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Monotone-Voice Pitch Expander

Say good-bye to that annoying monotonous voice on the phone.
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(+7, -1)
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Are you sick of not being able to speak on the phone to your otherwise approachable friend or family member, for the sole reason of his/her irritating, single-tone voice? Well, here's where the Monotone-Voice Tone-Expander would come in.

It would work based on the principle of the compressor/expander (the latter in particluar), in that it linearly stretches the signal of the monotonous voice in question over a specified range, albeit working on the pitch instead of amplitude (volume) as does a conventional expander.

That is, if the conversation of an average person spans (for argument's sake) a frequency band of 5Hz, and our drone-emitting sleep-inducing friend in question produces tones in a mere 2Hz range, then all frequencies in the top and bottom .5Hz of that 2Hz range are stretched to occupy a further .5Hz, effectively creating an 2:1 ratio expander (thereby giving an output with a range of 3Hz, admittedly more pleasing on the ol' olfactory sense).

Of course, all parameters would be modifiable through MIDI and/or control knobs on the bigger model, or MIDI via infrared on the modular version, wihch could be carried around the offender's neck on an attractive 24-carat gold chain, for the discerning monotoner already made aware of his imperfection. Of particular importance would be the attack/release envelope and ratio settings, to avoid jumpy slides in pitch which would instead give the impression of a speed junkie with the hiccups, something I think most would agree would be less preferable still to the tame in comparison hypno-zombie-speaker.

smyrf, Sep 04 2001

Hitch-hiker's http://www.bbc.co.u...ay&service_id=49700
it's weekly. See the drop-down on the right and choose 'wednesday', it'll go to the 12th sept. [Viennoise, Sep 04 2001, last modified Oct 04 2004]


       So why does 3Hz smell nicer than 2Hz? And *what* does it smell like?   

       (Sorry, smyrf. I think you mean "auditory", rather than "olfactory")
Guy Fox, Sep 04 2001

       Damn you, Guy Fox...! ;) I presume it would be somewhat unethical to go and change it now, wouldn't it... ah well. I had to fit in that - now admittedly pathetic - pun on the 'ol' bit, you see. But no, I wasn't aware of the mistake, in case you're wondering. It's not exactly a word that slips into general conversation over dinner too often...   

       Concerning the "exciter" post - I actually have an effect on my synth (an1x) called Aural Exciter (it's a trademark) which basically phattens up the sound lots.. though I have no idea what it actually does - I guess it's the same thing you're talking about, though there's no evidence of pitch shifting as far as I can tell. Pitch shifter, now that's something completely different; that just seems to be adding an extra track that's been pitch-shifted to a harmonic (or other) frequency to the original signal.
smyrf, Sep 04 2001

       I wonder if the BBC Radiophonic Workshop used that kind of effect on Eddie the Shipboard computer in the Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
jutta, Sep 04 2001

       "Snoudblaster"? haaahahaha...
absterge, Sep 05 2001

       [Rods] The BBC are repeating the radio series on R4 starting tonight at 6:30pm. You wont get to Eddie until episode two though and I'm not sure if they are running one episode a day or one a week.
gravelpit, Sep 05 2001

       This could easily be done in the audio synthesis/processing software 'supercollider'; you can apply a Fourier transform, carry out arbitrary transformations on the frequency component, then apply the reverse Fourier transform, all in near real time. Might have a go myself.
spidermother, Nov 17 2008

       Done it. The problem is that the harmonics get distorted by the transformation, if implemented as smyrf suggests. The more throbbingly successful method would involve detecting the pitch of the fundamental and multiplying the frequencies by the appropriate amount, thus keeping the harmonics in tune, which would require real work, and I'm too busy/lazy right now.
spidermother, Dec 23 2008

       //detecting the pitch of the fundamental and multiplying the frequencies// Doesn't autotune do this?
Spacecoyote, Dec 23 2008

       Yes, but I don't know how to get it to apply an arbitrary pitch change function. In other words, the technology exists, but is not packaged in a sufficiently flexible form.
spidermother, Dec 24 2008

       [spidermother] wouldn't think that sibilants(sp?) would change *that* much over an octave or so either way.
FlyingToaster, Dec 24 2008

       Sibilants (and unvoiced fricatives) don't have a definite pitch; they are a species of shaped noise. So no, they don't change so much. It's mainly the vowels that have a definite pitch.
spidermother, Dec 24 2008


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