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Depth Of Voice (and Hormones)

Wagner83

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[Sex hormones and depth of voice in the male (author's transl)].
[Article in German]
Meuser W, Nieschlag.
Abstract
Correlations between sex hormone levels and the male depth of voice were investigated in 102 singers. As compared to tenor singers higher testosterone and lower oestradiol plasma concentrations were measured in bass and baritone singers. This resulted in higher testosterone/oestradiol ratios due to increased androgens in those with deeper voices. Deeper voices were associated with taller and heavier body build. In the young age group sexual activity was highest among the bass voices, in the middle and old age group tenors were most active. There were no depth of voice-related differences as regards the sequence and occurrence of different pubertal characteristics. Only future bass singers had an increased of acne. The results indicate that the different depths of the male voice are influenced by different concentrations of circulating sex hormones and also by the androgen sensitivity of the target organs.


No big news here but this is something that has annoyed me for some time, my voice has had quite a few changes of depth over time, depending on diet etc... Have you guys noticed things (voice, breathing exercises and hormones/prohormones aside) that help maintain your "normal" deeper voice? Have you noticed changes from a particular diet or exercise like sprinting, weight lifting?
It seems like it would be a pretty clear and easy-to-monitor marker of androgenicity.
 
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member 2106

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Bump!

I would love to have a better understanding of this too.
 

tankasnowgod

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One of the best things for me personally was getting in better shape. After losing significant weight and becoming more active (mostly walking), I noticed I could talk longer without gasping for air. I record my voice pretty much daily as part of my job, so this was something that was very noticeable for me.

One of the easiest things you could do to make your voice deeper is "placement." Basically, speaking from your throat or chest. However, most speech pathologists do NOT recommend this, as it can be hard on your vocal cords and eventually lead to things like nodules. It's much more recommended to speak "through the mask," basically having your voice placed in your nasal cavity. Even with this placement, you can still sound more powerful by speaking slower and more deliberately.
 

BibleBeliever

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My voice sometimes gets extremely deep, and has great fluctuation. Sometimes it's a manner of proper speaking, with the body tending towards speaking from the throat; causing a slightly higher voice, rather than speaking from the diaphragm, causing a much lower voice.
Speaking loud helps to use your deeper voice. Doing ab exercises greatly helps. Sprinting and other intense oxygen exercises help. Practicing opera; holding notes for a long time help, as well as Mongolian throat singing.
Otherwise I find cold showers greatly deepen the voice, eating an abundance of healthy food; butter, beef, potatoes and salt with some raw honey; if digested well can give an extremely deep voice.
Combining with herbs like gingseng and ashwaghanda intensifies this effect.
Combine with a cold shower and the various singing exercises, then do some sprints and the voice will make you sound like you hit a few more stages of puberty.
 

Wagner83

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Thanks, a few things I would have never thought about there (abs etc..).
 

Prosper

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This is incredibly anecdotal, and in general I'm a bit wary of some of the things the NoFap cult claims, but every time I ejaculate my voice loses some of its resonance and becomes muffled for a couple of days. I don't know if the change is significant enough for others to notice it, but I definitely find it easier to speak, articulate and get my voice heard in noisy places when I've abstained for a few days.

It also seems as if Peating has given my voice additional resonance and projection.
 

Wagner83

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It's interesting, while hormones obviously play a part, I think how congested (mucus etc..) and how relaxed the muscles are also play an important part. T is said to increase for a few days if one does not ejaculate so that could be your explanation. What do you mean by Peating, what is your diet like?
 

Prosper

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What do you mean by Peating, what is your diet like?
The bulk of my diet is milk, oj, white rice, carrots, cheese, coconut oil, butter and eggs along with a few supplements. I used to undereat and eat low carbs so the change is most likely just a result of normalized metabolism & hormonal balance rather than something magical within the diet itself.
 

Wagner83

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Regina

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Oh, I can't keep up with all the (fun) reading here. But will say that I think Diamant puts your voice where it belongs without cumbersome vocalise.
 

GreekDemiGod

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This is incredibly anecdotal, and in general I'm a bit wary of some of the things the NoFap cult claims, but every time I ejaculate my voice loses some of its resonance and becomes muffled for a couple of day
Legit, that has also been my experience.
 

ScurveDream

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I've always had a weak/wimpy voice, kind of akin to -- putting it in a comical and dark way -- a recently castrated version of Ray Romano who was tortured in to mimicking the voice of Kristen Schaal. In other words: nasally, weak depth/pitch and no "base" or projection or balanced undertone to it, even despite some attempts to improve it. Since I figured/read about how voice can portray power or a stronger character it is a bit disappointing to then have a weak voice that signifies, well, weakness/strain/struggle rather than familiarity, engagement, likeness, etc. I do not know about vocal history since I know of people with deep, heavy voices that do not talk much or make any effort to direct, portray or modulate their tone, i.e., people who just talk and have had no speech lessons, etc.

I have noticed a few times over the years when my voice maybe was a pinch heavier, but still always has that nasally, sickly undertone that always bothers me and limits any work I've felt inclined to do that involved lots of speech, vocal testing/training, interviewing and otherwise characterization of the self since this is a flaw that I have yet to figure out a way to remedy, aside from maybe vocal augmentation surgery or something drastic like that. I've used hormones, drinking/alcohol, coffee, magnesium, vitamins, speech training a bit, practice, posture/yoga, and ultimately no immediate or significant benefits ever showed so I unlikely kept up with them since there was no sense of improvement, at least on the front of improving voice as an end game.

