On the relevance of spectral features for instrument classification

Andreas Brinch Nielsen, Sigurdur Sigurdsson, Lars Kai Hansen, Jerónimo Arenas-García

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    Automatic knowledge extraction from music signals is a key component for most music organization and music information retrieval systems. In this paper, we consider the problem of instrument modelling and instrument classification from the rough audio data. Existing systems for automatic instrument classification operate normally on a relatively large number of features, from which those related to the spectrum of the audio signal are particularly relevant. In this paper, we confront two different models about the spectral characterization of musical instruments. The first assumes a constant envelope of the spectrum (i.e., independent from the pitch), whereas the second assumes a constant relation among the amplitude of the harmonics. The first model is related to the Mel frequency cepstrum coefficients (MFCCs), while the second leads to what we will refer to as harmonic representation (HR). Experiments on a large database of real instrument recordings show that the first model offers a more satisfactory characterization, and therefore MFCCs should be preferred to HR for instrument modelling/classification.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationIEEE International Conference on Acoustics, Speech and Signal Processing, 2007
    Place of PublicationHawaii
    Publication date2007
    ISBN (Print)1-4244-0728-1
    Publication statusPublished - 2007
    Event32nd IEEE International Conference on Acoustics, Speech and Signal Processing 2007 - Honolulu, HI, United States
    Duration: 15 Apr 200720 Apr 2007


    Conference32nd IEEE International Conference on Acoustics, Speech and Signal Processing 2007
    CountryUnited States
    CityHonolulu, HI

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