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Hey guys, just wanted to ask, is there any way to take an older males voice and make it sound like a younger version of that person? Is there some way to change the pitch or something? Or should I rather get that actor to try and sound younger when he speaks? Thank you

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5 Answers

This depends a lot on the amount of "years" you want to change.

In most cases getting the right voice actor for the role will give you the most natural results. Nevertheless you might be in a situation where you don't have the option anymore to look for s.o. or whatever…

If you want to make an adult into a child simple pitch shift (built in ProTools or other workstation or external PlugIn) might work. It did on a couple of occasions. But usually only short sentences or single words. Pitch it by a good bit and try what amount sounds most natural. But keep in mind that for more than just one word or so pronunciation, melody and rhythm of a child are also very different than those of kids. So there is also a performance factor for this.

Another try might be IRCAM Trax from Flux. (http://www.fluxhome.com/products/plug_ins/ircam_trax) It does advertise as changing male into female and age and so on, but I'd be careful and not expect too much of it. Personally I only tried it once and had the feeling it either works for very subtle changes or very artificial results. But maybe it's worth a try in you case?

Hope any of this helps.

good luck!

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At my day job we use a pitch shifter to change our actors voices in real time, and it's all in the acting. The pitch helps seal the deal, but if they don't vocally act the part they're supposed to be playing it just ruins it. –  Dave Matney Aug 25 '11 at 18:02
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I've had small successes with pitch shifting, but typically do a small amount of formant shifting also ( < +1.5 semi). But that was when I was stuck with what I had.

Don't forget to EQ as well. If you're trying to make a grown adult sound like a smaller child, you're taking about a different sized resonant cavity. Adjust accordingly.

True success will completely depend on the performance of your talent. If you're asking this before the record, see if the talent can produce the desired results. If not, lobby to find additional talent to speak the younger lines. In the end it'll be a much more natural sounding result.

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+1 for Steve's suggestion of formant shifting. Melodyne can be useful. Antares Throat has worked well - sometimes.

You will be better off getting the actor to record the lines 'younger' because it's usually not just the pitch but things like grain in the voice, pauses between words and enunciation that makes the difference.

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In terms of formant (and pitch)shifting you might want to try Elastique from Zplane. (products.zplane.de/index.php?page=elastiquepitch) Might be nice to find a setting for itch and formant independently, but in real time. Also maybe while recording (mind possible latency) like Dave Matney suggested. –  user891 Aug 26 '11 at 9:22
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This is going to be hard to produce with processing...at least, it will be if you want it to sound natural. It will be far more effective to capture it as a performance. If you get an actor who can make themselves sound "a little younger," then a small amount of pitch processing afterwards will help sell the difference and give you a final product with fewer artifacts.

That's a pretty standard idea for any sound you're trying to create. Get as close to the ideal sound as possible in the recording, and then use processing to get the rest of the way....cleaner results and more effective sound design.

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Take a look on this link, it's an awesome plug developped by IRCAM (french audio research institue) called Flux from a plugin serie named Trax : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S85W-9ePC54

There's a total of 12 stuning episodes. I really would like to try this out.

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I don't know. I watched a few of the videos, and the results sounded pretty atrocious to me. Might work well on something other than voice, but I was unimpressed in this context. –  Shaun Farley Aug 25 '11 at 18:49
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