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April 26, 2010 10:29 AM   Subscribe

I have a podcast. Sometimes my voice is really nasally. Can I fix this physically or inside an audio editor? I guess what I’m asking is how do I develop a radio/podcast/speaking voice? (Hopefully without paying through the nose.)
posted by edbles to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (9 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
speak slowly and from your diaphragm, your voice should be coming from deep in your chest, not through your nose.
posted by The Whelk at 10:37 AM on April 26, 2010

Voice practice is the best solution, but I don't know much about it other than that you should speak from your chest, as The Whelk says.

Microphone placement also plays a role. If you have the mic close to your mouth, you'll get more low frequency sounds, which might help. The sound can be very dependent on placement when you get that close - an inch or two can make an audible distance. You'll have to play around and see what works for you.
posted by echo target at 10:54 AM on April 26, 2010

Just practice talking, trying different things, and listen to yourself, until you figure out what makes you sound nasal and what doesn't. Try to deliberately make a nasal sound -- I can do this (without holding my nose), and it's not that difficult. Once you isolate what causes nasality, it becomes a lot easier to _not_ do it.

Not only is it difficult to describe how to control nasality (raising and lowering the soft palate, keeping the throat area relaxed - does that help?), but in finding the answer yourself you'll gain better control in general. And I really don't think it will take that long, maybe an afternoon.

Then, you'll need to practice the non-nasal way, a lot, especially focusing on adjusting your higher-pitched speech. While it's tempting to suggest just speaking using the lower range of your voice (and you'll want to be careful not to use a high pitch all the time), using the full pitch range of your voice can make you more interesting to listen to.
posted by amtho at 11:06 AM on April 26, 2010

Bear in mind, Ira Glass has a nasal voice and people don't seem to mind.
posted by Theloupgarou at 11:08 AM on April 26, 2010

Hopefully without paying through the nose


But yeah, what The Whelk said. Here's a method for figuring that out (best practiced in private):

Place your hand across your lower ribs, right under your chest. Now open your mouth, and yell as loud as you can, without making any noise. Keep doing it until you figure out what you need to do to make that area under your ribs tighten up. Okay, now speak using that area of your body.

Alternately, pretend you're Barry White. Practice talking low and deep and sexy -"Hey, baby, come on over here. Yeah, that's right. Mmmm hmmmm..." Yeah, you'll feel like an idiot, but you'll figure out where your voice needs to come from.

You might find some romance, too. YMMV on that, though.
posted by MexicanYenta at 11:10 AM on April 26, 2010 [1 favorite]

Experiment with your mic. This should help you a lot: Proximity Effect

You need to find your sound going in... trying to fix it in the mix will be more of a mess than just getting a good sound to start with.
posted by quarterframer at 11:23 AM on April 26, 2010

Bear in mind, Ira Glass has a nasal voice and people don't seem to mind.

I sincerely can't express how not true that is.
posted by LuckySeven~ at 2:38 PM on April 26, 2010

I love TAL but understand problems with the voice of Ira Glass. I think that the irritation caused by his voice, however, may have less to do with its nasality and more to do with a perceived smugness of his tone.
posted by Morrigan at 2:50 PM on April 26, 2010

I sometimes add a bit of bass in Audacity using the Bass Boost effect to make my voice a bit less nasal. YMMV.
posted by greatgefilte at 2:51 PM on April 26, 2010

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