Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Voice prostheses can help patients regain their lost voice

Date:
October 24, 2012
Source:
Suomen Akatemia (Academy of Finland)
Summary:
Help is on the way for people who suffer from vocal cord dysfunction. Researchers are developing methods that will contribute to manufacturing voice prostheses with improved affective features. For example, for little girls who have lost their voices, the improved artificial voice devices can produce age-appropriate voices, instead of the usual voice of an adult male.

Help is on the way for people who suffer from vocal cord dysfunction. Researchers are developing methods that will contribute to manufacturing voice prostheses with improved affective features. For example, for little girls who have lost their voices, the improved artificial voice devices can produce age-appropriate voices, instead of the usual voice of an adult male.

These advances in artificial voice production have been made possible by results achieved in a research project led by Professor Samuli Siltanen, results that are good news indeed for the approximately 30,000 Finns with vocal cord problems. Siltanen's project is part of the Academy of Finland's Computational Science Research Programme (LASTU).

One of the fundamental problems of speech signal analysis is to find the vocal cord excitation signal from a digitally recorded speech sound and to determine the shape of the vocal tract, i.e. the mouth and the throat. This so-called glottal inverse filtering of the speech signal requires a highly specialised form of computer calculation. With traditional techniques, inverse filtration is only possible for low-pitch male voices. Women's and children's voices are trickier cases as the higher pitch comes too close in frequency to the lowest resonance of the vocal tract. The novel inverse calculation method developed by Siltanen and his team significantly improves glottal inverse filtering in these cases.

Besides in speech synthesis, inverse filtering is needed in automatic speech recognition. In speech synthesis, a computer will transform text into synthetic speech. The old-fashioned way is to record individual words and play them one after the other, but this seldom produces natural-sounding speech.

"Most speech sounds are a result of a specific process. The air flowing between the vocal folds makes them vibrate. This vibration, if we could hear it, would produce a weird buzzing sound. However, as it moves through the vocal tract, that buzz is transformed into some familiar vowel," explains Siltanen.

Singing, says Siltanen, is a perfect example of this interplay between the vocal cord response and the vocal tract: "When we sing the vowel 'a' in different pitches, our vocal tracts remain unchanged but the frequency of the vocal cord excitation changes. On the other hand, we can also sing different vowels in the same pitch, whereby the shape of the tract changes and the excitation stays the same."

Speech recognition is widely used, for example, in mobile phones and automatic telephone services. High-quality glottal inverse filtering improves the success rate of speech recognition in noisy environments.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Suomen Akatemia (Academy of Finland). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Suomen Akatemia (Academy of Finland). "Voice prostheses can help patients regain their lost voice." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 October 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121024093036.htm>.
Suomen Akatemia (Academy of Finland). (2012, October 24). Voice prostheses can help patients regain their lost voice. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121024093036.htm
Suomen Akatemia (Academy of Finland). "Voice prostheses can help patients regain their lost voice." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121024093036.htm (accessed July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

AP (July 30, 2014) At least 20 New Jersey residents have tested positive for chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that has spread through the Caribbean. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 29, 2014) Pfizer, the world's largest drug maker, cut full-year revenue forecasts because generics could cut into sales of its anti-arthritis drug, Celebrex. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins