The sound level of the singer's formant in professional singing

G Bloothooft, R Plomp
Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 1986, 79 (6): 2028-33
The relative sound level of the "singer's formant," measured in a 1/3-oct band with a center frequency of 2.5 kHz for males and of 3.16 kHz for females, has been investigated for 14 professional singers, nine different modes of singing, nine different vowels, variations in overall sound-pressure level, and fundamental frequencies ranging from 98 up to 880 Hz. Variation in the sound level of the singer's formant due to differences among male singers was small (4 dB), the factors vowels (16 dB) and fundamental frequency (9-14 dB) had an intermediate effect, while the largest variation was found for differences among female singers (24 dB), between modes of singing (vocal effort) (23 dB), and in overall sound-pressure level (more than 30 dB). In spite of this great potential variability, for each mode of singing the sound level of the singer's formant was remarkably constant up to F0 = 392 Hz, due to adaptation of vocal effort. This may be explained as the result of the perceptual demand of a constant voice quality. The definition of the singer's formant is discussed.

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