help me find out this "robot/inside helmet type of" voice processing


At the beginning of this video clip, robot "H.E.R.B.I.E's" voice ...I know it's a very generic sound now a days, but yet so hard to recreate...To me it sounds like one of the IR responses from Altiverbs speakerphone, but I couldn't nail it down...and if you insist it's a high passed short delay with high feedback, it is not...I would appreciate if you take the challenge and recreate it and post it with your answer...please only make suggestions that can be backed up with a recreated sample...just want this one to be more to the point and simply helpful to me as much as to others...thank you all in advance... ps: here is one more clip


Posted 2013-03-24T12:55:59.213

Reputation: 81



Well at least there is a very short delay on it with a high feedback into the original signal. This makes the voice get so "metallic box" sounding. It's dead simple actually. Experiment from that point onwards, have fun!

Arnoud Traa

Posted 2013-03-24T12:55:59.213

Reputation: 2 886

that's how I felt too, in the beginning...till I tried to recreate it...and I couldn't do it, even though the idea sounds so simple and easy. Now since you claimed that it's easy, I like to hear if anything you recreate sounds similar...I really want to get this sound down...since it's been a signature sound in the scifi biz. – shadow – 2013-03-25T12:13:03.643

Sorry, for being harsh but you'll never learn anything if you don't try for yourself. Persistence my friend is the answer not an easy answer from me. Good luck – Arnoud Traa – 2013-03-25T13:14:27.707


You might want to try an eq with several tighly notched bands, but boosted. Try giving them a harmonic relation. You could try using a dehum plugin in the opposite way. Maybe some chorus or delays for that mechanic futuristic speaker touch. If it doesn't ring long enough, some reverb on the processed signal?


Posted 2013-03-24T12:55:59.213

Reputation: 1

you mean use peak eq's to boost vocal frequencies with an harmonic structure, in other words equal spacing between the eq-peaks...what about the dehum plugin, you mean one of those denoise plugins...waves/izotope rx etc...what do you exactly do with that ? – shadow – 2013-03-25T08:52:18.880

can you make an example audio clip, and upload it to soundcloud? – shadow – 2013-03-25T08:53:27.710

For example: Waves Q10 eq, very fine q etting. Boost 100 hz, 150, 200, 250 etc. The dehumo plugins usually offer those spacings predefined to the hum structure of 50 or 60 Hz. So yes, izotope dehum or waves xhum. Zhey have a mode to help you search for the hum by inverting the curve and boosting the frequencies. Not sure if I will find time to do that today :-/ – Schottlandru – 2013-03-25T08:59:15.507

This totally makes sense, I would wait, whenever you get time for it, cause it's the best to hear the results from the very own the meanwhile I will experiment, and post some results...with the methods you mentioned. – shadow – 2013-03-25T12:18:36.813


What DAW are you using? If you're using Pro Tools, take a look at the AIR Reverb plugin (which comes bundled) as it has preset called "inside tank" (or something similar) which you can adjust to your liking.


Posted 2013-03-24T12:55:59.213

Reputation: 393

hey this might be it, unfortunately I am on Nuendo at the moment...I have protools but it's on my hackintosh drive...which is somewhere very inconvenient for me to get from...I was wondering, if you can make an IR impulse response of that AIR Reverb plugin's "inside tank" preset and link it here...if of-curse you have your protools in reach...thank you for the heads up...I really needed to know this one... – shadow – 2013-03-25T15:32:58.560

1i must say that i don't understand why you ask everyone to do experiments for you. most of us are into sound design because they love doing the experimentation. asking other people to work for you makes your motivation look weird. it's fun to figure it out by yourself :) – Arnoud Traa – 2013-03-25T17:21:53.633

this japanese man has good advice! :)

– Arnoud Traa – 2013-03-25T18:07:20.887

I have experimented for a year now, no joke...that's why I am here to I mentioned I don't have access to protools, the only daw that has AIR Reverb...with that metal tank preset...I feel deeply insulted now...I work hard for everything, and I spend a great amount of time helping others...May be you miss read the post...but there is no need for arrogance...All I asked for was an IR of that preset...yet I am jumping hoops at the moment trying to get access to protools... – shadow – 2013-03-25T18:16:39.983

plus you are not just helping me, you helping everybody else who is reading this topic...that's the whole point of internet and living in a society, hence the site's name ""

– shadow – 2013-03-25T18:21:21.930

with forums there is a lot miss leading information, and people posting samples to back up their methods isn't spoon feeding, it is good communication make an argument then you back it up...for good collaboration you need good communication... – shadow – 2013-03-25T18:24:29.033

I even run this facebook page to help other emerging artists here please feel free to check it out;

– shadow – 2013-03-25T18:29:41.717

Dear shadow, I do not mean to be arrogant or make you feel like you don't deserve advice. You do, and therefore I gave you an answer. And I didn't post that video to be arrogant, it was meant to be funny. Maybe this is a cultural difference, I'm Dutch and we can be a bit harsh in comparison to eastern cultures. I'm sorry if you feel bad, that was not my intension. Please except my apologies. To the point of your question, I don't know how to answer it. If you have been studying this sound for a year (seriously?) than you more experienced than me. To me it still sounds like a short delay. – Arnoud Traa – 2013-03-25T19:48:04.733

I just recorded my own voice and used the AU Delay by Apple. It's settings are Delay= 0,02s, Feedback=85,5%, dry wet mix=73%, low pass filter =3.1 kHz. This sounds quite close to the robot voice in your example. – Arnoud Traa – 2013-03-25T19:50:21.863

I don't have the gear spare to do an IR, but here's a few of the settings of the Gas Tank preset. Hopefully these will help get you in the right ball park: Pre delay: 0 / Room size: 0 / High frequencies: 2kHz / High frequency time: +100% / High frequency cut: 3.8kHz / Low frequencies 230Hz / Low frequency time: +100% / Early reflections spread: 90% / Reverb in width: -100% / Reverb out width: +100% / Reverb delay: 0ms / Reverb time: Infinite / Mix: 100% wet – SqueakyFish – 2013-03-26T10:56:07.047


I have to say that I strongle agree with @Arnoud's comment about trying it yourself. Having said that I'm not sure you're currently heading in the right direction. I think this is a modulated filter (cut-off) effect with high resonance value, feedback and modulating frequency.

