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Pink Trombone: A Fun and Interactive Vocal Cord Simulator

Pink Trombone: A Fun and Educational Voice Synthesizer

Have you ever wondered how your voice works? How do you produce different sounds, tones, and pitches? How do you speak different languages and accents? If you are curious about these questions, you might want to try out Pink Trombone, a web app that lets you manipulate a virtual vocal tract to create human voice from scratch.

Pink Trombone is a project created by Neil Thapen, a researcher at the Institute of Mathematics of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic. He developed it as a hobby while his daughter was learning to speak. He wanted to understand the physical processes involved in speech production and implement them on the computer.

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Pink Trombone is not only fun to play with, but also educational. You can learn a lot about the anatomy and physiology of the human voice, the acoustic properties and characteristics of speech sounds, and the differences and similarities between languages and accents. You can also compare it with other web apps and software that simulate human voice or speech synthesis.

In this article, we will show you how to download and use Pink Trombone, how it works, what you can learn from it, and what are some alternatives to it. We will also answer some frequently asked questions about this amazing app.

How to Download and Use Pink Trombone

Downloading and using Pink Trombone is very easy. You just need to follow these simple steps:

  • Go to the official website or GitHub repository of Pink Trombone. You can also find more information about the project on IMAGINARY , a platform for open and interactive mathematics.

  • Choose your preferred platform and version. You can use Pink Trombone on your web browser, desktop, or mobile device. You can also download the source code if you want to modify or improve it.

  • Launch the app and start playing with the controls. You will see a cross-section of the human vocal tract, with different parts that you can move with your mouse or fingers. You can adjust the position of the tongue, lips, soft palate, nasal cavity, glottis, vocal folds, pitch, loudness, and more. You will hear different sounds as you change these parameters.

Here is a screenshot of what Pink Trombone looks like on a web browser:

How Pink Trombone Works

Pink Trombone is based on a simplified model of the voice tract and a discrete solution to the wave equation. To understand how it works, we need to know some basic principles of voice production and articulation.

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The human voice system consists of two components: sound production and sound articulation. Sound production is done by the vocal cords and the vocal folds, which are located in the larynx (or voice box). The vocal cords are two bands of muscle tissue that vibrate when air passes through them. The vocal folds are two flaps of tissue that open or close to regulate the airflow. By changing the tension and length and thickness of the vocal cords and folds, we can produce different pitches and loudness of sound. The sound produced by the vocal cords and folds is called the glottal source.

Sound articulation is done by the vocal tract, which is the tube-like structure that extends from the larynx to the mouth and nose. The vocal tract consists of several parts, such as the pharynx, the oral cavity, the nasal cavity, the soft palate, the hard palate, the tongue, the teeth, and the lips. By changing the shape and size of these parts, we can modify the sound waves that travel through them. The sound waves are reflected, absorbed, amplified, or attenuated by the vocal tract. The sound modified by the vocal tract is called the speech signal.

Pink Trombone simulates both sound production and sound articulation using a simplified model of the vocal tract and a discrete solution to the wave equation. The wave equation is a mathematical formula that describes how sound waves propagate in a medium. Pink Trombone uses a one-dimensional wave equation that assumes that the vocal tract is a uniform tube with varying cross-sectional area. The wave equation is solved using a numerical method called finite difference, which divides the tube into small segments and calculates the pressure and velocity of each segment at each time step.

Pink Trombone allows you to interact with the model of the vocal tract using your mouse or fingers. You can move different parts of the vocal tract to change its shape and size. You can also adjust the pitch and loudness of the glottal source. As you do so, you will hear different sounds that correspond to different speech sounds or phonemes. You can try to imitate words, sentences, or even songs using Pink Trombone.

What You Can Learn from Pink Trombone

Pink Trombone is not only a fun app, but also an educational one. You can learn a lot about the human voice and speech from playing with it. Here are some of the things you can learn from Pink Trombone:

  • The anatomy and physiology of the human voice. You can see how different parts of the voice system work together to produce sound. You can also see how different diseases or injuries can affect your voice quality.

  • The acoustic properties and characteristics of speech sounds. You can see how different parameters such as frequency, amplitude, waveform, spectrum, and formants affect the perception of speech sounds. You can also see how different filters such as resonators, antiresonators, and noise sources shape the speech signal.

  • The differences and similarities between languages and accents. You can see how different languages and accents use different sets of phonemes and phonetic features to convey meaning. You can also see how different languages and accents have different prosody and intonation patterns to express emotion and attitude.

Pink Trombone can help you improve your pronunciation, listening comprehension, and language learning skills. You can practice producing different speech sounds and compare them with native speakers or recordings. You can also experiment with different languages and accents and learn how they differ from your own.

What Are Some Alternatives to Pink Trombone

Pink Trombone is not the only web app or software that simulates human voice or speech synthesis. There are many other alternatives that you can try out if you are interested in this topic. Here are some of them:





Voice Synth

A voice synthesizer app for iOS and macOS that lets you create natural or artificial voices using various presets or custom settings.

- Has more features and options than Pink Trombone- Supports MIDI input and output- Can record and export audio files

- Not free (costs $9.99 for iOS and $24.99 for macOS)- Not available for other platforms- Not very educational


A web app that lets you transform your voice into different styles or characters using deep learning algorithms.

- Has more realistic and diverse voices than Pink Trombone- Supports text-to-speech and speech-to-speech modes- Can share your results on social media

- Not free (requires subscription or credits)- Not very interactive- Not very educational


A web app that recreates the Voder, the first electronic device that could generate continuous human speech.

- Has historical significance as a pioneer of speech synthesis- Has a simple and retro interface- Has educational value

- - Has limited features and options compared to Pink Trombone- Has a steep learning curve- Has outdated sound quality


A web app that lets you create custom speech synthesizers using machine learning models.

- Has more advanced and flexible technology than Pink Trombone- Supports multiple languages and dialects- Can import and export models and data

- Not free (requires subscription or credits)- Not very user-friendly- Not very educational

As you can see, each alternative has its own pros and cons. You can choose the one that suits your needs and preferences best. However, if you are looking for a simple, free, and educational web app that simulates human voice, Pink Trombone is still a great optio


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