Issue N# 5 - 2015
The Bell Labs contributions to (singing) voice engineering
Authors : Vincent C. (Paris)
Ref. : Rev Laryngol Otol Rhinol. 2015;136,5:193-196.
Article published in french
Downloadable PDF document french
While in «art» and «traditional» music, the nimbleness of the voice and the mastering of the vocal tone are put into perspective, in «popular» music, sound engineering takes the lead, and relegates the vocal virtuosity of the interpreter to second place. We propose to study here three technologies with contributions to music. All are developed and patented by the Bell Labs: The artificial larynx (and its derivatives, Sonovox and TalkBox), the vocoder and the speech synthesis. After a presentation of the source-filter theory, vital to these innovations, the principle of these three technologies is explained. A brief historical is outlined and is complemented by examples of films and musical selections depicting these processes. In light of these elements, we conclude: Sound engineering, and in particular the modification of voice sonority, has become an indispensable component in the process of «pop» artistic musical creation.
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