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Theses Year : 2012

Localization, Characterization and Recognition of Singing Voices

Localisation, caractérisation et reconnaissance de voix chantées


This dissertation is concerned with the problem of describing the singing voice within the audio signal of a song. This work is motivated by the fact that the lead vocal is the element that attracts the attention of most listeners. For this reason it is common for music listeners to organize and browse music collections using information related to the singing voice such as the singer name. Our research concentrates on the three major problems of music information retrieval: the localization of the source to be described (i.e. the recognition of the elements corresponding to the singing voice in the signal of a mixture of instruments), the search of pertinent features to describe the singing voice, and finally the development of pattern recognition methods based on these features to identify the singer. For this purpose we propose a set of novel features computed on the temporal variations of the fundamental frequency of the sung melody. These features, which aim to describe the vibrato and the portamento, are obtained with the aid of a dedicated model. In practice, these features are computed on the time-varying frequency of partials obtained using the sinusoidal model. In the first experiment we show that partials corresponding to the singing voice can be accurately differentiated from the partials produced by other instruments using decisions based on the parameters of the vibrato and the portamento. Once the partials emitted by the singer are identified, the segments of the song containing singing can be directly localized. To improve the recognition of the partials emitted by the singer we propose to group partials that are related harmonically. Partials are clustered according to their degree of similarity. This similarity is computed using a set of CASA cues including their temporal frequency variations (i.e. the vibrato and the portamento). The clusters of harmonically related partials corresponding to the singing voice are identified using the vocal vibrato and the portamento parameters. Groups of vocal partials can then be re-synthesized to isolate the voice. The result of the partial grouping can also be used to transcribe the sung melody. We then propose to go further with these features and study if the vibrato and portamento characteristics can be considered as a part of the singers' signature. Previous works on singer identification describe audio signals using features extracted on the short-term amplitude spectrum. The latter features aim to characterize the timbre of the sound, which, in the case of singing, is related to the vocal tract of the singer. The features we develop in this document capture long-term information related to the intonation of the singer, which is relevant to the style and the technique of the singer. We propose a method to combine these two complementary descriptions of the singing voice to increase the recognition rate of singer identification. In addition we evaluate the robustness of each type of feature against a set of variations. We show the singing voice is a highly variable instrument. To obtain a representative model of a singer's voice it is thus necessary to build models using a large set of examples covering the full tessitura of a singer. In addition, we show that features extracted directly from the partials are more robust to the presence of an instrumental accompaniment than features derived from the amplitude spectrum.
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Dates and versions

tel-00687475 , version 1 (13-04-2012)
tel-00687475 , version 2 (14-02-2013)


  • HAL Id : tel-00687475 , version 2


Lise Regnier. Localization, Characterization and Recognition of Singing Voices. Signal and Image Processing. Université Pierre et Marie Curie - Paris VI, 2012. English. ⟨NNT : ⟩. ⟨tel-00687475v2⟩
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