Is that a man or a woman speaking?

Last week I was preparing workshops for Researchers Night taking place at our university on upcomming Friday, 29th September.

Besides other things, I plan to show how and why voices of men and women differ and I want let people experiment with some apps that allow to change their voices from male to female and vice versa.

The sex is part of individual identity and is in general very clearly expressed in voice fundamental frequency and voice timber. In most cases, it is pretty easy to distinguish male and female instaneously just by hearing their voice. However, sometimes it can be more tricky.

Be careful on phone conversations! Due to good understanding of how It is now possible to change the sex in your voice by technology. However, I would like to share something more striking to me. I stumbled across the videos of people perfectly imitating the oposite sex in real time. It is a great example of how good people are in imitating of sounds! And also an excellent example of how imitation ability can be used to steal  or change one’s vocal identity. I hope to write more about imitation and fake individual identity in future.

First example:

 

Second example:

 

Unfortunatelly, I could not find the good example of females imitating male voice. If you know about such example, please, share the link in comments!

Author: Pavel Linhart

Animal Behaviour / Acoustic communication researcher. Polonez Fellow at Adam Mickiewicz University

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