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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » F/X » » How to make it sound like you're talking on the phone... (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Special user
Columbus, OH
685 Posts

Profile of Andini
Okeedoke. Here's my question:

Let's say I record myself on my computer via a computer microphone. How can I "distort" it so that it sounds like I'm talking on the phone? Do you understand? I'm sure you've heard recordings of phone conversations (Crank Yankers, for instance).

I'm guessing that there's some sort of software plugin or program that will easily create the effect I want. I just don't know where to look.

Looking forward to a response!
David Garrity
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520 Posts

Profile of David Garrity

You may be able to create the effect without software or a plug in. It will take some experimentation, but just adjust the EQ on the input line of your computer's sound card. So, when you record the voice it will be recorded with this sound quality. Try dropping most of the lows out, boost the mids and bring the highs to 50% or lower. As I said, it will take some experimentation and will depend on the sound card you are using to get the correct tone.

If you want to go with software, I believe there is a plug-in for Sound Forge that will do this as well. I am sure that most other sound editing/manipulation apps will have the same type plug-in.

Good luck, let us know how you make out!

Dan McLean Jr aka, Magic Roadie
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Toronto, Canada
803 Posts

Profile of Dan McLean Jr aka, Magic Roadie
I agree that a plug-in is probably your best best, but you could also record your voice off the phone.
Dan McLean Jr
Kevin Ridgeway
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Indianapolis, IN & Phoenix, AZ
1830 Posts

Profile of Kevin Ridgeway
There is a filter on Cool Edit Pro (now Adobe Audition), that will do just that for you. Simply highlight the section of the track needed to change, apply the filter and one second later done.

Hope that helps.
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Special user
Columbus, OH
685 Posts

Profile of Andini
Thanks guys! Seeing as I don't have audio-editing software yet (more of a graphics guy), I'm gonna try fiddling with the soundcard settings and also try to get a hold of SoundForge or VegasVideo (also a sound-editing software from what I know) and search for the plugins.

Thanks again,
Andy Leviss
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Inner circle
1179 Posts

Profile of Andy Leviss
EQ plug-ins come standard with audio software (although you certainly can purchase better ones); if this is the only audio you plan to do, try the shareware program, Goldwave.

I'll save you the need to experiment with EQ, since the typical frequency range of a phone system is fairly common knowlege if you know where to look :o)

You'll want to use the EQ to cut out frequencies below 300 hZ (this is what's known as a low-cut or high-pass EQ) and above 2.7 kHz (this would use a low-pass filter, it's not usually referred to as a high-cut for some reason). Telephone systems typically don't carry any audio below or above those thresholds, which is why they sound so different.
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Loyal user
211 Posts

Profile of Tate
I'm probably way off-base here. But I think I remember seeing a film about old time radio sound effects where they simply spoke into a tin can to get the "telephone voice" sound.

Or see if you can record your voice over the telephone?

I think it was a tv movie about the "War of the Worlds" radio broadcast.
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Inner circle
Portland, OR
1143 Posts

Profile of dearwiseone
Get Adobe Audition (Cool Edit Pro) They have button you push, that does most of the work for you. If you still need help, send me the sound clip and I'll do it for you. Good luck!
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Special user
630 Posts

Profile of plainman007
Nowadays so many fones can record your conversation. So actually make a fone call to friends number. Speak what you need. Then forward it through the Infrared port etc to your desktop. And you have it. An actual telephone recorded conversation. If the time is limited for the recording. Do it in bits and then attach them using sound forge or any audio clip ataching software.

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Inner circle
London England
1160 Posts

Profile of paulajayne

Just lower the sample rate it is normally at 44K try 8K.

Paula Jay - Magic to Remember -
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Special user
LaCenter, Wa
989 Posts

Profile of muzicman
I agree with Paula, Just lower the sample rate. This will induce the frequency limtiations and give a very low quality (like a telephone). Adjusting the EQ by dropping the highs and lows to minimum...
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513 Posts

Profile of damien666
The phone effects for 'Crank Yankers' is just an actual recorded phone conversation. The MASTER of phone effects (and if you haven't caught his show, you are indeed missing radio drama at it's best) is Phil Henrie (www.philhendrieshow.com)
A lot of people wonder how he makes it sound like he's talking on the phone - easy - - he is just talking on a phone. The idea of recording onto an answering machine or recording an actual converstion is the easiest and will sound the most like talking on a phone!
Dylan Weese
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New user
31 Posts

Profile of Dylan Weese
Could you call from a cell phone to your home phone and just put the mic right next to the reciever. Then you would actually sound like you are talking on a phone, because you ARE talking in the phone. That would be a lot easier to do.

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