Differences Among Mixed, Chest, and Falsetto Registers: A Multiparametric Study

Yogaku Lee, Mitsuru Oya, Tokihiko Kaburagi, Shunsuke Hidaka, Takashi Nakagawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Introduction: Typical singing registers are the chest and falsetto; however, trained singers have an additional register, namely, the mixed register. The mixed register, which is also called “mixed voice” or “mix,” is an important technique for singers, as it can help bridge from the chest voice to falsetto without noticeable voice breaks. Objective: The present study aims to reveal the nature of the voice-production mechanism of the different registers (chest, mix, and falsetto) using high-speed digital imaging (HSDI), electroglottography (EGG), and acoustic and aerodynamic measurements. Study Design: Cross-sectional study. Methods: Aerodynamic measurements were acquired for twelve healthy singers (six men and women) during the phonation of a variety of pitches using three registers. HSDI and EGG devices were simultaneously used on three healthy singers (two men and one woman) from which an open quotient (OQ) and speed quotient (SQ) were detected. Audio signals were recorded for five sustained vowels, and a spectral analysis was conducted to determine the amplitude of each harmonic component. Furthermore, the absolute (not relative) value of the glottal volume flow was estimated by integrating data obtained from the HSDI and aerodynamic studies. Results: For all singers, the subglottal pressure (PSub) was the highest for the chest in the three registers, and the mean flow rate (MFR) was the highest for the falsetto. Conversely, the PSub of the mix was as low as the falsetto, and the MFR of the mix was as low as the chest. The HSDI analysis showed that the OQ differed significantly among the registers, even when the fundamental frequency was the same; the OQ of the mix was higher than that of the chest but lower than that of the falsetto. The acoustic analysis showed that, for the mix, the harmonic structure was intermediate between the chest and falsetto. The results of the glottal volume-flow analysis revealed that the maximum volume velocity was the least for the mix register at every fundamental frequency. The first and second harmonic (H1-H2) difference of the voice source spectrum was the greatest for the falsetto, then the mix, and finally, the chest. Conclusions: We found differences in the registers in terms of the aeromechanical mechanisms and vibration patterns of the vocal folds. The mixed register proved to have a distinct voice-production mechanism, which can be differentiated from those of the chest or falsetto registers.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Voice
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Speech and Hearing
  • LPN and LVN


Dive into the research topics of 'Differences Among Mixed, Chest, and Falsetto Registers: A Multiparametric Study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this