Signal Processing and Speech Communication Laboratory
hometheses & projects › Using sEMG for Disordered Speech Enhancement II

Using sEMG for Disordered Speech Enhancement II

Master Project
Announcement date
11 Oct 2013
Klaus Huber, Julia Ziegerhofer
Research Areas

Short Description

The larynx, which contains the vocal folds, is essential for the production of speech. If the larynx is surgically removed, typically due to cancer, the patient loses the ability to speak. One possibility to be able to communicate again is to use a hand-held, battery-driven device – the electro-larynx.
The device is held against the neck and its vibrations are transmitted through the neck. The patient can create speech by modulating the energy in the vocal tract. A major drawback of the device is that the constant excitation signal results in robotic sounding speech.
To make the speech sound more natural a varying fundamental frequency needs to be introduced to the EL.
One possibility is to use surface electromyography (sEMG) to control the pitch of an sEMG-controlled EL [1].
The advantage of a EMG based EL is that On/OFF switch as well as fundamental frequency control can be controlled in an automatic way.

In a previous project the hardware to capture sEMG signal was developed.

Your Tasks

  • Review of literature
  • MATLAB implementation of fundamental frequency control using EMG signal
  • Documentation

Your Profile

  • Motivation and interest in the topic
  • Knowledge in Matlab and (speech) signal processing

Full text

The final text of this thesis can be found here.


[1] E.A. Goldstein, J.T. Heaton, J.B. Kobler, G.B. Stanley and R.E. Hillman,”Design and implementation of a hands-free electrolarynx device controlled by neck strap muscle electromyographic activity”, in IEEE Trans. on Biomed. Eng., pp. 325-332, 2004.