Singing with hands

Cantor Digitalis is a singing voice synthesizer controlled using chironomy, i.e. hand gestures, with the help of interfaces like stylus or fingers on a graphic tablet. It is also possible to control the synthesizer with any MIDI interface.

To play Cantor Digitalis, plug your graphic tablet to the computer running the provided software.
Select your voice type (lyric like soprano or tenor, or bulgarian traditional, baby, ...), or build your own voice from settings such as the singer size, its pitch range, and different voice quality parameters (tension, breathiness, roughness).
Holding the stylus in your preferred hand, you control the vocal effort with the stylus pressure on the tablet while changing the voice pitch by shifting the stylus horizontally. With your other hand, choose and change continuously the vowel moving a finger on the surface of the tablet.

Play, or rather sing, speak, laugh ! Nothing is simpler than singing accurately thanks to the visual clues applied on the tablet indicating the note positions, and to an automatic and intelligent accuracy correction. It is even possible to create monster or animal voices (giant, zombie, lion, sea gull, etc. ) or various electroacoustic sounds (wind, foghorn, percussions, etc. ).

The information processing is fast enough that you have the impression your gesture is the direct cause of the vocal sound, and the control is continuous, like on an acoustic instrument.
The synthesis engine computes in realtime the voice sound from mathematical models describing the vibration of the vocal folds and the sound resonance in the vocal tract. Nevertheless, the voice quality results from a decade of scientific researches on the rules describing the way intention and musical expressivity interact with the mathematical models.

The Cantor Digitalis was finalist of the Lomus 2014 competition and received the first prize of the Margaret Guthman Musical Instrument Competition in February 2015.

  • To download the Cantor Digitalis, click here
  • To subscribe to the Cantor Digitalis newsletter and/or the forum list, or to contact the developers, click here
  • To learn about the Chorus Digitalis, ensemble of Cantor Digitalis and watch videos of performances, click here
  • For more details about the Cantor Digitalis, click here

The Cantor Digitalis started with the European project (FEDER) OrJo and currently funded by ChaNTeR. It is part of the research of the Analyse & Synthèse Audio sub-team and VIDA transversal research axis of LIMSI, CNRS.

More videos here