I currently work on an animation project involving 6-to-18-month-old babies. The context is a bit special because we follow the realistic evolution of several babies until they say their first word.

My first attempt was to work with real babies' recordings. It was difficult to get the baby to express all the emotions I needed, but the result was really nice. However I was stuck, I couldn't make him repeat all the words I needed.

I then tried to record an actress who is able to imitate very young children. Those recording sessions made it possible to record the voice over for every situation but the tone of the actress's voice didn't quite sound like a real baby, even with some pitch and EQ. Mixing the baby's and the actress' voices (crying and speaking parts) made it worse. The change in tone was not natural at all.

I would like you to give me some advice to improve my work. I'm considering recording youg children (aged 4 to 5) to strike a balance between voice tone and feasible recordings...

Here are some questions which might help me: - Did you ever work with babies ? - Do you know any voice actors who can make really good baby voices. - Regarding post production, which software could be useful (a kind of enhanced voice morpher?) - In your opinion, which are the most convincing animated movies / video games / film ( with post prod voice over ) involving babies.

3 Answers 3


You could try playing with the Antares THROAT Evo and/or any pitch program which allows you to alter the Formant (not just the pitch). It's going to still come down to the VO artist or baby though, because of the very particular cadences and expression of phonetics for a baby is going to sound different than a fluent adult speaker - in that no amount of DSP will alter the voice in that sense, but if you can get a close voice with the right types of cadences and articulations (such as the VO artist you worked with), then altering the formant or playing with throat modelling like with the Antares tool could be just that last 10% you need to make it fully convincing.

Libraries can help too, although I find them difficult because most don't have enough variety. In once recent instance we had a baby for a full 6 reel show which needed a presence throughout every so often since it didn't vocalize often in production and and we weren't ADRing it. Finding both enough articulations and enough of them recorded similarly and sounding like the same voice was not an easy task, so this is where I find the downfall to be with SFX babies sometimes. The content is usually great, it's just that the quantity kinda lacks.

I realize the project is probably done now since this is really late to the original post, but more of an FYI/response to the question in general.


Best child VO recording/and or editing/and or recording a 40 year-old woman sounding like a child but being very convincing/and or all of the above is Pixar's "Monster's Inc."

Never have I heard better editing and cuter sound effects for a younger kid (aged about 2) for the young girl in that film.

Every single little squeek, voice crack, chuckle, etc. had a purpose and communicated the emotion of the child and added so much to the overall presentation. I remember thinking to myself that the actor who made the sounds had to have been no more than 2-3 years old because of the voice timbre and quality of the vocal chords - I don't think it was an older woman and if it was, hats off, it was extremely convincing.

Whoever did that recording/editing is a genius.

  • The voice was Mary Gibbs. She was a very young girl. Pete Docter coaxed those performances out of her in the studio (with her parents nearby), often chasing her around etc.. She was recorded with a shotgun, because being a young kid, she never stayed in place.
    – Justin P
    Nov 16, 2010 at 20:32
  • @Justin - Nice. Hat's off to Pete. Very well done.
    – Utopia
    Nov 18, 2010 at 19:22
  • Thanks for remind me this movie ! Boo voice-over is indeed excellent. This will act for sure as a reference work. @Justin thanks for the details :)
    – IVIarsu
    Nov 19, 2010 at 20:08

If you don't need some specific phrases, just random words, you could try to find it in some SFX library.

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