High-speed photography is the science of taking very fast pictures. It records fast-moving objects as a photographic images onto a storage medium, often digital. After recording, the stored images can be played back in slow-motion.
A normal motion picture is filmed and played back at 24 frames per second, while television uses 25-30 frames. High-speed film cameras can film up to a quarter of a million frames per second by running the film over a rotating prism or mirror instead of using a shutter, thus reducing the need for stopping and starting the film behind a shutter which would tear the film stock at such speeds. Using this technique one can stretch one second to more than ten minutes of playback time (super slow motion).
High-speed cameras are frequently used in science in order to characterize events which happen too fast for traditional film speeds, i.e. the vocal folds vibrations.
In December 2012 Julian McGlashan and Cathrine Sadolin performed an endoscopy/high speed study at CVI in Copenhagen. We recorded 9 singers using highspeed technology. Each singer was examined using an high-speed digital camera:
- Photron Fastcam MH4
– 512X256 resolution
– Captures 8s B&W footage
– 4G Internal memory, download via USB 3
- 300W Xenon light
- Rigid laryngoscope
- Simultaneous Acoustic and ELG recordings
Laryngograph electrodes were positioned over the thyroid cartilages and an omnidirectional microphone placed at distance from the singer which allowed recordings at all levels of loudness. Also the ELG and acoustic signals were captured and analysed with the Speech Studio (Laryngograph) software program.
The longest high speed recording we made lasted 3-4 seconds and it takes around 17 minutes to play back.
High speed of distortion in Curbing
Here you see a highspeed videoclip of a male singer singing distortion in Curbing. The singers starts in Curbing and then adds distortion.
You can see the progressive narrowing of the supra glottis structure with the modes and then additional narrowing with the distortion, and especially you can see the false cords vibrating.
Notice the laryngeal gestures in Curbing. The false folds approach each other slightly, covering some (the lateral aspect) of the vocal folds. The front and the back of the laryngeal opening approach each other, making the angle more acute between the aryepiglottic folds and the lower part of the epiglottis. The opening of the larynx is more narrowed, creating an angle between the arytenoids and the aryepiglottic fold. The cuneiforms are also rolled in a bit.
Also notice the laryngeal gestures for distortion. Especially the false cords coming in and are vibrating, creating the distortion. Also there is medial- lateral constriction of the false folds and an anterior-posterior narrowing and the larynx is rising.
Besides this, there was narrowing at the posteral lateral pharyngeal wall and narrowing of the pirriforma fossa which can’t be seen on this recording.
High speed of distortion in Overdrive
Here you see a highspeed videoclip of a male singer singing with distortion in Overdrive. The singers starts with distortion in Overdrive and then remove the distortion, and then add the distortion again.
Notice the progressive narrowing of the supra glottis structure with Overdrive. The front and the back of the laryngeal opening approach each other, making the opening of the larynx more narrowed and the cuneiforms are rolled in even more than in Curbing.
Also notice the laryngeal gestures for distortion. Again you can see the additional narrowing with the distortion, and especially the false cords coming in and are vibrating, creating the distortion. Also there is medial- lateral constriction of the false folds and an anterior-posterior narrowing and the larynx is slightly raised.