Skip to main content
Topic: Human voice maximum frequency? (Read 17760 times) previous topic - next topic
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Human voice maximum frequency?

Hey all,
I was wondering what is the highest frequency human voice can produce. The highest note a soprano usually sings, high C, has a frequency of about 1 kHz, but that of course is only the fundamental frequency without taking harmonics into consideration, which can have higher frequencies than the fundamental tone. As for the highest harmonics of a soprano, I have seen figures of about 5 kHz, although I think I've seen 10 kHz listed somewhere on the net.
I ABXed a short female medieval chant (just voice, altos and sopranos) lowpassed to 5 kHz and 11 kHz. The 5 kHz lowpassed one had an obvious lack of brightness noticeable even with my untrained ear, ordinary equipment and not quiet listening environment. However, I wasn't able to pick out the 11 kHz lowpassed. It is quite possible that it's my lack of training, good equipment and proper environment account for this, but I think it could also be that human voice harmonics don't reach such a high frequency (at least on this sample). :ponder:
Could any of you with better ears and equipment tell me whether there is any significant difference (that is, in the voice, not the background noise or else) between the original and the lowpassed one?

Length: 47 seconds.
Original: http://www.dologan.f2s.com/chant.ape (2,742 KB)
Lowpassed: http://www.dologan.f2s.com/chant-lowpass11.ape (1,914 KB)

Thanks

~Dologan

Human voice maximum frequency?

Reply #1
I thought it would be best to bring this old thread back instead of starting a new one.

I've heard that the maximum frequency is somewhere around 8 KHz, but I'm not sure if that's correct. Maybe someone here knows?

Human voice maximum frequency?

Reply #2
I think that consonants like "s" can reach really high frequencies. You can orientate on them when you do listening tests. Buit I cannot tell what frequencies they actually reach.
I love the moderators.

Human voice maximum frequency?

Reply #3
And what stops you people from looking at a frequency spectrum?

Human voice maximum frequency?

Reply #4
Quote
And what stops you people from looking at a frequency spectrum?

the lack of a high-quality (without lowpass) voice sample.
I love the moderators.


Human voice maximum frequency?

Reply #6
MPEG reference material,  notably  ES02 (German Male Speech)  has peaks up to 20 kHz during consonants.

Human voice maximum frequency?

Reply #7
Mariah Carey can sure hit ear piercing frequencies (near ultrasonic), but it sure isn't very musical. That's one reason (among others) I don't care for her. Too many of her tunes are like experimental near the end, and I grew tired of replacing windows.

xen-uno
No one can be told what Ogg Vorbis is...you have to hear it for yourself
- Morpheus

Human voice maximum frequency?

Reply #8
According to the "Quid" encyclopaedia, 1998,

Egyptian singer Oum Kalsoum (1898 - 1975) emitted 14000 vibrations per second (a normal voice : 4000)

Human voice maximum frequency?

Reply #9
I've just analyzed an Om Kalsoum recording, and there are actually harmonics until about 14 kHz.

But... I've analyzed another female voice to compare (Karin, from XVIIe Vie), and the harmonics, even in the MPC version, go beyond 16 kHz !

Human voice maximum frequency?

Reply #10
Looked with a baritone, Sergei Leiferkus : on « sss », frequencies are often near 20 kHz.


Human voice maximum frequency?

Reply #12
I excluded s, or t from my analyses, in order to look at the frequencies of the voice only. I looked at the peaks that appear and stay up when the singer sings a note.

Human voice maximum frequency?

Reply #13
Quote
Xenno wrote:
Mariah Carey can sure hit ear piercing frequencies (near ultrasonic), but it sure isn't very musical.


You mean, like this?

Human voice maximum frequency?

Reply #14
Ok, so I guess it's just the most important freguencies that are below 8 kHz (for a male voice).

I tried lowpassing the male samples to 8 Khz and it basically sounded the same as the original. The s-sounds were affected of course, but these actually sounded better.

Human voice maximum frequency?

Reply #15
Wispering sounds somehow similar to noise (= containing a wide range of frequencies). So if you take a voice that is not as clear or sharp as an opera singer's and therefore containing more whispering "components" you'll probably notice more high frequency content.

Some Examples from "The Acappellas - The Acappellas" (Gospel)

HappyDay
PreciousLord
Mercy
Motherless
Let's suppose that rain washes out a picnic. Who is feeling negative? The rain? Or YOU? What's causing the negative feeling? The rain or your reaction? - Anthony De Mello

Human voice maximum frequency?

