I record myself saying the word "titillate", followed by a very nice recording of the same word which I found from the internet and which I hope my voice can be trained to be as closer to as possible. The recording is here. Following is the waveform (on the top) and spectrogram (on the bottom) of the recording shown by Audacity (for a larger version, click here):

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My recording is the first half, and someone else's is the second half. Some impressions I have are

  • In our waveforms, mine looks sparser than the other's.
  • in our spectrograms, the white areas are distributed differently.

What do those indicate? What are your impressions?


  • I'm not sure what your actual question is. Can you edit and clarify?
    – elburzs
    Commented Dec 30, 2013 at 23:58
  • @elburzs: added.
    – Tim
    Commented Dec 31, 2013 at 0:01

2 Answers 2


You are mostly seeing the difference in quality between a professional mic and audio interface rather than a laptop mic and built in consumer sound card. The lower frequencies are picked up well on both, but the higher frequencies are much less sensitive and much more sparse. If you look at the actual pattern of it, the pattern is relatively simple.

Clearly they lead with more force on their first word than you did and had clearer breaks between, but a lot of that may be noise interfering as well.

All in all, the goal you are trying to accomplish will only give you so much in the way of meaningful information anyway. The waveform will tell you if you are putting the emphasis on the proper syllables and if your timing of the syllables is the same. The spectrogram will tell you if the tone (lower frequencies) and sibilance (higher frequencies that we get the actual syllables from) are generally the right frequency, but they aren't going to give you much meaningful beyond that.

  • Thanks! In spectrogram, I have much less white areas in high frequency areas than the other person. Does that mean the syllables in my recording don't sound clear, and my recording sounds more monotone?
    – Tim
    Commented Dec 31, 2013 at 4:52
  • @Tim - it means your microphone is less sensitive in that range most likely. There are no highlights at all in that range, but the general pattern is the same, so my guess is that it is mic sensitivity. Cheap mics tend to have a harder time with high frequency sound reproduction.
    – AJ Henderson
    Commented Dec 31, 2013 at 5:46

Im still not sure of your exact question, but I couldn't tell much from the audio recording you posted, and you only posted the waveform for 1 of the titillates. If you can post the original titillate you found online, that would be more helpful. If you're directly looking at waveforms, you're likely looking at a recording that has been processed with EQs, compressors, possibly Reverb, and maybe even more. So you will likely have to process your voice to get it looking and sounding like what you heard online.

If you're worried more about your vocal performance, that's a different story, and probably more suited for Musical Practice & Performance stackexchange. Vocalists, particularly opera singers, can give you pronunciation tips and tricks.

If you can clarify your question even further, you'd be able to get a better answer.

  • The other person's recording is found by searching "define titillate" in Google. Click the sound with the result returned by Google. I used Audacity to record my speaking and then record the playing of Google's, both on my laptop Lenovo T400 (with its own speaker and microphone). I am trying to see the differences between my speaking and the other's, and hope I can figure out why my speaking doesn't sound good.
    – Tim
    Commented Dec 31, 2013 at 0:55
  • I think your speaking is fine. I think you could enunciate more, as most voice actors do. Try adding a bit of compression to level out the dynamics, and a little eq to tame some of the highs. You can probably find presets for both of these in Audacity, I'm not sure, I don't use Audacity. As well, your built-in laptop mic will not really capture the breadth of harmonics in your voice, so getting a higher quality mic could help make your results more pleasing to you.
    – elburzs
    Commented Dec 31, 2013 at 1:08

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