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Resonance Magic: How Talking Like a Robot Can Transform Your Voice

exercise nonbinary voice resonance voice feminization voice masculinization Dec 13, 2023
master resonance by speaking like a robot

Hey there, it's Renée! Ever found yourself nodding along to the standard advice that mastering resonance is the key to transforming the perceived gender of your voice? If you've been working on trans voice training for a while, this is an idea you've probably heard a million times. But what if you're eager to get to work creating a voice that gives you gender euphoria, but you are unable to distinguish between pitch and resonance? Fear not! I've got an exercise up my sleeve that's as fun as it is effective: talking like a robot.

You see, I'm a gender-affirming voice teacher, and I understand that grappling with the nuances of pitch and resonance is a common hurdle on the journey to finding a voice that you love. So, let's break it down.

Pitch, or the fundamental frequency of a note, comes from from the vibrations of your vocal folds. Every time you utter a sound (or phonate) those folds go to work, creating the pitch that you use in speech. However, resonance, sometimes referred to as the "gender dial", is the result of the size and shape of your vocal tract. It acts as a filter, lending a bright or dark quality to your pitch.

Now, here's where it gets tricky. Resonance is a powerhouse when it comes to altering the perceived gender of your voice. Our ears interpret bright as high and dark as low, which is fantastic for our vocal makeover. However, it also makes practicing resonance a bit like navigating a maze blindfolded.

So, what's my secret sauce for honing in on resonance alone? I'll give you a hint: it involves channeling your inner robot.

Picture this: you maintain a steady pitch, either by listening intently or using a tuner. This ensures that any variations in the sound aren't stemming from fluctuations in pitch. Now, unleash your inner automaton and experiment. Create a large vocal tract to conjure a darker resonance or a smaller one for a brighter, crisper quality.

The magic lies in the simplicity of the exercise. By isolating resonance through the act of talking like a robot, you're effectively eliminating the confounding factor of pitch modulation. It's a targeted approach that allows you to finesse the subtle nuances of your voice without the interference of pitch-related complexities.

Now, I'm sure you're itching to give this exercise a whirl. Did it work for you? Drop me a line in the comments on TikTok Instagram, or YouTube. I'm always excited to hear about the vocal journeys of my students!

In the grand scheme of voice transformation, mastering resonance is like wielding a not-so-secret weapon. It's the ingredient that can tip the scales and redefine how your voice is perceived. So, whether you're on a quest for a deeper timbre or aiming for a lighter, more effervescent resonance, talking like a robot might just be the quirky, effective solution you've been searching for.

As you embark on this playful yet purposeful exercise, remember that finding a voice you love is a journey, not a destination. Celebrate the small victories, revel in the uniqueness of your voice, and most importantly, have fun along the way. Here's to embracing the transformative power of resonance, one robotic conversation at a time!

Hi, I'm Renée! (they/them)

I'm a queer, nonbinary, and disabled singer, songwriter and gender-affirming voice teacher. 

I've been a voice teacher for over twelve years, I have four full-length albums out, and I have degrees in physics, jazz, and songwriting.

I love creating, I love figuring things out, but most of all, I love helping people.

Learn more about me

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