There are many tools, programs and solutions for acoustic analysis of voice and speech signals. Some are commercially available, whereas others are freely available/downloadable. The program Praat (Paul Boersma and David Weenink, Intsitute for Phonetic Sciences, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands), however, outperforms many of the other programs because of its combination of the following assets (Maryn et al., 2017). First, Praat itself can be downloaded for free at www.praat.org. The GNU General Public License under which this program runs, can be downloaded at www.fon.hum.uva.nl/praat/GNU_General_Public_License.txt. Second, it is available for the most popular and commonly installed computer operating systems (i.e., Windows, Macintosh, and Linux). Praat can therefore be applied regardless the operating platform used by the voice and speech clinician/scientist. Third, the operator/clinician controls many of the parameters of the acoustic analyses and therefore isn’t completely reliant on unmodifiable settings as pre-defined by the manufacturer. This increases the clinician’s freedom and control, and enables experimenting with parameter arguments. Fourth, many clinically relevant markers (i.e., acoustic voice measures related to fundamental frequency, intensity level, formant, perturbation, spectral configuration, cepstral configuration, etc.) and all their relevant statistics are readily obtainable in Praat. Fifth, clinicians with questions and doubts can consult Praat’s extensive manual and help function as well as its online discussion forum (https://uk.groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/praat-users/info). Sixth, Praat can be applied to prepare (i.e., select, extract, zoom in and out, reverse, modify intensity and/or fundamental frequency, resample, annotate, filter, concatenate, etc.) voice and speech signals and thus editing them for whatever clinical or scientific purpose needed. Seventh, Praat can be employed to draw various graphs (e.g., oscillogram, spectrum, spectrogram, cepstrum and cepstrogram) and statistics relevant to voice and speech evaluation and research. Eighth, there are numerous Praat scripts for automated analysis of the acoustic voice signal. When coupled to (i.e., installed behind) a button in Praat, scripts provide single-button prompts to sometimes particularly complex procedures that otherwise would be way too time- and labor-consuming to apply in the clinic. Nineth, the program Praat has already proven to be exceptionally interesting for voice/speech analysis in a multitude of research papers across study areas (i.e., speech-language pathology, phonetic sciences, linguistic sciences, medicine, etc.).
Based on these items, it is fair to appreciate Praat as a highly valuable program in the study of voice and speech signals and disorders.