Why no more robotic voices?

Discussion in 'Transformers General Discussion' started by Superion33, Feb 3, 2008.

  1. Superion33

    Superion33 Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2005
    Posts:
    1,241
    Trophy Points:
    161
    Likes:
    +0
    I've talked about this in previous posts I've made, but I just kinda wanted to see what everyone else's opinions was about this topic. From the way I see it, I think G1 did the best job of having robotic voices. Maybe it was because the synthesizer was so popular in those days, that more voices were "robotized" but it doesn't seem to be that prevalent now.

    This applies to all the recent incarnations of TFs. From BWs to Cybertron to the Movie to Animated. It seems the show/movie producers are comfortable with the cast's voices sounding the same as the voice actors without any added "robotization".

    Now, some of you might be wondering what I call as "robotization", so I'll preface this with a definition. Think back to Astrotrain in the G1 series. Remeber that voice? There is no way a human sounds like that in normal life. They took a human voice and synthesized it. The same with Soundwave. Astrotrain seemed like he had a "space echo". Thats the best description I could give you. Whatever it was, it made Astrotrain stand out from the rest of the other bots in the series.

    To me, that was one of the reasons why G1 stood out so vividly in my memory. Visual effects are nice, but I think the aural experience is often overlooked too often. We live in a world where the sense of sight precedes other senses - hearing, touch, smell. Be that as it may, I think one of the reasons why G1 stood out so much to me was the way the characters SOUNDED.

    Soundwave had that synthesized, dull monotone. Megatron had his raspy-ness. Jazz had an awesome voice that I don't think could ever be duplicated again. Does anyone really feel that the Movie Jazz's voice was better? He sounded like a stereotypical black man. There was nothing robotic to it. You felt like there was a Ving Rhames (sp?) inside of him that was going to walk out of the robot body. Thank you Scatman Carruthers for that awesome voice. Casey Casem did a GREAT job also with Cliffjumper. Whoever synthesized Omega Supreme's hollow boom also did a great job. Cosmos had his weird mumble, and Seaspray had his voice like he was constantly underwater.

    Currently, our TFs for some unknown reason sound like British or Australian citizens like in Cybertron. Or they sound like sterotypical black men as in the movie. Even Animated, while doing a good job of having variety of believable voices, does not have robotized voices.

    I don't know, when I think of TFs, I think of robots, and unless the voice has that "tinge" of robot in it, the character loses some appeal. Think about GI Joe - who do you remember the most aurally (for their voices)? I remember Lady Jaye because she had a very unique voice. Cobra Commander just due to the histrionics and the great voice acting along with the rasp that he had. I can vaguely remember the differences between Flint, Duke, and Hawk but not as vividly as I remember Soundwave or Astrotrain's voices. The most unique vioces are the best remembered.

    To wrap it up and end my diatribe, I think they need to go back to some more of that. What do you guys think? Also, if you remember any other cool robotized voices that I forgot to mention, feel free to post them.
     
  2. Johnator

    Johnator 'Til All Are Gone!

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2007
    Posts:
    4,338
    Trophy Points:
    151
    Likes:
    +0
    You have a good point and I never really considered that as a factor but it is true. I have always considered the voice acting of G1 the most memorable and the factors that you bring up probably have something to do with that. A robot should look and sound like a robot. I really liked the voices you mentioned since they all stand out in my head instantly. Perhaps on the next Transformers series they could focus on this for individuals such as Soundwave or Omega Supreme. Interesting train of thought.
     
  3. NGW

    NGW Rawr

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Posts:
    7,669
    News Credits:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    232
    Likes:
    +13
    I felt the voices for BW were some of the best in the franchise myself. Rather than robot sounding, a fair few of them were much more animalistic. Dinobot always had a sort of growl sound to his voice, Terrorsaur had his screeching, Waspinator with his buzzing....I think they fit rather well.
     
  4. Grimwing

    Grimwing Scientist Supreme

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2007
    Posts:
    4,962
    News Credits:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Likes:
    +3
    I agree with prefering robotic voices. And you brought up some great points of the synthesizer effects playing along with the character and its name.

    I'd also like to mention briefly the insecticons with their chirps and hisses outside of shrapnels condition of repeating the last word in his phrase. phrase.

    This is just a overlooked aspect of transformers, and if brought to the attention of tf animated voice director sue blu she might plan for more synthesizer effects on other characters than just animated soundwave.

    But I will remind you that peter cullen in the new movie did get the synthesizer treatment for prime. Mr. cullen mentioned that during one of his interviews.
     
