Comments about LibriVox? Suggestions to improve things? News?
Post Reply
Posts: 635
Joined: November 10th, 2016, 3:54 am
Location: LONDON UK

Post by lurcherlover » January 24th, 2019, 2:23 am

I've written a very short piece on recognising the human voice and comparisons with musical instruments. It may be of some interest, or maybe not.


To my ear there is a huge but subtle difference, which is immediately recognisable in the spoken voice, and this is much more obvious than the differences heard in musical instruments and even the human voice in vocal singing.
To compare several different violins (provided the same player or one of comparable ability is used - and it is best using the same player): instruments of pretty much equal quality may show up very slight subtle differences. This will probably only be noticed by trained ears (i.e. other violinists). The same may go for most instruments, where slight characteristics and differences are only heard by highly trained musicians, in particular by ones who play the same instrument.
The normal everyday human voice though, whether highly trained as with an actor or voice professional, or of a normal member of the public, is usually instantly recognised especially in the cases where the voice is well known, i.e. a family member, or a well known broadcaster, actor or politician, for example.
Voices used during everyday speech are usually instantly recognised by what I would call normal and ordinary members of the public. This ability probably comes from thousands, even millions of years, where it has been important maybe for survival, to be able to recognise voices and the timbre of such voices.
It has been said, and I agree, that the human voice in narration (or normal everyday speech), is the most demanding of a microphone. Even with a poor mic, and non professional recording techniques however, it is still pretty obvious whose voice we are hearing, providing of course that you know the sound of that voice.
I notice this particularly with the recordings on Lbrivox where many different recordings are made under very different conditions and levels of expertise, but where the voices are still instantly recognisable.
Project Catalogue

Lady Astor to Churchill "If I were married to you I would probably put poison in your tea."
Churchill to Lady Astor "And if I were married to you I would probably drink it."

Post Reply