Lab Database

This page contains digitized media files for use in the labs. Most of the files are audio data, but there are also image files and other types of data. For some of the labs, you are asked to record your own voice. If you do not have the tools for making such recordings, example utterances are provided as spoken by both a female speaker and a male speaker. The audio files are given below under the heading of the relevant lab.

Lab Data

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 |12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17

Lab 1: Recording Speech in a Sound-Treated Room, and Spectral Analysis and Waveform Editing by Computer

In Lab 1, you will record a database of speech utterances for use throughout the semester. Below are links to sample databases recorded by two speakers, one female (HH) and one male (KS).

Note that although these files have a .wav suffix, they are in Klatt format, for use with the Klatt speech-analysis tools (xkl); they are not Microsoft® .wav format.

You can download zip archives of an entire database here:

Female Sample Database (ZIP - 13.6 MB) (Courtesy of Elisabeth Hon. Used with permission.)

Male Sample Database (ZIP - 8.3 MB) (Courtesy of Daryush Mehta. Used with permission.)

The following utterances were recorded by both male and female speakers:

  1. English Vowels

    1 beat bit
    2 bait bet
    3 pot but
    4 boat bought
    5 put boot
    6 bat Bert
    7 buy boy
    8 about

  2. English Consonants

    9 the putt the bug
    10 the tug the duck
    11 the cut the gut
    12 the mug the nut
    13 the fuss the vanilla
    14 the thug the “the”
    15 the supper the shutter
    16 the rug the lug
    17 the wonder the young
    18 the chump the jump
    19 the hut sung a song
    20 the /zah/ the /zhah/
  3. Sentences

    21 teacher
    22 He wanted to rebel
    23 school
    24 high school teacher
    25 He stopped the rebel
    26 school teacher
    27 tall school teacher
    28 Was he a high school teacher?
    29 The tall school teacher left early.
    30 teach
    31 We live in Cambridge and we study at MIT
    32 He won those shoes.
  4. Rainbow Passage

    When the sunlight strikes raindrops in the air, they act like a prism and form a rainbow. The rainbow is a division of white light into many beautiful colors. These take the shape of a long round arch, with its path high above, and its two ends apparently beyond the horizon. There is, according to legend, a boiling pot of gold at one end. People look, but no one ever finds it. When a man looks for something beyond his reach, his friends say he is looking for a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

  5. Spontaneous Speech

    Describe in detail the room in which you are sitting (hesitations, ah’s, etc., are normal).

  6. Prosody Sentences

    List the following pairs of sentences:
    Please say Bray CUP again.
    Please say BRAY cup again.

    Please say lake EELS again.
    Please say LAKE eels again

    Please say see CADS again.
    Please say SEE cads again.

    Please say lake ORES again.
    Please say LAKE ores again.

    Please say see TIES again.
    Please say SEE ties again.

    Please say bite INNS again.
    Please say BITE inns again.

    Please say my TEARS again.
    Please say MY tears again.


Lab 2: Spectrographic and Spectrum Analysis of the English Vowel System

You will use the following utterances recorded during Lab 1:

  • The word “shutter”
  • The simple vowel pairs (Items 1-7)


Lab 3: Broadband Spectral Analysis of Sonorant Consonants

You will use at least one of the following subsets of utterances recorded during Lab 1:

  • The words “mug”, “nut”, and “sung”
  • The words “rug” and “lug”
  • The words “wonder” and “young”


Lab 4: Spectral Analysis of Stop and Fricative Consonants: Sound Generation from Turbulence in the Vocal Tract

You will use at least one of the following subsets of utterances recorded during Lab 1:

  • The words “bug”, “duck”, “gut”, “putt”, “tug”, “cut”, “hut”
  • The words “fuss”, “thug”, “supper”, “shutter”, “vanilla”, “the”, /z/, //
  • The words “chump”, “jump”, “tug”, “duck”, “shutter”, //


Lab 5: Sound Generation at the Larynx: Characteristics of the Glottal Source

  • Part A: You will use the words “bat” and “pat” recorded by five speakers. These utterances have already been recorded and stored in the labc account. They can also be downloaded below.
  • Parts B-C: You will record the words “pat”, “pad”, and “bad” during the lab. If you are not able to make new recordings, you can download samples recorded by a female speaker (HH) below.

