# Measuring a voice

Hi, I very green to audacity so bear with me (hope I’m posting this in the correct section)

I’m working on a youtube video and basically trying to detect what note a singer is hitting. I know of the Spectrum analysis that audacity has, but I’m not sure if I am using right, or if there is a better way to utilize it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P3Nx8qkQJtw This is one of the videos I’m trying to measure the note of the Tenors voice. ( the 2:34 mark and and 4:00 mark both of them I think are the same notes)

What I’ve done is rip the video, and convert it to MP3, then import to audacity. When I do this, I highlight the small part of the song where he hits the high note. I then go to the Plot Spectrum. When I do this, I’m not sure if I’m doing it correctly, but from what I can tell, the loudest note is a G#7. Is this right? (Doesn’t sound right because that’s extremely high) Can I be sure that is the correct note?

I’ve uploaded a snapshot of what I’m seeing.

I guess it depends how you define a G#7.
You can compare the note (It is the long, held one, isn’t it?) with a sine tone created with the nyquist prompt:

• Select the long note
• Press ctrl-shift-d to duplicate this region (will be overwritten, so deselect the first track)
• open the “Nyquist Prompt” from the effect menu.
Enter (or copy)
`````` mult 0.3 (osc gs7))
``````

Listen to the two tracks and judge for yourself.
The frequency for this note is 3322.44 Hz.
That’s impossibly high, but I am no expert…
a4 (a,)=440 Hz - the normal upper limit for a tenor. The well known high c (c5 or c,) has 523.2 Hz.
Soprano singers can go up to about 1400 Hz.
However, it sounds like a g#5 - which is really high for a man. Compare for yourself (just change the number or the tone - the postfix s is for sharp and f for flat)
If I am not mistaken (and my guitar out of tume) then the whole piece starts in the key of A, modulates to A#, changes to the subdominant D# (for the tenor solo) and modulates a third time to E.
The g# would be the third of this chord. The reprise goes back to D# and ends again with E.

People trying analyze sounds routinely get killed by overtones and harmonics. Anybody can pick a tuning fork out of a performance, but a sung note is a challenge.

This is the analysis of one, single piano note:

http://kozco.com/tech/audacity/piano_G1.jpg

If it was in the middle of an orchestra, you’d never find it in the haystack of other sounds.

So yes, generating a set tone and compare it to the singer may be your best bet – and even then, if the singer is rich with overtones and harmonics, it may be hard.

Koz

There’s a pitch detection plug-in here that you can try: Pitch detection plug-in
Installation instructions are here: Missing features - Audacity Support

I tried what Robert suggested (extremely helpful by the way), I see what ya’ll are saying about no way being about to use the frequency analyzer to detect one voice out of a entire audio file. I don’t I have the best ear for music, but comparing a g#7 and g#5…its real hard to tell what he’s hitting, but the g#6 sounds like it could be close. I’ll try the pitch detection add-on.

Thanks for the help!

Yes, it is a very high tone.
Our swiss yodelling choirs do that stuff all the time. But I wonder if they could do it without their hands in the trouser pockets…