The Virtual/Augmented Chorale (VAChorale) project investigates the
compositional and performance opportunities of a "cyber extended vocal
The project outfits a small choir of singers with microphones,
physical sensors (tilt, position), biological sensors, and cameras
(for face tracking), coupling each human singer to a laptop, multi-channel sound
interface, and multi-channel hemispherical speaker. Of course, the system
uses digital signal processing to modify and augment the acoustical sound
of the singers. Further, we use the biological sensor signals to control
various algorithms for modifying and extending the choral sound. The most
revolutionary component is using the biological sensor signals to control
various sound (primarily voice/singing) synthesis algorithms, in order to
extend, and even replace the acoustic components of the choir. The
singers will thus be able to "sing" without phonating, controlling the
virtual choir with facial gestures, head position, breathing, heart rate,
and other non-acoustic signals.
The continuum from the "dry" choral sound, through the digitally augmented
acoustic sounds of the singers, to the completely virtual sound of the
biological sensor-controlled synthesized singing, provides a rich
compositional space in which to create new music. The VAChorale design,
engineering, and composition team includes experts in digital signal
processing, biological signal acquisition and processing, computer music,
vocal acoustics and synthesis, and human-computer interfaces.
There are two primary final goals for the VAChorale project:
1)To compose, rehearse, and perform concerts of old and
new vocal music with multiple Augmented Chorale ensembles.
2)To capture the singer sensor signals for further study.