This is a massive thread (hopefully next year have thousands of responses) to share the possibilities of modifications, modulations, tremolations, reverberations, layerations, tricks, techniques, psychoacoustics, processing, victories, defeats, and examples, ideas, interesting results, themes, your process, signal flow, changes over time, unique things other people never thought of...

Once we pass on knowledge to others, it clears a space in the mind where we had this knowledge and that space is then available to be developed with fresh, new ideas. Teaching someone is often the best way to learn. This thread will benefit the person who divulges their experience and it also benefit the person who reads this new idea and is able to learn something new. It's like subtractive EQ by taking away, you are actually adding. People all over the world will look at this thread and if you have time, share something that you have discovered, it might inspire you to create something new, and if you can share that maybe the cycle will continue.

Something that inspired me to make this thread is when I was messing with convolution and I found a clip of laughter. I shortened it to around a millisecond and put it into a reverb and sent it to a mono voice recording. The sound was really happy, way happier than the laughter itself. It sounded almost "pad-like."

4 Answers 4


I've lately been getting back into doing simpler stuff playing with sidechains, particularly gates. Super compressing different tones (pink noise, static, 40Hz, walla, etc.) and gating them to dialogue, footsteps, and the like. It may not be applicable for every project, but for the one I'm working on right now it lets me add a lot of subtext while hiding behind hard effects.

It's also nice because in stead of having these textures baked in, you can automate some variability into them so they move with the progression of the action.

  • i'm writing a little text on the use of noise and various "unwanted" sounds in postproduction and what you're saying is very interesting. possibly you could elaborate a little further?
    – georgi
    Mar 16, 2011 at 16:48
  • It's sort of akin to what a lot of the hollywood types do to make the audience feel uncomfortable without hitting them over the head. They'll usually add a higher pitched sine tone (2k and up) into whatever's going on. I recently caught it during a re-watch of Three Kings, it starts just as the milk truck is turning over and pouring its contents into the sand. This version is more like a film editor adding in single frames of uncomfortable images to subliminally affect the audience. Here you send the dialogue track into the sidechain of a gate on something like filtered pink noise...
    – g.a.harry
    Mar 19, 2011 at 4:39
  • ...or distorted flute and mix that channel in really low underneath. Basically, the added sound only plays when the character speaks. I've even tried major and minor sine or squarewave triads, and got some pretty cool results. Depending on what you're doing it can add a really gritty tone if it's an evil character, or a harmonious one if it's a good guy. It's something I use all the time with music, and only recently thought of applying to dialogue.
    – g.a.harry
    Mar 19, 2011 at 4:46
  • I was adding cop sirens low level during a character's movement
    – Chris
    Mar 19, 2011 at 5:04
  • And I have thought of that pitched tone idea before, it was funny on the way home on the train I remembered your post and how I thought of that tone thing several times awhile ago.
    – Chris
    Mar 19, 2011 at 7:17

I hate to see a thread idea like this one go down the tubes...

I just remembered this idea for another post: balloon vocoder. Blow up a balloon, put it between your mouth and the microphone, speak. Robot voice! Different sizes and shapes of balloons give you different resonances. Plus, you feel like a total idiot, which is the best part.


There was some dialogue with a guys voice saying "everyday" but his mouth didn't move like that and spectral repair from izotope blurred it so now it matches the mouth and it sounds like he said mmm or hmm


A revelatory idea I picked up recently from the honourable Mr. Prebble is recording at the highest bitrate I possibly can to facilitate pitch shifting. Dropping a 192k file into a 48k or 96k session without converting forces quarter or half-time playback for the particular file. This does away with having to worry about artifacts generated by sketchy time and pitch stretch algorithms. Perfect for creating ambiences, rumbles, and monster voices.

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