Writing a movie? Need a mechanical-sounding voice for your robot? Voice actors are so ''difficult''. What if there was something easier?

A Synthetic Voice Actor (or a [[JustForPun synthespian]]) is a synthetic voice program that voices a character. It's not used a lot, especially when union rules would make that difficult. It's usually used for extremely robotic voices, or a CaptainErsatz of StephenHawking. It more commonly springs up in AbridgedSeries and {{machinima}}, partly to get extra voices, and partly because of RuleOfFunny. When used against human actors, it tends to make the speaker seem inhuman — in more serious works, it's used for threatening robotic characters, usually. Compare the computer voice on the [[Franchise/StarTrek Enterprise]] (real person) to [[WesternAnimation/{{WALL-E}} AUTO]] (not a real person).

This trope may not apply to [[http://www.cepstral.com/ Cepstral voices]], or to programs like Voicestitcher (thevoiceplanet.com is down indefinitely).

Compare MachineMonotone, VirtualCelebrity, AutoTune.

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!!Examples:

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[[folder: Anime ]]

* The episode title announcer in ''Anime/SerialExperimentsLain'' was a [[AppleMacintosh Macintosh]] program named [=PlainTalk=] (often falsely called "Whisperer" because of its "Whisper" voice mode).

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Film ]]

* They planned to do this to make the Voice of God in ''WesternAnimation/ThePrinceOfEgypt'', but after discovering a lot of really good demonic voices they just [[TalkingToHimself used Val Kilmer for both Moses and God]].
* ''Film/BackToTheFuture Part II'' used Creative's [=TextAssist=] for the voice of the self-drying jacket and the future [=McFly=]'s house.
* ''Film/ShortCircuit'' likewise used [=TextAssist=] for the voice of the robots, ''except'' for Johnny 5, who was dubbed by a voice actor to show that he really had emotions.
* ''Film/BillAndTedsBogusJourney'' used the {{Amiga}} speech synthesizer for the voices of the good Bill and Ted robots.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* The Cylons in the 1978 original ''Series/{{Battlestar Galactica|Classic}}'' series spoke this way (human actors run through a synthesizer).
* ''Series/DoctorWho'': TheBBC originally considered doing this for the Daleks, but with 1963 technology, they could have done only 45 seconds of dialogue this way, so they used a human voices filtered through a ring modulator.
** It's actually pretty easy to duplicate the Dalek voices. Record your voice with Dalek speech-patterns, over-amplify it to add clipping distortions(sometimes people, including the producers back in the day, often tend to forget this, oddly enough), then run the results through a ring modulator plugin using 20-40Hz for the frequency of the modulation.
** In a half-way example of this, the BBC did the Cyberman voices for most of the 1960s by having a human actor use an electrolarynx (an artificial throat-vibrating device for people who had lost their larynx to cancer or injury, now rarely heard outside ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark''). Later versions simply had an actor's voice run through a ring modulator with a different setting to what was used for the Daleks.
** The Daleks, also, do not have mechanical voices, only voices that ''sound'' mechanical. A truly mechanical voice would probably be one-note-just-like-this, but Daleks have a cadence to their voices, and they also go "EX-TER-MI-NATE! EX-TER-MI-''NAAAAATE!''" with each intonation rising in pitch and volume. They look like tin cans, but they have some powerful emotion inside them.
* The person with [[AndIMustScream Locked-In Syndrome]] in ''Series/{{Scrubs}}'', too.

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[[folder: Music ]]

