Chorus & Instrumental plug-ins, or programs?

I downloaded and installed Audacity to use as an audio recording and editing device for online videos and possibly games (created, in part, with Blender 3D). I’m having to rely on any useful free programs I can find. I’m looking for the following and hoping for something free:

  1. A decent chorus effect,

  2. Anything (if possible) to help change voices, because there’s only so much a few of us can do to create a voice that is unique to each character,

  3. Computer generated musical instruments. Are they all midis, or what? I know of digital drum machines, but have downloaded only the kind that seem to make sounds that I associate with my son’s and his father’s old video games. I need synths, or something that sound like real drums, keyboards and guitars that don’t sound like toys. In my search for these things I keep finding synths that I suspect are meant for effects used in conjunction to either pre-recorded tracks, or instruments plugged into computers via boards for that sort of thing.

Any suggestions are much appreciated.

Sorry to hit this forum with so many questions.

If you can find a VST chorus plugin that works in Audacity (many VST plugins don’t, even with the VST Enabler), then that’s your answer to question 1.

Audacity (and the LADSPA plugins pack) doesn’t currently offer a Chorus effect (I’m not sure why, it’s a common effect, though overused if you ask me).

As for #2, it depends on what kind of characters you’re trying to change to. If you’re trying to make one human voice sound like a different human voice, it’s very difficult to do without a good voice actor. Even if you pitch the sound of someone’s voice, the “peaks and valleys” of the frequency spectrum they make will still be the same relative to one another. It’s these “peaks and valleys” that give everyone a characteristic normal speaking voice. We can control these to an extent, but it’s limited. It’s very difficult to do this with audio software too, the usual result is just a giant mess.

If you’re trying to make yourself sound like something non-human though, then you’re only limited by your imagination and the effects you have available. Judicious and careful use of filters, distortion, reverbs, vocoders, and (of course) good voice acting will do you some good. Audacity doesn’t have a vocoder though.

For #3, what you’re asking for here is best done with lots of actual hardware and instruments. The only all-software options I’m aware of are software MIDI sequencers or composers and sample looper/sequencers. MIDI sequencers will always be limited to the kinds of MIDI samples they have access to. You could use one of those in conjunction with something like FruityLoops (which is a sample looper / sequencer).

Here’s a big list of MIDI software, I have no experience with any of these:

Be aware that this software won’t be easy to use, there’s probably a big learning curve. It will help if you have lots of experience writing music (do you?).

Honestly, the easiest way to get music for a game you’re making is to hook up with someone who makes the kind of music you want. Get them to donate some music to the project.

Thanks for the quick response and the link. I’ll check it out. I’ve been cruising through I don’t know if you’re familiar with this one. It has a lot of free synth and other files (Some are advertised as free but seem to actually be limited versions of shareware), but many descriptions of them aren’t enough to help me to know what I already need to use them.

We’re not really short on acting, musical and graphically artistic talent. We don’t like getting too many people involved with our projects because they usually aren’t dedicated enough to follow through, sometimes for understandable reasons (like other obligations). I’ll be using a song one collaborator produced several years ago. For now, material resources are what we lack. Two of us are Hurricane Ivan survivors and we lost a lot of equipment, our old apartments and a lot more than that as a result of the hurricane. After that, a work related injury made matters worse for me.

It turns out that the version of Ahead Nero already on my computer has a wave editor with an effect (helium) that is perfect for one character’s voice. I made this discovery a few hours after I posted here. It’s for a female voice and I’m a female, so that wasn’t much of a problem.

I think, where people err when they’re trying to digitally alter human voices is when they try to push too far out of their range in their effort to create a completely different sound and don’t bother to work on expanding the dynamics of their own voices. In that, you’re so right about the need for talent in the ability to impersonate different voices, speech patterns and styles and accents. This tendency to overdo effects is common with a number of musicians, too. They pile on effects for one, or more instruments like some people abundantly add too many seasons when they cook, then wonder why they get unwanted noise, or distortions.

I guess, my best bet is to keep hunting and experimenting. Thanks again for your input.

(Edit: I checked out the link you offered and found some things that might work. You rock! :smiley: )