For females to sound more like a male you will have to relax your upper body, speak slower, hold your breath, deepen the vocal range, whisper and speak from your throat. Learning belly breathing and performing breathing exercises will help to further develop a convincing guy’s voice.
If you don’t need to do a guy’s voice live, then you can also very easily mimic a guy’s voice by applying software effects.
Many famous voice-over actresses have provided voices for male characters. Consider Nancy Cartwright, who voices Bart in The Simpsons, or Colleen Clinkenbeard, who voices Monkey D. Luffy in the iconic One Piece franchise. With some practice and a little sleight of hand, you’ll have a new vocal profile sure to convince anyone.
Deepening Your Range
Of course, lowering your pitch is an important way to make a convincing male voice. However, remember that pitch is just one aspect of performance. There are several precautions you’ll need to take before dropping down an octave. Working significantly lower than your normal range can create stress on the vocal cords. Try working down a bit lower each day, before settling at a range slightly lower than what you’ll need for your role.
This will warm up your vocal cords and keep them at optimum conditions for a lower pitch. Remember to avoid jumping right into a deep pitch, especially if it’s been a while since you’ve practiced. Doing so could create shock and potentially tear your vocal cords.
An average male voice is about 20% lower in pitch compared to the average female voice. For a female to sound like a male you will have to lower your pitch by speaking more from your throat area. It’s not just about the pitch but it’s one of the major differences between male and female voice.
You can practice changing your pitch by placing a hand on your throat while speaking deeper from your throat. You should be able to feel the resonance in your throat which will help to better understand whether you are doing it correctly.
To do a convincing male voice use masculine speech patterns and mannerisms. It’s not enough to just talk as you normally do but with a deeper voice.
When trying to pass your voice off as a male, it’s less about the pitch and more about the inflection of your words. If you can successfully use male-leaning speech patterns, such as using filler words sparingly or being more direct, everything else will fall into place.
Men’s voices fall into a large variety of tones, pitches, and depths. A lower depth is just one aspect of the male voice. In fact, there may be some men with voices higher than yours. But what distinguishes them apart? Close your eyes and try to grasp what it is that makes you sure that a speaker is male. Typically, it’s less pitch and more a combination of subtle cues and vocalizations.
To sound more like a male, try to make your sentences flatter or more monotone. Avoid ending your sentence on higher notes as that’s more common among females.
One noticeable aspect of masculine voices is that they are less bright or dynamic in tone. A woman’s voice may be described as more lyrical or “sing-songy,” whereas a man’s voice is more constrained. Try reading a sentence as you normally would, then progressively flatten the tone over and over again. You’d be surprised at how many tonalities one’s voice has.
When performing as a male character incorporate a rasp or rough edge.
A thin layer of rasp or the occasional voice crack can be a helpful element. Like stage makeup, it disguises what’s hiding underneath. Still, you don’t want to use too much. Nancy Cartwright is a fine example of incorporating a light rasp or edge to produce a masculine voice. Bart Simpson’s voice is characterized by a slight edge that comes out at the beginning or end of a sentence, much like a boy his age.
Holding breath and exhaling less air will help to create a vocal fry which will make your voice sound harsher, raspier and rougher.
Belly breathing gives more air
If you manage to learn belly breathing it will give you more air for your voice to work with. This means you will have more flexibility when applying various techniques, such as vocal fry.
Also, learning to use your diaphragm will help to relax and speak with a deeper voice.
To achieve a male voice you have to learn to relax, especially in the shoulder and neck area.
It is very effective to do relaxing exercises to help relieve the tension. To relax your upper body try swinging your arms back and forth. This should help with shoulder and neck tension.
Furthermore, relax mouth muscles by yawning. Try yawning for a couple of minutes just before beginning recording, it should help to relax small muscles in your mouth and throat.
Speak slower and Quieter
To sound more manly, try speaking slowly. In general, women speak faster than men, so by slowing the pace you will sound manlier. As a side effect, speaking slower will help to control your breathing better as you will have more opportunities to take a breath between long pauses.
Speaking with a bit of a hushed voice will help to further make your voice sound manlike. When we speak quieter, we naturally tend to use less air and our vocal folds vibrate less frequently which is what essentially causes the voice to become lower.
Clearing Mental Barriers
One of the most frustrating aspects of doing a male voice as a female is a mental barrier. You may think you have a solid run-through, but when reviewing your recording, you’ve lost all confidence. It can be difficult to break our association between appearance and sound. When listening to your material, try looking at a reference photo of your character.
If you focus on listening to yourself as yourself, you won’t be easily convinced. Audiences will, however, and many people never know that their favorite male characters are actually voiced by females.
Therefore, avoid envisioning yourself reading the script; envision your character instead. Still, it’s a good idea to listen to yourself and reflect on your performance once in a while.
More Roles, More Possibilities
There is an increasingly high demand for female voice actors that can perform male voices. Women are ideal for voicing young males, certain character archetypes, and more. Sometimes, the natural higher pitch or subtle inflections of a woman’s voice can give a unique profile to a character’s reception.
Change pitch in software
The easiest way to sound like a guy is to change pitch and apply EQ in your software.
You can find both Change pitch and EQ effects in a free software called Audacity. However, any other DAW should also include these effects.
Adjust EQ by increasing the 80Hz-200Hz range by 4dB or more if needed. Cut about 4dB in the 5kHz-20kHz range. You can also use low-pass and high-cut filters for a more smooth effect.
For even more drastic change you can try reducing the pitch by 8 semitones with the Change Pitch effect in Audacity. If 8 semitones don’t suffice then lower it even more till it sounds like a male’s voice.
If you are recording then you will get the best results by applying all the methods mentioned above and then using software to further adjust your voice.