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ring mod on voice


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That is a pretty cool song, and the other poster was a little incorrect about the "chipmunk vocals". "Chipmunk vocals" works by speeding up a sound which makes the pitch go up, slowing it down makes it sound lower.


That does sound like a ring modulator, which works in a mathematical sense: it takes the input of a sound and outputs it as other frequencies than what is put into it by taking the fundamental ( in this case what the singer is singing) and adding another frequency of your choosing, and later using the difference of those amounts as well as the difference of those amounts. What is not outputted is the original frequency, although the common way to use this is to mix in a certain amount of the "new" tones generated in with the original ( this is referred to as the "dry/wet" mix).


Here is from Wikipedia: "Ring modulators combine (or heterodyne) two waveforms, and output the sum and difference of the frequencies present in each waveform. This process of ring modulation produces a signal rich in overtones, suitable for producing bell-like or otherwise metallic sounds."


Anyway, here is the Ring Modulator that comes with Digital Performer- I'm a little more familiar with that one. You'll see it says "frequency" and that is a tone that will be added to the original.. Next to it is "Waveform" which is what shape and characteristic is used, a sine will be the most "natural" sounding, and a sawtooth wave and a square will be more harsh and metallic. The mix will work as I said above, the modulation gain will give more fine tuning.


So notice with the Battles song that what you are hearing is a robotic sound from the vocals, and there seem to be two elements to it, a lower one and a higher one. The high one is the combination of what he is singing and the tone that is added to it, let's say he is singing at a frequency of 400 Hertz ( an arbitrary number) and we've added a 1000 Hertz tone to it, then the Ring Modulator will output 1400 Hertz, the sum, as well as, say, 700 Hertz ( the two divided by two). And that can be mixed in with his original vocal, which would be the most normal, or just the two new frequencies, which will sound extreme. There are a lot of variables in how you use the Modulator, as well as the simple fact that he is not just singing at any one frequency, there will be a lot of overtones, which will themselves be modulated, and so forth.


In short: a little ring modulation goes a long way. Experiment and have fun.


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