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Star Trek - Original Series The one that started it all...

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Old May 6 2009, 05:08 PM   #46
Praetor
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Re: Just saw "The Cage" on TOSR- Help me out here...the Keeper's voice

I really wonder what that machine was.
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Old May 6 2009, 05:11 PM   #47
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Re: Just saw "The Cage" on TOSR- Help me out here...the Keeper's voice

There was no such machine. Desilu hired real aliens. It was cheaper than renting the device.
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Old May 6 2009, 05:12 PM   #48
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Re: Just saw "The Cage" on TOSR- Help me out here...the Keeper's voice

gastrof wrote: View Post
There was no such machine. Desilu hired real aliens. It was cheaper than renting the device.

Desi Arnaz was the voice of the Keeper.
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Old May 6 2009, 05:44 PM   #49
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Re: Just saw "The Cage" on TOSR- Help me out here...the Keeper's voice

Praetor wrote: View Post
I really wonder what that machine was.
It was likely a tempophon (or similar device manufactured by a different company):
http://matrixsynth.blogspot.com/2007...tempophon.html

For details on how it works, see this link:
http://books.google.com/books?id=KMl...ound+tempophon

This link is also good, but there is a misspelling in the name:
http://www.sfu.ca/sonic-studio/handbook/Tempophone.html
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Old May 6 2009, 07:38 PM   #50
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Re: Just saw "The Cage" on TOSR- Help me out here...the Keeper's voice

GSchnitzer wrote: View Post
So, I still don't get how this 1966 "black box" worked, but I take Bob Justman at his word that there was indeed some large, clumsy, expensive tehcnology available to have changed the pitch of Malachi Throne's voice--and, off the top of my head, probably Cloud Williams' in "The Omega Glory" and Lt. Mira Romaine's in "The Lights of Zetar."
Cloud William? No, his voice doesn't sound artificially deepened; he's just a natural bass. Heck, Ted Cassidy had a deeper voice than that.

The other major example of pitch changing in TOS would be Professor Crater in "The Man Trap," whose dialogue was slowed or pitched down for a few moments after he was phaser-stunned.
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Old May 6 2009, 08:08 PM   #51
number6
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Re: Just saw "The Cage" on TOSR- Help me out here...the Keeper's voice

alchemist wrote: View Post
Praetor wrote: View Post
I really wonder what that machine was.
It was likely a tempophon (or similar device manufactured by a different company):
http://matrixsynth.blogspot.com/2007...tempophon.html

For details on how it works, see this link:
http://books.google.com/books?id=KMl...ound+tempophon

This link is also good, but there is a misspelling in the name:
http://www.sfu.ca/sonic-studio/handbook/Tempophone.html
That is pretty cool. I want one!!
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Old May 6 2009, 08:44 PM   #52
Praetor
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Re: Just saw "The Cage" on TOSR- Help me out here...the Keeper's voice

number6 wrote: View Post
alchemist wrote: View Post
Praetor wrote: View Post
I really wonder what that machine was.
It was likely a tempophon (or similar device manufactured by a different company):
http://matrixsynth.blogspot.com/2007...tempophon.html

For details on how it works, see this link:
http://books.google.com/books?id=KMl...ound+tempophon

This link is also good, but there is a misspelling in the name:
http://www.sfu.ca/sonic-studio/handbook/Tempophone.html
That is pretty cool. I want one!!
Me too! Thanks for posting that, alchemist.
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Old May 6 2009, 09:04 PM   #53
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Re: Just saw "The Cage" on TOSR- Help me out here...the Keeper's voice

Christopher wrote: View Post
GSchnitzer wrote: View Post
So, I still don't get how this 1966 "black box" worked, but I take Bob Justman at his word that there was indeed some large, clumsy, expensive tehcnology available to have changed the pitch of Malachi Throne's voice--and, off the top of my head, probably Cloud Williams' in "The Omega Glory" and Lt. Mira Romaine's in "The Lights of Zetar."
Cloud William? No, his voice doesn't sound artificially deepened; he's just a natural bass. Heck, Ted Cassidy had a deeper voice than that.

