Comparison of Voice Analysis Systems for Perturbation Measurement Dysphonic voices are often analyzed using automated voice analysis software. However, the reliability of acoustic measures obtained from these programs remains unknown, particularly when they are applied to pathological voices. This study compared perturbation measures from CSpeech, Computerized Speech Laboratory, SoundScope, and a hand marking voice analysis system. Sustained vowels ... Research Article
Research Article  |   February 01, 1996
Comparison of Voice Analysis Systems for Perturbation Measurement
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Steven Bielamowicz
    Division of Head and Neck Surgery UCLA School of Medicine Los Angeles, CA
  • Jody Kreiman
    Division of Head and Neck Surgery UCLA School of Medicine Los Angeles, CA
  • Bruce R. Gerratt
    Division of Head and Neck Surgery UCLA School of Medicine Los Angeles, CA
  • Marc S. Dauer
    Division of Head and Neck Surgery UCLA School of Medicine Los Angeles, CA
  • Gerald S. Berke
    Division of Head and Neck Surgery UCLA School of Medicine Los Angeles, CA
  • Contact author: Jody Kreiman, PhD, Division of Head/Neck Surgery, UCLA School of Medicine, 31–24 Rehabilitation Center, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1794. E-mail: jkreiman@ucla.edu
  • Currently affiliated with the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, Bethesda, MD
    Currently affiliated with the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, Bethesda, MD×
  • Currently affiliated with the Department of Radiology, University of Southern California School of Medicine, Los Angeles
    Currently affiliated with the Department of Radiology, University of Southern California School of Medicine, Los Angeles×
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosody / Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   February 01, 1996
Comparison of Voice Analysis Systems for Perturbation Measurement
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 1996, Vol. 39, 126-134. doi:10.1044/jshr.3901.126
History: Accepted July 31, 1994 , Received November 7, 1994
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 1996, Vol. 39, 126-134. doi:10.1044/jshr.3901.126
History: Accepted July 31, 1994; Received November 7, 1994

Dysphonic voices are often analyzed using automated voice analysis software. However, the reliability of acoustic measures obtained from these programs remains unknown, particularly when they are applied to pathological voices. This study compared perturbation measures from CSpeech, Computerized Speech Laboratory, SoundScope, and a hand marking voice analysis system. Sustained vowels from 29 male and 21 female speakers with mild to severe dysphonia were digitized, and fundamental frequency (F0), jitter, shimmer, and harmonics- or signal-to-noise ratios were computed. Commercially available acoustical analysis programs agreed well, but not perfectly, in their measures of F0. Measures of perturbation in the various analysis packages use different algorithms, provide results in different units, and often yield values for voices that violate the assumption of quasi-periodicity. As a result, poor rank order correlations between programs using similar measures of perturbation were noted. Because measures of aperiodicity apparently cannot be reliably applied to voices that are even mildly aperiodic, we question their utility in quantifying vocal quality, especially in pathological voices.

Acknowledgments
We thank Scott Selbie, PhD, for his help determining the formal equivalence of different perturbation algorithms. SoundScope software was donated by GW Instruments. No financial support was provided by any of the organizations whose software was evaluated here. This research was supported in part by National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders grant DC 01797 and by Veterans Administration Merit Review funds, and was carried out at the VA Medical Center, West Los Angeles. A preliminary version was presented at the 124th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America in Ottawa, Canada, on May 19, 1993.
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