Editing Formants

BackgroundVocaForm makes it’s sound using a form of formant synthesis.  A formant is a peak of sound energy created by a vibrating body having a resonances at a specific frequency.  instrument and voice formant frequencies do not change according to the pitch that is being played. Thus, a particular arrangement of formants is one of the clues that are used to differentiate between instrument sounds and different speakers.

Human have the ability to change the shape of their vocal tract, thus they can shift their formants to produce different vowel sounds. By setting the parameters to match a given set of formants, a synthesizer can approximate vowel sounds.


At the top of the screen is a selection bar that allows you to choose one of four sounds to actively edit. The A E I O letters are just labels, they don’t represent anything specific.

VocaForm synthesizes each sound using 5 formant regions, represented by the next selection bar.  Chosing one of the formants (1-5) causes the controls below to affect that formant.

  • Toggle – turns that formant’s contribution off completely.
  • Weight – changes the amount that formant contributes to the overall sound.
  • Freq – sets the center frequency of the formant.
  • Tone – determines how bright that formant sounds.

The graph represents the grain that is being used to generate that formant.

There are three buttons (Do Mi So) to preview the changes.


Back to VocaForm main page.


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