* The Music/{{Radiohead}} song "Fitter Happier" is "sung" by Mac [=PlainTalk=].
* Ken Leavitt-Lawrence, better known as MC Hawking, who uses a text-to-speech program to do parody-gangster rap under the guise of Stephen Hawking himself.
* Music/{{Kraftwerk}} may have been the pioneers of using this trope in music.
* Music/{{Erasure}}'s cover of "Video Killed The Radio Star" was "sung" by the keyboardist's laptop, since the human singer refused to sing it.
* The entire point of the Music/{{Vocaloid}} series. They still have human voice sources, though; the only exception is Defoko, the default voice of [=UTAU=], who is sourced from a program called [=AquesTalk=].
* Apoptygma Berzerk's Kathy's Song has the chorus sung by the Mac text-to-speech Kathy voice. Of course, the song is essentially an [[RoboSexual exchange between the singer and his computer]]. It's awesome.
* [[IAmSong My. Name. Is.]] Music/{{Skrillex}}.
* Music/CamperVanBeethoven's version of "Sisters Of The Moon" by Music/FleetwoodMac has a text-to-speech program reciting the lyrics (and also throwing in seemingly arbitrary quotes from Pindar, Creator/WilliamShakespeare, and ''ThisIsSpinalTap''). As with Erasure's "Video Killed The Radio Star" cover, this was done because no one in the band wanted to sing it.
* The voice of the fictional singer Lumi of the Genki Rockets is thought to be either synthesized or a composite of Rachel Rhodes and Nami Miyahara.
* Elise's singing voice in Music/SoundHorizon's "Märchen" was created using the Hatsune Miku Music/{{Vocaloid}} software, with Revo's reasoning being that it made sense for a CreepyDoll to have an artificial voice. Her speaking voice, on the other hand, is provided by Fujita Saki (aka, the original source for Miku's voice).
* Assemblage 23's "Automaton" uses a vocoder (which he rarely uses) to complement [[CyberneticsEatYourSoul the song's subject]].
* Mind.in.a.box's "Change", "8 Bits", "I Love 64" and "Unknown" have synthetic female vocals, or at least highly vocoderized male vocals.
* Music/{{Beck}}'s [[http://youtu.be/qGUPXKG935c "Ghettochip Malfunction (Hell Yes)"]] has a deep synthetic voice echoing some of the lyrics.
* Overlaps with CelebrityVoiceActor: Stephen Hawking lent his voice to "Keep Talking" on Music/PinkFloyd's "The Division Bell."
--> It doesn't have to be like this. All we need to do is make sure we keep talking.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Video Games ]]

* The ''VideoGame/{{Portal}}'' [[VideoGame/{{Portal2}} series]] is an aversion of this, since its evil [=AIs=] are voiced by humans (heavily edited in post-production, but humans nonetheless).
** The results of running the text of [=GLaDOS=]'s lines through a text to speech program were actually used to coach actress EllenMcLain with regard to giving [=GLaDOS=] her distinctive voice in ''Portal''.
** However, fan-made mods can't afford Ellen's voice (though, once people ''did'' think of asking her), hence, they use voice synthesizing programs for their [=GLaDOS=]es and [=AIs=] (dependent on the story for the mod).
** This only becomes apparent in ''[[VideoGame/PortalPrelude Portal: Prelude,]]'' whose main gimmick is that the test supervisors were human, rather than an AI. So of course the voices were done in a text-to-speech program.
*** It was done because the creators of ''Prelude'' were French and weren't very fluent in spoken English. They couldn't find voice actors in the timeframe in which they wanted to develop the game.
*** This becomes especially awkward towards the end of the game after [[spoiler: [=GLaDOS=] is turned on for the first time, and she uses her sound files from the main Portal game, mixed with synthesized voices. So we have a robot that sounds more human than the humans do, and uses two personalities at once.]]
*** For those of you keeping track: Portal's supervisors are robots voiced by humans imitating robots imitating humans, while Prelude's supervisors are humans voiced by robots imitating humans.
* ''{{Beatmania}} IIDX 15: DJ TROOPERS'' used Microsoft Sam for the "[[{{Engrish}} Enemy Plane Appoach]]" voice in the music used for AttractMode and some of the menus.
