The Sounds of the Avian Syrinx - are they Really Flute-Like?

Tamara Smyth; Julius O. Smith
DAFx-2002 - Hamburg
This research presents a model of the avian vocal tract, implemented using classical waveguide synthesis and numerical methods. The vocal organ of the songbird, the syrinx, has a unique topography of acoustic tubes (a trachea with a bifurcation at its base) making it a rather unique subject for waveguide synthesis. In the upper region of the two bifid bronchi lies a nonlinear vibrating membrane – the primary resonator in sound production. Unlike most reed musical instruments, the more significant displacement of the membrane is perpendicular to the directions of airflow, due to the Bernoulli effect. The model of the membrane displacement, and the resulting pressure through the constriction created by the membrane motion, is therefore derived beginning with the Bernoulli equation.