I want to make singalong DVDs for a church, the kind where you have a slide show with the lyrics up on a big screen while a belter belts out the hymn, but my small soprano unfortunately isn’t up to the task. So I wondered if there was voice-altering software out there that would enable me to boost my voice into something more…commanding , and then change my voice into the various parts in different octaves, (alto, tenor, bass), and then layer that with multiple voices, so that I basically sing along with myself to form a hundred-voice choir.
If it also had a multiple track sequencer, and a selection of instrumental voicings, accompaniment and rhythm tracks, the way my Casio keyboard has 200 settings for things like “Tango”, and the chord playalong function, that would be excellent.
All to be dumped to an MP3 and then incorporated into a slideshow.
The first thing that comes to mind is Adobe Audition, though it’s out of your price range. It will do the things you require like multi-tracking, pitch shift, chorus effects, as well as host a ton of DX and VST 3rd party effects. Audacity is a highly recommended free audio editing program, though after digging though the website, I don’t know if it will pitch shift for you. I don’t personally use it so I’m sure someone will chime in soon.
I’ve asked this question before and it was a definite no, but I’ll chime in again:
Sure, there is software that can pitch shift a sound: i’ve even used it (pretty badly) in some of my recordings to try to match my singing to what I was trying to sing.
But does any of the above software (I’m thinking Adobe Audition, specifially, since its website seemed promising,) shift your pitch to a frequency you input? I.e. if I need to sing this particular note in middle C, will it shift it so I am singing in middle C without me having to guess at it by ear?
I only ask this question again because it seems like one of the questions the OP was asking, too.
Artificial sound alteration software may be available, but I once did it the hard way in a garage. Listen to the background vocals on this demo and tell me how many voices were used and how many people & takes were involved:
Well, my assumption is that I’m going to be singing into a mike along with a MIDI accompaniment through headphones, which will give me the pitch. I only need to shift it down an octave so as to produce the effect of men’s voices.
Pitch shifting vocals won’t really make you sound like a man. Formants are characteristic resonant frequencies within the human vocal tract relating to vowels. While the formants are different for men and women, they are not an octave (frequency doubled) apart. This is why you get the “chipmunk” effect if you pitch shift vocals up an octave - the formants are shifted up an octave and give the impression of a minuscule vocal tract. Downshifting your soprano will give you an effect that sounds like the biggest Basso Profundo you have ever heard. It won’t really work very well.
There are some vocal pitch shifters that try to isolate the formants and shift them a different amount to the fundamentals (the sung note). These products are expensive. Waves Ultrapitch is a possibility, as is Celemony Melodyn. Also, Vocal Harmonisers use formant modification, like Antares Vocal Harmonizer.
Another choice is to use a vocals synthesiser (Yamaha have a vocal synth engine) which assembles sung tracks from a voice font recorded by a professional singer. This is also expensive software.
Your best bet is to find someone who shares your enthusiasm and will record the male parts. A bit of track doubling and chorus, and you should have a choir sound down pat.
K, thanks for the very useful info. I was fooling around with Goldwave a bit, with an MP3 of a friend who has a belter’s mezzo, and I shifted the pitch down an octave and turned her into a nice tenor, but that’s as far as I’ve gotten.
I do have a male voice available in the person of our music minister, but I was hoping to do this project at home on my own, without having to do a lot of back-and-forth and such. But I may go there, dunno.
If I was just going to do it with other voices, I also have an entire stable of choir members available. But as I said, I was thinking in terms of a private project, that I could work on in my own time.
DDG, you seem determined to do all the voices yourself. Could you use your singing male friend to lay down some tracks with you (at the same time)? Then you can repeat the process until you have a choir. With enough echo on the final mix, that’s all you need.
If you’re well-rehearsed to start, repeating the process is relatively non-time consuming. If your hardware/software is adequate, you can keep all takes and mix them later. Even small mistakes get covered up in the mass of sound, so you don’t have to be as perfect as a solo artist.
Heh. He’s thirteen. Seriously. He’s as emotionally mature, as organized, and as professional as your typical thirteen-year-old. And like most thirteen-year-olds, he’s occasionally highly entertaining, and even sometimes capable of deep insights, and no one can doubt his emotional commitment to Jesus, but overall? He’s an annoying person. To work with, in choir, just to be around.
God forgive me.
Which is why I was hoping not to have to go there.
For starters, after we had laid down the tracks, he’d nag me unceasingly to get the DVDs done, exactly the same way he’d nag me to take him to Chuck E. Cheese.