I know this is probably a really simple question, but just help me out I am very desperate?

How to determine formants from a waveform if given time on the horizontal axis and amplitude on the vertical axis?

  • 2
    You tagged this with "praat"; why not just use Praat's formant calculation?
    – Draconis
    Nov 25, 2017 at 0:31

1 Answer 1


You almost certainly do not want to compute the formants yourself (complex programming, way too long to describe here). If you can see a waveform in Praat, having selected a sound object and you clicked View & Edit, there should be 1 or two windows with waveform on the top, and another window at the bottow, which should display a spectrogram (if, clicking "Spectrum", you see a check on "Show Spectrogram"). In that same window, it will display pitch, amplitude and formants (look under "Formant"). If you want something besides a picture (i.e. numbers), if you select a part that you want analyzed, under Formant, you can select "formant listing" which will give you a series of formant calculations.

  • I am supposed to find these two formants just by looking at a waveform on a piece of paper, and then determine which vowel it is. ( I do know how to do what you wrote to me though, but still, not what I have to do )
    – user20509
    Nov 25, 2017 at 21:27
  • Errrh, that is extremely difficult, using a waveform. Can you post a picture of what you have to work with?
    – user6726
    Nov 25, 2017 at 23:27
  • You can find the frequency of a single sine wave by 1/T, but speech has multiple formants and harmonics. Decoding that takes Fourier analysis, which Praat does to draw the spectrogram. No one should ask you to do it from the raw waveform.
    – amI
    Dec 4, 2017 at 21:28
  • @AnastasijaMarković perhaps what you got is not a waveform but rather the representation of the spectrum in one instant. Then, the formants correspond to the first two highest peaks of the spectrum. Dec 17, 2017 at 4:45

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