Quantitative and Graphic Acoustic Analysis of Phonatory Modulations: The Modulogram

Buder, Eugene H.; Strand, Edythe A.
April 2003
Journal of Speech, Language & Hearing Research;Apr2003, Vol. 46 Issue 2, p475
Academic Journal
A method is presented for analyzing phonatory instabilities that occur as modulations of fundamental frequency (f[sub0] ) and sound pressure level (SPL) on the order of 0.2 to 20 cycles per second. Such long-term phonatory instabilities, including but not limited to traditional notions of tremor, are distinct from cycle-to-cycle perturbation such as jitter or shimmer. For each of the 2 parameters (f[sub0] , in Hz, and SPL, in dB), 3 frequency domains are proposed: (a) flutter (10u20 Hz), (b) tremor (2u10 Hz), and (c) wow (0.2u2.0 Hz), yielding 6 types of instability. Analyses were implemented using fast Fourier transforms (FFTs) with domain-specific analysis parameters. Outputs include a graphic display in the form of a set of low-frequency spectrograms (the "modulogram") and quantitative measures of the frequencies, magnitudes, durations, and sinusoidal form of the instabilities. An index of a given instability is developed by combining its duration and average modulation magnitude into a single quantity. Performance of the algorithms was assessed by analyzing test signals with known degrees of modulation, and a range of applications was reviewed to provide a rationale for use of modulograms in phonatory assessment.


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