Help with 'ghoul' voice effect

I’m on Windows 10 Audacity 2.3.3. Complete newbie, please be patient.

Attached is a Ghoul halloween prop I’ve created (he sways back and forth and head tilts up and down). Just need to get him some eyes. Anyway, I want him to speak some recorded sayings for the folks passing by. Every tutorial on youtube is a dragon, monster, etc. Their voices are way too deep and menacing. If we are going to be realistic, my ghoul would be about 50 pounds. See photos. I’m picturing a voice closer to LOTR Gollum. Fine to have an edge and be semi-scary. Also person might be 10 feet away, so want to err on side of clarity vs lots of reverb, echo, etc.

Can somebody offer a few settings for me to try? Do you need to hear my voice first?

p.s. If you want to see video of prop, I’ll post it on my FB page (search ‘VladtheImpaler666’)

Gollumization …

Shift pitch +6 semitones in Audacity, (tick “high quality stretching”).
Generate pink-noise track in Audacity.
Vocode* shifted voice with pink-noise using mda talkbox plugin, (0% dry, adjust wet to taste).
optional: reverse-reverb, (reverse track, apply reverb, then reverse back).

[ * Audcaity has a vocoder effect, but IMO it makes voices difficult to understand ].

This is super. Thanks so much!

Just one more question. Say I was trying apply a consistent Gollum voice to snippets of songs by different artists. Obviously the artists all have different voices. Will what you have suggested work for that, or is that even possible… to have them all sound consistently the same?

And along those same lines, is it possible to separate the music from the vocals in a song so that I can only apply the Gollum effect to the vocals, then combine both together?

The brief was speaking skeleton, there was no mention of singing.
Vocoding with noise will obliterate melody, whether it is sung or played on an instrument.
(The only part of music which will survive the process is rhythm).

You’d need to have the vocal in isolation, and apply it to that alone, & even then the voice would be hoarse whispering the lyrics, not singing.

Karaoke (instrumental) versions of popular tunes are available via the internet,
In this case anyone could provide the vocal: it doesn’t matter if they can sing in-tune, as the effect will remove any melody from the voice.

I’m moving in the Karaoke direction. I’m stuck on the recording part. Using Windows WASAPI. I’ve tried various attempts using a headset and without. Seems like it either records the Youtube music but not my singing, or just my singing but not the music. Is there any way for it to record both the Youtube music and my (awful) singing?

You need to keep the vocal & music tracks separate.

#1. Download or record (WASAPI) the entire Karaoke track into Audacity first, (no sing-along).
#2. Sing* along to the Karaoke track playing in Audacity.
#3. optional: change pitch of your recorded voice track by +6 semitones, (don’t change pitch of music).
#4. Add new pink-noise track below your vocal track.
#5. Join the pink-noise track & the vocal track to make a stereo-pair, (right ear will be hiss noise).
#6. Apply the mda talkbox effect to that stereo track, 0% dry, (don’t select the music track).
#7. optional: you may have to move the processed vocal track using time-shift-tool so it is in-sync with the music.

  • You could try just speaking the lyrics in spoooky skeleton character voice, rather than singing


I got it to work! I didn’t have the Wet all way up at 200%.

I hate be so nit picky, but the ghoul singing in a Gollum voice sounds off. How hard would it be to replicate a voice more similar to Gargamel, e.g. ?? Or is that just how the actor talks and there are no effects or tricks to achieve that?

Smurfs are pitch-shifted.

A plugin which does pitch-correction, (aka “autotune”), & real-time pitch-shifting is Grallion2.
The free version may be sufficient, see … Auburn Sounds - Graillon, live voice changer
& … Need help duplicating voice effect - #2 by Trebor

Grallion seems perfect!

So one last detail. I’m trying to make it easier to do recording of Karaoke song and my singing in one pass. I’m recording through my laptop speakers/mic and playing the music from a Bose SLIII bluetooth speaker inches away. Why is it that Audacity can pick up my voice when I sing, but it’s not picking up the music, not even if somebody else is singing on the Bose speaker? How is that possible?

Wherever bluetooth karaoke music-file is, just drag’n’drop a copy into Audacity.
Then sing along to it while it is playing in Audacity.
Then apply Grallion2 to the vocal track (only).
( You may have to time-shift the processed vocal track back a little so it is in sync-with the music).

Ahhh, I’m almost there… When I record through my laptop mic (several year old HP EliteBook), everything works great. But when I record through my headset (cheapo Microsoft), no matter what I do, Audacity keeps starting the recording at the END of the song track. I definitely need to be able to sing to the music. So I’m wondering if there is an easy fix to this? And if not, I’ll just record through the laptop mic. I assume recording quality is probably on par with the headset.

Tick “Record on a new track” in Audacity recording preferences