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Vocal Chorus-izer

Employing multiple parabolic microphones at different distances
  [vote for,

One reason a chorus generally sounds better than a single voice is because the different voices don't say the same thing at EXACTLY the same time. Another reason has to do with the fact that two voices are generally different-sounding (identical siblings excepted), and rules of harmonization tend to apply.

This Idea involves emulating the first aspect of a chorus. There already exist ways to distort a voice to make it sound different, so while I'll get back to that in a bit, it is not enough to make this an original Idea.

As mentioned in the summary, we employ multiple parabolic microphones. The speaker is located in a normal place for such things (e.g. center of stage), but no microphone is also there. That's because of a kind of "shadow effect" that we want to avoid.

At various distances from the speaker we place a parabolic microphone. The farther away, the bigger the parabolic dish. The net effect is that each of these microphones receives the same amount of sound-energy from the speaker. Note that if the speaker had an ordinary and fairly large microphone close to the mouth, the device distorts the pattern of emanating sound-waves, (shadow effect), making it more difficult to capture equal-energy waves at different distances. A small shirt-mounted microphone might be OK, however.

The inputs from all the microphones are mixed together before being fed into the main amplifier and the speaker system. The net effect is, because the sound waves from the speaker arrive at different times for each microphone, is that the lone voice sounds like multiple voices almost synchronized. A chorus, therefore.

As mentioned, electronic voice-distortions can be added, differently for each microphone signal, causing harmonies to appear and making the lone voice sound even more like an actual chorus.

Vernon, Nov 23 2011

SAW filters http://en.wikipedia..._filter#SAW_filters
[xaviergisz, Nov 23 2011]

Virtual Choir 2.0 http://youtu.be/6WhWDCw3Mng
Best in 720p and full screen, IMHO [Klaatu, Nov 24 2011]

Sleep -- One Man Virtual Choir http://youtu.be/qJTzmvomYXI
[Klaatu, Nov 24 2011]

Comb Filters http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comb_filter
[fho, Nov 26 2011]

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       A delay could be added electronically just as easily as the voice-distortion. Are there any benefits of your method?
xaviergisz, Nov 23 2011

       [xaviergisz], silly question. This is the HalfBakery, where various things are supposed to be more complicated than necessary. Also, the electronic method is probably Baked, and I've not heard of this method being used before.
Vernon, Nov 23 2011

       OK, I'm a fairly tolerant halfbaker, but please, Lamont Cranston, tell us more about this "shadow effect."   

       Also, please state your basis for the observation that //a chorus generally sounds better than a single voice//.   

       Thirdly, there must be a better category than science: technology!
csea, Nov 23 2011

       //This is the HalfBakery, where various things are supposed to be more complicated than necessary.//   

       Yes, but this falls short in the 'complication' department. To be truly Halfbaked, the system should instead consist of a padded restraint couch, for the singer. The couch would be capable of rapid (probably >20G) acceleration and high velocities. The initial position of the singer would be several miles from the audience.   

       The singer would sing a note or two, and then be whisked away to a new position, half a mile or so closer to the audience. The singer would then have to wait until his original two notes had caught up with him, and re-sing the same two notes as they go past. The process is repeated, until the singer arrives at a point a few feet in front of the audience. As the accumulated chorus of notes reaches the singer (and audience), the singer delivers the final layer, harmonizing with himself or herself.   

       Of course, the singer would then have to be whisked back to the starting position for the next two notes, making for lengthy gaps in the performance. However, a sort of supersonic stop- start conveyer belt could be employed, so that a relay team of singers would perform in this manner.
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 23 2011

       [csea], if no chorus ever sounded better than a single voice, none would ever have a performance booked. As for "shadow effect", it is not as obvious for sound waves as it is for light waves, but it does exist. An object can block some of the waves, creating a shadow on the opposite side of the object from the source of the waves.   

       As for category, I won't complain if this Idea gets moved.
Vernon, Nov 23 2011

       As an interesting side note, sound waves are used to delay signals *within* some electronic devices; specifically, using a SAW (surface acoustic wave) filter.
xaviergisz, Nov 23 2011

       Its a great idea. A hybrid acoustic/electronic scheme that allows for a more organic, accidental creation of the chorus effect.
sqeaketh the wheel, Nov 24 2011

       //a chorus generally sounds better than a single voice//   

       After listening to Virtual Choir 2.0 <link>, I must concur. [+]
Klaatu, Nov 24 2011

       Its a great idea. A hybrid acoustic/electronic scheme that allows for a more organic, accidental creation of the chorus effect.
sqeaketh the wheel, Nov 24 2011

       if you take the same signal and mix delayed versions you get nasty combfilter effects ... and those don't sound nice ... see link   

       Choirs sound good cause you have multiple soundsources that may even be perfectly in sync but have a different voice
fho, Nov 26 2011


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