Low-Latency Audio Pitch Tracking: A Multi-Modal Sensor-Assisted Approach

Pardue, Laurel and Nian, Dongjuan and Harte, Christopher and McPherson, Andrew

Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression

This paper presents a multi-modal approach to musical instrument pitch tracking combining audio and position sensor data. Finger location on a violin fingerboard is measured using resistive sensors, allowing rapid detection of approximate pitch. The initial pitch estimate is then used to restrict the search space of an audio pitch tracking algorithm. Most audio-only pitch tracking algorithms face a fundamental tradeoff between accuracy and latency, with longer analysis windows producing better pitch estimates at the cost of noticeable lag in a live performance environment. Conversely, sensor-only strategies struggle to achieve the fine pitch accuracy a human listener would expect. By combining the two approaches, high accuracy and low latency can be simultaneously achieved.