Best method for "Telephone Sound"??

Discussion in 'Mixing & Song Critique' started by phalynx, Jan 9, 2002.

  1. phalynx

    phalynx Guest

    New here, I did a search and couldn't find it so here goes, what is the best,,,,cheapest,,,,, way to create the telephone sound. I would assume it is a combination of eq and something else.

    Any tips would be great,

  2. mikemoritz

    mikemoritz Guest

    On my latest project, we just miked a speaker phone and then took the actual phone (cordless) to another room. Worked well, and it's exactly the sound we were lookin for, no EQ necessary.

  3. phalynx

    phalynx Guest

    I have thought about that but I would like to be able to change the vocal in mid-singing so I need something processing to occur after recording.
  4. bassmac

    bassmac Guest

    Originally posted by phalynx:
    I have thought about that but I would like to be able to change the vocal in mid-singing so I need something processing to occur after recording.

    Just mix the two tracks to taste.

    Also, the Waves Q10 eq has a telephone preset that's real cool.
  5. McAllister

    McAllister Member

    Jun 14, 2001
    This is easy and cheap.

    1) go to a thrift store and find an old AT&T rotary phone. Look for the kind that have an un-screwable earpiece & mouthpiece.

    2) save the handset, junk the phone. Open up both sides of the handset. Junk the bit in the earpiece. Save the bit (mic) in the mouth piece.

    3) Clip all wires. The mic has 2 leads on it - most of these are screwed in. You can attach a cable to these & run the wire out through the hole where the old phone cord went. Mine go to XLR.

    4) Voila. Instant phone sound for any application.
  6. mapostel

    mapostel Guest


    The _basic_ way is to use a High-cut AND a low-cut filter set to approx. ~500Hz (Low) and ~3kHz. You may have to choose these corner frequencies narrower if your filters aren't that steep. It also helps to use another band of narrow bandwidth peak EQ to add boost @ ~2kHz.
    Well and if you don't have any Hi/Lo-cut filters you'd need to use shelving EQs to roll off the high end and low end.
    It's of course much more authentic to use actual telephones (as mentioned before) or to use distortion/guitar amps, but what I've described is the total basic & post-production way.

    Hope that helps,

  7. Scott Gould

    Scott Gould Active Member

    Oct 22, 2001
    Pt. Charlotte FL
    If you're not using actual telephone hardware, don't forget to compress the hell out of the EQed signal. Telephones don't have much dynamic range.

  8. Along with the hi and low pass filtering, you will need just a little bit distortion for the telephone sound as well. The distortion will also provide the compression needed. Hopefully you have a SansAmp plugin or something similar.
  9. phalynx

    phalynx Guest

    I have a TDM system. Just got it, an old PTIII but it works. I have the ampfarm plugin. I will have to try these suggestions. The compressor and the distortion are great ideas. I didn't think about that. Would an Aural Exciter help too?
  10. Tim Lynch

    Tim Lynch Guest

    Put the vocal through amp farm or a overdrive box like a tobe screamer and use little distorion. Really works well with the pod etc......
  11. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Feb 10, 2001
    If you don't happen to have a Neve "Teledistortion" module kicking around... my next favorite is to use something like an Auratone [small 3" speaker kinda thing], overdrive it a tad, then put a "bullhorn" in front of it. Mic it with a 57 or whatever you have laying around...

    Works like a charm.
  12. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Feb 10, 2001
    Oh CHEAP! I was going to suggest an SSL..

    Anyway ditto the Apm Farm route followed by extreme mids EQ boost!

    ADR Vocal Stressor?
  13. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Feb 10, 2001
    In a pinch, you can always run the track through some crappy headphones and then mic the headphones and record to a new track. Mute the output of the new track while recording so as not to set up a feedback loop.
  14. I used to use a combination of onboard eq + a TC Electronic 1140 parametric eq, but a few months ago I bought an Electrix EQ-Killer I get instant telephone sound or other extreme eq-effects sooo easy. And it was very cheap too!

  15. Steve Hudson

    Steve Hudson Active Member

    Jan 14, 2002
    Austin, Texas
    Ditto to the member who suggested Amp Farm. I just did a dance remix using this effect; the default setting upon opening the plug is a '59 Bassman; I didn't change a thing and the vocal jumped right out where I wanted it. Lucky me.
  16. Faeflora

    Faeflora Member

    Mar 14, 2001
    Use a Bandpass filter.
  17. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2001
    Silicon Valley
    Radio shack or Markertek should carry a box that connects to the phone and has RCA line out. I picked up one a few years ago. I usually just use my Eventide DSP4500 telephone preset as it is easier to use and I can also further manipulate the sound as well with things like random noise, drop-outs, soft squeals, keypad dual dialing tones, phone ringer ect...

    - Bruce -
  18. sixpence

    sixpence Guest

    Read an interview with Christina Aguilera's producer a while ago. The telephone voice on "Genie in a Bottle" was done using a Drawmer gate plugin with Key Listen on and the shelving filters set to ~300 Hz and 3Khz

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