Candidate: Lionel Feugère
Thesis Title: Gestural control of singing voice synthesis by rules and musical applications
Abstract: This thesis deals with the production and control modeling of a synthetic singing voice in the context of making a digital musical instrument. Two instruments are presented: the Cantor Digitalis, focusing on singing vowel control and voice individualization, and the Digitartic, which aims at controlling the articulation of Vowel-Consonant-Vowel syllables. Using an augmented graphic tablet, these instruments allow interactive musical applications with fine temporal control of voice production parameters. The relevance of these musical instruments was established through several public performances of the Chorus Digitalis ensemble. The gestures of the musicians were studied along with the musical tasks required for playing the selected repertoire which was composed of traditional world music (baroque choral, North Indian khayal singing) as well as more contemporary pieces. In particular, an experiment was conducted to analyze the ability to control the fundamental frequency of the Cantor Digitalis. Participants were asked to imitate intervals and melodies according to three tempos using three different modalities (one’s own voice, tablet, and tablet with audio feedback). Results showed that precision was better with the tablet modalities than with one’s own voice, while no significant difference was found between the tablet with and without audio feedback. Both instruments have been unified into one Max/MSP application, which provides an audio-visual and interactive educational tool for understanding voice production.
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