* Deliberately used ''badly'' in ''TimeFcuk''—the main character's voice is barely even comprehensible, and definitely doesn't sound human. It's not quite certain why this is—perhaps the RuleOfScary, or a deliberate attempt to "[[TheEveryman anonymize]]" him?
** If you listen closely, the main character talks exactly how it is written.
* The voice of Byte from ''[[VideoGame/TronTwoPointOh Tron 2.0]]'' is actually a voice of [=MacinTALK=].
* ''VideoGame/ImpossibleMission'' on the Commodore 64: "Another visitor? Stay awhile. [[PunctuatedForEmphasis Stay FOREVER]]!"
* Microsoft Sam and Mary appear chanting the name and motto of the Wii party game, ''Let's Tap'' in the game's theme tune. [[EarWorm Yes, really.]]
* The Intellivision's Intellivoice module.
* The ''HouseOfTheDead'' series used these in the first two games. Which, of course, made for some hilariously emotionless bits of drama. As well as the infamous "Suffer like G did?"
* ''MoonbaseAlpha'' has this for players. This leads to [[MemeticMutation notorious]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hv6RbEOlqRo griefing possibilities]].
* ''VideoGame/AnimalCrossing'' uses a simple voice synthesizer to speak the text, very quickly. Characters even add the proper inflection if a sentence ends with a question mark. It's fairly unintelligible if you try to listen to it, but in the original Japanese it works a lot better.
* ''VideoGame/QBert'' uses a Votrax voice synthesizer chip[[note]]Also used in their pinball machines such as [[Pinball/BlackHole]][[/note]] to supply the voices of the various characters. Unfortunately, the chip used couldn't produce coherent phrases[[note]]Well, actually it could, but it mostly wasn't good enough for what they were looking for. Q*Bert himself does say one phrase when the machine is turned on: "Hello, I am turned on". He also says "Bye-bye!" after the player enters their initials on the high score list.[[/note]], so the designers decided to go the other direction and have the characters speak a StarfishLanguage.
* Zimos in ''SaintsRowTheThird'' speaks with an {{AutoTune}}d electronic voice box.
* Creator/{{Stern}}'s ''VideoGame/{{Berzerk}}'' is likely the UrExample for video games. It was either this game, or Creator/{{Midway}}'s VideoGame/Wizard of Wor; both were released the same year (1980).
* The Remnant Psyches in ''{{Killer7}}'' all use text-to-speech voices. In the original Japanese, [[http://youtu.be/iwre4JstX_A they're speaking slightly-hard-to-make-out-but-still-understandable]] GratuitousEnglish, but in the English dub, everything they say is run through extra audio filters to [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YwQSXqg348c&t=1m2s make them]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SjIca60-QRU&t=0m42s more incomprehensible.]]
* As an AprilFoolsDay joke, Four Leaf Studios [[http://katawashoujo.blogspot.com/2009/04/technology-prevails.html announced]] that ''VisualNovel/KatawaShoujo'' will be fully voiced thanks to voice synthetisation technology.
* The 2013 ''RiseOfTheTriad'' reboot uses the same synthesizer as ''MoonbaseAlpha'' for it's text chat in multiplayer. Many of the memes follow suit.
* The fan-made Yukkuris in the ''VideoGame/{{Touhou}}'' franchise tend to be voiced like this.
* ''VideoGame/TomodachiLife'' has this for every character, and lets you customize the voice using various sliders. The difficulty of getting the text-to-speech working in languages other than Japanese was responsible for slowing down the game's western release.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Web Animation ]]

