To entertain your friends and family during an audio call or video conference, why not change your voice? There are many solutions for this on PC and Mac. But on mobile, the operation is more complicated…
You don’t need to be a talented impersonator to take on the voice of Darth Vader, a robot, a woman, a man, an old man, a child, or even a demon during a Skype conversation or a game session on Steam. The technology is there to lend you a hand, or rather, to lend you an original voice that your friends and family will have trouble recognizing. You don’t need expensive equipment or complex software either: your PC or your Mac, combined with the right application, can do the trick.
And it’s not a question of disguising your voice afterward, on a recording, as can be done easily with audio editing software such as the honorable Audacity. With specialized applications, the modification is done on the fly, that is to say in real-time, while you are speaking. Practical for making jokes without the operation requiring too much preparation. To achieve this, you have a lot of choices.
On the computer, there is a plethora of free software such as VoiceMeeter, Clownfish voice changer, VoiceMod, or AV Voice Changer to name a few. For our example, we will use Voxal, a free tool, available for both Windows and macOS. On smartphones, on the other hand, things are more complicated. For security reasons, apps that allow you to disguise your voice on the fly to make phone calls, for example, are not allowed. They could be used for telephone harassment or fraud attempts. Also, most of the ones offered on Google and Apple’s online stores simply allow you to record your voice and then apply effects to it afterward. As for the ones that actually allow you to call using a voice other than your own, they all charge a fee.
How to change voice on a computer?
There are many programs that allow you to modify your voice in real-time from a computer. Among them, we have chosen Voxal from NCH Software. This editor has made a specialty of multimedia software for audio and video processing. Voxal is available for free, in French, for PC and Mac.
- Before you start, take a little precaution. Voxal, like all other software of this kind, will first capture the sound of your voice through the computer’s microphone, then apply the desired effect and broadcast the modified voice through the PC or Mac speakers. To avoid the echo and feedback effect that is bound to occur in these conditions (the sound from the speakers will be picked up by the microphone and repeated in a loop until it causes a very unpleasant hissing sound), make sure you connect a headset to your computer. Prefer a wired headset to avoid latency. It is not necessary for the headset to have its own microphone, but this option is highly recommended. The computer’s microphone will pick up all the surrounding sounds, including the sound of the computer’s fans, which can cause an unpleasant murmur in the ear.
- Start by downloading Voxal to your computer.
- Install Voxal and launch it. The software interface is divided into four sections. On the left is the panel with a wide range of vocal effects you can use. In the center, the characteristics of the chosen effect (vocal tone, equalizer, etc.) are displayed. At the top are the buttons for the various tools. Finally, at the bottom of the window are listed all the actions carried out by the program (a sort of logbook).
- Click on the Options button at the top of the interface. In the window that appears, activate the Peripheral preview drop-down menu and choose Headset. Make sure that the drop-down menu just above (Device preview) indicates the microphone you want to use. Confirm with OK.
- In the left pane, click on a voice effect (Fairy in our example) and then activate the Preview button.
- Start speaking. Your voice is disguised on the fly, with just a slight delay due to the processing time.
- You can change the voice effect whenever you want to test the different models offered. Simply click on the name of an effect to automatically apply it and evaluate it. Just keep talking to see how good it is.
- Found the right speech effect for you? Turn off Preview by clicking on the Preview button. All that’s left to do is to leave the Voxal application open and then launch your calling software such as Skype for example. Your voice will remain modified during the conversation. You can also change the effect during the conversation.
- To get back to your normal voice, simply quit the Voxal app.
How to change your voice on Android or iOS?
All the apps on iOS or Android that promise to change the voice on the fly that we have been able to try has turned out to be useless or misleading. Indeed, it is impossible to change your voice in real-time to make a call from a mobile. This is a technical measure imposed on the devices in order to prevent as much as possible attempts of fraud, intimidation, or harassment. However, two practices remain possible.
- With apps like VoiceMod, Voice Changer with effects, or Hacking Voice, you can apply a sound effect to your voice, but only after recording it! You can then broadcast the resulting audio file via messaging or social networks, but you can’t make audio or video calls with a disguised voice.
With apps like Voice Changer Joke Phone, MagicCall Voice Changer App, or Voice Changer In Call (which once installed is strangely named VoIP droid…), you can indeed make audio calls in the voice of a little girl or Darth Vader: but you’ll have to get your wallet out for that. To bypass the protection measure, the calls do not go directly through your mobile operator. They pass through the servers set up by the app’s publisher before being redirected to your correspondent. This service is free for a few seconds, but you will have to pay for it afterward by buying call credits, sometimes up to several dozen euros. A bit expensive to make a simple joke, isn’t it?