A year ago, a new speech synthesis system called WaveNet was presented by Google’s DeepMind, an artificial intelligence company. As its name suggests, WaveNet generates speech by using neural networks to predict what the sound wave of a sentence should look like. I thought this was interesting because it’s such a counterintuitive way to produce speech sounds.
I think this is pretty cool — there’s this kink that’s travelling up and down the length of the string.What’s going on here, and why don’t we see this with the naked eye?In this post I’ll explain how a bowed string vibrates, and how, unintuitive as it seems, the odd kinky motion of the … Read the rest
Here’s a novel idea from the King’s College Choir:
In the video, one of the choristers gets help hitting a high note by taking a breath from a large helium balloon. (Obligatory warning: it’s dangerous to try this at home.) So… does this actually work? Does inhaling helium really make your voice higher?
Suppose that you wanted to take the recording and change the quality of the voice — change it into a male-sounding voice, for instance.How would you go about it?I did this recently for an online audio processing course I took, … Read the rest
In a dimly-lit room in the back of London’s Egyptian Hall, a few curious people had gathered. Each had paid a shilling for the privilege of seeing the object standing in the centre of the room. A grotesque device it was — the mask of a woman’s face, framed in the fashionable ringlets of the day, … Read the rest
What, would you say, is the main difference between a piano note and a flute note? You might suggest that it has something to do with the shape of the note — a piano note is struck once and then simply held down, while a flute player has to actively blow throughout the duration of the note.
In What Makes a Musical Sound Part 2, I talked about the spectrum, which shows what frequencies are present in a sound. In this explicative post, I’ll go into more detail about how we obtain the spectrum, and about what it means when we say a sound is made up of different frequencies.
In a previous post we saw that sound is made up of waves of differing pressure in the air, caused by the vibration of air particles. Musical sounds are no exception – even the most intricate and exquisite chords are still encoded in the back-and-forth motion of the air particles that carry the wave from source to ear. What is it that makes some vibrations sound musical, while others sound … Read the rest