Reply #16
Maybe a good challenger for a record, but I need help for the interpretation of the frequency graph :



Sample is here (< 10 seconds, ape encoding).

Voice is alone, without any instrument in the background. Pure solo. Demonstration and spectacular passage for virtuoso. Soprano is Nathalie Dessay, singing an aria of Mozart's Mitridate. Frequencies seem to go beyond 20 Khz. Is that really possible ?

Human voice maximum frequency?

Reply #17
The oscillations that we can see are the harmonics of the voice. Since they are multiple integers of the fundamental (the bright yellow line at the bottom), they are equally spaced. The vibrato is also multiplied, thus the higher harmonics have more vibrato. In logarithmic frequency scaling, all line would show the same vibrato, but the harmonics would not be equally spaced.

I can hear a lot of intermodulation when I turn up the volume, but it can be very well occuring into my ears. I'm not sure if I still hear it at low volume (=recording distorded instead of my ears). I should burn it on CD and play it in the CD Player with the computer Off, so that I don't have the background noise of the computer case (I leave it open when the temperature is above 30 °C in the room).

Human voice maximum frequency?

Reply #18
Reflections and/or aliasing, pick your poison
I'd rather vote for nr 1.

Have you taken baby voice into consideration?
Humans have a hearing range of 30Hz-18kHz (average) for a reason... evolutionary one.

/EDIT\ Pio, you're not the only one hearing IMD \EDIT/
ruxvilti'a

Human voice maximum frequency?

Reply #19
PIO: I haven't understand anything :'( Sounds like chinese to me.
For the others : you can add this sample to the library of problems with --alt-preset standard without the -Z switch (excluding 3.90.3 compile).

Human voice maximum frequency?

Reply #20
The most important frequencies of speech for comprehension are the 1-3 khz range, which is, oddly enough, the part of the spectrum our ears are most sensitive too. 

Because we're the most sensitive in this range, it's also the first to experience damage from noise exposure, leading to the need to ask everyone to repeat what they say.

Human voice maximum frequency?

Reply #21
Well it's not that odd that we are more sensitive to some frequencies, for instance, mothers have to hear their babies when they cry. If you think about it, a crying baby is a very annoying sound. It's just how nature/evolution has made us, to secure the survival of our infants back in the days. Another such example would be the human eye, at the edges of your field of vision, you are much more sensitive to movements, even though your vision isn't that sharp there. This served to quickly spot fleeing prey and also attackers. This mechanism still works well today, for instance, you can see flickering on a monitor more easily if you look straight ahead and have the monitor in a 90° angle to your left/right. Most of these mechanisms have turned useless in our modern society, even hair is useless now. But i guess evolution won't remove it within the next few hundred years.

Human voice maximum frequency?

Reply #22
Quote
Well it's not that odd that we are more sensitive to some frequencies

You've misunderstood me.    My saying 'oddly enough', I didn't mean to imply that it's odd or strange.  It's simply a figure of speech.

Interestingly, this 1-3 khz 'bump' played a significant role in the creation of the early communications systems, especially the telephone.

Human voice maximum frequency?

Reply #23
Quote
PIO: I haven't understand anything :'( Sounds like chinese to me.
For the others : you can add this sample to the library of problems with --alt-preset standard without the -Z switch (excluding 3.90.3 compile).

Sorry, forgot the first paragraph, I was explaining why it looks like a japanese painting of the sea.

In the second one, I said that I hear distortion and I wonder if the highest frequencies are distortion or voice.

Human voice maximum frequency?

Reply #24
Quote
Well it's not that odd that we are more sensitive to some frequencies, for instance, mothers have to hear their babies when they cry.


I haven't heard of anything in particular about a crying infant, but research has shown humans are most sensitive to frequencies throughout the whole range of (common) human speech.  There's a graphic of average human frequency sensitivity in this pdf.

This has all come from the studies of psychophysics, a new field which is trying to study the "subjective" sensory patterns between people (and they also work with animals).  Go here for a good intro to acoustic psychophysics:
http://www.biols.susx.ac.uk/home/Chris_Dar...ring_Index.html

Quote
Most of these mechanisms have turned useless in our modern society, even hair is useless now.


But let's not forget the inner ear hairs that are responsible for almost all of our auditory sensations!


edit:  insert helpful image:  Notice the increase in sensitivty near the range of human    speech frequencies.

 
SimplePortal 1.0.0 RC1 © 2008-2019