Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Mohammed's Vocal Analysis

The first file is sounds like I am enthusiastic and I cannot hold my passion, so I get a little bit afraid while talking. Also, this was about the elevator pitch which was about an application that give the users opportunity to know the places and the prices up to date and close for the users. The sound on this file seems to be high since I am presenting an idea of an application that I want to support, and the environment was such that I am talking to people to be hired, so I was not comfortable and afraid of get my idea rejected. Moreover, in this audio file, I seemed to have an idea of what I am talking about because I was prepared for it.
Context: I was in talking in front of my classmates and my teacher. I was nervous and especially when I am talking in front of native speakers.
Power Dynamics: I was afraid of losing points and afraid of saying something that I do not realize and then be in trouble. Therefore, I was focusing more on getting more credits than losing.
Effective Environment: I was focusing in getting my classmates and the teacher attention because the topic was important to me, so I wanted to get their attention in order to get my attention and say more about the topic too.
Social Expectations/Norms: I was expected that my classmates would not care too much about the idea because it seems very helpful for international people; however, I tried to add as many as I can to make them love the idea of it.
The second file seems that I was very slow and was talking with high level of talking because I was not under pressure and my throat was strong a little bit after getting the flu. In addition, my friend and me were talking about LaLiga which is a part of soccer games and a little about what the popular teams are doing with LaLiga. The sound on this file is a little bit quite because I am talking normally with my friend and having fun with our speech. As well, my friend was talking very clearly since he is a native speaker and I am not, so he was explaining very well and his sound was medium, he was not talking loudly or quietly. I could see that I am not knowledgeable on LaLiga since I asked him, but also seems that I want to learn or to get a taste about LaLiga especially that I was not prepare for the speech and we just started talking about soccer. However, since I was talking to a native speaker, I was trying to mimic him and try to keep my sound level smellier to his.
Context: I talking to my friend very normal about soccer. Even though, I am not that knowledgeable on soccer but I could talk and participate with my friend without fears.
Power Dynamics: I did not feel that I am under stress and I felt that the conversation had my brain to work because it has been a while since last time I watched something about soccer.
Effective Environment: It was a nice place and there was nothing I care about unless to not get up of two minutes and to stay with what my friend is saying.
Social Expectations/Norms: I am not a knowledge in American culture and they talk about soccer. It was my first time talking with my friend about soccer, and I saw that he used polite words, which I think my other friends who are crazy in soccer will not be like him. However, it is still that some people who might become racist because of soccer, and it is different from one-to-one and culture-to-culture.

          I would act like myself, but I will try to get even a close to the accent, and I am going to talk slow because I could understand myself when I am talking slow and loud instead of being fast with words that are hard to understand while pronouncing them incorrectly. 

Neda Kikhia's Vocal Analysis

In my conversation recording, my father was in the living room and I joined him after we had an argument. My dad had installed trackers in the car to monitor the driving the family does and if we do well, we get a discount on our car insurance: the worse the readings, the smaller the discount. It measures braking and acceleration and I had a couple that day on my way home from school and my dad had called me asking what was up, then saying we’d talk about it when I got home We had gotten into an argument after that left both of us super mad. I was coming down to make amends as he was watching a basketball game and thinking about the day.
            I definitely see my dad as an authority figure, but in that moment I wanted to share my side of the story, while still respecting what my dad had to say. I had to and wanted to listen to my dad’s point of view, but I didn’t want him to think that I was just irresponsible. My affect in the moment was definitely affected by the affective milieu because knowing that I was recording the conversation and not telling my dad I was felt shady and weird. I was definitely self-conscious and hyper aware of when I had to turn off the sound that it definitely took a piece of my attention. As far as social roles, I knew my dad was culturally expecting me to show him respect because my parents have engrained the idea that no matter what, even if you think your parent is crazy, you have to always show them respect. I knew my dad was expecting me to hear him out without totally arguing and I knew when I had to hold back, even though a few times I wanted to say something.
            In my speech clip, I talked about a proposal for a future investment to the class as if they’d invest in whatever I wanted as long as I “sold” it well enough. I remember being SUPER flustered because I arrived late to class and had just ran up the stairs to the top floor. I remember having to take a second to calm down because the affective milieu was affecting me more than usual. It all may have been something coming from my guilt of being late, but I felt a sense of disinterest and a bit of “she’s late” and that got to me in the beginning. I think the expectation that the speaker has to be on time and well prepared was a social norm that I was aware I didn’t totally uphold/agree with. With the beginning of the speech feeling a little off and by trying something new, using a slideshow, I was definitely not 100% on my game until a little later in the speech.
            The contextual source of contrast in the two instances was how in control I felt. In the conversation with my dad, I felt a sense of rightfulness that I wanted to bring to the conversation, basically proving I wasn’t totally at fault. However, I still wanted to respect and listen to my dad, which can be seen as being a subordinate. In the speech however, I knew it was my turn to talk, and I had the stage to do whatever I wanted with it. I felt flustered at first, but when I gained my footing, I was there to deliver my message. The average pitch in my speech was 65.6 and my average loudness was -23.34. My average data in my conversation was 68.15 in pitch and -23.32 in loudness while my dad’s data was 85.34 in pitch and -19.32 in loudness.
This data showed me that when comparing myself in both situations, loudness was pretty similar in the way I usually speak with others, but the pitch was a little more in my conversation than my speech. I believe these pitch numbers are so close because in both situations, I was talking about something that I was passionate or emotionally fueled about. The conversation may have been higher because I felt like I had something to say, but was struggling with how to say it while keeping in mind the social expectations of how to talk with my dad. My dad’s pitch, not tone, was higher than mine probably because he was even more charged than me from not only the violations on the tracking of my driving, but also because he was upset about other things. These feelings affected my dad’s pitch to be full of affect. I definitely didn’t mimic my dad because my loudness was definitely higher, but that may have been because I wanted to be heard and not just braised over.

