[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: Own voice versus recorded voice perception

Hi Ben,

I agree that, to a certain extent, one's voice sounds different when
played back from a recording because the spectral composition of the
signal registered at the cochlea is quite different.  In particular, a
lot of low frequency content is lost en route to a recording device
and back.  One's recorded voice is not nearly as imposing as one's
genuine, head-rumbling voice, and one can't help but feel a little

That said, the difference that one perceives between his/her actual
voice and the recorded version is far more than a difference in sound.
 Consider, for example, what it feels like to clap your hands.  Then
consider what your clapping hands feel like when you are completely
still, not moving a muscle.  Were you to experience such a feeling,
the perceptual discrepancy would be undeniable, and most probably
somewhat unpleasant.  Feeling yourself clapping, when you are not in
fact clapping, is just plain strange.  I'd imagine that at some point
in the not too distant past, one would have reacted with similar
puzzlement upon sensing that his own voice had freed itself from his
articulatory control.


Date:    Thu, 9 Apr 2009 19:44:22 -0500
From:    "Hornsby, Benjamin Wade Young" <ben.hornsby@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
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


Theodore Moallem

Sensory Communication Group
Research Laboratory of Electronics at MIT
Graduate Program in Speech & Hearing Bioscience and Technology
Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology