A real-time feedback system for vocal tract tuning

Marie Jeanneteau, Noel Hanna, John Smith and Joe Wolfe

UNSW Sydney

Saturday, September 14, 2019 from 11:20 to 11:30

in Summer Theater

Abstract :
The first resonance of the vocal tract (an impedance minimum when measured at the lips) is tuned by some singers: all of the sopranos we have studied, whether trained or not, tune R1 to fo over the range roughly C5 to C6; altos and tenors sometimes tune it to one of the lower harmonics in their upper range. Sopranos who practise the range substantially above about C6 tune the second resonance R2 to fo. The first purely acoustic impedance maximum is tuned by saxophonists and clarinettists under some conditions. This paper introduces a public version of software that can be used in a system to teach vocal tract tuning using a nearly real-time display and a graphical user interface. Our first use of it was to teach R2:fo tuning to sopranos. In a one-hour session, some subjects learned tuning over a limited range, but only with the interface running, while others did not learn tuning. One of the authors (MJ) spent several hours with the system and learned to extend her range of R2 variation and could use R2:fo tuning over from F5 to E6, with and without the visual feedback. Training resonance tuning on saxophone is also proposed.

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