Forums > MaxMSP

Wall-E vocoding?

July 10, 2008 | 8:42 pm

I’ve seen Wall-E twice – it’s a great movie. Does anyone know which techniques Ben Burtt uses to create the vocal effects? At least some of it is vocoding ("foreign contaminant"), but looking around on the forum it seems that similar effects can be produced with LPC, or fof synthesis.

Is there any way in MaxMSP to create these effects for live processing? I’ve checked the built-in vocoders, the gabor objects from ircam, and the csound~ fof patch (which has a compile error, although the help patch works just fine).

None of these are making the sounds I’m looking for – especially when you sing or speak a smooth glissando and it comes out as a kind of robotic, quantum arpeggio (not necessarily a harmonic series) – as when Wall-E and Eve introduce themselves. It sounds so old-fashioned it’s probably a standard technique – I’m just not sure how to produce it, or maybe I haven’t plugged the right numbers into the vocoder.

I’m running Max 5.0.3 on a 2008 macbook pro.

Thanks for any ideas!

Steve


July 11, 2008 | 12:30 am

Ben is a big fan of Kyma. I wouldn’t be suprised if he used that.


July 11, 2008 | 1:37 am

definitely not vocoding.

sounds like a combination of melodyne, comb filters and/or wave interpolation and micro stutter

all absolutely definitely HAND EDITED.

those sounds stunned me.. absolutely stunned me.


July 11, 2008 | 2:44 am


July 11, 2008 | 4:37 am

Many thanks for the interview link, that is fascinating. If Burtt is "reassembling" the vocals, would that be a spectral process (I’m thinking sdif and some of mzed’s cnmat spectral tutorials)? I’ll look more into Kyma, too.

The blurred boundaries between musical composition and sound design never cease to amaze me, and freak me out.

Steve


July 11, 2008 | 8:56 am

> Many thanks for the interview link, that is fascinating. If Burtt is
> "reassembling" the vocals, would that be a spectral process (I’m thinking sdif
> and some of mzed’s cnmat spectral tutorials)? I’ll look more into Kyma, too.

Wall-E is listed in the Kyma wikipedia entry:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kyma_(sound_design_language)
(of course, not a proof of anything)
J-F.

http://www.jeanfrancoischarles.com
July 10th update: Prisma – Summer 2008 Meeting


July 11, 2008 | 9:04 am

It’s a promotional video but interesting all the same – Ben Burtt, famed sound designer of the Star Wars series, created the sonic world of Pixar’s Wall-E. The video even shares a bit of his acoustic sources @ 1.5min in.

http://blog.makezine.com/archive/2008/07/sound_design_of_walle.html


July 11, 2008 | 2:11 pm

This blog’s owners are Kyma experts who have been following the production of Wall-E since the beginning and include numerous videos and short articles on Ben Burtt, Walter Murch, et al.

http://usoproject.blogspot.com/


July 11, 2008 | 3:52 pm

It’s not realtime but you might get some interesting effects with SPEAR. (but you might not i dont think if i’ve ever tried it on voice, also i havent seen the movie)

http://www.klingbeil.com/spear/


July 12, 2008 | 9:47 pm

Haven’t seen the movie, sounds like a great one! Interested to see what you find out. Vocoding is really great, the more ways to mash up vocals the better. Also very cool how one can manipulate the sound depending on the source–percussive or sustained have really different effects.

A little off-topic—great to see you on the forum! This is your old composition student Chris from years ago, still poking around ISU, playing with Max, and hooked on the forums. So much to learn from the wizards on here :)

–CJ


July 12, 2008 | 10:49 pm

The voice of Wall-E has been made using Kyma.
Ben used the TAU editor and TAU Sounds.
All the inflection and expressions have been real time generated and
controlled using a Wacom Tablet with TAU.
TAU is something similar to PSOLA resynthesis.

best,

Federico Placidi

Tiscali Family: Adsl e Telefono senza limiti e senza scatto alla risposta. PER TE SCONTO DEL 25% FINO AL 2010. In più il software parental control Magic Desktop Basic è GRATIS! Attiva entro il 17/07/08. http://abbonati.tiscali.it/promo/tuttoincluso/


July 14, 2008 | 3:04 am

Oh Man…the cultural cesspool of Bloomington/Normal. My condolences.

bt

On Jul 12, 2008, at 2:47 PM, Seejay James wrote:

>
> Haven’t seen the movie, sounds like a great one! Interested to see
> what you find out. Vocoding is really great, the more ways to mash
> up vocals the better. Also very cool how one can manipulate the
> sound depending on the source–percussive or sustained have really
> different effects.
>
> A little off-topic—great to see you on the forum! This is your old
> composition student Chris from years ago, still poking around ISU,
> playing with Max, and hooked on the forums. So much to learn from
> the wizards on here :)
>
> –CJ


September 24, 2008 | 8:48 pm

Seems like Ben Burtts finally said what he used.

Quote from resent interview with Ben Bertt

"…the principle synthesizer I use is called the Kyma…I found ways of using it to specifically do WALL-E and EVE’S voices.."

Mind you I’m absolutely positive he didn’t use TAU and not only that he started working on it over three years ago and TAU wasn’t about then.


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