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On the Detection of Melodic Pitch in a Percussive Background

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The extraction of pitch (or fundamental frequency) information from polyphonic audio signals remains a challenging problem. The specific case of detecting the pitch of a melodic instrument playing in a percussive background is presented. Time-domain pitch detection algorithms based on a temporal autocorrelation model, including the Meddis-Hewitt algorithm, are considered. The temporal and spectral characteristics of percussive interference degrade the performance of the pitch detection algorithms to various extents. From an experimental study of the pitch estimation errors obtained on a set of synthetic musical signals, the effectiveness of the auditory-perception-based modules of the Meddis-Hewitt pitch detection algorithm in improving the robustness of fundamental frequency tracking in the presence of percussive interference is discussed.

JAES Volume 52 Issue 4 pp. 378-390; April 2004
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AES - Audio Engineering Society