Accessibility statement

Voice: Acoustics & Applications - ELE00074M

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  • Department: Electronic Engineering
  • Module co-ordinator: Prof. Helena Daffern
  • Credit value: 10 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2022-23

Module summary


This module considers the voice as a complex system with numerous applications across music and audio technology. From phonetics and physiology to voice acoustics and singing voice analysis,  students will learn about different elements of the speech chain necessary for understanding and approaching voice related problems connected to speech processing, synthesis, and music production. 

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Autumn Term 2022-23

Module aims

Subject content aims:

  • To introduce students to voice production in terms of both physiological processes and acoustic output, analysis methods and synthesis techniques
  • To illustrate through demonstrations and practical sessions current analysis techniques, including analysis of the acoustic and electrolaryngograph waveform
  • To provide a fluent understanding of phonetics and phonetic descriptors to enable students to describe vocal sounds
  • To explore methods of voice synthesis including using Pure Data, identifying limitations and potential improvements to the systems being implemented

Graduate skills aims:

  • To develop skills in critically evaluating and synthesising new information based on researched information and writing concise technical reports appropriate for the target audience
  • To develop advanced skills in designing, delivering and defending engaging presentations on advanced topics, appropriate for the target audience

Module learning outcomes

Subject content learning outcomes

After successful completion of this module, students will be able to:

  • Identify vocal and speech qualities based on listening
  • Identify vocal and speech qualities based on visual inspection of spectrograms and an electrolaryngograph waveform
  • Accurately measure aspects of voice using several methods and data types including electrolaryngograph and audio signal recordings
  • Create phonetic transcriptions of voice recordings using International Phonetic Alphabet
  • Talk about a voice related topic in front of their peers
  • Demonstrate their understanding of voice production principles by synthesising vowels and consonants


Graduate skills learning outcomes

After successful completion of this module, students will:

  • Be able to construct concise technical reports that critically evaluate and synthesise new information based on research, appropriate for the target audience
  • Be able to design, deliver and defend persuasive technical presentations based on selected reliable evidence to the target audiences


Task Length % of module mark
N/A 75
Oral presentation/seminar/exam
Oral Presentation
N/A 25

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
Re-assessment: Report
N/A 100

Module feedback

'Feedback’ at a university level can be understood as any part of the learning process which is designed to guide your progress through your degree programme.  We aim to help you reflect on your own learning and help you feel more clear about your progress through clarifying what is expected of you in both formative and summative assessments.

A comprehensive guide to feedback and to forms of feedback is available in the Guide to Assessment Standards, Marking and Feedback.  This can be found at

The Department of Electronic Engineering aims to provide some form of feedback on all formative and summative assessments that are carried out during the degree programme.  In general, feedback on any written work/assignments undertaken will be sufficient so as to indicate the nature of the changes needed in order to improve the work.  Students are provided with their examination results within 20 working days of the end of any given examination period.  The Department will also endeavour to return all coursework feedback within 20 working days of the submission deadline.  The Department would normally expect to adhere to the times given, however, it is possible that exceptional circumstances may delay feedback.  The Department will endeavour to keep such delays to a minimum.  Please note that any marks released are subject to ratification by the Board of Examiners and Senate.  Meetings at the start/end of each term provide you with an opportunity to discuss and reflect with your supervisor on your overall performance to date. 

Indicative reading

Keith Johnson, (1997), Acoustic and Auditory Phonetics, Blackwell, ISBN 0-631-20095-9
Sundberg, Johan, The Science of the Singing Voice Northern Illinois University Press, Illinois 1987
Howard and Angus (2006). Acoustics and Psychoacoustics. Focal Press Oxford ISBN-10: 0-240-51995-7
Puckette, Miller Smith (2007). The Theory and Technique of Electronic Music. World Scientific, Singapore. ISBN 978-981-270-541-9

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.