I was wondering, if anybody knows if this audio clip is processed with delay, resonators, or is it something like altiverb ADR kinda effect, that's also been used in many sci-fi genre type of media eg. game industry...etc...I keep hearing it on many dialogs especially helmet wearing characters eg. Judge Dredd or cyborg characters etc...I think its waves metal flanger, but can't really nail it down as good as the other professional sound designers...link to the sample Any insight is appreciated

7 Answers 7


That sound has not much more than a high-pass filter set somewhere above 200Hz, going to a phaser or flanger with very fast modulation and pretty much feedback!


I experimented to get this kind of an effect on a job app, and my reference point were some of the voiceovers in DotA 2 -- I love how well some of them are tuned to sound like they're coming from within a suit of armor. Here's a great example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yj-F3aI6m-g

Closest I got to this effect, after some experimentation (including a failed worldizing attempt through an overturned stock pot) was to use a clanging pot sample as an impulse response. I treated my voice with a little EQ, Compression, and some envelope-following stuff in Filter Freak before sending it through.

Here's how it turned out (you're interested in the 3rd / 5th sounds), plus some extra experimentation with a vocoder and using a Massive patch as modulator. I had a pretty tough time maintaining intelligibility without having the original, unmodified voice peek through.


Actually that reminds me -- intelligibility is KEY with V.O. Whatever you do to make it sound real, make sure that you can still understand what's being said above all else.

  • 1
    Um, worldizing means recording a sound anew through a speaker and into a microphone in an actual location with the intention to make it sound like a real location without reverb, it has nothing to do with impulse responses. Originally invented by Walter Murch for American Graffiti! Commented Jul 5, 2012 at 6:49
  • Right, I know that -- I do reference attempting to worldize by reamping / recording the sound with a pot overturned on one of my monitors to poor results, but I did use the term too loosely above. Thank you for the correction!
    – lucafusi
    Commented Jul 5, 2012 at 7:37
  • I tried the impulse response of a regular metal echo-chamber, with the voice pitched down x3 octaves...then pitched it back to default speed...it sounded like the whole echo chamber room got much much smaller, which is some how but not really close to that sci-fi helmet sound...what do the professionals use for IR, beside altiverb...I heard altiverb is not that good
    – shadow
    Commented Jul 5, 2012 at 14:05
  • @shadow - Altiverb is actually, sound-wise, very good. It is however also very buggy, and completely dependent on the quality of the impulses. I use the Altriverb in combination with Steinberg REVerence, and has heard good things about Vienna MIR! Haven't tried Vienna out myself though, so if you're interested in it I recommend trying it out to make sure. Commented Jul 5, 2012 at 16:03

I came close to that metallic helmet sound by using a "dry ice on metal" sample as an ir impulse with SIR2...adjusting sample offset and amplitude length of SIR2...the whole thing make sense since in the productions such as transformers they've been using lots of dry ice samples, I wouldn't be surprised if they have ADR'd their dialogs with this method...the timbre of the metallic reverb sound similar to dry ice on a metal...any more thoughts on this will be very interesting.


This comes up in the video discussing the sound design for Prometheus

They discuss it at about 7:21 in.


They use IR's



When I do it I tend to just use a short delay with a moderately high feedback and a little filtering on the top end to stop it ringing too much. You could use an EQ in the feedback loop (if that's something you can do easily) to make a couple of frequencies ring more.


If you have Logic, there's a useful plugin called Vocal Transformer. Use this in collaboration with a high-pass filter and experiment with adding a light touch of reverb and delay and you should get somewhere near to what you're after.

It's also worth bearing in mind that the performance of the V.O. artist is very, very important!


Here is a sample http://soundcloud.com/user8930308/fx-scifi-voice with more obvious effect processing...The whole thing sounds like a water tank IR...but I still couldn't get it down...the abletons resonators kinda get the timbre but nothing like the sample example which sounds more pleasant/clean and maintains intelligibility...and obviously is the media industries standard sound...

  • That is just a very short delay with feedback. Real easy to do, though you must keep the bass at bay as to not have it all clogged up! The roundness of the sound is because the delay ain't exactly Lexicon, my trusty old Boss SE-50 can make this very sound easily! Mind you, "bad" equipment can make great sounds, rightly used :-) Commented Jul 5, 2012 at 18:26

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