* In her early design, Rya from ''WebAnimation/BonusStage'' was voiced by a Macintosh text-to-speech synthesizer, but later went on to just having a robot-sounding voice.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Web Original ]]

* The Hymn of None in ''WebVideo/LG15TheResistance''.
* Gary [[spoiler:aka Gamma]], the AI/computer from ''Machinima/RedVsBlue''.
** He regularly appears as the announcer for the Red Vs. Blue theory discussion podcast, Let's Figure This Out Shizno.
* Since Creator/DougWalker was traumatized into muteness by the terrible, terrible movie,[[note]][[WrittenInInfirmity actually a throat infection]][[/note]] WebVideo/TheNostalgiaCritic is forced to review ''Film/AloneInTheDark2005'' through Speakonia. At least [[WebVideo/AtopTheFourthWall Linkara]] and [[WebVideo/TheSpoonyExperiment Spoony]] are there to help.
* Pollo of ''WebVideo/AtopTheFourthWall''
* That's the primary trait of WebVideo/{{IGSRJ}}, courtesy of Loquendo.
* The titular Gantz in hbi2k's ''WebVideo/GantzAbridged''.
* The Rito in a ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTheWindWaker'' [[TheAbridgedSeries abridged series]].
* The judge in an ''AceAttorneyAbridged'' series uses a Spanish voice program.
* There's an audio file kicking around the Internet called "Text-to-Speech Theatre Does '[[ComicBook/ChickTracts Dark Dungeons]]'."
* The eponymous characters and Cortana of ''ArbyNTheChief''.
* WebVideo/BarneyBunch videos use Speakonia for every character.
* From the amount of Loquendo videos on Website/YouTube, you'd imagine half of Latin America's a robot.
* {{Anonymous}}, for obvious reasons, uses a text-to-speech software for their Youtube videos.
* WebVideo/TheFanFictionCritic has a software called Diane that reads the excerpts from the fanfiction she reviews.
* "[[VideoGame/ZeroWing All your base, your base]] / [[StupidStatementDanceMix base, base]] / [[MemeticMutation All your base...]] [[AllYourBaseAreBelongToUs Are belong to us]]"
* The entire premise of ''WebVideo/MicrosoftSamReadsFunnyWindowsErrors'' is having these [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin (usually Microsoft Sam)]] read... [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin funny Windows errors]]. However, it is subverted at one point where one error is read out by creator Thunderbirds101 himself.
* ''WebAnimation/RatboyGenius'' uses them for every character.
** Except Happyman, Green Monster, the Summer Solstice Baby, and all characters in the Red Planet and Galactic Superheroes series, which are all creator Ryan Dorin's voice heavily pitch-shifted and in many cases [[Auto-Tune autotuned]].
* The [[HeManWomanHater anti-MRA]] video "[[http://vimeo.com/64941331 But I'm A Nice Guy!]]" uses this for the StrawMisogynist main character.
* Android 19 in ''WebVideo/DragonBallZAbridged'' is voiced by a text-to-speech program (except for a single line that required a less monotone delivery).
* Puppycat of ''WebAnimation/BeeAndPuppycat'' is voiced by the Music/{{Vocaloid}} Oliver.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* H.E.L.P.eR. from ''WesternAnimation/TheVentureBrothers'' is voiced by something called "Soul-Bot", which processes Chris [=McCulloch=]'s "eep!" noises into electronic beeps and boops.
* AUTO from ''WesternAnimation/{{WALL-E}}''. As if there weren't enough Apple references in the movie already, the voice is [[UsefulNotes/MacOS Mac OSX's]] own [=MacinTALK=]. Similarly, M-O's "Foreign Contaminant" is provided by [=PlainTalk=].
* The titular robot in ''WhateverHappenedToRobotJones'' originally used [=MacinTalk=] Junior, credited as "Himself", but later switched to a synthesized human voice, and they even redubbed the earlier episodes with the real actor.
* Compuhorse from ''{{Spliced}}''
* Post-''ReBoot'' CGI series called either ''War Planets'' or ''Shadow Raiders'' had Princess Tekla (from the robot planet)'s companion device voiced by [=MacinTalk=].
* Creator/FrankWelker used one to voice Soundwave from ''{{Transformers}}'', which is basically his [[InspectorGadget Dr. Claw]] voice as heard in one episode where they forgot to use it.
** On the other hand, ''[[TransformersAnimated Animated]]'' Perceptor's voice is completely synthetic, and probably so to bring to mind Professor Stephen Hawking. One of the writers has suggested that he "deleted his emotions and personality" to make room for more data, though (like many an "emotionless" character), [[TinMan he certainly seems to have both]], if understated.
** Soundwave, in fact, doesn't really count as this; although Frank's voice is run through a vocoder, it is still his voice behind it all, and in cases where Soundwave is voiced by a synthesized voice (which mostly occurs in parodic works), it sounds much different. Sadly, we don't have a trope for him, so he's staying here.
* Steve the Disabled Professor (a StephenHawking stand-in) in ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' also used Macintalk. Ironically, three episodes also had animated [[SesameStreetCred cameo appearances]] by the real Stephen Hawking.
* That locomotive from ''Disney/{{Dumbo}}'', despite being male according to the song "Casey Junior", is actually voiced by a woman, as revealed in ''Disney/TheReluctantDragon''.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheBOTSMaster'' used a synthesized voice for the evil Corp's robots, while the BOYZZ were all voiced by real actors. This was done to show that the BOYZZ were more human than their soulless corporate adversaries. To be exact, Creative Labs'[[note]]Best known for their "Sound Blaster" line of PC sound cards.[[/note]] Dr. Sbaitzo program is used.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Real Life ]]

* NOAA Weather Radio went to all-synthetic voices in the late '90s. Most stations have one male and one female synthetic voice.
* Surprisingly, [[AppleMacintosh Siri]] averts this - voice actress Susan Bennett spent five hours a day for four weeks voicing seemingly random words for [=ScanSoft=] (the company behind Siri's technology), who then sliced them up to form the phonemes and intonations that the search engine uses.
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