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  • Writer's pictureTallulah Breslin, MS, CCC-SLP

Voice Recipes + Examples

Updated: Jul 20, 2023

What is a voice recipe?

We all have the same pieces and parts to our voice. Our voice recipe is the way we use these variables to create our own unique sound. There is no single "true" voice recipe- everyone has a different recipe that feels right to them. Our voice recipes are influenced by our age, sex, gender, where we grew up and live now, what communities we are part of, what media we like, and other aspects of our background and culture. Tip: I find that generally it's more helpful to find voice examples from people with similar background/identities to you than to rely on celebrity voice examples.


How do listeners tell what our voice gender is?

There are 18 variables that contribute to listener perception of voice sex, gender, and naturalness. Considering just these 18 variables, there are over 6 million possible recipes! But don't feel overwhelmed- we start with modifying the most impactful variables. Three variables have the biggest impact on listener perception of our voice sex and gender:

  • Resonance, how dark or bright our voice is

  • Tone, how light and smooth or heavy and buzzy our voice is

  • Pitch, how high or low our note is

Listeners also notice how we control our breath to infer if our recipe is natural, or put on. Get these right, and in the split second that listeners subconsciously decide whether to ma'am or sir you in, you'll be more likely to get gendered correctly.


What are examples of different voice recipes?


Remy, Transmasc non-binary, 25

Remy voice transition, from voice evaluation, to satisfaction. Remy had just started testosterone before the final recording.


Fiona, Trans Woman, 36

Fiona voice transition, from before voice training, to after, when she's helping other people find voices they love


Ari, Trans Man, 24


Claire, Trans Woman, 32


Lyra, Trans Woman, 24


Nina, Cis Woman, 26


Courtney, Cis Woman


Julie, Cis Woman


Shari, Cis Woman, 55


Adrian, Female, Started transition at 38, 42


Liz, Cis Woman, 37


Olivia, Cis Woman, 32

Jesse, Cis Man, 25


Are you comfortable with including your voice here? Please send your recordings to recordings@harmonicspeech.com, and we'll happily add them :)


Clip ideas:

  • Morning voice script

  • Rainbow passage

  • Pb&j

  • Talking about one's voice or the voice change process

  • Talking about their voice coaching philosophy, or reasons for training voice gender modification


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