The other major example of pitch changing in TOS would be Professor Crater in "The Man Trap," whose dialogue was slowed or pitched down for a few moments after he was phaser-stunned.
In "The Omega Glory," in scene 155, Cloud William says "The fight is done when one is dead." This same scene appears in the "scenes from next week" trailer. But when this dialog is heard in the scenes from next week, the dialog is noticably higher in pitch than in the actual episode. We notice a pitch change on Professor Crater, of course, because we have two different pitches to compare. We don't really notice it on Cloud WIlliam/Roy Jenson, because we don't have two different pitches to compare--except that, thanks to the preview trailer, we actually do. I think Roy Jenson's dialog was deepened throughout the entire episode--but not in the preview trailer.
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Old May 6 2009, 10:25 PM   #54
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Re: Just saw "The Cage" on TOSR- Help me out here...the Keeper's voice

^What I mean is, I know what an artificially pitch-changed voice sounds like, the changes in echo duration and attack and decay and such that have been discussed above, and I've never noticed any such artificial-sounding qualities in Cloud William's voice. As far as I can recall, it sounds like a normal voice that happens to be deep.

Is it possible that the preview trailer simply used a different take where Jenson was using a higher voice for some reason? Are you sure the line has the same cadence and delivery?
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Old May 6 2009, 11:01 PM   #55
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Re: Just saw "The Cage" on TOSR- Help me out here...the Keeper's voice

I'm reasonably certain that I've ruled out all other possible explantions (e.g. a different take) for vocal pitch differences between the "scenes from next week" trailer and the actual episode--other than some intentional post-production pitch manipulation. But I welcome other sets of eyes on the preview trailer to see if it really is the same take, simply unmanipulated.
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Last edited by GSchnitzer; May 7 2009 at 03:59 AM.
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Old May 7 2009, 09:21 PM   #56
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Re: Just saw "The Cage" on TOSR- Help me out here...the Keeper's voice

GSchnitzer wrote: View Post
Well, I found this comment in Solow's and Justman's book Inside Star Trek: The Real Story:

"Later, while dubbing various episodes, we took reality one step beyond. We rented a special machine that was used to change the pitch of people's voices without affecting the speed of the sound track, thereby keeping the dialogue 'in sync' with the picture. Although the device was large, clumsy to handle, and expensive, it helped make alien humanoids sound as alien as they looked."

So, I still don't get how this 1966 "black box" worked, but I take Bob Justman at his word that there was indeed some large, clumsy, expensive tehcnology available to have changed the pitch of Malachi Throne's voice--and, off the top of my head, probably Cloud Williams' in "The Omega Glory" and Lt. Mira Romaine's in "The Lights of Zetar."
Short answer: April was right.

Just repeat that a few times, get used to the sound of it...
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Old May 7 2009, 09:36 PM   #57
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Re: Just saw "The Cage" on TOSR- Help me out here...the Keeper's voice

Captain Robert April wrote: View Post
GSchnitzer wrote: View Post
Well, I found this comment in Solow's and Justman's book Inside Star Trek: The Real Story:

"Later, while dubbing various episodes, we took reality one step beyond. We rented a special machine that was used to change the pitch of people's voices without affecting the speed of the sound track, thereby keeping the dialogue 'in sync' with the picture. Although the device was large, clumsy to handle, and expensive, it helped make alien humanoids sound as alien as they looked."

So, I still don't get how this 1966 "black box" worked, but I take Bob Justman at his word that there was indeed some large, clumsy, expensive tehcnology available to have changed the pitch of Malachi Throne's voice--and, off the top of my head, probably Cloud Williams' in "The Omega Glory" and Lt. Mira Romaine's in "The Lights of Zetar."
Short answer: April was right.

Just repeat that a few times, get used to the sound of it...
Nope. You said they ran it through a synth and a fender amp.

This device is neither. It is a tape based pitch manipulator.

You lose.....again.
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Old April 27 2010, 02:07 PM   #58
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Re: Just saw "The Cage" on TOSR- Help me out here...the Keeper's voice

gastrof wrote: View Post
HOW did they get recordings of the Keeper's voice from lines that were never recorded for the flashbacks?

