Tagged With voice

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Fake phone numbers are a beautiful thing, whether you make them up on the spot or give out the number to a service like the Rejection Hotline. Best of all, though, are the ones you craft yourself, like the one I gave to car dealers that fakes a full voicemail message.

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When I was at uni, I got a job as a DJ for our campus radio station. Over Christmas break they played back old shows to fill the time, and one morning I managed to actually tune into myself on the radio. It took me a few moments to realise that the person talking was me, and my first thought was a surprised "Oh no, do I really sound like that?"

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My five-year-old daughter Maggie seems to have two volume levels outside of our home: "off" and Fran Drescher at a loud bar. It took a while for her to become comfortable talking to people at all, so I've been letting it go when she suddenly has something important to say and starts speaking in ALL CAPS. But at a recent parent meeting at her preschool, the director began introducing everyone to each other. When she got to me, she announced, "This is Michelle, mum to Maggie. I know you have all heard Maggie." Oy. Maybe we do need to work on volume control.

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At the Metropolitan Opera last spring, in a show called "The Exterminating Angel", soprano Audrey Luna sang a high A, setting a new record for the highest note ever sung at the Met. You might be more familiar with the phrase "High C", a very typical high note at the Met - the high A is several notes higher. And it's the first thing Luna sings in the show. She spent years working her voice up to that pitch. So we asked her how she did it.

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Actor and voice coach Amy Jo Jackson has consulted on productions of Venus in Fur, Henry IV, and the Broadway production of Kinky Boots. An experienced actor herself, whose credits include The Laramie Project, Into the Woods, Twelfth Night, and The Rocky Horror Show, Jackson teaches actors and non-actors how to reduce unwanted accents or gain desired ones. We talked to her about her process, the challenge of increasing intelligibility without devaluing diverse dialects and heritage, and resources outside of personal coaching.

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Video: NPR's reporters don't all have perfect, radio-smooth voices, but they all sound natural and confident on air. In this video, vocal coach Jessica Hansen gives you three NPR-approved exercises to help you speak into a microphone while sounding more like yourself.

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iOS: If you want to really kill it at karaoke, approximately hitting the notes won't be good enough. A free app called Vanido can guide you through singing exercises, and show you in real time how well you're hitting those notes.

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For whatever reason, the iPhone has tons of different voice recording apps, but very few of them do anything more than Apple's free Voice Memos app. We like Just Press Record because it manages to make itself worth its asking price by offering a different experience and feature set than Apple's offering.

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Internode today announced details of the phone services it will offer with its NBN plans. Given the choice between paying $19.95 a month line rental for a semi-traditional phone service, nothing for a VOIP service apart from calls, or giving up on a landline altogether, which option are you going to choose?

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iOS: Voice Brief is a handy little app that pulls news, weather, and other information from the web and stores it on your iPhone (or other iDevice). When you want an update, just ask the app and it will provide one in audio format. It's a nice way to get started in the morning.

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If you've heard about Siri, Apple's new voice-activated personal assistant for iPhone, and you wish more apps would speak aloud to you, TweetSpeaker is a new Twitter client for iPhone that will do just that. The app has easy-to-understand controls, and will read your stream, mentions, lists or direct messages out loud to you.

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iOS/Android: From the same team that brought you SoundHound, Hound is a music search app that lets you speak the name of a song or artist aloud to search for it in the SoundHound database. Once it's found, you can read more about it, listen to a preview, or watch the video.