The 'Does my voice really sound ...'thread

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by DeathStar1, May 24, 2006.

  1. DeathStar1

    DeathStar1 Producer

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    I want it proven that a video camcorder alters the sound of your voice intentionally so it sounds bad [​IMG]..

    I think it sounds OK IRL, and it'll sound OK if I control the pitch on camera, but if I don't and just talk regularly, it sounds horrible on playback...

    It's a conspiracy I tells ya [​IMG]
     
  2. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    When you hear your voice on film (or CD, or whatever), you're not hearing it in your head. That's why it sounds so different.
     
  3. Jason Hughes

    Jason Hughes Supporting Actor

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    I hate this too. The way I hear my voice, it would be a cool radio sounding DJ-type voice. Very suave [​IMG]. The way it really is has probably scarred me for life. [​IMG]

    I like Neils conspiracy theory!
     
  4. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    Yeah I sound cool in my head but like a geek in real life [​IMG]

    But for some odd reason, when I sing I sound pretty good (and pretty close to what I hear in my head).

    It's just talking that is the problem. So maybe I'll just sing from now on...
     
  5. Greg_S_H

    Greg_S_H Executive Producer

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    Or maybe we all sound just fine to others, but not to ourselves. I know I've been freaked out and depressed after hearing my voice on tape, but others say, "You're crazy. It's fine." Maybe they're just being charitable. [​IMG]
     
  6. Ravi K

    Ravi K Supporting Actor

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    This is why I avoid being videotaped (and photographed, but that's another thread) if I can.
     
  7. Greg_S_H

    Greg_S_H Executive Producer

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    No way, Ravi. All of us in this thread cannot sound bad. I'm leaning towards, "Don't sweat it. You're cool." The head of a game company did a internet radio interview, and he said the same thing. "I'm so embarrassed by how bad I sound." He sounded like a completely normal guy.

    I'm not one to talk, though, because about two Christmases ago, I heard myself and literally didn't want to talk above a whisper for days.
     
  8. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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    I have a horrendous speaking voice which also sounds perfectly suave in my head.
    I was mostly deaf for some key development years. The result is a less obvious version of that "not quite there" sound you get with deaf adults. I've run into the occasional person that has treated me a bit like I was retarded at first as a result.
    If I have to present a speech or something of that nature, I practice by recording myself with a microphone and working out my listing to the recordings how it should sound. By this method I am able to talk like the voice in my head for limited stretches of time.
     
  9. MichaelBA

    MichaelBA Supporting Actor

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    Physiologically, how much do you hear your own voice "in" your head? What's the nature of the change as far as can be verified scientifically?
     
  10. DeathStar1

    DeathStar1 Producer

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    When you hear your voice on film (or CD, or whatever), you're not hearing it in your head. That's why it sounds so different.>>>

    Too add to that...or detract from it...
    How come everyone elses voice sounds normal on tape but mine? [​IMG]
     
  11. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    I ain't no scientist [​IMG] but when you speak, the vibrations are going through your head whereas, when you hear yourself on tape, you're solely listening with your ears. There's a BIG difference in tonality when you hear sounds in your head.

    For example, being in a band, our singer has to use specialized ear plugs. If she uses regular ear plugs, the plugs will actually effect the way she hears the music and (I don't know the scientific explanation) her ear bones will interpret it differently, thus she will sing at a different pitch (making her sound bad).

    I'll have to do some searching for the scientific explanation, but I do know that it is a fact that sounds inside your head are a lot different than sounds that are outside of your head.


    EDIT: I did see a lot of singing threads and they all seem to say the same thing. When you speak, you're hearing your voice through the bones and tissues in your head. That's why it sounds different in a recording. Like I said, you're only hearing it with your ears at that point.
     
  12. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    I know you were joking, but my explanation is the reason. Your voice only sounds different to you. Everyone else will hear your voice (on the recording) the same as they hear it when you speak it yourself (because they only hear your voice with their ears).
     
  13. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    I'm no scientist, but here's what I understand:

    You hear via a few ways, but the most prominent two are this:

    1. Through your ear/ear canal (the hairs responding to sounds taken in from the ear via waves of sound travelling through the air).

