CQM - Center for Quantum Materials

The intricate physics of human voice production

by Sten Ternström (KTH CSC Speech, music and hearing)

112:028 (Nordita South)


Nordita South

Every human needs a voice. Speech sets us apart from other mammals, it is our primary connection to the world, and it has a pivotal function in modern society. However, the physics of the vocal apparatus are surprisingly complex, and also hidden from normal view. After decades of research, speech technologists are still looking for ways to make artificial voices sound more natural. For clinicians needing to understand how voice problems arise, and how they should be diagnosed and treated, an accurate, dynamic visualisation of the biomechanics would lead quickly to significant progress. Students of languages and of vocal arts would be immensely helped by animated renderings of what actually goes on inside the body during speech and song. A detailed simulation of the human voice is needed both for basic science and for numerous applications. I will present some samples of current voice research, in particular the work going on in the FET-Open project Eunison, which is now nearing the end of its third year.