1 minute read

So today I make my TV debut! A few weeks ago a film crew from Channel 10 came to shoot a segment for the CSIRO/Channel 10 kids science show SCOPE. The episode, on sound, airs today at 4pm.

I had great fun making the segment, I’ve never done anything like this before and it’s amazing how much work goes in to producing such a short piece. I can’t wait to see how it turns out.

If you watched the show and are interested in having a look at speech you might want to download one of the programs I used in the show. The WaveSurfer tool (you want to get the Binary release for windows from this page). Wavesurfer will let you record your voice and see the spectrogram patterns like the ones I was looking at on the show (you’ll need a microphone for your computer, a cheap headset will do). To get a good looking display, select “New” from the File menu and choose “Demonstration” when asked what configuration to use. Then press the red record button and speak into the microphone.

Here’s an experiment to try: record yourself saying “hid”, “hod”, “head”, “had”. Look at the spectrogram of each word and see if you can tell the difference. Look particularly for the brigher bands in the display — these are called formants and they’re different for every vowel sound.

Another experiment: record two children and an adult saying the same word, for example “SCOPE”. Can you tell the difference between them? Which looks more similar, the children’s voices or one of the children and the adult?

Please leave a comment if you’ve seen the show!