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Don't forget to smile...

 
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Foog
Cinquecento


Joined: 27 Oct 2013
Posts: 599
Location: Upper Canuckistan

PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2018 10:20 pm    Post subject: Don't forget to smile... Reply with quote

No, really. Cool new research shows that we can hear the "smile" in a voice recording even when we don't detect it.

Quote:
The researchers applied a signal processing technique for altering recorded speech under a neutral mouth position to what it would have sounded like had the speaker been smiling. They played 60 such recordings (some manipulated, some not) to 35 subjects, and asked them to judge whether the speaker was smiling. The researchers also measured the responses of two subject muscle groups while listening, the zygomatic (smiling) muscles and the corrugator (frowning) muscles.

When the subjects correctly reported neutral expression or smiling in the speech, both of their muscle groups accurately mirrored the speech while listening (e.g., for smiling speakers, zygomatic tensing and corrugator relaxing). Interestingly, even when the subjects were wrong, their zygomatic muscles still mirrored correctly. This was not true for the corrugators, which instead reflected the subjects' report.


https://boingboing.net/2018/07/31/you-can-hear-the-smile-in-some.html



Basically, even if you aren't doing a "smile" with your voice, if you do it with yer face, then the whole world smiles along with you!
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Bruce
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Joined: 06 Jun 2005
Posts: 6739
Location: Portland, OR

PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2018 6:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thatís old news for many of us in the VO world but always good to share with those that havenít heard it!


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I'm not a Zoo, but over the years I've played one on radio/TV. .
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Foog
Cinquecento


Joined: 27 Oct 2013
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Location: Upper Canuckistan

PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2018 8:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ahhh, but the delight is in the details. The new twist isn't the old saw that people can hear a smile in a read, it's that when people can't hear the smile, or even when they are convinced that there isn't one, their own mirror reflex betrays them. They still react to the "smile" whether they know it's there or not.

It's also kind of neat that it is not the pitch, cadence, etc of a smiling speaker that people are reacting to in this study, but strictly the mouth shape. Think angry stabby thoughts, send them through your pie hole with an upturned snarl, and the listener's unconscious mind will somehow manage to know that you was smiling when you said that, bub!
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Dan-O
14th Avenue


Joined: 17 Jan 2005
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2018 8:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In my 15 years of radio, I was trained to smile during breaks. "It pleases and relaxes the listener." It took me 6 years of abuse from my coaches to beat it out of my VO reads. Everything sounded fake and insincere. Once I stopped, my career took off. It was the difference between local car ads and national ones. Now I only pull out a smile for grocery stores and the like for that extra sugar they seem to like.
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Karyn OBryant
Club 300


Joined: 23 Jul 2013
Posts: 379
Location: Portlandia-adjacent

PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2018 8:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with Deebs and Dan.
Body/face musculature really influences sound, but too much "smile" can sound insincere (or creeeeeeeeeepy). Wink
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Lee Gordon
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Joined: 25 Jul 2008
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Location: West Hartford, CT

PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2018 9:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bruce wrote:
Thatís old news for many of us in the VO world


Especially for those of us who entered VO through the portal of radio. Many decades ago, I was taught that the way to put a smile in your voice was to physically smile, no matter how silly it felt or looked to you.
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Dan-O
14th Avenue


Joined: 17 Jan 2005
Posts: 1481

PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2018 12:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One more point, there's a difference between pleasant and happy. Happy is a fleeting emotion. It doesn't sound natural for any longer than a few seconds in the confines of most scripts. Pleasant is comforting, trustworthy, and relatable. A small smile or as one of my coaches once referred to it, a technical smile, is all that's necessary for a reassuring read.
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