VITA 2010

  Vienna Talk 2010 on Music Acoustics
"Bridging the Gaps"
      September 19–21


Singing voice (M. Kob, N. Amir): Description

In this session papers on all aspects of the singing voice including education and health are welcome.

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Amir; Noam: 
(Invited) / O
Vibrato is widely used by singers and instrument players to embellish their performance, most often in sustained notes. In this paper we describe our ongoing research on various aspects of this subject. Our initial attempts to characterize vibrato stemmed from a search after quantitative measures for vibrato quality, in order to compare vibrato before and after vocal warmup. A set of measures in time and frequency domain was defined, and used to evaluate the vibrato quality of a group of singing students. These objective measures were later correlated with subjective evaluations by singing teachers, and combined through an optimization process by linear weighting to obtain a single figure representing vibrato quality. This was implemented in a real-time “vibratometer” giving the singer visual feedback on their vibrato. Our further research examines vibrato characteristics of several singing styles – classical, jazz and pop. Sustained notes sung by well known singers in commercial recordings are analyzed. At this stage we present the methodology used to distinguish the singer’s vibrato from the multitude of accompanying instruments, and various parametric methods for quantifying the vibrato contour.
Sundberg; Johan: 
Recently some investigations have been completed at KTH where the goal was to describe what characterised the voice usage in various non-classical styles of singing, such as "twang", belting, blues, rock, jazz..... Along with fundamental frequency, subglottal pressure and glottal adduction are the main physiological voice control parameters. Subglottal pressure is accessible as the oral pressure during the occlusion for the consonant /p/. Glottal adduction is generally estimated from analysis of the voice source by inverse filtering of the pressure or the flow signal. Some examples will be presented of different vocal styles with regard to their mean pitch range, subglottal pressure range and adduction range and synthesis.
Deriving acoustical, musical and physiological properties of the singing voice by analyzing recorded sound files is a good way to provide feedback for the singing student as well as valuable diagnostic information for the speech therapist. For this kind of analysis there exist a variety of public domain computer programs and computation packages which will be introduced and demonstrated.

A common framework with a graphical user interface will be presented which can be used to combine the strengths of several existing tools, to pre-process recorded audio files, to automate repetitive analysis procedures on file sets and to post-process obtained results statistically. The framework integrates segmentation, time domain analysis, frequency domain analysis and statistical analysis. It is based on well known tools like Praat, Wavesurfer, SNDAN, TAP, ProToo and R-project as well as on Matlab scripts like VoiceSauce (HNR, spectral tilt, formants) and Aparat (Inverse Filtering).

Resulting data are long time average spectra and their band energy ratios like α-factor, short time spectra and their time varying characteristics like loudness (rms), brilliancy (normalised spectral centroid), vibrato (pitch), formants (LPC) as well as physiological parameters represented by spectral tilt (H1-H2, H1-A1, H1- A2, H1-A3), HNR and other glottal parameters.
Banner Pictures: (c) PID/Schaub-Walzer