The European project EUNISON has started
The project EUNISON (Extensive UNIfied-domain SimulatiON of the human voice) started on the 1st of March 2013 with the participation of the Acoustics group, La Salle R&D. This is a European research project of the type FET (Future Emerging Technologies) corresponding to the 7th framework programme that deals with the numerical simulation of the human voice.
The physics of voice is rather complex. Its numerical simulation will demand the use of supercomputer facilities, and an extensive number of experiments to validate the resulting models. For the first time the entire voice organ will be simulated in a unified computational domain. This involves considering a basic neuromuscular activation, the vocal folds self-oscillation, and the sound waves propagating through the vocal tract and emanating from the lips when pronouncing for instance a syllable. The Finite Element Method (FEM) will be used to solve the equations involved in the generation of vowels, diphthongs and syllables.
As a result, not only the produced sound will be ready to be listened, but also the acoustic waves inside the vocal tract could be visualized. The final goal of EUNISON is not developing a text-to-speech synthesis system, but rather a voice simulation engine with applications to, e.g., speech technology, medical research, pedagogy, linguistics and the arts.
The EUNISON project is leaded by the university KTH from Stockholm, and it has the participation of La Salle R&D from Barcelona, the centre for numerical methods CIMNE from Barcelona, the university FAU from Erlangen-Nurenberg and the research centre GIPSA-Lab from Grenoble. The director of the Acoustics Area Dr. Oriol Guasch is the scientific coordinator of the project and the leader of WP5: simulations of the vocal tract. The researcher Marc Arnela, also from the acoustics group, is pursuing a PhD within the EUNISON project in the latter topic. Dr. Francesc Alías, director of the HCI group, is leading WP8: dissemination.