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My "Little Girl Voice"


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This is my attempt at doing the voice of the main character of my current project. She is an approximately-ten-year-old girl who reaches the age of early 20s by the end the project, so her voice should change a little between the beginning and end of the story. I figured, by doing the voice myself, I could change the voice as needed. Self-directing is easier than telling someone else exactly what you need. (also, it makes it less daunting to do multiple takes).

 

I thought I would post this test (or self-audition) here on this site to get the opinions of my fellow animators, whose opinions I trust.

 

And, yes, I borrowed, verbatim, the dialog from Jason Osipa's animation from the book on facial animation (and this site, it's in the A:M Films section). The book is called Stop Staring, and I recommend it. (It is available at Amazon and at Barnes & No-Bull).

 

DIALOGUE:

Pink or blue. Pink or blue. Oh, I just don't know. If I go with the pink one, I'm all, "Ooh, look at the little girly girl in pink." And if I'm blue, then it's like, "Hey look at the boy girl. Why don't you go do boy stuff, boy girl!" Okay, just think it out. If I were a bow...on my head...what color...would I want...to be.

 

 

Yes, this is me, as a little girl. Please be honest, but also kind. :)

pinkorblue_DTB.mp3

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This is my attempt at doing the voice of the main character of my current project. She is an approximately-ten-year-old girl who reaches the age of early 20s by the end the project, so her voice should change a little between the beginning and end of the story. I figured, by doing the voice myself, I could change the voice as needed. Self-directing is easier than telling someone else exactly what you need. (also, it makes it less daunting to do multiple takes).

 

I thought I would post this test (or self-audition) here on this site to get the opinions of my fellow animators, whose opinions I trust.

 

And, yes, I borrowed, verbatim, the dialog from Jason Osipa's animation from the book on facial animation (and this site, it's in the A:M Films section). The book is called Stop Staring, and I recommend it. (It is available at Amazon and at Barnes & No-Bull).

 

DIALOGUE:

Pink or blue. Pink or blue. Oh, I just don't know. If I go with the pink one, I'm all, "Ooh, look at the little girly girl in pink." And if I'm blue, then it's like, "Hey look at the boy girl. Why don't you go do boy stuff, boy girl!" Okay, just think it out. If I were a bow...on my head...what color...would I want...to be.

 

 

Yes, this is me, as a little girl. Please be honest, but also kind. :)

 

It works perfectly.

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it´s good, but you can make it even better if you pitch your voice a bit up. i did that with your file and it sounds much more like a girl... but be shure to preserve the duration when you pitch it, otherwise you´ll have a very fast talking 10 year old girl... ;)

 

pitched file attached....

pinkorblue_pitched.mp3

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Is that your real voice, Dale, or did you digitize it?

That's my real voice with no retouching at all. Well, not my normal speaking voice, lol. I'm 33 and male. So it would be a downright catastrophe if my voice stuck like that. :)

 

There are a few points in the pitched file that become a tiny bit Smurfette-like. Usually at the deepest part of the vocals, like the ends of sentences. I would be a little concerned about that.

 

How much of an adjustment was made on that file? (Whatever the "units of pitch" may be).

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I think Sebastian has the right idea for pitching the voice. It made it that much more believable all by itself. However, be careful not to use a little kids voice. 10 and 11 year olds come off as young, but not childish. Watch a few minutes of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone to see how those 11 year olds speak. The words were put there by writers, but the speech is still the kids. Think little adults.

 

Phil...

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Overall that's pretty good and there are moments where it is quite convincing. There are moments where the illusion fails a bit. But with an animated character that looks like a girl I think most people would buy it.

 

Much of it, however sounds like an older girl, a later teenage girl rather than a 10 year-old. There's a breathy quality that children have that is missing.

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Much of it, however sounds like an older girl, a later teenage girl rather than a 10 year-old. There's a breathy quality that children have that is missing.

I think you're right. Young kids do "push" their words out a little more than older kids. This recording was my tenth try. The early ones sounded completely like an adult woman. It sounds better when I do it louder, probably for that very reason. If I push the words out more, they will probably sound more like a kid.

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... there is something elusive about it that is more than just "pitch".

 

 

Timber...it's called timber (or timbre?) There is some software out there (Diamond Voice Changer) that controls timber for about $100. What you need to do is dink with your pitch and timber and EQ...and get a good reliable voice that you can recreate over n over.

 

 

BUT- The sped-up version is sounding pretty good!

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That's not a bad girl voice, though. I've tried it myself for scratch soundtrack purposes and there is something elusive about it that is more than just "pitch".

Most men struggle with doing a realistic sounding female voice. Well, most never dare to even try it, so you get cool points for that. It usually ends up being just a falsetto.

 

I read a tip on a site years ago that helped me discover that elusive thing. I have recorded some adult female voices that were completely convincing without any retouching (but getting a kid voice sure is a new challenge). As weird as this may sound, to achieve a female-sounding voice, you start by impersonating Marvin the Martian:

"Oh goody! My Alludium Q36 explosive space modulator!"

With that as the foundation, you can raise the pitch a little at a time and then adjust the inflection. Women do talk in a sing-songy way, with a lot of ups and downs, almost as if they are actually singing. That's one of the hard things about nailing this kid-voice. Kids have more of a monotone, and I think I just have to find that small range and stay in it.

 

You can actually feel the voice "settling" in the upper vocal chord, and it doesn't feel strained like the falsetto does. Your Adam's apple disappears while doing it, too. I think the magic happens when the vocal chords are relaxed, but the sound is still coming from the upper region.

 

I move around a lot when I do this stuff. I usually throw my shoulders back and prance around like a princess when I do the girl voice, LOL. I think a lot of voice actors do that to step into character. The footage I've seen of a lot of them has a lot of hand motions and expressions as they portray the character. The advantage is, of course, that no one is looking.

 

It's something to practice in the car or in the shower. That's what I do. I had to wonder the other day, even though my windows were up, if the car next to me at the stoplight could hear me saying, "If I were a bow on my head what color would I want to be." :lol:

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