Kendra Oudyk, Yun-Han Wu, Vincent Lostanlen, Justin Salamon, Andrew Farnsworth, and Juan Pablo Bello
Proceedings of the International Workshop on Vocal Interactivity in-and-between Humans, Animals, and Robots
Publication year: 2019
We explore computational strategies for matching human vocal imitations of birdsong to actual birdsong recordings. We recorded human vocal imitations of birdsong and subsequently analysed these data using three categories of audio features for matching imitations to original birdsong: spectral, temporal, and spectrotemporal. These exploratory analyses suggest that spectral features can help distinguish imitation strategies (e.g., whistling vs. singing) but are insufficient for distinguishing species. Similarly, whereas temporal features are correlated between human imitations and natural birdsong, they are also insufficient. Spectrotemporal features showed the greatest promise, in particular when used to extract a representation of the pitch contour of birdsong and human imitations. This finding suggests a link between the task of matching human imitations to birdsong to retrieval tasks in the music domain such as query-by-humming and cover song retrieval; we borrow from such existing methodologies to outline directions for future research.