1. Pitch and Voice Stability
The pitch, or perceived height of the tone of the voice is determined by the speed at which the vocal cords vibrate – the quicker they vibrate, the higher the pitch. The shorter the vocal cords, the faster they vibrate, and the higher the pitch. Men generally have a larger larynx and longer vocal cords than women, which explains why they typically speak at a lower pitch. We measure pitch as the number of vibrations each second and is given the units Hertz or Hz for short. A professional soprano can make her vocal cords vibrate as often as 1000 times each second by moving her larynx so that the vocal cords are stretched to reach the highest notes; an adult male’s vocal cords, on the other hand, will typically vibrate about 100 to 150 times each second during normal conversation.2. Jitter
Jitter is a measure of the irregularities in the frequency at which the vocal cords vibrate. Even when one tries hard to sing a particular note and keep it at a constant pitch, there will always be slight irregularities in the speed at which the vocal cords are vibrating and hence the pitch over time. Singers can sometimes notice this when they’re tired for example. With training, singers work to minimize these irregularities, or Jitter, in their voice. There are several ways to calculate the magnitude of the Jitter and this is measured in OperaVOX as the percentage change in the frequency of consecutive vocal cord vibrations from their common average. The higher the Jitter and the more abnormal the voice sounds. High values of jitter (in excess of 1 or 2%) can indicate a problem with your voice such as throat inflammation for example. High Jitter can be caused by a number of conditions that affect the vocal cords, including nodules, polyps, and weakness of the laryngeal muscles. If you are a singer, you will want a very stable voice and therefore very low jitter measurements.3. Shimmer
Shimmer is calculated by measuring the change in loudness, or amplitude, over several sound waves generated by the vocal cords vibrating. OperaVOX measures the average (absolute) difference between the loudness of consecutive vocal cord vibrations divided by the common average. Shimmer is a measure of the irregularities in the loudness of a particular pitch over time. Even when one tries hard to sing a particular note and keep it constant, there will always be slight variations in its loudness over time. It is a measure for the short-term irregularities of vocal fold vibrations. In a similar way to Jitter, Shimmer is calculated by measuring the change in loudness, or amplitude, over several sound waves generated by the vibration of the vocal cords. OperaVOX measures the average (absolute) difference between the loudness of consecutive vocal cord vibrations divided by the common average. An increased Shimmer (above 3%, for instance) can be the result of a number of conditions that affect the vocal cords, including nodules, polyps, and weakness of the laryngeal muscles.4. Maximum Phonation Time
The MPT is the maximum time in seconds that a person can comfortably sustain a vowel in pitch and loundness on one breath and without stopping. Vowel sounds such as ‘ah’ ‘ee’ or ‘oo’ can be used, and the best of three attempts is generally used as an estimate of the maximum phonation time. A healthy adult, male or female, would normally be able achieve a time of more than 20 seconds on average.5. Reading Pitch Range
A characteristic of natural speech is that pitch moves upwards and downwards. For instance, rising pitch is used to stress a syllable or to mark a sentence as a question whereas a downward shift would indicate a statement or command. The amount of pitch movement inside a syllable, word, phrase or sentence is called pitch range. Pitch movements may reflect the emotional state of the speaker and can also be affected by certain health conditions. Anger, but also joy, is often characterized by a wide pitch range whereas depression and sadness are associated with a narrow pitch range, which is perceived as a monotone voice. The reading pitch range refers to the maximum and minimum pitches that the user would produce while reading a passage.6. Singing Pitch Range
The singing pitch range is the range between the lowest and highest ‘musically useful’ notes a voice can produce while singing. The user is asked to select a vowel and and a comfortable pitch in the middle of their vocal range and gradually increasing their pitch to the maximum they can comfortably produce and subsequently gradually decreasing their pitch to the minimum they can comfortably produce. OperaVOX discards outliers and chooses the frequencies that were sustained for a reasonable period of time to calculate the minimum and maximum frequenciesThe outputs from OperaVOX are for informational purposes only and are not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advice or diagnosis. Please seek advice from your doctor or speech pathologist, if you are concerned about your voice quality.
OperaVOX brings advanced voice quality analysis capability to your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch and gives you the convenience of professional voice analysis in the comfort of your home or workplace. It uses state-of-the-art voice analysis algorithms to measure the quality of your voice straight from your device, without the use of specialist equipment. This software has been built by doctors, medical researchers, signal processing engineers, and speech and language pathologists specialising in voice quality analysis.
OperaVOX accurately measures how your voice changes throughout the day, week or month. Use it to track even minor changes in the quality of your voice; find out when your voice is at its best and at its worse. Use the OperaVOX diary and personalised graphs to help you learn what affects the quality of your voice.
You can also easily share your voice recordings and analyses with family, friends, your doctor, speech and language pathologist, voice coach and colleagues via email.
1. User-friendly interface with comprehensive help and user prompts.
2. Quick on-device voice analysis using state-of-the-art signal processing algorithms.
3. Immediate audio playback along with visual representations of the recorded to make sure you are happy with the recordings.
4. High-quality voice recordings (16 bit, 44.1 kHz, uncompressed wave format files) for listening and comparison.
5. Automatic measurement of the ambient noise and asking the user to try again in a quieter recording environment if necessary.
6. Voice Stability Analysis of a sustained vowel (like ‘Aah’)- with a 5 second automatic countdown.
7. Presentation of voice stability measures such as mean pitch, jitter and shimmer on the recorded vowels.
8. Recording and analysis of a phonetically balanced text (e.g. the Rainbow Passage).
9. Analysis of mean pitch and pitch range on phonetically balanced text (F0, maximum and minimum pitch).
10. Measurement of the longest you can hold a note - Maximum Phonation Time (MPT) (Best of 3 attempts with manual over-ride).
11. Singing pitch range – to measure the highest and lowest tones you can sing.
12. History of pitch, jitter, shimmer, pitch range, singing pitch range and MPT represented graphically - compare historical analyses and track progress graphically.
13. Capability to email analysis results and audio files as attachments.
14. Capability for manual extraction of all audio files and analyses through a personal computer using iTunes.