            After looking at these conversations and the recording of my speech, a technical suggestion for myself would be to deliver more of an impact of my words without speeding up. Like Kate brought to my attention, I do tend to rush my sentences at some points. If I can slow down, I do believe that I can make a larger impact because people will be able to follow every word in sentences and not have to guess what I’m saying. A way to do this would be to keep in mind that I need to slow down, but to also use my breathing to slow down my speech by taking baby breaths during a sentence. I can do the pauses to emphasize a point, but I tend to just quickly deliver the meat between these bones. I have a pretty good fluctuation of pitch, but the fluidity could be improved.

Maren Blair Vocal Analysis

The first short conversation is between an old acquaintance and I shortly after we recognized each other. My two grandmothers are trailing behind me as we walk into my old high school and I happen to bump into the violinist who filled in the concertmaster position after I left. Only a couple of people were around, none of who knew me or Derrel (the old aqaintence). Derrel and I carried on the conversation as if I had never left. We discussed the socks I gave him a couple years ago for a class sock exchange. I hoped they gave him good luck. My average pitch was 63 units and my loudness was -18 units. In comparison, Derrel’s (male) average pitch was 62 units and -7 units for loudness. He was quite a ways from me during the recording (30 feet) which explains the softness.

The second conversation is between my two grandmothers and I in the car after watching my brother’s concert. I gave Grandma Blair a tour of DU the past Friday and Grandma Toren fed me dinner before the concert. I am close with both of them, but before this week, I had not seen either of them for a while. My average pitch was 65 units with loudness of -15 units while both of my grandmother’s pitches were 64 units. Grandma Blair who was sitting closer to me had a loudness of -9 units and Grandma Toren, in the back seat, had a loudness of -7 units. 

According to these numbers, my pitch raises as the formal context decreases. I seem to be loud when I want to, but drop back into a quieter sense after my contribution. My grandmother’s voices have a higher pitch than Derrel because they are female. They are also more soft spoken perhaps because of age. In the conversation with Derrel, I instantly raise my voice when I speak loud enough for him to hear me across the hall. I easily match his enthusiastic attitude. We both talk with confidence and the power dynamics sound pretty equal. In the conversation with my grandmothers, the discourse has a slower pace. I match their calm attitudes and talk with respect that is portrayed in a lower pitch. It sounded as if I mimicked the pitch and loudness of the Other person’s voice. I constantly switched back and forth between speaking slowly and calmly to my grandparents and speaking enthusiastically with others at the concert such as Derrel. When I am speaking with people not of my family, in a more formal manner, my pitch and volume increase. My natural tone/flow builds up and then comes back down at the end of a sentence. With a more intimate audience, I vary the flow of my voice. Interacting with old students brought excitement as I miss high school. The nostalgia I was feeling instantly translated into delight when I met and talked with old friends. As a granddaughter, I am expected to care for my grandparents with the upmost respect. I am expected to accommodate their possible loss of hearing, only discuss neutral topics, and not overwhelm them. In future speeches, I should speak louder. I can be heard, but it would not hurt to speak up. At the end of my sentences, I tend to fade or drop into a low register that is hard to hear. I need to end with confidence. To practice, I could over exaggerate the endings of sentences by giving the volume a little kick.

