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 April 23, 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 April 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Big Pharma Braces for M&A Wave

Big Pharma Braces for M&A Wave

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 22, 2014) Big pharma on the move as Novartis boss, Joe Jimenez, tells Reuters about plans to transform his company via an asset exchange with GSK, and Astra Zeneca shares surge on speculation that Pfizer is looking for a takeover. Joanna Partridge reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) NBC's "Today" conducted an experiment to see if changing the size of plates and utensils affects the amount individuals eat. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How to Master Motherhood With the Best Work/Life Balance

How to Master Motherhood With the Best Work/Life Balance

TheStreet (Apr. 22, 2014) In the U.S., there are more than 11 million couples trying to conceive at any given time. From helping celebrity moms like Bethanny Frankel to ordinary soon-to-be-moms, TV personality and parenting expert, Rosie Pope, gives you the inside scoop on mastering motherhood. London-born entrepreneur Pope is the creative force behind Rosie Pope Maternity and MomPrep. She explains why being an entrepreneur offers the best life balance for her and tips for all types of moms. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com
Catching More Than Fish: Ugandan Town Crippled by AIDS

Catching More Than Fish: Ugandan Town Crippled by AIDS

AFP (Apr. 22, 2014) The village of Kasensero on the shores of Lake Victoria was where HIV-AIDS was first discovered in Uganda. Its transient population of fishermen and sex workers means the nationwide programme to combat the virus has had little impact. Duration: 02:30 Video provided by AFP
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