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

Using sEMG for Disordered Speech Enhancement

Master Thesis
Announcement date
10 Oct 2012
Clemens Amon
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.

Your Tasks

  • Review of literature
  • Setup of a sEMG controlled system
  • 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


[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.

Full Text & Additional Material

You can download the full version of the final thesis here.