Anaelia Ovalle Voice Analysis

Recording 1 is set in my own dorm and I am calmly conversing with my roommate. It’s past dark and we are discussing the assignments that need to be done for the next day. In contrast, in recording 2 I am giving a formal proposal regarding an abstract concept to a board of investors. At the time, I felt the pressure to perform and maintain a formal tone, as that is what is expected within a proposal to a potential investor. Due to the scrutiny that coincides with formal conduct, I felt tense, began to perspire, and my voice pitch increased. My average pitch was measured at 64.6 and my average loudness at -26.9. In comparison, speaking with my roommate in a less stressful environment yielded different results with an average pitch at 61.6 and average loudness at -25.8. My roommate, on the other hand, gave an average pitch of 66.3 and an average loudness of -27.4.

I also notice a couple interesting points in both recordings. For example, I sounded a lot more assertive and dominant in the first recording than the second. Apart from the given context, this may be due to fact that I was proposing solutions in a logical way, possibly causing my voice pitch to decrease. I also recall in the second recording that I sound as if I’m attempting to be assertive, but there is an underlying insecurity in the way I speak. Evidence to support this is the decrease in loudness(-26.9) compared to when I speak to a companion(-25.8), which I may associate with being assertive and confident. In this piece I sound a bit all over the place and unfocused because I’m extremely nervous. When acknowledging power dynamic, the board of investors holds the power (and money) to invest in my product so I’m in a position where I must impress and appease. Also, a woman I may feel the need to inflect my voice more often to catch the audience’s attention.  

In order to deliver a more effective speech, I need to be able to firstly acknowledge the context of the speech, the power dynamics involved, how I create a particular affective environment, and how expectations may play a role in how I speak. Although I may feel overwhelmed when I think about this, I need to consider that I can use these factors to my advantage and establish a firm standpoint where I can deliver a very effective speech that corresponds to my audience.

Vocal Analysis

The two conversations were very different contextually which had a significant impact on the manner in which they were delivered. One conversation was formal and was delivered to a larger group of people, and the other was an informal conversation between two people. In the informal conversation, the average pitch was 64.39 units, and the loudness was -25.06 units. The formal recording had a very similar pitch at 66.43 units, and was slightly louder at -23.45 units. In the informal conversation, the average pitch of the other person was 68.23 and the loudness was 25.43 units. Throughout the speech, my voice sounded shakier and less confident than it did throughout the informal conversation because I was nervous and lacking confidence. I also did not put as much inflection and emotion into my voice throughout the speech because I was focusing on delivering a message to a group of people rather than relating to an individual person on a more intimate level.

I did mimic the tone and loudness of the other person during the informal conversation. Because I was comfortable in the conversation and with the person I was conversing with, we had a generally stable back and forth interaction, and I feel like I didn’t take on a dominant or submissive tone. If I had to describe it as either dominant or submissive, I would say that it was more submissive because I mimicked the tone of the other person instead of establishing it. I feel like when I speak in front of an audience, there should be an overall balanced pitch, without excessive inflection at the beginning or the end of my sentences unless there is a certain point I am stressing where vocal inflection could be appreciated. In order to give an effective speech, I, as a speaker, need to focus on projecting confidence and assertiveness while I speak. In relation to an audience, taking on a more dominant role is important, as the speaker needs to establish the tone of the speech being delivered.

Daniel Vocal Analysis

Context: For the voice recording, I was in my own home, talking to my housemate who I've known for years, with no one else in the room. This was a very comfortable context for me and those things that I experience in a formal setting such as a faster heart rate, shaky hands, etc. were not a factor. For the speech, I was in a room full of mostly strangers, presenting a formal speech that I was being graded on; a speech that I didn't know by heart and couldn't just BS.

Power Dynamics: My housemate is very much a good friend and our relationship is level so there was no position of authority or subordination involved. Quite honestly, the person I was speaking to was speaking to in the room was the instructor, who gets to decide my grade, which has an impact on whether or not I get into medical school, so there was quite the power dynamic there.

Affective environment: Emotion is definitely present in our voices because we're talking about a sensitive issue, problems with our families, specifically our sisters. For the speech, I felt that I created an affective environment with establishing a hypothetical situation where I'm in a room full of family. With that context, and the fact that it was my Mom's hypothetical birthday I was able to show emotion towards my mom and my family. You could totally tell it was still formal though.

Social Expectations/Norms: There were social expectations within the content of our conversation which definitely had an effect on our emotion and pitch. We both identify similarly in regards to class and culture, so there was an expectation that we would be in agreement about fundamental views and values that we derive from those identities such as the importance of providing for our parents who have provided for us our entire lives. In our culture, this is much more important as opposed to mainstream American culture where individualism is the social expectation.

