I'm making a remix of a popular song.

The effect I'm going for on the vox is kinda ghostly, almost as if it's not quite there.

I'm using Reaper and so far I've seriously cut back a lot of the frequency ranges (all lows and highs, left in about 30% mids) added a delay (although I think a reverb would be better) and some fuzz distortion.

It's almost there but some parts kind of "come on" too strongly, should I use a compressor to even out the dynamic range? Or a limiter to cut out any volume spikes? Or is there another way?


this is the track (so far)


3 Answers 3


A less extreme version of the poltergeist effect might work:

  • Good video, but this effect is a little too 80's and cliche for what I want. I want the voice to sound hollow, almost as if it isn't there. This is why I've cut most of the frequencies out, I just need to eliminate the spikes, :)
    – Kyle Sevenoaks
    Commented Oct 9, 2011 at 9:53
  • Right, the idea isn't to use that effect verbatim, but by reversing the vocal and adding some small amount of reverb, then playing it forward again, it will necessarily provide a smooth transition into the attacks. Crossfading between the wet and dry versions in the trouble spots might not even be audible as an "effect" per se.
    – datageist
    Commented Oct 9, 2011 at 18:01
  • Aha, I see. I might actually give that a shot. Soften the blows, as it were. And still I can keep the cut out freqs to give it that super hollow sound. Thanks.
    – Kyle Sevenoaks
    Commented Oct 9, 2011 at 19:27

Depending on whether you've recorded the vocals already or not, one method I've seen used before is to enclose the microphone (something as simple as a Shure SM58) within a tin can. This creates a hollow, metallic, ringing sound, just like, well, a tin can! If you've already recorded, I'm sure something similar could be created with some clever EQ.

It sounds particularly good if you then chain on some delay or reverb on afterwards.

  • That's a cool idea, unfortunately the vox is already recorded. But thanks, I'll try that with my vox in my new project :)
    – Kyle Sevenoaks
    Commented Oct 17, 2011 at 17:17

I would certainly add reverb, perhaps with a high-pass filter before it and a low but long tail.

Also, depending on the kind of results you want, I would consider slowing the voice down a little. Rather than timestretching, I would lower the pitch 'naturally' (i.e. just slow down the playback as with a tape player) and then, if necessary, add some pitch-shifting to the results. Adding a very subtle envelope to the playback speed can also be effective.

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