    2. Bone transduction (I believe that's what it's called)--vibrations through the bones in your skull/jaw/ear. Both are picked up and translated by your brain into sounds.

    Now everyone else sounds normal on tape because tape picks up the sounds via the air. You hear everyone else's voice through the air. That's a match.

    However you primarily hear your own voice (emanating from inside of your head/throat) through bone transduction. Most of the sound of your voice your brain interprets is through that, and not through the air. The interpretation of those sounds (through the transduction method) is different from the way you perceive what you hear through your ears. An ENT will be better to explain why, but it just happens.

    But when you hear your voice played back, you're hearing it from "outside of yourself" and not through the normal route of bone transduction. Hence the difference.

    However I think when I sing I sound okay to myself because 1) I often sing loud enough to hear my voice bounce off of walls/car windshield/mic'd and PA'd back to me/ to hear what I sound like through the air. That's why there is a world of difference for singers when they are working with a PA or an in-ear monitor vs. without. When they can hear themselves sing they sound a lot better.

    Just my personal theories based on limited (and probably faulty) research.
     
  14. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    Nah, if you read my posts, I've heard the same thing and I've also heard sound engineers talk about it as well, so it's a pretty solid fact.

    Like I said with our singer. If she uses regular ear plugs (that hide most of the sound that she picks up through her ears), she won't sing on key with the band because she is now hearing her voice through her head bones. This makes it hard for her to sing in key because she is matching her 'inner voice' to the outer music. Without being able to hear her voice through the P.A. speakers, she's only able to match what she hears in her head with the music.

    The bones in your head (and ear) definitely do a lot to change pitch and frequency.

    For instance, let's say you sing a "G", you'll hear it as a "G" through your ears, but through your head bones, there will be some frequency distortion and you'll probably hear it more like a "G flat" - That's why you can't wear ear plugs that completely cut out outside sound. What will happen is, you'll raise your pitch to compentsate and while you'll hear a "G" in your head, you'll actually be singing a "G#".
     
  15. MichaelBA

    MichaelBA Supporting Actor

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    So, just based on these anecdotal observations here, is pitch the central difference between what you hear in your head and what you hear recorded?

    If you electronically manipulated your recorded voice to change the pitch, experimented enough, would you be able to approximate artificially what you hear in your head naturally?
     
  16. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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  17. Russell G

    Russell G Fake Shemp

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    I always use a deeper voice when being recorded. Not Barry White deep (unless I'm lookin' to impress), but a little deeper than normal. I also purposely talk a little slower. It really makes a difference. Normally I sound all mush mouthed and a little fey.
     
  18. DeathStar1

    DeathStar1 Producer

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    Might also explain why you automatically talk louder when wearing earphones, even though you have it at a low volume [​IMG].
     
  19. Rain

    Rain Producer

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    I've never much liked my voice on tape, but oddly it's one of the things I'm complemented on most often. [​IMG]

    And if you are unhappy with your voice, it's pretty easy to change it. Just practice talking more like the way you want to sound, be conscious of it, and eventually it becomes habit.

    This is no different than say moving to England and slowly starting to talk with a hint of an accent. It's quite unconscious and happens all the time.

    I once met a guy who sounded exactly like Mickey Mouse. I ran into him again a few years later and he sounded fine. I asked him what happened and all he did was practice talking differently until it became habit.
     
  20. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

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    The reasons for the difference are pretty clear, different pathways/medium through which the sound propagates. No differrent than hearing underwater vs outside.

    Now what I find interesting is that the reaction to one's recorded voice is universally negative. Why is the recorded voice always considered worse than one's "internal" voice? (in quotes because what you hear when you talk is of course a mix of both).

    More, none of this accounts for the other, perhaps more unsettling perceived differences between the record and the "internal" voice: speech patterns. Apparently, I talk very deliberately - certainly not what I hear.

    The most distressing thing when hearing that strange voice is realizing that other people you know on the tape sound like they always do face to face, leading to the inevitable conclusion that this horrible voice is what everyone (but you) hears when you open your mouth.

    Absolutely. It is no different than manipulating the sound for some other purpose.

    --
    H
     

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