Has this ever happened to you? Have you ever a recorded your own voice and when you play it back, you think “Yuck! Do I really sound like that?” Well here is why this this so!
Most people say a recording of their voice sounds higher and thinner than the way they hear themselves when they speak. So why does it sound this way? As a voice talent, I encounter this myself. And because this question comes up quite often, I did some research to find out why. The simple explanation is that we do not hear ourselves talk with the same process that we use to hear other people talk.
The Path Less Traveled Makes All The Difference
When someone else talks, the sound of their voice leaves their mouth, travels through the air, and goes into your ears. It’s a very simple pathway. The sound of your own voice however gets to your ears through two different pathways. Not only does the sound of your voice travel through the air from your mouth to your ears, but it also travels to your ears via another route.
When you speak, your voice box isn’t the only organ that vibrates. Your ribs vibrate, the organs in your chest vibrate, your skull vibrates, your sinus cavities resonate, and even the fluid in your brain and spine vibrates.
These vibrations are carried through the bones in your body to the auditory ossicle, or ear bone, which is the hammer, anvil, and stirrup you learned about in grade school. This is also called the middle ear, and it transmits the sounds to the inner ear, which then carries the nerve impulses to the brain via the cochlear nerve.
Because the speed of sound through air is about 16 times slower than the speed of sound through solids (like your bones,) the sound of your own voice reaches your ears at two different times. The sound traveling through your bones gets there first, and the sound traveling through the air gets there a fraction of a second later. This results in phase distortion, which is really too complicated to go into here, especially because it’s not the #1 reason your recorded voice sounds different from what you hear when you talk.
So What Can We Do About It?
Honestly? About all you can do is get used to it. But if you absolutely can’t stand the sound of your own voice (or your regional accent,) then hire a professional voice talent.
Advances in technology mean that today, anybody can download Audacity for free, plug a USB mic into a computer, and record voiceovers. This doesn’t make them a professional voice talent, however. Buying a microphone and editing software doesn’t make someone a good voice talent however it helps to improve the output.
Do you want to receive Personal Mastery training? Contact us today and discover the training, certifications and courses we are offering, by visiting our website www.lgit.co.za. Article first published on eLearningIndustry.com