Changing a female speaking voice to a male

Discussion in 'cakewalk.audio' started by Martin Holmes, Apr 2, 2004.

  1. Here's a slightly OT question, but I bet you guys can help with it:

    I'm working with some audio files of a Canadian aboriginal language,
    and the number of living speakers is now pretty small. I have some
    recorded "conversations" in which my informant speaks both parts, in
    the absence of anyone else, and in order to use these for a teaching
    Website, I need to process one side of the conversation so that it
    appears to be a different person speaking. I'd like to change the
    voice so it sounds like a male. I've used Audacity's built-in pitch
    shifter (don't have Sonar at work yet!), and treated the results with
    EQ, and I can get most of the way there, but it still doesn't sound
    quite right. Has anyone done anything like this, and if so, do you
    have any advice, or suggestions for other tools? What kind of EQ
    tweaks do you think would be appropriate, for example?

    All help appreciated,
    Martin
     
    Martin Holmes, Apr 2, 2004
    #1
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  2. "Martin Holmes" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    Has anyone done anything like this, and if so, do you
    > have any advice, or suggestions for other tools? What kind of EQ
    > tweaks do you think would be appropriate, for example?


    RBC Audio Voice Tweaker has some gender bender capabilities, but I've never
    gotten super-impressive results for something that is going to stand naked
    like you're describing. Good enough for a chorus of backing vocals perhaps,
    though.

    Good luck,

    Lamar
     
    R. Lamar Duffy, Apr 2, 2004
    #2
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  3. Martin Holmes

    Sue Morton Guest

    Haven't tried it for this purpose, but perhaps Melodyne could do what you
    wish. You can download a demo and check it out.

    http://www.celemony.com/melodyne/Details.html

    --
    Sue Morton

    "Martin Holmes" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Here's a slightly OT question, but I bet you guys can help with it:
    >
    > I'm working with some audio files of a Canadian aboriginal language,
    > and the number of living speakers is now pretty small. I have some
    > recorded "conversations" in which my informant speaks both parts, in
    > the absence of anyone else, and in order to use these for a teaching
    > Website, I need to process one side of the conversation so that it
    > appears to be a different person speaking. I'd like to change the
    > voice so it sounds like a male. I've used Audacity's built-in pitch
    > shifter (don't have Sonar at work yet!), and treated the results with
    > EQ, and I can get most of the way there, but it still doesn't sound
    > quite right. Has anyone done anything like this, and if so, do you
    > have any advice, or suggestions for other tools? What kind of EQ
    > tweaks do you think would be appropriate, for example?
    >
    > All help appreciated,
    > Martin
     
    Sue Morton, Apr 2, 2004
    #3
  4. Martin Holmes

    Nick Busigin Guest

    On Thu, 01 Apr 2004 18:24:26 -0500, Martin Holmes wrote:

    > Here's a slightly OT question, but I bet you guys can help with it:
    >
    > I'm working with some audio files of a Canadian aboriginal language, and
    > the number of living speakers is now pretty small. I have some recorded
    > "conversations" in which my informant speaks both parts, in the absence
    > of anyone else, and in order to use these for a teaching Website, I need
    > to process one side of the conversation so that it appears to be a
    > different person speaking. I'd like to change the voice so it sounds
    > like a male. I've used Audacity's built-in pitch shifter (don't have
    > Sonar at work yet!), and treated the results with EQ, and I can get most
    > of the way there, but it still doesn't sound quite right. Has anyone
    > done anything like this, and if so, do you have any advice, or
    > suggestions for other tools? What kind of EQ tweaks do you think would
    > be appropriate, for example?
    >
    > All help appreciated,
    > Martin


    I've used both Melodyne and RBC Voice Tweaker for turning my wife's
    soprano voice into a tenor and also into a bass. Both of these programs
    are quite good, but certainly far from perfect when it comes to large
    pitch shifts. My experience is that the large pitch shifts are
    appropriate for harmony parts, but not for solo parts, except for small
    sections where you might get lucky. Note that my wife has to sing in
    quite a different style in order avoid having the pitch shifted
    tenors and basses from sounding effeminate. So, if the conversation you
    recorded didn't take that into account during the recording process, you
    may be stuck with effeminate sounding pitch shifted male vocals - even
    if you do manage to get good quality pitch shifts.

    Nick

    =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
    http://www.songbirdofswing.com
    Nick Busigin
    Visit Our Indie Jazz CD Construction Project!
    =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
     
    Nick Busigin, Apr 2, 2004
    #4
  5. Martin Holmes

    dt king Guest

    "Martin Holmes" <> wrote in message
    news:...

    > appears to be a different person speaking. I'd like to change the
    > voice so it sounds like a male. I've used Audacity's built-in pitch
    > shifter (don't have Sonar at work yet!), and treated the results with


    Part of the problem is that male voices are not just lower version of female
    voices. Men have larger skulls and more resonance. Try lowering the pitch
    a fifth and mixing in just a touch of chorus.

    dtk
     
    dt king, Apr 2, 2004
    #5
  6. Martin Holmes

    Pat Farrell Guest

    On 1 Apr 2004 15:24:26 -0800, (Martin Holmes) wrote:
    >I'm working with some audio files of a Canadian aboriginal language,
    >and the number of living speakers is now pretty small. I have some
    >recorded "conversations" in which my informant speaks both parts, in
    >the absence of anyone else, and in order to use these for a teaching
    >Website


    I think changing the gender of the speaker in this example could be a
    very bad thing. First, any software will have artifacts. How do you
    know that the langauge is properly presented when it has artifacts?

