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Waveguide physical modeling of vocal tract acoustics: flexible formant bandwidth control from increased model dimensionality

By J Mullen, D M Howard and D T Murphy


Digital waveguide physical modeling is often used as an efficient representation of acoustical resonators such as the human vocal tract. Building on the basic one-dimensional (1-D) Kelly-Lochbaum tract model, various speech synthesis techniques demonstrate improvements to the wave scattering mechanisms in order to better approximate wave propagation in the complex vocal system. Some of these techniques are discussed in this paper, with particular reference to an alternative approach in the form of a two-dimensional waveguide mesh model. Emphasis is placed on its ability to produce vowel spectra similar to that which would be present in natural speech, and how it improves upon the 1-D model. Tract area function is accommodated as model width, rather than translated into acoustic impedance, and as such offers extra control as an additional bounding limit to the model. Results show that the two-dimensional (2-D) model introduces approximately linear control over formant bandwidths leading to attainable realistic values across a range of vowels. Similarly, the 2-D model allows for application of theoretical reflection values within the tract, which when applied to the 1-D model result in small formant bandwidths, and, hence, unnatural sounding synthesized vowels

Year: 2006
DOI identifier: 10.1109/TSA.2005.858052
OAI identifier:

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