Sinbad: The New Voyages is a series of collections of short stories and novellas based on the Arabian legend of Sinbad the Sailor. The exact origins of the stories of Sinbad's voyages is unclear, but Sinbad eventually made it into the 1001 Arabian Nights canon. Most people know Sinbad from the Ray Harryhausen stop-motion animation effects films of the mid-20th century, the animated shows, and the various other modern retellings. Sinbad: The New Voyages Volume 2 contains one novella and two short stories based on Harryhausen’s vision for Sinbad and his crew of warriors and mystics.
Here’s my writeup on the first volume in the series, which also explains how I developed the voices for all of the main characters that span all volumes.
For Volume 2, I developed one major new vocal effect: The Lich King. Obviously based on the famous villain from the later Warcraft games, it’s the most complex and nuanced effect I’ve yet created. It uses several tracks with varying pitch changes and echo/reverb configurations. Here’s a sample of the effect that I created while I was testing it, using dialogue from the World of Warcraft “Wrathgate” scene:
In the audiobook, I used this effect for Whiro, a djinni villain from “Sinbad and the Sword of Solomon,” the first and longest story in Volume 2. I used the same effects chain for the djinni in “Sinbad and the Golden Mask,” except instead of a raspy low-midrange Lich King voice, I started with the deepest, boomiest voice I could do.
There were few other new characters that had enough dialogue in the other two stories to mention. One is Ian, the British courier in the second story, “A Detour For Sinbad.” I used a voice similar to Thorn from Firsts, Baronet von Dracheburg from The Hero, and Venner from Deathwish World.
Persephone in “Sinbad and the Golden Mask” is one of my standard American female voices, but I added a multi-track pitch change to aurally establish her as supernatural, and applied reverse-reverb to the parts of her dialogue that were particularly angry. Here’s what it sounds like:
Zeus and Aries presented an interesting challenge because I didn’t want to do the same old “supernatural” effects chain for all three Greek gods, and since I already had lowered the pitch on Aries’ second track, I didn’t want to try to go even lower for Zeus, so I had to think of something else. My solution was to boost the bass and lower the pitch on Aries’ second track (that seemed fiery to me); and for Zeus I boosted the treble and left the pitch alone, which to me suggested a voice altered by sharp, crackly electricity.
There is a pirate captain in the third story that communicates with Sinbad via a speaking trumpet, which is the ye olde schule version of the bullhorn. After some consideration of what one’s voice would sound like when shouted through a cone at a distance of 100 yards, I applied Audacity’s “Telephone” EQ preset, then gave it some reverb.
Sinbad: The New Voyages Volume 2 is a lot of fun to listen to, but if you haven’t heard Volume 1 yet, then that is a better starting point than Volume 2. Here's a high-quality excerpt from the book’s featured story, "Sinbad and the Sword of Solomon:”