Keep those low vocal tones all day

Have you noticed that when you wake up in the morning, your voice sounds very warm, resonant and relaxed? That’s what happens when your body relaxes during sleep. But as your body “wakes up” as you begin your day, your voice tends to lose that nice warmth and low resonance.

This change in your vocal sound, or tone, is simply a physical reality that occurs because daily stress and tension will affect our voice.

So... how do we keep those low, resonant tones throughout the day - especially when we need that sound for a voiceover project we’ll be recording? The only real way to do this is to consciously focus on relaxing your body and vocal cords. There are several exercises in The Art of Voice Acting book that cover this. The "Yawn-sigh" is an excellent way to open the throat and relax the muscles of your vocal cords and neck. Head rolls and stretching will also help to keep you relaxed. However, even with these exercises, your natural voice during the day will be at a slightly higher pitch than when you first wake up in the morning.

You can help to compensate for the difference by using a microphone technique while recording. All cardioid (directional) microphones exhibit a property called "proximity effect." This simply means that as you move closer to a cardioid microphone, the lower frequencies are enhanced, or boosted. The result is a warmer, deeper tone. The other part of this mic technique is to speak at what's commonly called your "half-voice." So, instead of delivering your copy at full volume, reduce your volume to about half - and work closer to the mic.

One important note on working the mic up close: Be careful that you speak across the mic, and not directly into it. By speaking across the mic at about 2-inches away, you'll get a nice, rich, warm sound and you won't "pop" the mic with your breath. Speaking directly into the mic will produce many nasty "pops." If you are using a condenser mic, you'll get a richer sound than if using a dynamic mic. Condenser mics have a much faster response time and reproduce a wider frequency range than dynamic microphones.

 

 

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