Sing like a star

Sing like a starSteve Bush Kurt Cobain may one day be heard to sing Nessun Dorma if a vocal morphing system from the University of Oxford gets funding. The device, which enables a user to sound like a selected famous singer is the work of Dr Ken Lomax at Oxford’s Phonetics lab. “It produces a vocal template and merges it with the vocal template of someone else,” said Dr Mark Taylor of Isis Innovation, the company that is marketing Lomax’s idea. Currently the device takes a casual singers voice and uses it to re-synchronise a pre-digitised version of the song by a famous singer. It is not yet capable of taking an arbitrary set of words from one singer and outputting those in the voice of another. But it is only a matter of time says Taylor:”Far in the future I can envisage a box with a control marked 0-100 where the user can choose to sing in their own voice, the voice of someone famous, or anywhere in between. This would be based on the same system of voice templates that we are using now. In fact, a recording of someone singing a scale could be used to generate a whole song in their voice.” Processing for today’s machine is not realtime and Taylor says it “takes a significant time,” but added: “It is only a matter of processing power. We are looking for investment to develop a realtime version.” To hear sound samples, of synthesised Elvis, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa and Maria Callas, take a look at lomax/DPhilAudioEgs.html
Isis Innovation can be reached on 01865 270000.

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