This study aimed to analyze the effects of microphone and audio compression variables on voice and speech parameters acquisition.
Acoustic measures were recorded and compared using a high-quality reference microphone and three testing microphones. The tested microphones displayed differences in specifications and acoustic properties. Furthermore, the impact of the audio compression was assessed by resampling the original uncompressed audio files into the MPEG-1/2 Audio Layer 3 (mp3) format at three different compression rates (128 kbps, 64 kbps, 32 kbps). Eight speakers were recruited in each recording session and asked to produce four sustained vowels: two [a] segments and two [ɛ] segments. The audio was captured simultaneously by the reference and tested microphones. The recordings were synchronized and analyzed using the Praat software.
From a set of eight acoustic parameters assessed (f0, F1, F2, jitter%, shimmer%, HNR, H1-H2, and CPP), three (f0, F2, and jitter%) were suggested as resistant regarding the microphone and audio compression variables. In contrast, some parameters seemed to be significantly affected by both factors: HNR, H1-H2, and CPP; while shimmer% was found sensitive only concerning the latter factor. Moreover, higher compression rates appeared to yield more frequent acoustic distortions than lower rates.
Overall, the outcomes suggest that acoustic parameters are influenced by both the microphone selection and the audio compression usage, which may reflect the practical implications of these components on the acoustic analysis reliability.
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Published online: January 13, 2021
© 2021 Published by Elsevier Inc. on behalf of The Voice Foundation.