Distinguishing Our Voices?

Posted in From the Editors at 11:35 am by Sam

One of the repeated comments we got in response to Episode 1 was that it was difficult at times to distinguish our voices from each other.  This was one of the reasons Episodes 2 and 3 were released in stereo, besides the usual mono.  The positional cue, I’m sure, make it much easier to tell us apart.  It proved too much of an extra time commitment to continue to release stereo versions, unfortunately, but my thought was always that our regular listeners would learn to distinguish us once they got used to listening to us.

Well now it’s been 10 episodes, and I’m curious to know if that’s true. Do any of you regular listeners still have trouble distinguishing our voices?


  1. Rifty (64) said,

    December 11, 2006 at 2:46 pm

    I don’t think I ever had trouble distinguishing your voices. In the first episode, maybe, but the way I think of it now, Stephen has a higer voice, and Sam sounds like Stephen King.

    I haven’t had trouble since then.

    What really threw ME for a loop was hearing Dave’s voice for the first time. If I hadn’t been told it was Dave, I would have thought it was Stephen’s voice recorded at normal speed and then slowed way down (say, to 33 1/3 from 45)


  2. Ferrick (140) said,

    December 11, 2006 at 3:12 pm

    Since I’ve met Sam, I know his voice and it isn’t too hard. Sometimes I can tell the difference not by the voice but because of the subtle differences in recording conditions (since you are not in the same room).

    If you are worried about it and people are having a problem, you may want to use each other’s names more. “I don’t know, Sam, I think this movie missed the mark,” or “Yes, Stephen, you are insane but oh, so clever.”

  3. Grishny (156) said,

    December 11, 2006 at 3:36 pm

    I never had a problem, but then I’ve met both of you in person and heard you both talking in the same room before, so I’m sure that makes it easier for me.

    I never even noticed that episodes 2 & 3 were in stereo and the rest weren’t. Huh.

  4. Sam (405) said,

    December 11, 2006 at 3:58 pm

    Grish: They were mono unless you clicked on the special link provided in the posts for those episodes that point to stereo versions, which are double the normal size. The Flash player in your browser plays the mono versions, and any automatic podcast-downloading software, including iTunes, would have fetched the mono versions.

  5. Grishny (156) said,

    December 11, 2006 at 5:21 pm

    I’ve been using iTunes to auto-download the show from day one, so that explains it.

    Looking forward to another new episode tomorrow morning!

  6. Eric (44) said,

    December 11, 2006 at 6:13 pm

    When I first started listening to the show, I occasionally had trouble figuring out who was talking. When I had that trouble, the answer was invariably Sam. Stephen has a distinctive voice and an even more distinctive style of speaking. So, no, I don’t have any trouble figuring it out. If I were ever confused about who was speaking, the simple fact that I wasn’t sure would prove to me that it was Sam.

  7. Darien (88) said,

    December 11, 2006 at 11:16 pm

    I never had any trouble with it. Stephen’s the one who sounds angry and disgusted with everything, and Sam’s the one who sounds like a software engineer. Simple as that!

  8. Nyperold (116) said,

    December 12, 2006 at 4:15 am

    I learned. Sam seems to have a softer quality to his voice.

    I almost agree with Rifty regarding Dave’s, but I was thinking that it sounded like it was just pitched down, so it lost no speed when it lost frequency.

  9. ThePhan (128) said,

    December 15, 2006 at 4:18 am

    Huh. I completely missed this post.

    At the very beginning I occasionally got confused, but quickly settled into recognizing your voices easily. The fact that I’d met you both seemed to help, though. And little things, like the fact that Sam usually enunciates very clearly. And Stephen uptalks.

    (I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned this before, but my mom was listening to the podcast one day and said that Stephen sounded like Agent Smith. I guess that’s how she’ll tell the two of you apart.)

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