I have a restriction for this: the time duration of the sample cannot be changed, because I need to use input from the microphone and play it back asap. This means pitch shifting via playing it back at a different sample rate is not permitted.

[edit] More info: I'm looking for various kinds of filters to apply to voice input from the microphone. I've tried some amount of pitch shifting, however, I'm not sure of the direction that I should move from. Also, I can't control the setup; this conversion has to work out of the box through a program and a microphone.

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    please update your question: what have you tried, what is your setup, who provides the input? Commented Apr 17, 2014 at 11:54

2 Answers 2


The better question is what does a parrot sound like to you? To me the most telling qualities of a parrot voice is the heavy inflections that might scale an octave (in my imagination at least, I dont own a parrot). Also maybe something to distort the sound a little, like a light distortion or ring mod. Maybe some EQ-ing to get rid of the bass in a humans voice, and maybe boost some nasal sounding mids.

As @Arnoud Traa said, what system and computer are you using? For real-time audio, Max/MSP is a good choice. Might take you a few hours of googling to put a patch together to filter the voice.



One option is live pitch-shifting plugin, for example Waves Ultrapitch - it can pitch up and down in realtime as well as shifting along the "formant" axis which can make the voice sound more nasally or more throaty. To set it up, you would just have to have your microphone feed routed through a DAW running the plugin; the delay that it induces is really really slight. In combination with some EQ and perhaps other modulations, you can make any voice sound like a goofy animal...

I will say though, as brilliant as audio processing tools are, the way a parrot squawks and talks is pretty unique, better suited to a human impersonator or a parrot than a sound designer to create such a voice if the goal is precision and fidelity.

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