I mean it's not because I'm literally physically weak as I have a history of pretty intense workouts, weight training, etc. over the past which made zero difference honestly in my vocal state, even likely adding in some postural improvements as a result of such compared to when I was in my younger teen years maybe.

I mean I don't know how significant, say, serious vocal training can take one if their physiology powerfully dictates their speaking range more than training, sort of like expecting any sick person to just "hit the gym" and become fit, powerful, more attractive/toned/muscly and lean without consideration for why they wouldn't possess at least a few of these traits naturally in the first part. In other words "training" can be "rate limited" highly by physiology prior to it -- so biochemistry, energetics, mechanics, etc. might have a better influence in the long run.
 

CreakyJoints

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I've always had a weak/wimpy voice, kind of akin to -- putting it in a comical and dark way -- a recently castrated version of Ray Romano who was tortured in to mimicking the voice of Kristen Schaal. In other words: nasally, weak depth/pitch and no "base" or projection or balanced undertone to it, even despite some attempts to improve it. Since I figured/read about how voice can portray power or a stronger character it is a bit disappointing to then have a weak voice that signifies, well, weakness/strain/struggle rather than familiarity, engagement, likeness, etc. I do not know about vocal history since I know of people with deep, heavy voices that do not talk much or make any effort to direct, portray or modulate their tone, i.e., people who just talk and have had no speech lessons, etc.

I have noticed a few times over the years when my voice maybe was a pinch heavier, but still always has that nasally, sickly undertone that always bothers me and limits any work I've felt inclined to do that involved lots of speech, vocal testing/training, interviewing and otherwise characterization of the self since this is a flaw that I have yet to figure out a way to remedy, aside from maybe vocal augmentation surgery or something drastic like that. I've used hormones, drinking/alcohol, coffee, magnesium, vitamins, speech training a bit, practice, posture/yoga, and ultimately no immediate or significant benefits ever showed so I unlikely kept up with them since there was no sense of improvement, at least on the front of improving voice as an end game.

I mean it's not because I'm literally physically weak as I have a history of pretty intense workouts, weight training, etc. over the past which made zero difference honestly in my vocal state, even likely adding in some postural improvements as a result of such compared to when I was in my younger teen years maybe.

I mean I don't know how significant, say, serious vocal training can take one if their physiology powerfully dictates their speaking range more than training, sort of like expecting any sick person to just "hit the gym" and become fit, powerful, more attractive/toned/muscly and lean without consideration for why they wouldn't possess at least a few of these traits naturally in the first part. In other words "training" can be "rate limited" highly by physiology prior to it -- so biochemistry, energetics, mechanics, etc. might have a better influence in the long run.
You brain/ear actually compensates a little bit for the fact that you have to hear your own voice all the time, so it will always sound different to you than how it sounds to other people.

Having said that, voice exercises are far more important than I think you realise. If, say, you yelled Shakespeare as low as you could for years and years, you might get a smokier, lower tone, but probably at the cost of some functionality.

To improve the lower part of their range, operatic singers must work a lot on their conversational register first, before trying to expand downwards. Even an octave at once is too much for this purpose, actually - it's better to slowly progress in thirds or less. In fact, operatic singers are probably the perfect example of how possible it is to expand one's range without addressing any perceived physiological issues - think how many died young, how many were incredibly out of shape (it's a lot of them). I think it was either Caruso or Jussi Bjorling (both tenors with very high voices) who famously sang one of the lowest bass parts in operatic repertoire from off-stage during a performance of Rigoletto, when the singer playing Sparafucile's voice gave out at the beginning of the duet - so it's possible to achieve that kind of thing even when your regular speaking voice is not at all low.

I know of a number of exercises I've known people to use over the years to increase their lower range, but most important is projecting properly. I'm not sure how I could explain them to you beyond making some MP3s of what you're meant to do; I suppose I could do this if you like, but it might take me a while to get around to it. In any case, it's extremely closely related to correct breathing technique and ensuring all the resonant cavities are open and not constricted by bad posture. Alexander technique can help here, which is very simple.

Hopefully you'll be pleased to hear that nasal resonance is actually extremely difficult to train, and singers who are naturally very nasal have a much easier time of mastering the full capacity of their voice. Sadly, it is very unlikely that you will become James Earl Jones overnight, and these things will take an awful lot of practice.
 

Vileplume

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I’ve noticed that when I have full bodily systemic relaxation, brought on by a strong energetic state rather than a psychological source like meditation, my voice gets deeper. I can’t control when it happens, aside from trying to lower stress hormones as much as possible. Thyroid, for example, lowered my heart rate and noticeably lowered my voice. When I reach this energetic level, it’s like even my vocal chords relax enough for me to settle into a deeper voice. It feels like it’s related to a sympathetic vs parasympathetic state.
 

ursidae

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always had a bad nasally voice. I think due to poor facial structure/narrow face. Noticed that people with the wide square faces have strong resonant voices
 

GreekDemiGod

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always had a bad nasally voice. I think due to poor facial structure/narrow face. Noticed that people with the wide square faces have strong resonant voices
I believe allergies, intestinal irritation can produce nasal congestion and result in a nasal voice.
I've also found Androsterone, Pansterone, low stress to be favorable for a deep voice.
My voice varies a lot according to my physical health.
 
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