Official Response to ‘Transformers 2’ Critics over Soundwave’s Voice

I keep seeing repeated fan criticism on forums, Facebook, and even via e-mail queries over why Frank Welker‘s voice for Soundwave in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen sounds like his voice for Dr. Claw (from Inspector Gadget) rather than the vocoder sound effect that was applied to his voice in the original 80’s Transformers animated series.

This very question was posed to TF 2 producer Lorenzo Di Bonaventura, Visual Effects Supervisor Scott Farrar (ILM), and Screenwriters Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman in an interview by shortly before the film premiered:

Q: I was really happy to see [Soundwave] in the movie and that Frank Welker came back for it. I was curious why you didn’t go the whole 9 yards with it?

SCOTT: Those were the ideas that Michael wrestled with. I think it’s probably screen time that has a lot to do with it. It just had to move forward with the storytelling and that’s what happens.

LORENZO: The problem is there are so many fans and so many different characters they want and so you can only service each one of them so much. Each time we were hoping to expand the number of characters and that’s really the goal there and we try to be as true as we can to it.

KURTZMAN: You’re talking about the voice specifically? We actually tried it and we had his voice like that for a long time and what we found in the mix was that it was almost impossible to understand what he was saying so we ended up having to filter it.

Previous Frank Welker news: 6.30.2009 — Rew Rooby-Roo Ru-Ray Reatures Rank Relker!


2 Responses to Official Response to ‘Transformers 2’ Critics over Soundwave’s Voice

  1. ShadowWing Tronix says:

    As I’m sure you know, Craig (but for any readers who don’t), Welker actually used his “Dr. Claw” voice in the first place in the original series, before the vocal effects were put in.

    • In hindsight, I can see my article didn’t quite clarify that point. Thanks for pointing it out.

      There were a couple episodes in the G1 series where the vocoder effect was accidentally left off Frank’s voice during post. I remember hearing those back then and thinking ‘what the crap happened’?

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