I'd like to record my voice and apply some effects on it. The final result should remind the listener of phone lines or some modem sounds, but only the melody and rhythm of the language should be kept - I don't want the listeners to understand the recorded words. R2-D2 from star wars is doing something similar.

Any hints how I could achieve something like this?

  • I eagerly await seeing some answers for this. Especially if they have audio examples!
    – Warrior Bob
    Commented Jul 25, 2011 at 21:46
  • I haven't tried this but my gut feel is to use a ring modulator with your voice as one input and audio of a modem or a ZX Spectrum load sequence in the other... Other than that - interested as well:-)
    – Rory Alsop
    Commented Jul 26, 2011 at 11:33
  • Interesting challenge. Is it a requirement to use an actual vocal recording as a base or could we propose a synthesized solution?
    – SeanBlake
    Commented Jul 26, 2011 at 18:17
  • @SeanBlake: no it could be 100% synthesized if the result sounds good. But it would be great to get the correct speed and melody (when R2D2 is speaking for example, his mood and the content is chaning the melody of his sounds). Actually I made a try cutting some ready samples, but I think the other suggested solutions are better and easier. I'll try them soon.
    – lumbric
    Commented Aug 2, 2011 at 8:28

3 Answers 3


What you want is a vocoder - an effect that uses a voice to control another instrument - one that produces your modem sounds.

There are free ones available, including one for Audacity


I think one effect you could use for the modem effect is a ring modulator.

I created this with the first part of a song with my band and I did this in a couple of second with a preset but if you have a little more time, you can configure a lot in this plugin.

The plugin is RingModulator and it comes standard with Cubase 5 but I'm sure you can find a clone of something similar free on the web.

Here is an example with the preset:

Have fun!


There is a free audio editing program called Audacity which has a lot of different effects you can add to audio. One of them is called equalizer, with this effect you can change how many KHz your audio is I would play around with that and see if anything sounds the way you want it too. Here is some more about Audacity's equalizer.

  • Eh... that's not exactly what an equalizer does... and it's going to take a little more than some EQ to turn a human voice into a modem sound.
    – SeanBlake
    Commented Jul 27, 2011 at 18:13

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