Average pitch: 62.8 (Lower)
Average Loudness: -25.72 (Lower)
Average Noisiness: 0.662 (Lower)

Average Pitch: 66.60 (Higher)
Average Loudness: -24.36 (Higher)
Average Noisiness: 0.696 (Higher)

So for my recording, I actually didn't record the other person and am unable to compare my voice to theirs. When comparing the two recordings, the numbers say that the conversation was louder, but I attribute this to the recording device used (my phone) and the fact that it was much closer to me than the laptop was during my presentation. I perceived that my speech had (relatively) higher audio levels in regards to pitch, loudness, and noisiness. This makes sense because I was speaking to an entire room and group of people whereas with my conversation it was just one person.

Subjective Qualities: In my conversation, it's MUCH more informal. I use the filler word "like" quite a bit, I used a mocking tone when I am quoting my sister. I talk a lot faster, but also have these pauses that I embrace because I know there is no one grading me. In my speech, I use the filler word "umm" several times. I also do the same thing with matching the tone of my mom when I quote her which I guess is a conversational thing.

Critical Analysis: In comparison to the conversation, my speech had a good volume level, it matched the conversational component in the sense that I matched the person's tone that I was quoting, and it was appropriate for the context.

Technical Suggestions: Use filler words less. Continue using a loud voice and pitch to keep audience engaged. 
Vocal Analysis Exercise Reflection
  Average pitch: 61.1
  Average loudness: -23.82

       In both of my recordings, I was in my friends' room and we were talking about technology and how it affects people. I'm pretty close with all of the five people I was talking with, so all of us were speaking pretty freely. We were not worried about social expectations or norms because we weren't in public. None of us have any authority over each other, so power didn't affect how we spoke. My average pitch and the average loudness were about the same in each. In the first recording, my average pitch was 59.8 and in the second, it was 62.3. My average loudness in the first recording was -26.3 and in the second, it was -25.7. The average pitch of my friends was 64.1 in the first recording and 63.4 in the second. In the first recording, their average loudness was -22.1 and in the second, it was 24.8.
       In our conversations, my friends and I sound very casual. I started recording in the middle of a conversation, so no one sounds awkward or nervous. My friends are not shy at all so knowing that they were being recorded didn't affect how they talked. Personally, I tried to avoid swearing because I was recording, but it turned out I didn't even need to try that hard anyways. In the recordings, I was louder because the microphone was closer to me but in reality, I think that we were talking the same volume. Again, none of us have any real authority over the other so we were all talking equally. During these conversations, I think that my friends and I talked as peers and at the same pitch and volume. Although my volume was louder in the recording, it wasn't like that during the real conversation. A suggestion I would give myself to deliver a more effective speech would be to know when to increase my volume and pitch based on what I am talking about.

Max Vocal Analysis Assignment

The contexts between the two vocal clips were entirely different because one took place in the classroom in the form of a presentation in front of my peers and the other took place in my apartment with my roommate. In the classroom, I have a more professional dynamic and adhere to more rigid social expectations due to it being a classroom environment. At home, I am much more laid back and less serious. The average pitch and loudness in both of my vocal recordings was about 58 and -26, respectively, for both audio clips. However, in the classroom, I'm more consistent with my pitch and loudness whereas at home it would fluctuate almost sporadically. Subjective qualitites that I noticed were a difference in vernacular. I tend to stutter, say "uhm", speak in slang and go on tangents when I'm speaking at home. By comparison, in the classroom my thoughts and sentences are better organized and well-thought out.

I did not tend to mimic my roommate's voice, nor did I really dominate or take an opposing role. We have a good power dynamic that compliments each other, so we sort of ping-pong back and forth. However, my roommate was a little tired at the time of the recording, so it is possible that I spoke over him at points. It is interesting to analyze the difference between my speech patterns in different contexts. While my average pitch and loudness doesn't have much of a differentiation from each other, I do tend to be more dynamic with my pitch and loudness when in a more colloquial context than in a professional one. Seemingly at random I'll get louder, more passionate, or quieter when speaking with my roommate, however this is not something that happens when speaking publicly.

I recommend that I try to organize my thoughts a little bit better the next time I try to give a speech in the more professional manner that was the elevator pitches and formal proposals. I feel like I didn't come across as clear and structured as I intended or had practiced. To achieve a better organization of my thoughts I would focus on not talking as fast and on pausing more. This way, I would have moments to collect my thoughts, transition, and move onto the next topic a little better, unlike when I speak very quickly in my speeches.