Download a tar/zip archive of the utterances (xkl format) required for this lab (ZIP)


Lab 6: Interpretation of Cineradiographic Motion Pictures

In this lab you will use .gif files of cineradiographic images. Because the full database of these images is rather large, it will only be available to students attending the lab. Sample .gif files can be downloaded here:

Download file KNS_6400995.gif (GIF), /a/ in “he’tat”
Download file KNS_6401423.gif (GIF), /a/ in “soggy”
Download file KNS_6400919.gif (GIF), /u/ in “he’tu”
Download file KNS_6401621.gif (GIF), /u/ in “shoes”


Lab 7: Measuring Speech Movements Using Data from X-ray Microbeam System

In this lab, you will use data recorded by an x-ray microbeam system for two speakers.

Microbeam Data for Speaker JW16 (ZIP - 6.0 MB)
Microbeam Data for Speaker JW18 (ZIP - 6.0 MB)


Lab 8: Formant Frequency Calculations from Area Function Data

You will use the set of words “beat” and “buy” from the database of recorded utterances from Lab1.


Lab 9: Techniques for Measuring Respiration during Speech

In this lab, you will use MATLAB® files to calculate lung volume and examine air flow. Download a tar/zip archive for the lab here. (ZIP - 3.1 MB) (The ZIP file contains: 10 .mat files, 2 .m files and 3 .jpg files.)


Lab 10: Sound Segment Reduction

You will use the spontaneous speech recorded during Lab 1.


Lab 11: Prosody1: Vowel and consonant duration in speech

Each speaker produced two utterances (AB and BC version). You will use utterances of the following sentences:

Please say Maine or Duke, and Rice will play. (AB version)
Please say Maine, or Duke and Rice will play. (BC version)
Please say Thomas or Kenneth, and Lucas will stay. (AB version)
Please say Thomas, or Kenneth and Lucas will stay. (BC version)

Download utterances required for this lab. (PDF - 1.2 MB) (The zip file contains 8 .wav files.)


Lab 12: Prosody 2: Measurement and interpretation of fundamental frequency contours

You will use the following utterances recorded during Lab 1:

  • utterances containing the word “teacher”
  • prosody sentences containing pairs of phrases


Lab 13: Speech Intelligibility and Confusion Matrices

In this lab, you will participate as a subject in two types of intelligibility tests. If you attend the lab, you will hear the stimuli on audiotape. If you do not attend class, you can download audio files of the tests below. In order to take run the tests on your own, you will need to download the response and answers sheets from the Lab 13 page.


Lab 14: Introduction to Speech Disorders

You will use utterances produced by adults and children with several types of speech disorders, all in Xkl (Klatt .wav) format:

  • Part 1: Utterances produced by children with normal speech production.
    Download a tar/zip archive for Part 1 here (ZIP)
  • Part 2: Utterances produced by children who misarticulate several speech sounds.
    Download a tar/zip archive for Part 2 here (ZIP)
  • Part 3: Utterances produced by deaf children.
    Download a tar/zip archive for Part 3 here (ZIP)


Lab 15: Speech Synthesis Using a Formant Synthesizer

For this lab, students will record new utterances. If you are unable to record new data, you can use the sample utterances provided for Lab 5, part B (either “pat” or “bad”).


Lab 16: Higher-Level Synthesis with a Formant Synthesizer, Using Quasi-Articulatory Parameters

There are no utterances required for this lab.


Lab17: Use of Landmarks and Features for Speech Recognition

In the first part of the lab, you will analyze and annotate acoustic events in two sentences. The waveforms of these two sentences can be downloaded here. (ZIP) (The ZIP file contains 8 .wav files: 4 xkl format and 4 Microsoft® format.)

In the second part of the lab, you are given two brief utterances in which two of the words are unknown. Each utterance is of the form “Say — — please.”

The words used to fill in the utterances are provided below:

Sentence C Sentence D
the button that fan
the soccer his can
beware of dish pan
his ribbon this pen
her waking big bomb
his wiggle this pen