Document Type

Conference Paper


This item is available under a Creative Commons License for non-commercial use only

Publication Details

Paper for Sounds Electric '05 Conference, Maynooth, County Kildare, Ireland.


An accurate pitch tracker has many useful applications, whether for creating interactive electroacoustic compositions, music transcription, ethnomusicological research and numerous others. Designed for the Csound sound synthesis and signal processing language, PVSPITCH is an opcode that can be utilised for such purposes. The opcode performs a mathemathical analysis upon Csound's phase vocoder data streams and from this examination, ascertains what it determines to be the signal's pitch. The algorithm handles well many types of signals, including those missing various harmonics, even a fundamental, and also signals with inharmonic partials. The only signal restriction are that it be single voiced, strongly pitched and slowly changing. This paper introduces the opcode and illustrates PVSPITCH's pitch determination algorithm. Schouten's pitch determination hypothesis and the concept of tonal fusion are briefly discussed as the background to the opcode's development. Three case studies are also explored to demonstrate the accuracy of the algorithm.