to design a new language?
Would it be possible for any of you to enlighten me in the process you
guys go through when there's a need for a "new" language for...let's
say... an alien character in a film. Burtt said on some articles
that he rearranged
(edited) tibetan and other languages for some of the aliens in Star
Wars. Now, how can this be done when you need to keep the intensity
of the scene? I mean if you just cut and paste you might just get a
very dull acting. Do you also solve this by telling an actor to improvise
with his voice and language structure in the ADR stage?
Sound editor, SIC Television, Portugal
Ata PintoI did some alien voices already, using Eventide harmonizes,
and found that best performances from the actors are achieved if their
are listening to the processed sound instead of the dry feed, this way
they can tweak words in order to avoid some of the artifacts these devices
may introduce, thus improving speech intelligibility specially when
using dramatic voice transformation always record a clean feed of the
actors voice as well, just in case...
Chris Borders: Interplay
Productions Voice Over Director
I recently had a interactive project that I had to get alien voices
for. First off if you use good voice over talent, (ones who can get
past the cartoony sounding stuff) you will find these actors to be very
helpful in creating unique voices that you or I may never think of.
After getting the base for what you want, you will find sweeting it
with sound processors, etc. will add other elements to make it sound
even more alien.
Creating great alien or creature vocalizations is, in my opinion, the
difficult kind of sound fabrication there is. If you perform the vocalizations,
it will help if you're the only one in the studio, or even the building...
Well, at least my performances are much better then...
As Kevin says, there is no formula for this kind of process. What
you do is to experiment. If you begin with an "exotic" human language
as a base, then obviously the more diverse your samples are the more
likely you will be successful. If you want to create a language
with lots of moods, then your Tibetan (or whatever) samples need to
have those moods. You alter the speed and pitch of your samples. You
play them backwards.
You edit them. You combine them with, as Kevin says, animal vocal
sand anything else you can think of. (Finding snippets of animal vocals
which will blend with human samples is also very much a trial and error
process.) Creating great alien or creature vocalizations is, in my opinion,
the most difficult kind of sound fabrication there is.
Would it be possible for
any of you to enlighten me in the process
you guys go through when there's a need for a "new" language. There
is no formula. I did some vocalizations for different creatures. Just
imagine what your responses will be if you're interacting vocally and
you will come up with different vocabularies. For example a happy vocabulary,
sad vocabulary, angry vocabulary, questioning vocabulary, etc. If the
creature is an alien, maybe you could process (your) voice electronically.
If it is an animal, you could sweeten the fx with real animals
When you say that you could sweeten animal sounds with vocalizations,
how do you accomplish it without them sounding overlayed, but sounding
like one. Do you use a special filter?
I'd like to chime in regarding your question of 'overlaying' animal
vocals and using 'special filters'. Many animals produce vocalizations
that sound remarkably human, so they will lay in quite nicely without
processing. For authentic samples, look to Hollywood Edge's "Animal
Trax" series - very well recorded and interesting sounds. Also, if you
are a ProTools user, check out some software called VocAlign. Originally
developed for ADR editors (I think), it takes two sound files and, using
one as the master clip, matches the envelope and energy curves of the
slave clip. I saw a demo of it where two lines of dialogue, which were
clearly different in enunciation and pitch, were matched together and
it sounded incredible. You would have great results if you took a line
of your newly-edited exotic human language and matched a baboon vocalization
to it, for example. The energy curves would be identical, but the pitches
and inflections would remain intact.VocAlign is sort
of hard to describe...you really need to see it to understand what it
does. If you're interested, I'll dig up some literature for you, or
you can try
searching the Web for it. Happy editing
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