Extracting pitchmarks from waveforms

Although never as good as extracting pitchmarks from an EGG signal, we have had a fair amount of success in extracting pitchmarks from the raw waveform. This area is somewhat a research area but in this section we'll give some general pointers about how to get pitchmarks form waveforms, or if not at least be able to tell if you are getting reasonable pitchmarks from waveforms or not.

The basic program which we use for the extraction is pitchmark which is part of the Speech Tools distribution. We include the script bin/make_pm_wave (which is copied by ldom and diphone setup process). The key line in the script is

$ESTDIR/bin/pitchmark tmp$$.wav -o pm/$fname.pm -otype est \
   -min 0.005 -max 0.012 -fill -def 0.01 -wave_end \
   -lx_lf 200 -lx_lo 51 -lx_hf 80 -lx_ho 51 -med_o 0

This program filters in incoming waveform (with a low and a high band filter, then uses autocorellation to find the pitch mark peaks with the min and max specified. Finally it fills in the unvoiced section with the default pitchmarks.

For debugging purposes you should remove the -fill option so you can see where it is finding pitchmarks. Next you should modify the min and max values to fit the range of your speaker. The defaults here (0.005 and 0.012) are for a male speaker in about the range 200 to 80 Hz. For a female you probably want values about 0.0033 and 0.7 (300Mhz to 140Hz).

Modify the script to your approximate needs, and run it on a single file, then run the script that translates the pitchmark file into a labeled file suitable for emulabel

bin/make_pm_wave wav/awb_0001.wav
bin/make_pm_pmlab pm/awb_0001.pm

You can the display the pitchmark with

emulabel etc/emu_pm awb_0001

This should should a number of pitchmarks over the voiced sections of speech. If there are none, or very few it definitely means the parameters are wrong. For example the above parameters on this file taataataa properly find pitchmarks in the three vowel sections

Pitchmarks in waveform signal

It the high and low pass filter values -lx_lf 200 -lx_hf 80 are in appropriate for the speakers pitch range you may get either too many, or two few pitch marks. For example if we change the 200 to 60, we find only two pitch marks in the third vowel.

Bad pitchmarks in waveform signal

If we zoom in our first example we get the following

Close-up of pitchmarks in waveform signal

The pitch marks should be aligned to the largest (above zero) peak in each pitch period. Here we can see there are too many pitchmarks (effectively twice as many). The pitchmarks at 0.617, 0.628, 0.639 and 0.650 are extraneous. This means our pitch range is too wide. If we rerun changing the min size, and the low frequency filter

$ESTDIR/bin/pitchmark tmp$$.wav -o pm/$fname.pm -otype est \
   -min 0.007 -max 0.012 -fill -def 0.01 -wave_end \
   -lx_lf 150 -lx_lo 51 -lx_hf 80 -lx_ho 51 -med_o 0

We get the following

Close-up of pitchmarks in waveform signal (2)

Which is better but its now missing pitchmarks towards the end of the vowel, at 0.634, 0.644 and 0.656. Giving more range for the min (0.005) gives slight better results, but still we get bad pitchmarks. The double pitch mark problem can be lessened by not only changing the range but also the amount order of the high and low pass filters (effectively allowing more smoothing). Thus when secondary pitchmarks appear increasing the -lx_lo parameter often helps

$ESTDIR/bin/pitchmark tmp$$.wav -o pm/$fname.pm -otype est \
   -min 0.005 -max 0.012 -fill -def 0.01 -wave_end \
   -lx_lf 150 -lx_lo 91 -lx_hf 80 -lx_ho 51 -med_o 0

We get the following

Close-up of pitchmarks in waveform signal (3)

This is satisfactory this file and probably for the whole databases of that speaker. Though it is worth checking a few other files to get he best results. Note the by increasing the order of the filer the pitchmark creep forward (which is bad).

If you feel brave (or are desperate) you can actually edit the pitchmarks yourself with emulabel. We have done this occasionally especially when we find persistent synthesis errors (spikes etc). You can convert a pm_lab file back into its pitchmark format with

bin/make_pm_pmlab pm_lab/*.lab

An post-processing step is provided that moves the predicted pitchmarks to the nearest waveform peak. We find this useful for both EGG extracted pitchmarks and waveform extracted ones. A simple script is provided for this

bin/make_pm_fix pm/*.pm

If you pitchmarks are aligning to the largest troughs rather than peaks your signal is upside down (or you are erroneously using -inv. If you are using -inv, don't, if you are not, then invert the signal itself with

for i in wav/*.wav
   ch_wave -scale -1.0 $i -o $i

Note the above are quick heuristic hacks we have used when trying to get pitchmarks out of wave signals. These require more work to offer a more reliable solution, which we know exists. Extracting (fixed frame) LPC coefficients and extracting a residual, then extracting pitchmarks could give a more reliable solution but although all these tools are available we have not experimented with that yet.