Tag Archive for: POLQA

100 Things #93: Group and Batch Processing of Data Curves

Group and Batch Processing is a really neat feature in SoundCheck that saves huge amounts of time when processing data. Curves, values and waveforms can be grouped and processed together, and the analysis, post processing or statistics runs almost as quickly as on a single piece of data. This can be done during a sequence, or offline with previously collected data. It even extends to imported data – for example, if you want to run a POLQA analysis on a batch of recordings made in a different system, you can simply import the wav files and calculate scores for hundreds or even thousands of waveforms all at once.

Save Time Processing Data with Group and Batch Processing

Learn more

Read our Knowledgebase Article on using batch processing.

Learn more about the POLQA module in SoundCheck (video contains a demo of batch processing).

 

Video Script:

Audio test and measurement involves collecting and analyzing a lot of data. You might have multiple inputs and outputs, or you need to collect data not just once but over and over again. Perhaps you’re averaging measurements on a single unit over multiple runs, or testing multiple units in a production facility. Handling and processing all this data efficiently, in realtime, can be complex.

SoundCheck processes large groups of data quickly and easily with its group and batch processing capabilities. Curves, values and waveforms are grouped and processed together, and the analysis, post processing or statistics runs almost as quickly as on a single piece of data.

This is useful, for example, if you’re repeating a series of sequence steps on a single device, to calculate the deviation in its response at various positions, or if you’re averaging sensitivity values of a batch of 15 microphones for a spec sheet.

Groups of data can be analyzed and processed either within a test sequence or offline.

In a sequence, groups of data can be automatically created, saved in the Memory List and automatically analyzed together the same way every time the sequence is run. Here’s a simple example sequence where I capture recordings using a 6 mic array, group the recorded waveforms and use a single analysis step to get responses from each of the microphones. The same process can also be used in post processing or limit steps. SoundCheck also makes it easy to keep track of your data by allowing you to append your data names with Signal Path and Input data names.

Data processing outside of a sequence is known as “offline mode” – let’s take a look at an example. Here, I’ll group the frequency responses of 5 microphones I measured previously and calculate their sensitivity values at 1kHz in a single post processing step, rather than using 5 such steps. Note how fast it is in both cases!

SoundCheck’s batch processing capabilities even extend to imported data. For example, if you want to run a POLQA analysis on a batch of recordings made in a different system, you can simply import the wav files and calculate scores for hundreds or even thousands of waveforms all at once.

SoundCheck’s batch processing capabilities handle large amounts of data extremely fast, helping both R&D labs and production facilities to reduce test times. To learn more about SoundCheck’s extensive audio measurement toolkit, check out www.listeninc.com.

 

100 Things #53: Make ITU-T-P.63 Compliant POLQA Measurements With SoundCheck

Opticom’s POLQA algorithm is available as an option in SoundCheck, where it can be used in a test sequence to automate measurements, or for stand-alone analysis. POLQA is an alternative to a panel of human listeners for quantifiable measurement of speech degradation.

POLQA Analysis within SoundCheck

Learn more about POLQA Analysis Using SoundCheck

Read about POLQA for SoundCheck, or check out our more detailed video demonstrating POLQA measurements.

 

Video Script: Make ITU-T-P.63 Compliant POLQA Measurements With SoundCheck

Did you know that Opticom’s POLQA algorithm is now integrated into SoundCheck? You can access all the functionality of this algorithm through the familiar SoundCheck interface, and it can be integrated into test sequences for rapid, automated measurement.

POLQA Analysis is a fast and cost-effective alternative to a panel of human listeners for perceptual measurements of speech degradation in communications applications. It compares a reference and response waveform and returns a mean opinion score, or MOS, on a scale of 1 to 5.

This SoundCheck add-on module operates just like any other post-processing step. You configure the reference and response waveforms, set test parameters, and define outputs through the familiar soundcheck interface, and SoundCheck returns results as graphs and tables like any other analysis. It can naturally be used within sequences to accelerate and simplify test procedures, and can also be used to process imported data using Batch File Processing. This means that you can quickly calculate scores for hundreds or even thousands of waveforms captured offline, as well as those that you have measured in SoundCheck.

SoundCheck uses Version 3 of the algorithm which implements the ITU-T P.863 standard, but it also includes the option to analyze data using the older Version 2.4 for correlation with measurements made on older systems.

