Validating a psychoacoustic model of voice quality

Jody Kreiman, Yoonjeong Lee, Marc Garellek, Robin Samlan, Bruce R. Gerratt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


No agreed-upon method currently exists for objective measurement of perceived voice quality. This paper describes validation of a psychoacoustic model designed to fill this gap. This model includes parameters to characterize the harmonic and inharmonic voice sources, vocal tract transfer function, fundamental frequency, and amplitude of the voice, which together serve to completely quantify the integral sound of a target voice sample. In experiment 1, 200 voices with and without diagnosed vocal pathology were fit with the model using analysis-by-synthesis. The resulting synthetic voice samples were not distinguishable from the original voice tokens, suggesting that the model has all the parameters it needs to fully quantify voice quality. In experiment 2 parameters that model the harmonic voice source were removed one by one, and the voice tokens were re-synthesized with the reduced model. In every case the lower-dimensional models provided worse perceptual matches to the quality of the natural tokens than did the original set, indicating that the psychoacoustic model cannot be reduced in dimensionality without loss of fit to the data. Results confirm that this model can be validly applied to quantify voice quality in clinical and research applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)457-465
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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