An Introduction to Signal Processing for Singing-Voice Analysis: High Notes in the Effort to Automate the Understanding of Vocals in Music

Abstract

Humans have devised a vast array of musical instruments, but the most prevalent instrument remains the human voice. Thus, techniques for applying audio signal processing methods to the singing voice are receiving much attention as the world continues to move toward music-streaming services and as researchers seek to unlock the deep content understanding necessary to enable personalized listening experiences on a large scale. This article provides an introduction to the topic of singing-voice analysis. It surveys the foundations and state of the art in computational modeling across three main categories of singing: general vocalizations, the musical function of voice, and the singing of lyrics. We aim to establish a starting point for practitioners new to this field and frame near-field opportunities and challenges on the horizon.

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