Formant Shifting


September 20, 2018

This technique can add huge character to any sound

Formant shifting is an incredible way to tweak a sample, vocal, synth, guitar, or pretty much any sound source.

A formant can be defined a few different ways depending on what type of instrument or sound you're referring to.

One way to define formant is, a note that is augmented by a resonance. Another definition of a formant is the spectral peak or peaks of the sound spectrum.

A simple way to think about formants is they are the resonant peaks that form the timbre or color of the sound. You can shift formants down, think Darth Vader voice, or shift them up, think chipmunk, and the fundamental pitch or frequency won't change. Check out these two videos below and pay attention to the spectrum analyzer at the top. 

Shifting Low

Shifting High

That's what is great about changing formants. You can completely change the color of the sound, without affecting it's pitch or tuning.

Most producers will apply a formant shift directly to a source. That's how we made our hugely popular vocal chops in our Grey Area pack. But what happens you formant shift the reverberated single of a sound? That's what the video tutorial below will cover!

- Shane