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Creating Talking Synth Sounds

By bagginz - Posted on 26 September 2009

Q use a lot of talking type synth sounds...(ayyyee, yoooy...bwoooow...etc :-) ) I manage to do those with vsts, yet... with a different colour and with less control on the values...(I hope you understand what I mean)...How did you actualy control the values on these synths sounds? ( a "ya" for ex instead of "oy"...).

Roland SH101 - a fabulous synth but unfortunately not for vocal sounds


A.  Well, most of those vocally type sounds on those albums are made with a Virus B using two band pass filters in parallel, and tweaking the cutoffs live while recording the knob's MIDI outputs into the sequencer was the method I used.

I made a few passes until I got a feel for the range of the knobs and how the sounds (filters) interacted with each other best. Then I hit record and tweaked away. Once I got something that sounded pretty close, I further edited the controller data in Cubase's key edit page.

If you are interested in how to get that type of vocal sound, then check this out:

How to set up a basic formant filter sound using an Access Virus (or any subtractive synth that offers a parallel filtering option )

Set the amp, envelope with fast attack full sustain and minimum release without clicks.

Select a single saw wave, as in oscillator 2 here:



Feed it into two 12db band pass filters (in parallel) each with 25% resonance - as a starting point.

Give each filter some filter envelope depth ( 20% ish)

Now choose to have one filter envelope positive and one negative, in other words in opposing directions, one going up, one going down. In this case both cutoffs are referring to the same envelope (the filter envelope) but the polarity of one filter's envelope is reversed.

Tweak the two cutoffs so that they are offset to each other. (try both ways - but one way will give you a greater range.)

Make an interesting part and tweak these parameters on the fly: The two cutoffs - opposite ways to each other. Envelope depth on the filters, Envelope decay time.

You can also patch both filters to the mod wheel or Velocity to modulate cutoff depth or envelope filter depth or whatever... But you don't actually need to own a Virus B to do this kind of patch . For example, one very good soft synth that has this capability is the LinPlug Albino 2. (I am not paid by Linplug )

It's all in the tweaking.


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