Voice Madlib

When I initially hear my recorded voice, I giggle. One of the most important qualities of my
voice timbre (its sonic quality) is monotone. And, as I hear my story on the recording, my voice like
the monotone remained very level and consistent. When I told my story and recorded my voice
sitting with poor posture on my couch, and (or but) I can perceive this embodiment in my voice.
When I related my story, I told it with extremely relaxed and lackadaisical
There are some fundamental qualities that come out when I hear my recording. I feel that my
voice expresses gender, age, physical size, sobriety, from norcal. Does not indicate occupation or
education smoker or sexual orientation. My reaction to having my voice represent these elements
include i think my voice is an accurate repersentation of myself however the key monotone element
perhaps paints me more boring than i would prefer.
Sometimes, when I’m speaking to others I worry that I mumble or that I miss words. When I’m
in a more intimate situation (say speaking to one or just two people) I try to modulate my voice by If it
is someone i'm very close to like a friend I’m much more open with my voice and not trying to prepare
it as much. When I have to speak in front of a group or larger crowd, I tend to be more deliberate
2with my breaths and conscience of my speed my voice because I often feel in control if prepared or its
spontaneous but petrified if I’m not prepares in this situation.
If I could change something about my voice, it would be a better singer.

Listening to Voices

Part 1:

For this first part of your assignment, you will listen in on a recorded spoken voice.  Please find something that interests you, but be sure it is audio only (no video if possible). This could be an interviewer, someone on a podcast, an audiobook narrator, etc. 

This exercise will work best if you don’t really know well the speaker you are listening to, or if they are a bit anonymous to you.

Please listen to your selected example for at least 5 full minutes.  Then, take time to answer the following questions (you can type your answers directly onto this document):

1. What is the first thing that jumps out to you when listening to this voice?

his sss sound and how each word is very clear and isolated. evenly paced

2. How would define the speaker’s voice timbre? (not how loud/soft, or how high/low, but how would define its sonic quality; light, flat, mellow, nasal, etc)

hissing with a hint of nasal snare and very clear

3. Using the table (1.1) of the Kreiman and Sidtis Reading, make a list of judgments you could make about this voice in terms of:

• the speaker’s physical characteristics (age, gender, race, sexual orientation, etc)

adult (40+) cis-gender-male

race is very ambigous via his voice and indecipherable

seems to have a stuffy nose

not a smoker

sober and healthy

• psychological characteristics (emotional status, mood, personality, etc)

hurried and with a purpose

well informed


extremely smart


trying to remain open to his audience

• social characteristics (social status, education, occupation, etc)

the context of his voice implies he is well educated

in a position of informed power

4.  Does this voice conjure a certain way the speaker might look?

The thinness of his voice makes me imagine a more slender man. I'm basing this largely off of what I assume a larger person to sound like with a deeper and more resonate voice which his is not.

5.  Do you think the speaker has adjusted their voice for this spoken situation, and if so, in what ways are they performing their voice?

The natural intentation of their voice, while in a perfomative setting, the almost off the cuff nature of his voice made it seem very natural. However it is clear that he is following some sort of bulleted script. he does emphasize certain words which a performative elements

After you have answered these questions, go back and listen to the same 5 minutes of the spoken voice on the recording again.  You don’t have to record your impressions, but consider how after contemplating these questions, you might react to this voice differently.  We will discuss this in section.

Part 2:

Using whatever device is available and easiest for you, record your own speaking voice.  Record yourself telling a story. This might be a recollection of your first day of college, or your very first day of classes: what did you do, how did you feel, and with whom did you interact?  Try to extend your story to about 2-3 min.

You will be the only one who will listen to this, and be forewarned that hearing your own voice (as you probably know) is often weird and disorienting; we often don’t like how our voices sound.

After you are done, listen to the recording, and then fill out the Voice Mad Lib as a follow-up to this exercise.  We will work in pairs in section to read each other what we documented in our individual Mad Lib.

For this first week, please bring in hard copies of (1) the first page of this assignment with answers to the 5 questions, and (2) your voice mad lib.