Designing a Humongous God-voice


Hey all,

So last time I needed to create a goddess voice.

Now, since I did such a good job on that (thanks to birdhousesound) they want me to continue working for them and I've now got a task of making a humongous god-voice.

It's supposed to sound as big as possible.

Now, I know the recording, actor's voice and delivery has almost 90% importance in pulling it off, however here is what I've done so far:

We recorded it yesterday. The actor didn't have the bassiest voice and I recorded him at +4 percent on the word clock so it's slightly pitched down when played back at regular speed.

I plan on pitching it further, but I was wondering what else I could do in the sound design of it to make it bigger,

I was planning on trying the following ideas:

Gating a rumble effect to his voice so it turns on whenever he talks,

Using my DBX 120A bass synth to add some low-end fury to his voice,

Possibly re-micing his voice somewhere like a chamber or something (not sure where yet, my studio doesn't have a good chamber for this sort of thing),

Adding in specific sound effects or replacing his breaths out for pitched down horse breaths,

Does anyone have any other suggestions on what I could try to make this voice sound ginormous?

It's nothing too special and I can do some wacky things because it's for one of those corporate meetings and is a caper (like when a George Bush impersonator shows up to pitch an idea to big-wigs of companies).

Thanks ahead of time!!!

  • Ryan


Posted 2010-07-23T20:43:50.530

Reputation: 14 155

I also just tried this AVOX Throat plug-in - I'm really disappointed in it... Anyone have any luck using it? Maybe I just don't know how to use it correctly. – Utopia – 2010-07-23T21:29:37.677

What about using birdhousesound's suggestion and just swap frequencies? Where "warm' before, make crispy sharp, and where "whispery" turn boomy. Just watch out for muddiness. I like the breath replacement idea, that's certainly going in my bag of tricks... – Steve Urban – 2010-07-23T22:05:24.903

Yeah I have gotten this far: Duplicated the track. Rolled off the high-end, pitched way low and compressed as a "crush" track one of them. Then made intelligible and large with compression and a bit of pitching the second track. Mixed them together with a cool delay preset named "Vocal Doubler" and voila. I think I have a winner now, thanks. – Utopia – 2010-07-23T22:18:11.447



Could be an opportunity to try out some worldizing effects a la Walter Murch. Could give the recording a more spacial, I'm everywhere kind of feel...?

Colin Hunter

Posted 2010-07-23T20:43:50.530

Reputation: 3 715

Are you thinking about any job of Walter Murch in particular? – Justin Huss – 2010-07-23T21:22:18.923

Cool idea! On second thought though I only have Genelecs and NS10's at my disposal to re-mic in different places, though. I don't think that would sound good, would it? Do you know what kind of speaker they re-miced Tree-Beard with? – Utopia – 2010-07-23T21:26:25.250

Remember, if you don't have one big chamber you can just keep re-worldizing the result of your worldizing. – Steve Urban – 2010-07-23T22:10:29.137

I love this:

– Matt Cavanaugh – 2010-07-23T22:36:48.133

Ah @Matt! I had forgotten about that one. Good pull. – Steve Urban – 2010-07-23T22:53:24.063

@Justin...In George Lucas' American Graffiti Walter Murch used this technique. I think this was the first time he did it, though maybe it was THX 1138? Anyway, I was thinking of the way he used it in American Graffiti for Wolfman Jack's radio show to give the impression that the radio show was being played all over the place. – Colin Hunter – 2010-07-24T13:04:05.343

@Ryan... It could be a fun experiment even using the resources that you have. I was thinking you could playback the god-voice in a larger space and re-record this whilst moving both microphone and speaker, a la American Graffiti. This is what I meant by giving the recording a more spacial feel. If space and materials are an issue, as Steve said, the re-recorded material could then be re-recorded again. Worth a try maybe? It could turn out well. Though maybe it wouldn't work at all! The old trial and error can be furiating yet so satisfying... – Colin Hunter – 2010-07-24T13:08:43.667

Here's some more info on American Graffiti for those who are interested...

