My research for Hidden Sound was initially sparked from a meeting I had with Mark Wing-Davey of the Tisch Graduate Acting Department. Mark was interested in generating live visual feedback from the analysis of one’s vocal resonance, showing the quality of an actors voice (nasal, deep, etc.). Throughout my research I analyzed the distribution of different vocal types, from pinched to what we think of as resonant. Resonant voices tend to have a more logarithmic spectral curve where as nasal voices tend to be more evenly distributed throughout the spectrum (giving a higher spectral brightness).
As part of my research, I boiled down the vocal spectrum to its more fundamental elements–the resonant essence of the sound. I think this will be a good starting point for creating something meaningful for Mark, and also could lead into some interesting performances/collaborations.
The video below is an example of the spectral brightness of 4 different vocal types mapped to color. The sounds you hear are the spectral resynthesis of a frozen moment in speech.
The audio clip below is similar in theory to the video above. The sound is generated from the spectrum of one vocal sample and transformed into a Just Intoned scale (I talked about Just intonation in an earlier post).
Just Intonation from Vocal Sample by mrosen86