  5. Kickback

    Kickback Proud father Administrator Super Mod News Staff

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Posts:
    40,257
    News Credits:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    347
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    Likes:
    +13
    Twitter:
    Instagram:
    Tumblr:
    They still use a robotic echo in Animated, but it's very slight, mostly because it was sooooo overdone in the Unicron trilogy.
     
  6. Superion33

    Superion33 Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2005
    Posts:
    1,241
    Trophy Points:
    161
    Likes:
    +0
    I totally forgot about Shrapnel. You bring up another good point. Its also a factor not of just how they sound but also WHAT they say. I think Shrapnel was one of the most unique in that he repeated the last word of his sentence. Still brings a smile to my face to remember how he talked. Also, Warpath with his BAM BAM.

    Don't get me wrong, G1 had its weird/bad voices too. Tracks for some weird reason sounded like a snob. I don't know why a robot would have a human accent. It totally detracted from the story. The thing that sticks about Cybertron the most in my head was how there was an Australian/English accent. Again, why the human accent? They are alien robots after all.
     
  7. Basketball Jones

    Basketball Jones Decepticon

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2007
    Posts:
    1,078
    Trophy Points:
    126
    Likes:
    +0
    There are many reasons for an Australian/English accent for a Cybertronian- it could have learned English from an Australian or Englishman instead of an American.

    Why should all of the Transformers have American accents?

    The various speech quirks and defects in G1 were highly memorable- Soundwave's vocoder, Shrapnel's repeating the end of each sentence- they provided a great deal of character.
     
  8. Macross7

    Macross7 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2006
    Posts:
    7,356
    News Credits:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    242
    Likes:
    +79
    Ebay:
    Somehow I think Soundwave will have his 'robotic' voice in Animated. There is a ton of G1 influence so I'd think there's a good chance it will be there.
     
  9. Superion33

    Superion33 Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2005
    Posts:
    1,241
    Trophy Points:
    161
    Likes:
    +0
    Interesting, never thought of it that way. So Australians and the English think we have accents? I was told that we had a LACK of an accent. Basically, we spoke without any kinda peculiarity - very dry. Of course, there are unique specific local accents - cowboy accents, brooklyn accents, etc. But I basically thought of us as accent free.

    Though, one bad thing about that type of robot characterization is that a country will be represented by one specific robot. Then it gets messy. When do you stop? An English Autobot, an Australian Decepticon, a Chinese Autobot, a German decepticon, so on and so forth.
     
  10. jorod74

    jorod74 Psycholagnist (Ret.)

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2007
    Posts:
    7,559
    News Credits:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    176
    Likes:
    +2
    Ebay:
    I thought i heard accents in cybertron. one sounded Aussie, one sounded southern, and so on.
    although IMHO, i think accents like that is like ghettoed out stabs at character.

    And I call our lack of Accent the "Dan Rather Syndrome" because he described his on air voice.
    he said he is from the midwest, but he was forced to create a voice that no one could pin down to any one region. and he honestly thought that it was a bad idea.
    no accent=no personality or loss of a connection with the masses.

    Soundwave's voice, the metallic echo of a bot, shrapnel's odd speech pattern, those carry more character than just an accent.
     
  11. Renidragon

    Renidragon Toys on my table!

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2005
    Posts:
    4,619
    Trophy Points:
    202
    Likes:
    +3
    Nah, I've heard that there is such a thing as an American accent.
     
  12. aussiehippy

    aussiehippy Au contraire, Blackadder.

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Posts:
    2,024
    Trophy Points:
    186
    Likes:
    +1
    Ebay:
    American accents evolved from English ones.

    We did speak it first, you know.

    Anyone who speaks your language but comes from a geographically different location will have a different accent, there are many different accents in America, many different accents in the UK (compare Geordie with Cockney for example), and many different accents in australasia.

    Same for any other language.

    On topic, the various accents in TF throughout the years are presumably an attempt to appeal to the world market, rather than just an American one. And I guess it worked!
     
  13. The Madness

    The Madness News Credits: -13

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2003
    Posts:
    1,271
    Trophy Points:
    177
    Likes:
    +10
    I agree I have always liked the reverberation and synth in Transformer voices, but its fairly clear the 'globalisation' of recent shows by incorporating a greater range of stereotypical "ethnic" sounding accents is a perhaps naive attempt at catering for the greater global market. While the US will probably always make up the greater share of viewers, its worth noting the show is broadcast internationally (to an extent). And the foreign markets are a reasonably nice, yet modest, slice of the pie for product sales.

    I can't quite work out if you are you are being sarcastic about the lack of an accent thing or not.
    Lets just say the "Black" accent (American accent) wasn't the only stereotypical accent hammed-up by the voice actors.
     

Share This Page