I've seen lots of mods that got strong potential, they got good code support, beautiful maps, outstanding models and textures etc... but... it doesn't sound right... In source engine mods, I've seen lots of such example. MOD got everything, but only HL2 sounds pulling overall mod quality down. Some people don't pay much attention to sounds, of course sound is not that important as graphics or game-play, it's just supporting feature. But having this supporting feature be on higher level, will provide better and more enjoyable game. So I came up with idea to bring this group, people here will be glad to help you with sound design, audio engineering, production, fixing and improving in-game sounds. Feel free to contact us for help!
This tutorial starts by giving you some tips on recording voice acting at home. I then cover some effects often used with voice acting for games (radio, spooky, robot and demon) and how to create them easily.
Posted by MontyPython on Sep 16th, 2010
Basic Voice Acting.
What you will need for this tutorial
Before we start, remember that no amount of effects will make your voice sound good if the recording was not done the right way.
Quick tips for a better voice recording:
Tip: Only have a little bit or audio? Wanna make it louder? You need to normalize the sound wave. Every audio editing software has a normalizing function. Find it, use it :) Remember you are working with digital audio. Once the wave is normalized, you cannot make it "louder" without applying compression, thus modifying the audio.
The "reverse spooky effet".
A classic effect, and usually the first thing people try out once they learned how to use an audio editor. Often used for "evil" characters of magical nature. It's spooky because you have the impression that the audio is coming at you before the character speaks.
The "radio" effect
People often mess up this one because they try to create the effect by using their hand or changing their voice. That wont do it. You'll need EQ for this one. The principle is that you remove all frequencies below and above a certain range.
If the filters are "resonant" (or "high Q"), then it's even better. Try a Q of 3, then adjust it.
For added radio-ness, you'll want to add a little white noise at the end of every voice sample. Most audio editing software can generate white noise. Or you can create some with a synth. Or (why not) record a radio tuned between two stations. Insert half a second of that at the end for that "Enemy flag carrier is here TSSSSHT"/"Roger that TSSSSHT" effect.
The robot effect
The robot effect is usually done with a vocoder. Sonicism vocoder is OK. There's also TAL-vocoder. Let's try it with Sonicism.
By default, the plug-in will use several frequencies. You can deactivate some by clicking the red squares. Leave one or two active.
Now, play with the plug-in a bit. Try changing the fondamental notes of the bands that are active. Sounds good? Now apply the effect, and you're done.
The "demon" effect
The "demon voice" effect is usually a simple pitch shift. Any audio editor can change the pitch. Make it a bit lower. Done.
Wait... that's not what you wanted? You may want to have several voices with different pitches. Try a pitchshifter (here's a free one). A pitchshifter will duplicate the voice into several bands, each with its own pitch. Try leaving a "clean" version to make the words easy to understand, then mix in a bit of slightly detuned voice and a really low one.
Tip: when messing up with pitch, you may want to record at a higher quality. Time to use that 96khz mode that's usually not that useful.