Speech of Sine Waves

I dont use that interweb expression LOL much/if at all, but I am about to – simply because this actually made me laugh out loud as I observed my brain & perceptions do a little twist inside out. If you have never heard this effect then you may be about to experience the same.

Synthesis via resynthesis is a fairly technical but straight forward process of taking a naturally occurring sound, analysing it & then re-creating it using many sine waves at different pitches. When it is done very high resolution (eg with a Kyma system) it effectively gives you the ability to ‘play’ the spectrum of a sound, but I have never considered applying the approach to dialogue, until now…

Matt Davis of the MRC Cognition & Brain Sciences Unit at Cambridge has a thorough article here about the process & how our brain interprets it, but to illustrate the cognitive effect clearly, listen to this:

download sine speech 1 mp3

sounds like R2D2 right? now listen to this:

download clear speech 1 mp3

ok, now play sine speech 1 again – notice any perceptual shift between now & ten seconds prior? I laughed out loud… sorry LOL’d

Heres a few other examples:

download sine speech 2 mp3

download clear speech 2 mp3

got it?

download sine speech 3 mp3

download clear speech 3 mp3

how about that one?

download sine speech 4 mp3

download clear speech 4 mp3

any different?

download sine speech 5 mp3

download clear speech 5 mp3

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