Preserving the character of perturbations in scaled pitch contours
March 15, 2010
The global and fine dynamic components of a pitch contour in voice production, as in the speaking and singing voice, are important for both the meaning and character of an utterance. In speech, for example, slow pitch inflections, rapid pitch accents, and irregular regions all comprise the pitch contour. In applications where all components of a pitch contour are stretched or compressed in the same way, as for example in time-scale modification, an unnatural scaled contour may result. In this paper, we develop a framework for scaling pitch contours, motivated by the goal of maintaining naturalness in time-scale modification of voice. Specifically, we develop a multi-band algorithm to independently modify the slow trajectory and fast perturbation components of a contour for a more natural synthesis, and we present examples where pitch contours representative of speaking and singing voice are lengthened. In the speaking voice, the frequency content of flutter or irregularity is maintained, while slow pitch inflection is simply stretched or compressed. In the singing voice, rapid vibrato is preserved while slower note-to-note variation is scaled as desired.