on the market, some free, some shareware and some payware. Notable examples are Akai’s DC Vocoder and Native Instruments’ Vokator, both of which offer outstanding intelligibility and flexibility. Robot voice modulator Miami Beach Coral Gables.
“Robot voices” became a recurring element in popular music starting in the late twentieth century, and several methods of producing variations on this effect have arisen. Though the vocoder is by far the best-known, the following other pieces of music technology are often confused with it:
This was an early version of the talk box used to create the voice of the piano in the Sparky’s Magic Piano series from 1947. It was used as the voice of many musical instruments in Rusty in Orchestraville. It was used as the voice of Casey the Train in Dumbo and The Reluctant Dragon. Radio jingle companies PAMS and JAM Creative Productions also used the sonovox in many stations ID’s they produced. Robot voice modulator Miami Beach Coral Gables.
The talk box guitar effect was invented by Doug Forbes and popularized by Peter Frampton. In the talk box effect, amplified sound is actually fed via a tube into the performer’s mouth and is then shaped by the performer’s lip, tongue, and mouth movements before being picked up by a microphone. In contrast, the vocoder effect is produced entirely electronically. The background riff from “Livin’ on a Prayer” by Bon Jovi is a well-known example. “California Love” by 2Pac and Roger Troutman is a more recent recording featuring a talk box fed with a synthesizer instead of guitar. Steven Drozd of The Flaming Lips used the talk box on parts of the group’s eleventh album, At War with the Mystics, to imitate some of Wayne Coyne’s repeated lyrics in the “Yeah Yeah Yeah Song”. Robot voice modulator Miami Beach Coral Gables.
The vocoder should also not be confused with the Antares Auto-Tune Pitch Correction PlugIn, which can be used to achieve a robotic-sounding vocal effect by quantizing (removing smooth changes in) voice pitch or by adding pitch changes. The first such use was in 1998 on Believe, a song by Cher, and the radical pitch changes became known as the ‘Cher effect’. This has been employed in recent years by artists such as Daft Punk (who also use vocoders and talk boxes), T-Pain, Kanye West, the Italian dance/pop group Eiffel 65, and the Japanese group Perfume. Robot voice modulator Miami Beach Coral Gables.
Linear prediction coding
Linear prediction coding is also used as a musical effect (generally for cross-synthesis of musical timbres), but is not as popular as bandpass filter bank vocoders, and the musical use of the word vocoder refers exclusively to the latter type of device. Robot voice modulator Miami Beach Coral Gables.
Although ring modulation usually doesn’t work well with melodic sounds, it can be used to make speech sound robotic. As an example, it has been used to robotify the voices of the Daleks in Dr Who. Robot voice modulator Miami Beach Coral Gables.
Robotic voices in music may also be produced by speech synthesis. This does not usually
create a “singing” effect (although it can). Speech synthesis means that, unlike in vocoding, no human speech is employed as a basis. One example of such use is the song Das Boot by U96. A more tongue-in-cheek musical use of speech synthesis is MC Hawking. Most notably, Kraftwerk, who had previously used the vocoder extensively in their 1970s recordings, began opting for speech synthesis software in place of vocoders starting with 1981’s Computer World album; on newer recordings and in the reworked versions of older songs that appear on The Mix and the band’s current live show, the previously vocoder-processed vocals have been almost completely replaced by software-synthesized “singing”. Vocaloid is a singing synthesizer application software developed by the Yamaha Corporation that is designed to synthesize singing by entering lyrics and melody. Robot voice modulator Miami Beach Coral Gables.
A comb filter can be used to single out a few frequencies in the audio signal producing a sharp, resonating transformation of the voice. Comb filtering can be performed with a delay unit set to a high feedback level and delay time of less than a tenth of a second. Of the robot voice effects listed here, this one requires the least resources, since delay units are a staple of recording studios and sound editing software. As the effect deprives a voice of much of its musical qualities (and has few options for sound customization), the robotic delay is mostly used in TV/movie applications. Robot voice modulator Miami Beach Coral Gables.
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