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In this paper, a new system of pitch estimation is presented. The system is designed to be robust to challenging noise conditions. This robustness to the presence of noise in the signal is achieved by developing a new representation of the speech signal, based on the operation of damped harmonic oscillators (DHOs), and temporal mode analysis of their output. The resulting representation is shown to possess qualities that are only gradually degraded in the presence of noise. A harmonic grouping based system is used to estimate the pitch frequency. This method is easily extended to simultaneously track the pitch of more than one speaker. In a series of experiments the accuracy and noise robustness of the proposed system was compared with that of a number of prominent pitch estimation and tracking systems. The results show that the proposed system's overall performance is much better than any of the other systems tested, especially in the presence of very large amounts of noise. Furthermore, the proposed system is comparatively inexpensive in terms of processing and memory requirements.
Date of Publication: Sept. 2004