    Second, do you know the linguistic background of the langage?
    Do men and women use the same words to express the same ideas?
    If not, changing gender of the speaker would be terrible and a gross
    disservice to subsequent scholars.

    Third, do you know if this language has tonal meaning?
    While English does not, some languages have different
    meanings for the same sound, depending on tone. Change
    the pitch, or how the pitch varies as the word is spoken and
    you change the meaning completely. Vietnamiese is one language
    that I'd heard has serious differences due to tone. I think Thai
    does as well.

    Seems to me that if you want two speakers, you should
    record to speakers. Record it accurately as possible,
    including tone, volume, diction, etc.

    let the scholars decide how to decode it.


    Pat http://www.pfarrell.com/prc/
     
    Pat Farrell, Apr 2, 2004
    #6
  7. Martin Holmes

    Pat Farrell Guest

    On Fri, 02 Apr 2004 04:33:46 GMT, "Pat Farrell" <>
    Fixing a non-trivial typo....


    Seems to me that if you want two speakers, you should
    record two speakers. Record it accurately as possible,
    including tone, volume, diction, etc.

    let the scholars decide how to decode it.

    Pat http://www.pfarrell.com/prc/
     
    Pat Farrell, Apr 2, 2004
    #7
  8. Martin Holmes

    Nick Busigin Guest

    On Thu, 01 Apr 2004 23:03:50 -0500, dt king wrote:

    > "Martin Holmes" <> wrote in message
    > news:...
    >
    >> appears to be a different person speaking. I'd like to change the voice
    >> so it sounds like a male. I've used Audacity's built-in pitch shifter
    >> (don't have Sonar at work yet!), and treated the results with

    >
    > Part of the problem is that male voices are not just lower version of
    > female voices. Men have larger skulls and more resonance. Try lowering
    > the pitch a fifth and mixing in just a touch of chorus.
    >
    > dtk


    Both Melodyne and RBC Voice Tweaker allow you to shift the fundamental
    and the formants (partials) independently of one another. I've found
    that when pitch shifting the fundamental by 1 octave, shifting the
    formants by 3 semitones gives a reasonably good result. If the female
    part is fairly low, then just shifting the formants can produce an
    acceptable result. BUT... you will likely get effeminate sounding male
    vocals as men and women do speak quite differently. This has to be taken
    into account during the recording process and may take a bit of practice
    to get it right.

    Nick

    =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
    http://www.songbirdofswing.com
    Nick Busigin
    Visit Our Indie Jazz CD Construction Project!
    =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
     
    Nick Busigin, Apr 2, 2004
    #8
  9. Hi there,

    Thanks to everyone for the useful suggestions. I realize that changing a
    female voice to a male is not exactly the ideal situation, but there's
    very few native speakers of the language are still alive, unfortunately.
    The language (Hul'q'umi'num') is very familiar to the linguists
    involved, who have been studying it for many years. It's not a tone
    language, and according to the elders, there's no problem with changing
    the voice, because there are no differences (in this particular
    material, at least) between what men and women would say. We're not
    attempting to create a formal documentary resource for academic study;
    that's being done too, but obviously there's no need to change voices
    for that. The objective is a language-teaching Website, which will be
    mostly aimed at teaching the language to younger members of the band,
    who no longer speak it, and to university students, so as long as the
    artifacts aren't too intrusive and the results aren't too weird, it's
    worth doing.

    Cheers,
    Martin

    Pat Farrell wrote:
    > On 1 Apr 2004 15:24:26 -0800, (Martin Holmes) wrote:
    >
    >>I'm working with some audio files of a Canadian aboriginal language,
    >>and the number of living speakers is now pretty small. I have some
    >>recorded "conversations" in which my informant speaks both parts, in
    >>the absence of anyone else, and in order to use these for a teaching
    >>Website

    >
    >
    > I think changing the gender of the speaker in this example could be a
    > very bad thing. First, any software will have artifacts. How do you
    > know that the langauge is properly presented when it has artifacts?
    >
    > Second, do you know the linguistic background of the langage?
    > Do men and women use the same words to express the same ideas?
    > If not, changing gender of the speaker would be terrible and a gross
    > disservice to subsequent scholars.
    >
    > Third, do you know if this language has tonal meaning?
    > While English does not, some languages have different
    > meanings for the same sound, depending on tone. Change
    > the pitch, or how the pitch varies as the word is spoken and
    > you change the meaning completely. Vietnamiese is one language
    > that I'd heard has serious differences due to tone. I think Thai
    > does as well.
    >
    > Seems to me that if you want two speakers, you should
    > record to speakers. Record it accurately as possible,
    > including tone, volume, diction, etc.
    >
    > let the scholars decide how to decode it.
    >
    >
    > Pat http://www.pfarrell.com/prc/
     
    Martin Holmes, Apr 5, 2004
    #9
  10. Martin Holmes

    Marten Richens

    Joined:
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    24
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    Location:
    Exeter
    Hi Martin

    One thing that is easy to overlook is the resonance. The male voice resonates at lower frequencies than the female voice which is why a pitch shift on it's own never sounds truly convincing.

    There are also more subtle differences in the way men and women speak; men have a harder edge to the voice for example. There is a course for the transgendered called Finding your female voice, which could be worth hunting down as this can really help to give insights into the differences and nuances between the gender tones.
     
    Marten Richens, Nov 5, 2016
    #10
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