Software Tools

All the software listed on this page is known to be of good quality and be freely available by download. We only list free/shareware programs which are not time-limited and do not have crippled functionality.


Signal Acquisition and Analysis

RTSPECT: Windows Tool for Real-time Waveforms & Spectra. RTSPECT is a program for displaying a real time waveform and spectrum display of an audio signal. With RTSPECT you can monitor the waveform and spectral shape of sounds being played into the computer's microphone or line input ports. RTSPECT can display one or two-channel audio signals. [Windows]

RTGRAM: Windows Tool for Real-ime Speech Spectrogram Display. RTGRAM is a free program for displaying a real-time scrolling spectrogram of an audio signal. With RTGRAM you can monitor the spectro-temporal characteristics of sounds being played into the computer's microphone or line input ports. RTGRAM is optimised for speech signals and has options for different sampling rates, analysis bandwidths, temporal resolution and colour maps.

ENHANCE: Windows Tool for Enhancement of Speech Signals. UCL Enhance is a program for the enhancement of the intelligibility of speech recordings. The program incorporates a number of standard techniques for manipulating the overall amplitude of the signal and for the removal of steady-state additive noise. However, the program is unusual in its ability to detect and enhance selective regions of the speech signal based on their phonetic properties. This phonetically-sensitive method of enhancement was developed and evaluated in the Department of Phonetics and Linguistics at University College London under two research project grants funded by the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. [Windows].

Speech Analysis and Annotation

WASP: Waveforms Annotations Spectrograms & Pitch. A new free program recommended for beginners. WASP is a program for the recording, display and analysis of speech. With WASP you can record and replay speech signals, save them and reload them from disk, edit annotations, and display spectrograms and a fundamental frequency track. WASP is also compatible with the SFS tools available at the same site. [Windows]

WaveSurfer. WaveSurfer is a tool for recording, playing, editing, viewing, printing, and labelling audio data. WaveSurfer is suited for a wide range of tasks in speech research and education. It is multi-platform (works under Windows 95/98/NT, Linux, Sun Solaris, HP-UX, and SGI IRIX) It can read, write and convert between WAV, AU, AIFF, MP3, and NIST/Sphere. It has support for big files and can handle playback and recording directly from/to disk. From the same site you can also get the Snack programming environment for building your own speech audio tools. [Mac, Windows, Unix]

Speech Analyzer. This is another free program for the calculation and display of pitch tracks and spectrograms, with the capability of storing phonetic annotations. With speech analyzer you can transcribe speech files phonetically with IPA, playback speech at a slower speed, or add phonemic, orthographic, tone and gloss annotations to your transcription in an interlinear format. [Windows]

Speech Research

SFS - Speech Filing System. SFS provides a comprehensive computing environment for conducting research into the nature of speech. It comprises software tools, special file and data formats, subroutine libraries for programming, specialised scripting languages and extensive documentation. It performs standard operations such as acquisition, replay, display and labelling, spectrographic and formant analysis and fundamental frequency estimation. It has many specialised tools relating to building speech synthesis and speech recognition applications and is widely used in the teaching of speech science. [Windows, Unix]

PRAAT - All purpose tool for Speech. The computer program Praat is a research, publication, and productivity tool for phoneticians. It is a comprehensive speech analysis, synthesis, and manipulation package which can perform general numerical and statistical analysis. It was developed by Paul Boersma and David Weenink at the Institute of Phonetic Sciences of the University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands. [Mac, Windows, Unix]

SIL Software Catalogue. SIL International have a catalogue of software packages for a range of computing platforms in the area of phonetics, phonology and speech snalysis. [Mac, Windows]

Speech Synthesis and Recognition

CSLU Toolkit for Spoken Dialogue Systems. The Centre for Speech and Language Understanding in Oregon have produced an amazing toolkit supporting the construction of spoken dialogue systems. Components for speech recognition, speech synthesis, dialogue management and even a talking head are included. [Windows].

MBROLA Synthesis. MBROLA is the name of a project based at the University of Mons, Belgium, with the aim of producing high quality voices for synthetic speech in a wide range of languages. The main component of the MBROLA synthesis system is a database of 'diphones' (short sections of speech recorded from a speaker) which may be concatenated to speak arbitrary phonetic transcription. The site tells you where you can get compatible text-to-transcription tools if you need them. [Unix, Windows].

Festival Text-to-Speech System Development Platform. Festival is a general multi-lingual speech synthesis system developed at the Centre for Speech Technology Research at Edinburgh. It offers a full text to speech system with various APIs, as well an environment for development and research of speech synthesis techniques.

HTK - Hidden Markov Model Toolkit. HTK is a portable toolkit for building and manipulating hidden Markov models. HTK is primarily used for speech recognition research although it has been used for numerous other applications including research into speech synthesis, character recognition and DNA sequencing. HTK is in use at hundreds of sites worldwide. [Unix]

Microsoft Speech Development Kit. Although this package is really for software developers, it contains a pretty reasonable American English text-to-speech system and even a (not very good) speech-to-text dictation system. The kit comes with some pre-built applications that allow you to play with the technology even if you are not a programmer. Be prepared for a big download. [Windows]


Do you know of other freely available software for speech analysis? Send us a message.

Copyright © 2023 Mark Huckvale

Last modified: 16:11 06-Jun-2010