So Im designing a monster vocal at the moment, and I'm curious about how you guys retain "high end" during the process of pitching and manipulating the sounds?

I myself am finding that saturating just the high frequencies helps, and I also find that reverb, especially a bright one, really contributes to making the monsters vocals sound natural again, but is there anything you guys would add?

Also, I lOVE Iris & Absynth, but what do you guys use for pitching WITHOUT time stretching? I know Iris can do that, but I've never had good results. Do any of you use the U-he "Uhbik" bundle? Any good?


5 Answers 5


Starting with good recordings over 48khz helps a lot, especially if the microphone used picks up over 20khz. The Ozone excitor is good for adding sparkle. Mixing in some unshifted sound with the lower version, like harmonising. Finding another layer of sound to go with the bass layer, matching the amplitude changes of the first, then fusing them together with light convolution reverb. Depends a lot on the creature though.

  • I agree about sample rate. I try to record at 96k (min) when I know I'm going to be pitch-shifting, so when I'm doing monster voices all the performances are captured at 96. Jun 19, 2014 at 5:28

It's easy to end up with a 'muddy' low-end monster sound when pitching down. A technique I've used a few times is to make a duplicate of the sound, and then play it through a vocoder with white noise (or anything similar) as the carrier. Then the 'white noise' version can be treated with EQ and mixed with the original sound to add a high-end, although it would normally be lower in the mix. Also, using a high sample rate recording when pitching down is a must.


I use Ableton for the pitch shift with static tempo. Ableton has great inbuilt algorithms for this and some options to make them sound very strange!

One thing that I do like to add new toped is to create a copy of the sound and filter the bass and very high frequencies. Then I will distort that heavily and mix it slightly with the original sound.


Recording everything at 96 kHz or above really helps. I usually high-pass a duplicate clip that has not been pitch shifted down and then layer it quietly with the pitch shifted version. The cutoff frequency will vary according to the pitch shift, the bigger the pitch shift the lower the cut off frequency for the high-pass. If you can afford it then the Eventide H3000 Factory is excellent at generating harmonics to fill in the missing high frequencies.


  • Hi Iain, if you use a duplicate do you only pitch shift in realtime? I mostly pitch shift by retagging the samplerate (making a 96kHz file 48kHz without resampling). This makes it impossible to use a duplicate with high end.. Am I missing something here? :) Jun 19, 2014 at 19:10
  • I will render a new clip with the pitch shift permanently 'baked in" If I am only pitch shifting down by an octave or less, and I have recorded at 96 kHz there is usually no need to layer with a high passed version. But if you want to try it by retagging the sample rate, just make a copy of the file before you import it and leave the copy at 96 kHz when you import it, or downsample to 48 kHz in the DAW.
    – user80
    Jun 20, 2014 at 5:30

Distortion/waveshaper effects based around Chebyshev Polynomials allow the generation of specific harmonics for the input signal, which mean you could use one to add specific higher frequency content thats actually properly harmonic to your source. material

Soundhack have the +chebyshev plugin but it only covers up to the 7th harmonic (and misses the 6th). http://www.soundhack.com/freeware/

The chebby shaper ensemble for Reaktor covers the first 12 harmonics. http://www.native-instruments.com/en/community/reaktor-user-library/entry/show/7733/

  • hi sxa, I've fiddled with +chebyshev but don't get any beneficial results.. it's more a filter than an exciter to me.. can you explain how it should work. i'm testing in RX 3 advanced with the vst unit (au crashes RX). Jun 24, 2014 at 13:11

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