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Make Your Voice Buttery!

Nov 18, 2007
Your speaking voice is one of the biggest assets you have when developing an online business. It's true. There are a number of different applications where you can use your voice to enhance your online presence and your business model. In particular, you can use your voice to record podcasts, add audio messages to your website and create audio information products.

Modern technology has made the recording of your voice very easy indeed. You can download a free version of the Audacity software and purchase a microphone and quickly record digital audio files with whatever spoken message you like. This article will discuss a few techniques you should use to make those spoken messages smoother and buttery, just like those radio announcers.

The first thing you need to do is purchase a pop filter. Pop filters eliminate the plosives in your speech like P's, B's and D's. All three of these tend to pop into the microphone, thereby popping into the ears of listeners as well. Pops can be extremely distracting when listening to an audio recording and can even discourage your audience from listening to any more of it. A simple $10 pop filter looks like a big foam rubber cover for your microphone and it can eliminate the distracting plosives quickly and easily.

Next, it's time to start recording. And after your recording is complete, there are three electronic effects you can use to make your voice sound all milky like the radio announcers. The most effective one is called the compressor. It compresses the dynamic range of your audio file so that the loud parts are softer while keeping the volume of the softer parts the same. The net result is that you voice sounds smoother to the audience.

I usually lower the pitch slightly as well. On Audacity, you have four ways to specify the change you want: musical note, semitone, frequency or percentage. I only lower it by half a semitone which works out to a 2.87% drop in my voice pitch so it's a small change but I think my voice sounds better afterwards. You can play around with this to see what pitch suits your voice best.

The last effect I use is the bass boost. Predictably, it amplifies the bass frequencies of the audio file. Now, it does NOT lower the pitch of the file. It only amplifies the bass frequencies while leaving the treble frequencies unchanged. This effect rounds out the bottom and takes the tin out of the recording. Sometimes, my voice can sound tinny and shallow. The bass boost eliminates that and leaves my voice sounding like honey.

At the time of this writing, my audio files have been downloaded over 17,000 times in 27 countries. I don't use these effects to completely alter my voice. If you listened to my recordings, it sounds just like me. But the effects I've described above make it incredibly smooth and pleasing to the ear, allowing the listener to absorb the content rather than being distracted by a poor voice quality.

I have two pieces of advice. First, find a way of incorporating voice recordings into your business. It adds a personal dimension to your online presence and enhances trust. Second, use the effects I've described above to improve the sound quality of your recordings. Your audience will respect you more as a result.
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