Friday 7 Name:___________________________ Speech synthesis and analysis What parallels exist (what is the analogy) between the vocal tract and a music synthesizer? Both can make a wide variety of sounds. Both have a power source. Both start with an oscillator (vocal chords) or noise generator ("fricatives" like the letter f) and subsequently modify the sound by filters (formants). Both have ways of controlling the envelope of sounds (“plosive” sounds such as p and t depend on the envelope). What the synthesizer does with voltage controlled filters, is accomplished by flexing muscles to change the size and shape of air pockets for the human voice. One other effect, demonstrated on the didjerido, is nonlinear generation of “combination tones” due to the nonlinear response of the lips and of the vocal chords when a sung sound is combined with a played sound. This effect is very similar to how a “ring modulator” combines sounds in an electronic synthesizer. What is a formant and how does it affect speech and singing?
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