Vocal Projection in Actors: The Long-Term Average Spectral Features That Distinguish Comfortable Acting Voice From Voicing With Maximal Projection in Male Actors Academic Article uri icon


  • This study explored whether acoustic and perceptual features could distinguish comfortable from maximally projected acting voice. Thirteen professional male actors performed a passage from William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar twice. The first delivery used their comfortably projected voices, whereas the second used maximal projection. Acoustic measures, expert ratings, and self-ratings of projection and voice quality were investigated. Long-term average spectra (LTAS) and sound pressure level (SPL) analyses were conducted. Perceptual variables included projection, breathiness, roughness, and strain. When comparing the intensity difference between the higher (2-4 kHz) and lower (0-2 kHz) regions of the spectrum in voice samples from the maximal projected condition, LTAS analyses demonstrated increased acoustic energy in the higher part of the spectrum. This LTAS pattern was not as evident in the comfortable projected condition. These findings offered some preliminary support for the existence of an actor's formant (prominent peak in the upper part of the spectrum) during maximal projection.

publication date

  • September 2005