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Re: own voice versus recorded voice perception

Although it's attractive to concentrate explanations on bone- vs air- conduction, there are several other potentially significant factors, physical and psychological. On the physical end of things, in addition to what others have mentioned about the differences in frequency response for air vs bone conduction, there is the matter of binaural hearing vs a microphone. In fact, the experience of "I surely don't sound like that..." is mitigated when one hears a recording of oneself via a Soundfield microphone. with ambisonic playback. In the normal mono recording paradigm, signal content and the acoustic consequences of the environment ("what"and "where") are conflated; consequently, people are quite right when they say "that's not me".
Then, as Kevin has pointed out, there's the identity question. Although we're all quite used to seeing ourselves in mirrors, it's hardly a natural situation (indeed, look at people's faces when they look at themselves in the mirror - they have a special facial expression that no-one else ever sees) - many domestic pets find the mirror reflection as strange as we do in hearing our own voice. Yet we've had a lot longer to adapt to the notion of an 'image' of something than we have of a recording - oh, with the possible exception of an imitation (which, thinking about it, images actually are...). The "in-head" sound of one's own voice, admittedly substantially composed of bone-conducted sound sounds like "I", whereas "I-over-there", disembodied, sounds weird. I'd like to know if people have the same "that's not like me" reaction if they see and hear themselves...
Dr Peter Lennox
Director of Signal Processing and Applications Research Group (SPARG)
School of Technology,
Faculty of Arts, design and Technology
University of Derby, UK
e: p.lennox@xxxxxxxxxxx
t: 01332 593155
w: http://sparg.derby.ac.uk/SPARG/Staff_PLX.asp
From: AUDITORY - Research in Auditory Perception [AUDITORY@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Hornsby, Benjamin Wade Young [ben.hornsby@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx]
Sent: 10 April 2009 01:44
To: AUDITORY@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: own voice versus recorded voice perception

Hi All,
This is a bit of an odd request but I've been asked to comment on the question "Why does one’s voice sound different to them when they hear it played back from a recording? And why do people normally dislike the sound of their recorded voice?"
My own thoughts are that this has to do with the fact that we hear our own voice via a combination of air and bone conducted sound while the recorded voice would be via air conduction alone. I imagine there are some differences in the transmission characteristics of sound to the cochlea from the vocal folds via air versus the body that would also affect our perception of the sound of our voice.
That said, I did a quick search and didn't find any published research (plenty of speculation similar to mine) discussing this topic and was hoping some one might point me to some relevant references. Any help is greatly appreciated.

Take Care,

Ben Hornsby

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