Here’s a tasty new iOS vocoder from Germany software house Virsyn called iVoxel. When it comes to vocoders clarity is king. This is why in the past I’ve mostly used non-traditional vocoder type units like a Digitech Talker. It seems the iVoxel has some of that mojo in it performing some resynthesis of your own voice before the vocoder section to make it clearer. I also like that you can record your own voice and use a few samples spread over the keys. How many iPads are we going to want on stage with us?
“Voxel is a combination of a voice optimized synthesizer and a vocoder. The vocoder part is based on the Matrix vocoder from VirSyn used by many famous artists – one of them the well known german group Kraftwerk. The channel filters used by iVoxel are based on the Sennheiser Vocoder VSM201 resulting in a rich and fat analogue sound characteristic.” – virsyn.net/mobileapp
Here’s a guy who spent more time in front of a microphone than probably anyone you know. Don LaFontaine was “the movie guy”. He is the voice you hear in countless movie trailers saying, “In a world full of…”. Don passed away on Monday at the age of 68.
“Donald LaFontaine (August 26, 1940 – September 1, 2008) was an American voice actor famous for recording over 5,000 movie trailers and (according to his website) over 350,000 television commercials, network promotions, and video game trailers. His signature voice was perceived as being both ominous and sonorous. His nicknames included “Thunder Throat” and “The Voice of God”. He became identified with the phrase “in a world…”, which has been used in movie trailers so frequently that it has become a cliché. He also parodied this cliché several times, most recently in a commercial for GEICO insurance.” – Wikipedia.org
I remember seeing a documentary about his work and noticed he had his own home studio. Over the period of his life he was a recording engineer, film editor, producer, and writer. He was also known to take the time to send fans personalized voice recordings. I wonder if he had a favorite microphone.
There is a company in New York called Voxonic and they are doing something that completely blows my mind. They can take a vocal track from a song and change the audio into a new language. For example, the vocals from a English hip hop track can be made into French or Spanish in the artists original voice. The artist does not have to re-sing the song or know the foreign language! The results are amazing believable.
Take a listen to this clip “French/English/Chinese”:
I came across this company while listening to an interview with Arie Deutsch the Co-founder of the company on NPR.org. I highly recommend taking a listen. During the interview they play several more audio examples including Bill Clinton’s inaugural speech translated into Spanish: click here
Voxonic has developed proprietary patent-pending software, which transforms voices, making it possible to replicate any person’s voice in any language. Voxonic applies its “Voice Models” to transform speech from one person to another. All we need is a one-time, fifteen-minute sample of your voice. With that we will be able to present you saying what you want in the language of your choice. – Voxonic.com
For me this is one of those “wow they can do this now” moments. Imagine this technology built into your DAW? Another amazing fact from the interview is that Mr. Deutsch says the processing happens quickly in about the length of the source. So could this mean with a much faster computer we are approaching real time language translation? Voll giel!