Real-Time Pitch Tracking in Audio Signals with the Extended Complex Kalman Filter

Orchisama Das, Julius O. Smith III; Chris Chafe

Proceedings of 20th International Conference on Digital Audio Effects, DAFx 2017, Edinburgh, UK.


The Kalman filter is a well-known tool used extensively in robotics, navigation, speech enhancement and finance. In this paper, we propose a novel pitch follower based on the Extended Complex Kalman Filter (ECKF). An advantage of this pitch follower is that it operates on a sample-by-sample basis, unlike other block-based algorithms that are most commonly used in pitch estimation. Thus, it estimates sample-synchronous fundamental frequency (assumed to be the perceived pitch), which makes it ideal for real-time im- plementation. Simultaneously, the ECKF also tracks the amplitude envelope of the input audio signal. Finally, we test our ECKF pitch detector on a number of cello and double bass recordings played with various ornaments, such as vibrato, portamento and trill, and compare its result with the well-known YIN estimator, to conclude the effectiveness of our algorithm.