PRAAT may well be the most widely used speech analysis and annotation tool. There are two reasons for its wide acceptance:
1) it works really well
2) it is absolutely free
The tool works on Macintosh, Windows, Linux, FreeBSD, SGI, Solaris and HPUX.
PRAAT can be downloaded from:
http://www.fon.hum.uva.nl/praat/ - follow the link to the OS you want to use. Note that PRAAT is updated regularly – be sure to check back every six months (at least) to get the latest copy. Also spend some time on the main page looking at the range of things that PRAAT does!
Since PRAAT is so widely used, there are a lot of existing resources on the web to introduce you to it. You will find links to several of these below as well as a video tour showing you how to get started.
Here is a Power Point presentation from Ian Smith (the creator of “Higgins”)
Video 1 - setting PRAAT up on your Windows system
Video 2 - setting PRAAT up on your Macintosh system
The basics of PRAAT. I’ve divided this into five separate parts to keep each one fairly short.
Video 3a - the basics of the PRAAT Object Window
Video 3b - Navigation in the PRAAT Edit Window
Video 3c - Pulses and Spectrograph in the PRAAT Edit Window
Video 3d - Pitch and Intensity in the PRAAT Edit Window
Video 3e - Formants in the PRAAT Edit Window
One of the most important tools in acoustic analysis is the spectrograph. There is a lot of complex technology under the covers of this wonderful display, and Video 4a and Video 4b explore some of the details. If you are attempting to do any work at all in the frequency domain, you need at least a basic understanding of these details.
Video 5 - Using PRAAT for annotation – TextGrids
Video 6- The PRAAT Vowel Editor