[M.A.P.L.E. IV-13] Your own voice

Welcome to Never A Worry–Multimedia Edition!

The world is full of aural cues and stimuli. I’ll list a few based on what I heard when I was writing this post, or what came to mind: the white noise of fans. Trains rumbling on the tracks. The tick-a-tap-a-tick-a-tap-a of the keyboard. The dull roar of conversation in your surroundings. The soft high-pitched sound of a TV or computer screen. Other peoples’ voices.

As it turns out, at least in my experience, each of these sounds essentially the same whether you hear it directly, or whether you hear it on recording.

Continuing with the front matter of this post, I’d like to thank Alienora for the idea of this post. She had done some video recordings of her reading excerpts from her books on YouTube (I guess this constitutes this an Unpaid Sponsored Paragraph!) and had posted a reflection about the process on her blog.

Indeed, it is much different listening to words (particularly your own) versus reading them. However, my post wants to focus on something more easily heard: VOICES!

For a long time, I have not minded hearing my own voice when speaking with someone. I do not intentionally try to talk so as to hear it, but my own voice (live) is something that is “just there.”

BUT… if I hear my own voice on recording, I (used to) cringe! I like to think that my speech patterns are continuous and non-choppy based on what I hear in “live” conversation (including talking to myself… ha!) Although I have been described as having a “perfectly articulated monotone,” my perception is that I can vary the tone of my voice. But, when I hear it on recording, I hear something which sounds quite disjointed, with certain speech impediments, unnatural pauses or gaps in words, and I hate to say it, but I think it makes me sound juvenile or unintelligent.

Well, I found an article from Marquette University that offers an explanation. When a person talks, the external sound waves that come from a person’s mouth are what anyone can perceive. However, the producer also receives a signal from the vibration in the throat, which creates an internal signal that only the producer can hear.

It reminds me of once in fifth grade, when one of my classmates was speaking on a recording of something that we did in class (the specifics I cannot remember at this point).  To me, it sounded just like how he sounded in the flesh, but he said that it sounded nothing like his voice.

Returning to the claim that I made at the end of my cynical paragraph, the voice that I hear on recording is much closer to what others hear from me. They have complimented my voice, calling it “distinctive” and “easy to listen to” or “pleasant.” Maybe it’s just me being too critical of myself, like I tend to be in other arenas!

The happy news is that I have become much more tolerant of my voice on recording. Exhibit A: I can listen to my “Bad Impressions” recording without driving up a wall.

Exhibit B follows:

“Dempster is next. Doors open on the right at Dempster. Standing passengers, please do not lean against the doors. Leaning against the doors is a one-thousand point penalty.”

(The last sentence in that statement is my own silliness being added, obviously.)

Now that I think about it, I could see why my family and some of my friends think that I would be a good voice-over person. You never know… there’s no reason that I should limit myself in this job search!

However, so that I don’t drive myself crazy on said search, time for a fun evening activity…



Today is the thirteenth day of the fourth round of M.A.P.L.E. That makes one week and six days.

היום תשעה ושלושים יום–שהם חמישה שבועות וארבעה ימים לעומר

The countdown to “D-Day” is 19 days.

blog signature


4 thoughts on “[M.A.P.L.E. IV-13] Your own voice

  1. This is great, Noah – really interesting both to read and to listen to. I never knew the bit about external sound waves and internal signals – amazing! – but it makes a lot of sense to me. Many thanks for the mention, and for being one of the few people who pronounces my name correctly. You sound great! x


    • Science is an amazing thing, even when it explains something that is negative to you.

      Do you have difficulty accepting your voice on recording versus what you hear from your own combination of internal and external signals?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Interesting question, Noah: sometimes, I cringe at both; other times, I feel confident that my voice, though not perfect by any manner of means, represents the inner Ali well to the outside world. In some ways I am easier with the recorded version because, although it IS me, it also could be one of my sisters (we sound identical!) so there is that distancing factor going on! x


      • Interesting. Indeed, when on recording, I think my voice sounds more like my brother’s, but when I hear myself, it sounds distinct. Yet, I still associate it with me.


Let's have a conversation!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s