- The Incredible VoiceChanger
This vocoder- like sound effect device from 1988 pitches voices or
sounds up or down with a very coarse and digital timbre.
separate microphone (not pluggable)
17 pitch steps (8 down, 8 up and normal) selected by up/ down buttons;
at the highest and lowest pitch the pitch warps around to the opposite
setting after a further button press (i.e. higher than +8 => -8, lower
than -8 => +8).
"normal" button to quickly reset to normal pitch.
volume slider switch (3 steps and off)
gritty digital lo-fi sound. Even in "normal" mode it still sounds digital/
somewhat robotic (and whistles very easy by feedback when the microphone
is held not far away from the speaker).
yellow stand at case back (to place the device upright - similar like small
line out jack
By holding the microphone at the speaker, strange chaotic feedback noises
can be created. The timbre depends on the actual pitch setting (often resembles
"Star Wars" laser sounds) and by holding the mike in one fist and changing
the distance to the speaker, the sound can be modulated in many bizarre
ways. Also in this mode still external sounds can be picked up by the microphone
to vary the sound.
Important to mention is that the frequency shifts of this device have no
normal tone scale ratios, thus musical notes played through it and mixed
with the original signal always sound detuned. The sounds also have some
coarse, LFO- like tremolo in them; I am not sure if this is just caused
by a too low sample rate, but I assume that the algorithm simply continuously
writes short sound sample fragments into a circular RAM buffer and simultaneously
read the buffer out and plays it back with a different rate or the like
without any anti- aliasing. (I doubt that the thing does a real Fourier
transformation for a proper pitch shift, because a toy from 1988 certainly
had not the computing capacity to do complex DSP work like that. I know
there is also an analogue pitch shifting method which involves FM with
a carrier frequency that needs to be filtered out afterwards, but this
thing doesn't sound analogue at all and likely the digitally adjustable
filter would have been beyond the scope of a 1988th toy either.)
This voice changer has more pitch steps than the one of my Casio
Rapman (sound quality is similar), but it is way less versatile and
coarser than the complex DSP effects of my Casio Voice Arrager VA-10.
of these screws voids warranty...