Make a normal conversation sound creepy, spooky or mysterious. its kinda hard to find samples of tense/intense vocal exchanges. any recommendations appreciated. I imagine though, there must be some fine ways to modify samples to generate different atmospheres.
Have you considered using creepy incidental music or sound effects?
Hi, well no i haven't, i was thinking dsp, but that also works.
There's always good ol' reverse reverb too; reverse the sound, apply reverb, then reverse again. "Ghost voice 101".
sweet thats a goody, i was not familiar with that
thanks a lot!
Exactly what kind of spooky/mysterious vocals do you mean? The downpitched, "monster" type or more scary/haunting? Explaining sounds with words is sometimes pretty difficult.
Try using a chorus with high intensity. Then, by adjusting the speed of the chorus the output sound can be tweaked.
I've played around with this in the past....a few things you can do:
1. Slooooow it doooowwwn.
2. Add reverb
3. Reverse the sound
4. Add Echo
This is a sound clip where I did just that: www.artofsound.us/scaryvocals.mp3 (first vocal is no effects, second has the steps listed above)
(first vocal is no effects
Mastering (sounds normal, but with different color and/or dynamics) = no effects
Sfx (sounds beyond "no effects" = effects
Reversed reverb gives interesting results.
Izotope Nectar ($300 on their website) is good for vocals if I remember correctly.
Re: reverse then add reverb
One nice trick to mix it up a bit, which really creeps people out (I do sound design for a lot of scare attractions!) is to intersperse your 'ghost' vocals with a really dry, heavily compressed vocal which just freaks people because the ear gets used to hearing the processing after a while, but really dry sounds can be just as freaky - i did a soundscape for a seance room a couple of weeks back, and the reports back from visitors were that they genuinely believed there was someone talking straight into their ear!
The other cool variant you can try, is again, within the 'reverse reverb' vocals is actually to create a few sentences with reverse reverb into reversed vocals. This sounds immensely creepy. If you want to prove it to yourself, try recording a couple of really innocent lines (try something like 'eat more green veg') and see how right-up-the-spine malevolent it sounds in reverse.
So your process here will be simpler: record the vocal, add reverb, reverse the whole thing. then add a bit of 'tail reverb' afterwards.
The attraction I did recently had a few really innocuous backward lines in as 'easter eggs', i played them to the organisers afterwards and they flat wouldn't believe it was the same sentence, but they thought it was really funny (know your client really well before you start pulling this sort of stunt though!)
Most importantly, have fun with it.
Speed and pitch are your friends, they are the simplest of the 'make normal sound messed up' techniques.
Good point tollbooth! The brain perceives an echo-ish ambient voice as being quite distant. If you then suddenly hear a loud dry voice it's startling because it sounds very close and thus is a sudden threat. Any slight reverb on the "dry" voice should have a long initial delay just to recapture the space. The reverb on the initial ambient voice should have a short initial delay to put it closer to the room boundaries and more distant to the observer.
You can also try pitching up one vocal,than layer the same vocal but pitched down,apply some chorus,and also trick with reverse reverb and you got some nasty stuff!!