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Croon like the King - It's Elvis but he's singing Verdi

点击量:   时间:2018-01-11 05:01:10

By Mark Ward ELVIS lives—but only inside a computer. Ken Lomax of the University of Cambridge has developed a way to reproduce the singing and speaking styles of performers, living and dead. Lomax is working on applications for his technology, such as a karaoke machine that makes you sound like your favourite singer and a synthesised voice for computers that can mimic film stars. Lomax’s “voice morpher” uses a template of a performer’s voice built up from the artist’s recordings. The template captures features of their distinctive singing style, such as how they pronounce the words of a song, the tone of their voice and the characteristic timing of certain phrases. So far Lomax has generated templates for Maria Callas, Elvis and Kiri Te Kanawa. A karaoke machine using the morpher would convert the voice of anyone who stepped up to the microphone into that of Elvis, for example—or any other performer for whom a template had been created. The machine would preserve the timing of the karaoke singer but change the pitch and tone to make them sound like the King. A spokesman for Isis Innovations, which is helping Lomax to find commercial partners, says the system currently has two drawbacks—the time it takes to generate the template and the processing power required to blend the voices in real time. The time taken to generate templates is not critical to real time performance, because they are created in advance. And while the prototype synthesiser takes time to convert the voices of karaoke singers, commercial versions will work instantaneously. Sony, Sharp and IBM are evaluating Lomax’s system with a view to creating commercial products. IBM is considering using it to make computerised voices sound more human. According to the Isis spokesman, a karaoke machine using the voice morpher could make anybody sound more or less like a professional singer. “A song could be half me and half Elvis,” he says,