– Colin Hunter – 2010-07-24T13:10:05.387


If you have the chance to listen to some of Blizzard entertainments Warcraft 3 voices, I suggest listening to a figure called Cenarius. When he spoke, it felt like a God that spoke. They used a very small "ghost like" reversed reverb, and added a delay and reverb.

Since it is suppose to be a deity, it is suppose to sound less human as possible so maybe have two versions of the voice, one uber pitched and one slightly pitched. Have the uber pitched voice gone through some reverb and delay (instead of the slightly pitched) that way, you will have a clear voice that people hear but a dark and low echo, Maybe even use the reverse reverb ghost voice effect thing on the very pitched voice so the build up is dark and have the voice go into the slightly pitched one as the audible part. Possibilities are endless.

Glenn X. Govan

Posted 2010-07-23T20:43:50.530

Reputation: 429


Birds flying off in the distance right after he starts speaking?

Subtle reverted reverb?

Just brainstorming here... and what a storm!

Justin Huss

Posted 2010-07-23T20:43:50.530

Reputation: 2 656

lol I kind of like the birds flying off even if it's supposed to be a joke. – Utopia – 2010-07-23T20:58:03.217

And what's a reverted reverb? A reversed reverb? – Utopia – 2010-07-23T20:58:23.840

Yeah sorry. For words to be sucked in. – Justin Huss – 2010-07-23T21:20:57.943

Ah cool I'll try it out. – Utopia – 2010-07-23T21:25:38.027


I have had some success using a subtle tremelo for a God voice.

Maybe try some musical elements, harps or trumpets

But I agree that the delivery is probably 90% the job.

Haydn Payne

Posted 2010-07-23T20:43:50.530

Reputation: 1 150


As well as the duplicating/reversing tracks etc, Try some heavy multiband compression on these layers and some tube goodness - hardware for the full-on effect or plugin works too. The Joe Meek EQ that comes bundled with protools is actually good for bass/warm boosts (the only thing I've ever used it for).

Some nicely placed thunder rumbles would be good for 'boom' too Doppler and heavy reflections on a reverb would be interesting too if the worldizing isn't big enough

Dom Lawrence

Posted 2010-07-23T20:43:50.530

Reputation: 453


There's a cool video here about the voices from Transformers (two videos at the bottom). They did a lot of "large" voices for the robots.

Vocal doubling often can help make something sound a lot bigger. If you copy the performance, pitch it down, and bump it a few samples forward in the timeline it can really help bolster your voice.

The DBX subharmonic synth you mentioned will probably help quite a bit as well. Love that piece.

Colin Hart

Posted 2010-07-23T20:43:50.530

Reputation: 7 588


Copy the original dialogue track, pitch shift the copy down a full octave, apply a low pass filter and then mix gently underneath the original.

If you really want to mess with it, try making another copy of the original dialogue track, pitch shift this one up an octave, then invert the phase,apply a high pass filter and mix back in to the mix.

Play around with the balance of the two copied tracks until you get the right balance and then print onto a new track.


Posted 2010-07-23T20:43:50.530



My friend recommended a technique for pitching down human voices.

His trick was to duplicate the voice track: pitch down one of the tracks to where you like and then lowpass it below near 5 kHz to remove esses and ssssshhhs, and then apply highpass to the unaltered track to regain the unpitched esses and ssshhhs.

Also some people uses resonant high pass filters to boost the lower frequencies.


Posted 2010-07-23T20:43:50.530

Reputation: 165


Try using your favourite convolution reverb/convolution program (LA Convolver and Soundhack can do this on Mac for free). Load a good long, loud crowd roar as an impulse and process... Mix the result of this behind the original to taste. You could also experiment with Thunder as an impulse.


Posted 2010-07-23T20:43:50.530

Reputation: 4 315