This algorithm is applicable to many communications devices from traditional phones to smart devices. For example, you can assess the impact of a noise reduction algorithm on an audio communication system, evaluate the perceived audio degradation in a Bluetooth connection due to packet loss, or quantify the impact of various speech codecs on perceived speech quality.

If you want to learn more, check out our YouTube channel for a more complete demonstration of this capability.

 

 

 

 

 

The New POLQA Module in SoundCheck

The optional POLQA (Perceptual Objective Listening Quality Analysis) module brings Opticom’s POLQA 3 algorithm, as specified in the ITU-T P.863 standard, right into SoundCheck (Version 20 and later). POLQA Analysis is a fast and cost-effective alternative to a panel of human listeners for perceptual measurements of speech degradation in communications applications ranging from telephones to smart devices. The quality of the speech signal is evaluated by comparing the degraded signal to the corresponding reference signal to determine the Mean Opinion Score (MOS). This end-to-end analysis may be implemented using either acoustic, digital, or electrical signals, and with either narrowband (300-3400Hz) or full band (10-20000Hz) signal analysis.

The New POLQA Module in SoundCheck

Ready to try for yourself?

If you are ready to add the new POLQA module to your SoundCheck system, contact your local sales engineer or sales@listeninc.com with any questions.

Learn more about POLQA and SoundCheck

Read on about all POLQA algorithm functionality, licensing, applications, and more.

 

Video Script: Using POLQA Analysis in SoundCheck

Opticom’s POLQA version 3 algorithm as specified in the ITU-T P.863 standard is integrated directly into SoundCheck. It operates just like any other post-processing step. Within soundcheck you can configure the reference and response waveforms, set test parameters and define outputs through the familiar soundcheck interface. The POLQA algorithm is called from within soundcheck and returns results as graphs and tables like any other analysis. It can of course be used within sequences to accelerate and simplify test procedures and can also be used to process imported data using batch file processing.

POLQA is a valuable addition for anyone testing speech quality and communications devices. Some common applications of this test might include assessing the impact of a noise reduction algorithm on an audio communication system, evaluating the perceived audio degradation in a Bluetooth connection due to packet loss, analyzing distortions introduced in the audio path, or quantifying the impact of various speech codecs on perceived speech quality. Let’s look at a few possible  POLQA setups.

Here is an example of a setup we can use for characterizing the perceived audio degradation at a Bluetooth connection due to packet loss. The mouth simulator plays back a reference WAV file that is recorded through the Bluetooth microphone, the recorded degraded responses are compared to the original reference WAV file, and the mean opinion score or MOS is returned.

Here’s an example of another possible  POLQA test. In this setup, an end-to-end call can be established, for example a call can be made to a conference phone which is the device under test, and the signal on the receiving end is recorded and analyzed for speech quality. Let’s look at a simple  POLQA SoundCheck sequence.

This sequence is similar to the conference phone setup I just displayed. The sequence uses the batch processing capability introduced into SoundCheck 20 to access pairs of wav files for  POLQA analysis. These wav files are temporarily loaded into the memory list and passed through the  POLQA post-processing step for analysis. This loop recalls and analyzes four sets of wav files, and reports the POLQA mean opinion score on a scale of one to five one being poor, five being best, and a score of around four considered very good.

The advantage of batch processing is that I can conceivably test hundreds or thousands of pairs of wav files without loading all the files into a sequence at once, efficiently managing the sequence size, memory, and performance. Let’s look at the  POLQA post processing step. The step compares the recall to reference and response files; the drop list allows you to select the measurement type – acoustic, digital or voltage. This drop-down shows the operating modes options including full band, narrow band, and super wide band including the latest version 3 algorithm. It also supports Opticom version 2.4 if you need to correlate results with a lab that uses the Legacy 2.4 algorithm. In addition to the MOS, we can choose additional outputs including ASR, attenuation, delay, MOS per frame, pitch, R-factor and SNR.

Since the sequence is using recall wav files you won’t hear the speech files when I run the sequence but I’ll play back the reference WAV file through my signal generator so you can hear what’s being analyzed. I’ll run the sequence and note the highlighted steps in the sequence editor particularly through the loop which will run four times before the final display steps. There are two tabs in my display step. As you watch the sequence run this display set shows the active iteration of the four wav files being analyzed. The top display shows the reference WAV file, and the bottom displays the reference wav file along with the response file superimposed. In the second display step we see the mean opinion scores, or MOS, of the four wav files and additional outputs below. These are displayed in tables and we can see the MOS scores are 3.4, 3.98, 3.4 and 3.98. As you can see, SoundCheck’s integration of  POLQA is fast and easy and an essential addition for characterizing speech quality.

