Sounds of the human vocal instrument
* Presenting author
The vocal tract is the universal human instrument played with great dexterity to produce the elegant acoustic structuring of speech, song and other sounds to communicate intent and emotions. The sounds produced by the vocal instrument also carry crucial information about individual identity and the state of health and wellbeing. A longstanding research challenge has been in improving the understanding of how vocal tract structure and function interact, and notably in illuminating the variant and invariant aspects of speech (and beyond) within and across individuals. The first part of the talk will highlight engineering advances that allow us to perform investigations on the human vocal tract in action-- from capturing the dynamics of vocal production using novel real-time magnetic resonance imaging to machine learning based articulatory-audio modeling--to offer insights about how we produce sounds with the vocal instrument. The second part of the talk will highlight some scientific, technological and clinical applications using such multimodal data driven approaches in the study of the human vocal instrument.