Think they re-dubbed any lines that hadn't been redubbed back in the 60s, maybe using a sound-alike voice artist, or even a computerized voice imitation?
The voice of the keeper was done by actor Malachi Throne.
When footage of The Cage was used for the two part episode The Menagerie additional dialog for the Keeper needed to be recorded because the character addresses Captain Kirk by name. Throne was called in to reprise his voiceover and was also cast as Commodore Mendez (most likely a cost saving measure–two birds with one stone, so to speak). During post production it became obvious with repeated listening's of the audio track that the Keeper and the Mendez character's voice were done by the same actor. To solve this problem the recording of Throne's Keeper voice had its pitch changed.
Long before digital pitch shifters, there was the Eltro Information Rate Changer, a 1/4" tape machine with four play heads mounted on a rotating drum.

This not only solved the problem but had the serendipitous affect of making the voice of the Keeper sound more alien.
Click on Throne on the left to hear his unaltered voice. To the right of him click on the Keeper to hear how he voiced the character for The Cage. Next is how the Keeper's voice was altered for The Menagerie.
There is a photo of the Mark II Eltro Information Rate Changer hardware unit at the link below [thanks Capt.Mac].
http://www.startrekhistory.com/cagepage.html
and here is another very famous example of this analog audio processing tool used on a voice:
Well, if you've ever watched Kubrick's classic SF film, "2001 -- A Space Odyssey", you've heard the Eltro in action(!)
...here's how it happened...
In the film the role was voiced by Canadian actor, Douglas Rain, who was able to give a cool, detached -- yet feelingful duality to the character.
During the scene in which Dave (Keir Dullea) "lobotomizes" HAL, you'll easily hear how the tempo of Rain's voice becomes slowly expanded and pitch-shifted gradually downwards. Actually, his entire performance as HAL has a mild amount of time stretching (no alteration of pitch) going on, as Stanley confided to me. I told him I hadn't noticed it before, and he smiled: "it was about 10-20%, rather subtle." But that was enough to enhance Rain's performance with a slightly more measured quality. It's in the final HAL scene that the Eltro effect is cranked way up. "We did that in two passes", Kubrick quietly explained. One pass gradually dropped HALs pitch down to almost zero, remaining at a constant speed. The other pass gradually stretched it out in time, but not as extreme, as HAL sang "Daisy, Daisy" (Bicycle Built For Two by Harry Dacre). And indeed, you couldn't do this simply by slowing down a regular tape recording, as many pundits have since wrongly guessed (to reach the final low pitch, the tempo would crawl to a near-stop).
http://www.wendycarlos.com/other/Eltro-1967/index.html


GSchnitzer wrote: View Post
So, I still don't get how this 1966 "black box" worked, but I take Bob Justman at his word that there was indeed some large, clumsy, expensive tehcnology available to have changed the pitch of Malachi Throne's voice
answers below:
more tech info [PDF file] on the hardware unit:
http://www.wendycarlos.com/other/Elt...Eltro-1967.pdf

Last edited by jefferiestubes8; April 27 2010 at 02:25 PM.
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Old April 27 2010, 03:38 PM   #59
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Re: Just saw "The Cage" on TOSR- Help me out here...the Keeper's voice

Therin of Andor wrote: View Post
GSchnitzer wrote: View Post
If I have my facts correct, the Frankenstein version of "The Cage" was shown on television for the first time
No, the b/w & color compile was a direct-to-video release. Then the lost color negatives were found. Then the all-color restored version was aired on TV, as part of "From One Saga To the Next", to kick off Season 2 of TNG, and then was released on VHS.
I think, after reading this thread, they had all of them all along. They just suckered all of you into buying all of them over the years and took that $$$ and bought themselves cool new gadgets and things..

Rob
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Old April 27 2010, 06:04 PM   #60
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Re: Just saw "The Cage" on TOSR- Help me out here...the Keeper's voice

This was a pretty interesting thread. Thanks, guys, for all the info - and for debating it politely!

Speaking of voice pitch, what was up with Reger's voice in some scenes in "Return of the Archons"? It's way too high in the scene where 's escorting the landing party out of his rooming house and to a safe place. "They're in the body, it's Landru" and so on. Was that a bad dub or a different vocal actor altogether?
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