SoundCheck 20 New Features Video

In this short video, Devin Vaillancourt gives a brief overview of SoundCheck 20 new features including the new enhanced Perceptual Rub & Buzz, features for multichannel testing including the new multichannel RTA, new features for communications testing, POLQA analysis, signal generator upgrades and more.

SoundCheck 20 Released: ePRB, Features for communications testing, POLQA, Multichannel enhancements and more

SoundCheck 20, Listen’s flagship audio analysis software, introduces a new state-of-the-art perceptual distortion algorithm for end-of-line testing – Enhanced Perceptual Rub & Buzz. It also includes a host of new features for multichannel and communications testing, increasing its capabilities for audio measurement of smart speakers, infotainment systems, headphones and hearables, and other voice-activated and multichannel devices.

The new enhanced Rub & Buzz algorithm is a reliable and repeatable perceptual method for detecting audible Rub & Buzz faults on the production line. This offers manufactures the option to increase yield by rejecting only those devices with audible distortion defects. Based on the sound psychoacoustic principles used in Listen’s industry-standard 2011 perceptual algorithm, new research offers refinements that improve listener correlation and new, patent-pending, noise reduction technology offers unrivaled repeatability and reliability for end-of-line use. In fact,this algorithm performs like a human ear under normal listening conditions with the background noise of a manufacturing environment! SoundCheck measures perceptual Rub & Buzz using the same stepped sine wave, simultaneously with other end-of-line measurements, enabling this valuable analysis to be added to production line tests with no extension in test time.

Two of SoundCheck’s virtual instruments, the multichannel RTA and the Signal Generator, have been significantly upgraded. The multichannel Real Time Analyzer now includes expanded functionality for real time observation of audio signals. It displays multiple channels simultaneously, and offers real time calculation and display of channel, subtraction, maximum, minimum and power average. Applications for this new feature include real-time observation of active noise cancellation, automotive industry standard 6-microphone array infotainment measurements, validating headphone seal on a test head prior to measurement by comparing left and right earphone response, and more. RTA curves are now seamlessly integrated with SoundCheck’s standard graphs and can be dragged and dropped into any graph for easy comparison to limits and reference curves. This is useful for quick comparisons to reference standards or golden units, tuning automotive infotainment systems, and more.

An overhauled signal generator brings additional functionality and simplified operation, particularly when using wav files. In addition to standard audio stimuli (sine, white noise, pink noise, etc.) with user-selected sampling rates and resolution, it can play any wav file, any memory list file, and any complex waveform created by the stimulus editor. The level can be referenced to Peak, dB or RMS. The signal can be equalized in real time, and custom EQ curves applied, which is useful when using a non-flat source such as a mouth simulator. A specific portion of a waveform can be selected to play, either by selecting a start and stop time in seconds, or by examining the waveform, and signals can play for a fixed duration, a fixed number of times, or in a continuous loop. Outputs from 2 or more signal generators can be mixed on the same channel, and waveforms from multiple signal generators can be synchronized, or delayed for phase control during playback.

The optional POLQA (Perceptual Objective Listening Quality Analysis) module brings Opticom’s POLQA 3 algorithm, implementing the ITU-T P.863 standard, right into SoundCheck, where it can be used for perceptual measurements of speech degradation in communications applications ranging from telephones to smart devices. Used just like any other analysis step in a sequence, this is a fast and cost-effective alternative to a panel of human listeners. In addition to speech degradation measurements, it may also be used to assess the impact of noise reduction algorithms, evaluate bluetooth degradation due to packet loss, or to analyze distortions introduced into the audio path.

Several new features expand the software’s post-processing capabilities for testing communications devices. These include batch processing of external files, a silence stimulus step, and RMS level versus time and histogram post-processing steps. A pre-written test sequence for categorizing Doubletalk performance to two international standards, ITU-T P.502 and ETSI TS 126 132 (part #3114), from communications expert John Bareham, is also available. Other enhancements include a stimulus editor upgrade, the ability to export multiple SoundCheck recorded waveforms to a single multichannel wav file and a hardware reset option for quickly changing audio interfaces or restoring hardware to a known configuration.