Spectral features related to the auditory perception of twang-like voices

Marcelo Saldias O'hrens, Christian Castro, Víctor M. Espinoza, Justin Stoney, Camilo Quezada, Anne-Maria Laukkanen

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Background: To the best of our knowledge, studies on the relationship between spectral energy distribution and the degree of perceived twang-like voices are still sparse. Through an auditory-perceptual test we aimed to explore the spectral features that may relate with the auditory-perception of twang-like voices. Methods: Ten judges who were blind to the test’s tasks and stimuli rated the amount of twang perceived on seventy-six audio samples. The stimuli consisted of twenty voices recorded from eight CCM singers who sustained the vowel [a:] in different pitches, with and without a twang-like voice. Also, forty filtered and sixteen synthesized-manipulated stimuli were included. Results and conclusions: Based on the intra-rater reliability scores, four judges were identified as suitable to be included in the analyses. Results showed that the frequency of F1 and F2 correlated strongly with the auditory-perception of twang-like voices (0.90 and 0.74, respectively), whereas F3 showed a moderate negative correlation (–0.52). The frequency difference between F1 and F3 showed a strong negative correlation (–0.82). The mean energy between 1–2 kHz and 2–3 kHz correlated moderately (0.51 and 0.42, respectively). The frequency of F4 and F5, and the energy above 3 kHz showed weak correlations. Since the spectral changes under 2 kHz have been associated with the jaw, lips, and tongue adjustments (i.e. vowel articulation) and a higher vertical laryngeal position might affect the frequency of all formants (including F1 and F2), our results suggest that vowel articulation and the laryngeal height may be relevant when performing twang-like voices.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages18
JournalLogopedics Phoniatrics Vocology
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 24 Apr 2024
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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