June 8, 2011 | by Andrew Kameka
Have you ever had dreams of fronting your own band composed of robots? One man made that dream a reality by hacking together some interesting controls and developing an Android app that allows him to change his pitch to be more in-tune with his robotic bandmates.
Voloco is an Android 2.2+ app that can change the pitch of your voice. While the previously-covered MicDroid reproduces an Auto-Tune like effect, Voloco has several options that can make your voice Auto Tune-esque or have rougher edges to it. So if you consider MicDroid to be a T-Pain replicator, think of this app as a way to sound like a more industrial Roger Troutman of Zapp or a droid from the future.
I’ve been playing around with Voloco all morning and found that it’s rather fun. The app even supports loading a song for musical backing, but latency can make it a challenge to stick with the beat. (Be sure to use headphones to prevent echo or feedback.) The great thing about Voloco is that its a dynamic app, so you can make changes to pitch and settings even while you’re recording. Voloco supports 12 musical keys, 6 tuning methods, 2 main effects, and 3 harmony modes that can produce a wide range of vocal tones. The app also saves recordings in 44k WAV format, so you can send the results to friends or even incorporate them into actual music releases.
That’s what Voloco developer Patrick Flanagan did. Flanagan fronts a “cyborg percussion ensemble” named Jazari, and he created Voloco specifically for processing his vocals. Here’s a video showing a Jazari recording session, and another video showcasing how the app was used by beatboxer Carnage the Executioner.