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spectrograph - voice analysis

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KingBrilliant 25 Nov 02 - 06:46 AM
Pied Piper 25 Nov 02 - 06:56 AM
mack/misophist 25 Nov 02 - 09:55 AM
KingBrilliant 25 Nov 02 - 10:39 AM
Wolfgang 25 Nov 02 - 10:46 AM
KingBrilliant 25 Nov 02 - 11:00 AM
Wolfgang 25 Nov 02 - 11:07 AM
KingBrilliant 25 Nov 02 - 11:23 AM
Mark Clark 25 Nov 02 - 11:50 AM
Hrothgar 28 Nov 02 - 02:50 AM
GUEST 28 Nov 02 - 04:43 AM
KingBrilliant 28 Nov 02 - 05:57 AM
JohnInKansas 28 Nov 02 - 06:19 AM
GUEST,MCP 28 Nov 02 - 06:43 AM
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Subject: spectrograph - voice analysis
From: KingBrilliant
Date: 25 Nov 02 - 06:46 AM

Hi all
I just downloaded a spectrograph for use on a PC. It shows a realtime representation of microphone input in terms of frequency on the Y axis, time on the X axis, and strength of each point on the graph is represented by intensity of colour.
You can use the microphone directly, or you can put a line into the microphone hole in the soundcard (eg from minidisc), and listen to any recorded voices you've got available. (remember to turn the sound output off on your PC or you'll get feedback).
It is really fascinating, as it shows you the frequencies (fundamental and harmonics) in the voice, and you can actually see the controlled vibrato in classical singers. You can actually SEE the quality! Cecilia Bartoli sings like woven herringbone....

I've only just started using it, and wondered if anyone else has used one & if they've any advice or info.

If anyone wants a copy they can download it from here . It is freeware and has no trial period limitations.
It requires directx 6.1 or higher, and Windows 95/9 (I'm running it fine on XP), and a full duplex sound card (I expect most are).
It does mess with the colour scheme a tiny bit using the directx software, so watch out for that - but I expect it is reset when you reload.
What do you reckon people??

Kris


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Subject: RE: spectrograph - voice analysis
From: Pied Piper
Date: 25 Nov 02 - 06:56 AM

Thanks for that your majesty.
I'll go and have a play.
All the best PP


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Subject: RE: spectrograph - voice analysis
From: mack/misophist
Date: 25 Nov 02 - 09:55 AM

If you're approaching this from the point of view of using it as a lie detector, Sorry Charlie. The people who make them claim that they work. From time to time, the US government says they work (but we know about them, don't we?). The people who test them keep finding things wrong with them. Otherwise? A fun toy. Just don't be misled.

It goes like this: Federal regulations say that lie detectors work. Period. So lie detectors are accepted in federal courts. I don't think there's a single state government stupid enough to do anything like that.


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Subject: RE: spectrograph - voice analysis
From: KingBrilliant
Date: 25 Nov 02 - 10:39 AM

lie detector??????? eh???? I think you may have got the wrong end of the stick misophist..

Tiz for analysing the resonances & formants & stuff in singing voices.
Can they really be used for lie detection?? Is there a special give-away vibrato when you're telling porkies? Hmmmmmm.....

Kris


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Subject: RE: spectrograph - voice analysis
From: Wolfgang
Date: 25 Nov 02 - 10:46 AM

Can they really be used for lie detection??
There are people who try just that (with very little success)

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: spectrograph - voice analysis
From: KingBrilliant
Date: 25 Nov 02 - 11:00 AM

Oh well - I don't think this one would be any good for lie detecting - but its great for looking at a visual representation of the relative intensities of frequencies in the singing voice. Honest. :@)


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Subject: RE: spectrograph - voice analysis
From: Wolfgang
Date: 25 Nov 02 - 11:07 AM

I agree, that's a much better use. Fun is to try to produce a pure sine wave by whistling.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: spectrograph - voice analysis
From: KingBrilliant
Date: 25 Nov 02 - 11:23 AM

Actually I wonder whether spectrograph is a specific enough description.

This one shows 3 dimensions (time, frequency AND intensity) - so its not one of those that looks like an oscilloscope. It looks more like an ultrasound scan (though of course it isn't any such thing).

The importance is in being able to see the relative intensities of a range of frequencies at each single sampled instance - ie you see the fundamental & the harmonics as bands of light. The Y axis is at the right hand side of the screen, and this is where the sample appears - it then moves toward the left of the screen as the next appears - building a moving picture of the last x seconds' worth of sound.

As it tracks the input you see the changes with time - so you can see vibrato (and wobble) - and you can see where your voice is strong & where it is not so strong. You can see where you have lots of harmonics (ie a rich tone) and where your tone is thinner. You can see if you are going a bit flat on a held note. All manner of things...... very useful (and impartial) feedback.

You can even see the claw-clackings of the dog as it wanders past on the laminate floor (must remember to clip those claws).

Kris


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Subject: RE: spectrograph - voice analysis
From: Mark Clark
Date: 25 Nov 02 - 11:50 AM

I'll give it try. I wonder whether it would allow the user to separate parts in a recording of trio or quartet singing? That might be pretty useful. Has anyone tried this?

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: spectrograph - voice analysis
From: Hrothgar
Date: 28 Nov 02 - 02:50 AM

Are you telling the truth about this, King?

Hrothgar - who wouldn't be game to have his singing analysed by one of these - it could be toooo embarassing.


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Subject: RE: spectrograph - voice analysis
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Nov 02 - 04:43 AM

Now, if you could put your favourite singer's voice through it and use the analysis to set up filters to make your voice sound like theirs...

BJ


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Subject: RE: spectrograph - voice analysis
From: KingBrilliant
Date: 28 Nov 02 - 05:57 AM

Hrothgar - Honesty is my middle name - would I lie to you? Seriously though - its just a visual representation, it makes no judgements - and its SO MUCH FUN!!!!!!


Guest - there's a devilish idea - And presumably technically feasible - but not with this beautifully simple little piece of software. However you can look at your favourite singer's voice, then try to achieve the same output from your own....... which comes to much the same thing.


Kris


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Subject: RE: spectrograph - voice analysis
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 28 Nov 02 - 06:19 AM

It sounds like a "software implementation" of what the lab guys call a Fast Fourier Analyser (FFA) - something that's been around for quite a while, but generally a little expensive for "home use," especially in something that's accurate enough to be really useful.

Note that the "Fast Fourier" bit doesn't really have much to do with "performance." The reference is to a particular kind of mathematical process used to "extract" component frequencies from short samples of sound.

Testing labs have used something similar since at least the 50s - when you shake something hard enough to make it come apart, the frequency components can tell something about what breaks first. Of course, the speaker/microphone development labs use variants to get those fancy frequency response curves (that often tell you more about the room they tested in than about the device they tested).

Should be a fun thing to play with.

John


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Subject: RE: spectrograph - voice analysis
From: GUEST,MCP
Date: 28 Nov 02 - 06:43 AM

Mark - separation of voices or instruments in a muti-voice context is a non-trivial problem at the moment (even single note pitch estimation is not simple or perfect yet). There are some systems that try to separate a bass and melody line (by Goto, IIRC). Have a look at the work of the Cambridge Signals Group if you're interested in seeing the work being done or do a search under pitch estimation to lead you to work on this and you'll probably find references to the voice separation problem too. I'm sure I've seen papers on the separation of woodwinds by timbre modelling.

Mick


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