Skip to content


  • Research Article
  • Open Access

Vibrato in Singing Voice: The Link between Source-Filter and Sinusoidal Models

EURASIP Journal on Advances in Signal Processing20042004:720342

  • Received: 4 July 2003
  • Published:


The application of inverse filtering techniques for high-quality singing voice analysis/synthesis is discussed. In the context of source-filter models, inverse filtering provides a noninvasive method to extract the voice source, and thus to study voice quality. Although this approach is widely used in speech synthesis, this is not the case in singing voice. Several studies have proved that inverse filtering techniques fail in the case of singing voice, the reasons being unclear. In order to shed light on this problem, we will consider here an additional feature of singing voice, not present in speech: the vibrato. Vibrato has been traditionally studied by sinusoidal modeling. As an alternative, we will introduce here a novel noninteractive source filter model that incorporates the mechanisms of vibrato generation. This model will also allow the comparison of the results produced by inverse filtering techniques and by sinusoidal modeling, as they apply to singing voice and not to speech. In this way, the limitations of these conventional techniques, described in previous literature, will be explained. Both synthetic signals and singer recordings are used to validate and compare the techniques presented in the paper.

Keywords and phrases

  • voice quality
  • source-filter model
  • inverse filtering
  • singing voice
  • vibrato
  • sinusoidal model

Authors’ Affiliations

Departamento de Ingeniería Eléctrica y Electrónica, Universidad Pública de Navarra, Campus de Arrosadia, Pamplona, 31006, Spain


© Arroabarren and Carlosena 2004