The birth of VocalFeel

Semi Occluded Vocal Tract Exercises

Semi Occluded Vocal Tract Exercises (SOVTEs), represent a large set of vocal exercises with a common principle: the increased vocal tract impedance obtained through a semi-occlusion at or near the lips.

Several exercises are part of the SOVTE family and some of them are widely known and practiced by those who use their voice. Some of the most famous SVOTEs are, for example, humming, lip trills and tongue trills.

In the last years, scientists and researchers proposed the use of particular devices to enhance semi-occlusion and produce stronger beneficial effects on voice both in habilitative and rehabilitative fields.

In the ’60s Antti Sovijarvi (of Helsinki University) introduced the resonance tubes technique, then revised it with the modern variant Lax Vox technique by Marketta Sihvo.

American voice scientist Ingo Titze (of Utah University) proposed in the early 2000s the flow resistant straw phonation technique.
The Spanish phoniatrician Alfonso Borragan (Centro de Foniatria y Logopedia Santander) invented the ventilation mask technique and proposed it in the context of his habilitative and rehabilitative Proprioceptive-Elastic method (PROEL).
The Italian phoniatrician Franco Fussi has recently proposed and validated a protocol for artistic voice warm-up using the ventilation mask technique. It is based on sustained sung vowels, glissandos and sung vocalizations, which gives great vocal proprioceptive feedbacks and enhances voice resonances in a fast and effective way.

Vocal cord hydration

Hydration is a well known and effective principle for vocal hygiene. The majority of people who habitually use their voice knows the beneficial effects of a good vocal fold hydration.

In the last years, scientific research outlined the importance of a good hydration to promote vocal health. Vocal cords can be hydrated mainly in two ways: through systemic hydration (thanks to a good water intake) and through topic hydration (humidified air or aerosol inhalation).

Regarding topic vocal hydration, in the last years the research group of Santander – Centro de Foniatria y Logopedia, headed by Dr. Alfonso Borragan, proposed the Gelling Effect theory, consisting of the possibility of enhancing the visco-elastic properties of the vocal cords using to hydration and lubrication procedures. For example, a good vocal hydration can be obtained breathing through a gauze soaked with water for a few minutes

Discover more about vocal cord hydration and the Gelling Effect by visiting the Santander Centro de Foniatria y Logopedia website.

The birth of VocalFeel and the first researches.

Beginning from these scientific assumptions and their promising results of physiological and rehabilitative properties, our team has designed and developed a device which allows the combination of the benefits deriving from every typology of semi occluded vocal tract exercise and topic vocal cord hydration in a synergetic way for the very first time.

A preliminary investigation about the use of VocalFeel during vocal warm-ups has shown very interesting and encouraging results regarding voice resonant quality, vocal load and self-perception.

VocalFeel can make you experience every type of vocal tract semi-occlusion with the possibility of articulating words, which is crucial to promote a natural phonation. Moreover, thanks to the humidifier-filter system, it’s possible to maintain an optimal vocal hydration throughout exertion and warm-ups.

In conclusion, VocalFeel is the right device for those who love the voice and want to take care of their voice, for their job… or their passion!

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