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voice transition

Over the past month, I've gotten kind of obsessed with watching different Youtube tutorials on how to change your voice from male to female. I've probably watched at least 20 of them so far, which amounts to several hours of information. (Some of those I've ended up going back and watching a second or third time if I found them good.) Interspersed with that I've also read a lot of blogs and articles on it, and joined a mailing list of 4000 people all trying to accomplish the same goal.

At first the more I read, the more confused I got about the crazy diversity of different approaches people take, and the different conflicting terms they use to describe how to speak and what to do. But after all that investigation, things are finally starting to come together and I feel like I kind of have a sense of what the main goals need to be and how to go about accomplishing them. It will take a lot of practice and daily exercises, stretching and training my vocal chords, but I feel fairly confident at this point that it's at least possible. Having listened to a lot of before and after examples is the main thing that gives me confidence; listening to my own voice does not--I have managed to change it a little, but not nearly enough to pass as a female voice--and as soon as I kind of get something in that direction, it reverts soon after unless I'm consciously focusing on it.

If anyone is curious, especially if you are interested in trying this yourself, I can save you a lot of time sifting through Youtube videos by just linking you to the one that really stands out as the best out of the 20 or so I've watched:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L6ro2R3esHA&t=8s

The others were each useful in various ways, some more than others. But if you're going to watch just one, this is definitely the one. I've seen everything from hypnosis to subliminal suggestion offered as the "trick that worked for me!", and probably the most important thing it comes down to is "try to speak in a more feminine voice every day, by reading things and counting, etc., and eventually you'll get better at it". But if there is one magic bullet, I think it's the adam's apple trick described in this video and a few other places I've found online.

Most videos focus on raising the pitch of the voice. But more important is the "resonance"; people can hear voices that have the same pitch but identify one as strongly male and the other as strongly female, just based on the resonance. The acceptable male vocal range and female vocal range overlaps quite a bit; if you already have a high male range then it may not be necessary to raise it at all. If you have a low male range (like me) then raising it at least a bit is necessary, but you probably don't need to raise it as far as some of the videos suggest. For example, one video I saw insisted that you must get your fundamental tone up to a C4 (middle C) to be recognized a female. I was pretty discouraged after watching this one, since that's out of my range (unless I use falsetto, which is a terrible idea and not recommended at all because it sounds totally fake). But that's bullshit. I do hope to extend my range and be able to sing a C4 comfortably after a couple months of training, but using that as the fundamental tone for me speaking would be absurd... that's not something I could ever do or would need to do for my voice to pass as a female one. Later I found an audiobook read by a sexy woman's whose voice I loved (and have been trying to imitate). I measured her fundamental tone as C3, an entire octave lower than the recommended C4. These female voices are described as "husky" but they still sound distinctly female. I think with practice, I could actually learn to raise my fundamental above that a bit to at least E3. But as long as I can succeed in getting the right resonance and intonation, C3 may be enough.

My original male voice was around F2.  I think since I've come out I've (somewhat unconsciously but also somewhat consciously) been speaking in a somewhat higher more feminine voice, maybe around A2 usually. That's already halfway to C3.  But because that's still pretty low and because the resonance hasn't changed, I still sound distinctively male. Even when trying to speak in a feminine voice to the police over the phone and saying "Hello, I'd like to report that my purse just got stolen", they responded without hesitation with "Okay sir, can you describe the purse?" If that's still happening to me after 4 months more of work on my voice, then I guess I will admit that vocal surgery is probably my only good option. But right now I'm optimistic.

Incidentally, the app that I and many other people trying to do this use to measure pitch is called PitchLab Guitar Tuner (PRO). It's available for both iPhone and Android; make sure you don't get the (Lite) version because it doesn't work (just constantly measured the wrong frequencies when I accidentally downloaded it at first).

Soon I'd like to post some samples of me reading things in different voices, so you can get an idea of what kinds of changes are necessary. I think pretty soon I'll be able to temporarily get a decent feminine voice. The harder part is maintaining it during ordinary conversation with lots of other distracting things going on--that's what will require many months of practice. One cool idea I've run across for practicing is calling into anonymous information lines, and asking questions in different voices... see whether they sir or ma'am you. Or if they ask what your gender is. Haven't done it yet, but interested in trying once I get something a bit more realistic down.

Also, if you want a great example of how much a voice can change... and some entertaining humor... check out this video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HRhhc5r1m_0

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