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Joint time-frequency analysis

Short time fourier transform

After our system has isolated the whistle sound, it is input to a continuously running analysis algorithm based on the result of a Short-Time Fourier Transform. While the traditional Fourier transforms do not maintain a sense of time, the STFT allows for joint time-frequency analysis. The formula for the STFT is:

STFT { x [ n ] } = X ( m , w ) = n =-∞ x [ n ] w [ n m ] e jwn size 12{ ital "STFT" lbrace x \[ n \] rbrace =X \( m,w \) = Sum cSub { size 8{n"=-¥"} } cSup { size 8{¥} } {x \[ n \] w \[ n-m \]e rSup { size 8{-jwn} } } } {}

Individual sections of the signal are windowed and their FFT is taken. The result of this operation is a two dimensional function in terms of the offset from zero (“time”) and the frequency content of the signal. According to the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, however, we cannot have an arbitrary amount of resolution in both the time and frequency domains. For our application, we are only interested in detecting trends in the frequency with highest power, so time resolution is less important.


Squaring the magnitude of the STFT results in a 3-D function is known as a spectrogram. The spectrogram of a whistle whose pitch goes from low to high looks like this.

Whistle spectrogram

This is a whistle of increasing frequency. Each slice of the spectrogram is an FFT of a certain windowed chunk of the signal. This embeds a sense of time in the spectrogram.

Notice that there is a dominant power (dark red) that shows a very clear upward trend over time. Each slice of the frequency axis at a particular time corresponds to a single chunk of the signals’FFTs. The dark red corresponds to the maximum of one of these FFTs, and as time passes (in the positive vertical direction), we see the frequency of highest power increases. Below is a graph of three of these component FFTs, illustrating how the peak frequency increases across time. Since pitch and frequency are essentially synonymous, we can determine what kind of whistle is input by looking at trends in the frequency with the dominant power.

Power vs. frequency for 3 spectrogram components

Here are 3 of the FFTs that comprise the spectrogram above. The frequency of maximum power is increasing.

With the dominant frequency for any given windowed input now known, our system then takes the discrete-time derivative of that frequency over the window. Calculus tells us that the derivative of a function at a point is positive for increasing functions and negative for decreasing functions. By continuously taking derivatives of these windows our system can track the basic shape of the spectrogram.

Analysis using the stft

Our analysis algorithm keeps a running buffer of the signs of these discrete-time derivatives. It then takes the magnitude signs inside the buffer. If the buffer encounters a number of continuous signs above or below a certain threshold, either positive or negative, it concludes that the input is a whistle with increasing or decreasing pitch, respectively. Finding the optimal threshold value is mostly trial and error; we looked at recordings of sine waves with constant frequencies and white noise in order to determine a reasonable upper bound for the area under the derivative curve.

There is a tradeoff between the size of the buffer and the quality of the analysis. Given that a whistle may last up to three seconds, it’s clear that the buffer need not contain that many samples in order to find and characterize the whistle. But on the same token, too few samples will result in an unusual number of false positives and change the song without any user interaction. And while this is not necessarily complex math, doing it quickly and continuously requires the window be as small as possible.

Questions & Answers

Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Elec 301 projects fall 2007. OpenStax CNX. Dec 22, 2007 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10503/1.1
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