Cubase (so I assume Nuendo) cames with a plug-in in the Modulation effects call "Metalizer" that implments a modulated filter effect that can be used to give this effect. Obviously you will need to play parameters to get exactly what you are after.

Bit Depth

Posted 2013-03-24T12:55:59.213

Reputation: 1 470

I have experimented for a year now, no joke...that's why I am here to I mentioned I don't have access to protools, the only daw that has AIR Reverb...with that metal tank preset...I feel deeply insulted now...I work hard for everything, and I spend a great amount of time helping others...May be you miss read the post...but there is no need for arrogance...All I asked for was an IR of that preset...yet I am jumping hoops at the moment trying to get access to protools... – shadow – 2013-03-25T18:16:58.717

I have tied the short delay with high feed back, metalizer is just a delay with feed back and a high pass filter with an matter which setting I dial I can't match that timbre...I really think its Protools Air Reverb "metal tank" preset as SqueakyFish bad I don't have access to it, to try it out, at the moment... – shadow – 2013-03-25T18:50:15.170

Seriously??? Attacking someone that it trying to help you is not a good idea. I never mentioned ProTools. YOU said you are using Steinberg software - Metalizer is a plug-in that comes with this DAW (Cubase). I do not use Nuendo, but I suspect it is also available in the Post software.

I have just tried it (Cubase - Metalizer) on the first vocal sample I could find and this is the result of two minutes playing with it:
This sounds fairly close to what you were after? As ever, with robot voices annunciation plays a big part.

– Bit Depth – 2013-03-25T19:33:33.620

@Bit Depth: Maybe shadow responded to the wrong answer? Anyway he shouldn't feel insulted by yours. I was being critical, you were just helping out. Shadow, relax, "we mean you no harm" in robot voice. – Arnoud Traa – 2013-03-25T20:43:04.787

it's cool man, I gotta thank everyone putting their effort and time into this is actually turning up to be very fun one, too...I mean any thread with retro scifi insight is always great...Bit Depth, I was trying make it clear that I didn't have access to Protools, thus couldn't experiment with Air Reverb's "metal tank" preset...I wasn't attacking you, matter of fact I really appreciate both of your input and suggestions from even previous similar thread...don't get me wrong man, I do respect all of you and your hard work. – shadow – 2013-03-25T21:20:42.567

@shadow did you listen to the effect I created with the metalizer? (The image supplied shows the exact settings I used.) Is this what you were after? Maybe if you could articulate what aspect of the target sounds timbre you think is not being met then further suggestions could be made. Maybe you could let us hear some of the stuff you have created then and explain what you have done to get them then again suggests maybe forthcoming. – Bit Depth – 2013-03-25T23:14:16.123


As @Arnoud mentioned, it sounds like a short delay with a high feedback setting (which is where the tonal aspect comes from). The first thing that comes to mind would be to play with a Flanger plugin and try short delays with a high(ish) feedback setting.

Good luck


Posted 2013-03-24T12:55:59.213

Reputation: 218

do you mean fx chain; in series: flanger+delay...or just the flanger...because if you go flanger first you adding linear harmonic series of resonant eq peaks...then delay reinforces this harmonic peaks with its high feedback and short delay...which sound really nice but not the same as the clip examples linked above...It clearly has a very unique timbre that the industry has trade marked so to speak... – shadow – 2013-03-25T19:38:56.627

here is what I get with this setup this is the screen cap of my signal flow/fx chain and their settings

– shadow – 2013-03-25T20:38:48.610

I have also included the unprocessed dry voice in the beginning of the sample, so may be someone might wanna take a shot on this one...and recreate this scifi robot voice/helmet effect. – shadow – 2013-03-25T20:40:38.427

Hmm yeah I see what you mean. I meant using the Flanger on its own. Using something like 20ms with come feedback to get the harmonic peaks (I have been using the last clip of your original question as a reference btw). I think reverb added before or after a flanger will put you quite close. This is what I got just from the flanger alone:

Anyway hope it helps some

– fuzzysounds – 2013-03-25T23:04:30.260


spectral feedback delay/chorus will do just the kind of post-effect you are looking for.

Ville Sorsa

Posted 2013-03-24T12:55:59.213

Reputation: 415

you mean that izotope spectron plugin, it's just a multi-band delay/flanger/chorus unit...I agree it sounds metallic, but obviously doesn't have that timbre, if you listen to the examples linked above...devil is in the details, to me it sounds like a reverb unit, I really think it might be that "gas tank" preset from Pro-Tools AIR reverb...If anyone has a chance to make an IR Impulse Response please link it to this is a 44k spike sample to sample it

– shadow – 2013-03-26T20:18:45.393

I finally got back my hackintosh drive...I checked the Protools AIR reverb's gas tank preset...It's definitely used with the sample example posted above...but I couldn't match to that example's timbre... – shadow – 2013-03-27T00:19:56.690