Praat Workshop


Praat is a powerful, open-source phonetics program which offers a magnificent host of tools for the recording, analysis, measurement and editing of speech sounds. Unfortunately for new users, Praat can be as intimidating as it is powerful, and the initial learning curve can make getting started with Praat seem more daunting than it really has to be. In the first hour of the workshop, designed for people with little experience with Praat or digital audio, we will discuss the very basics, tasks like opening files, making recordings, viewing spectrograms and waveforms, measuring durations and formant heights, and making TextGrid annotations. In addition, we'll discuss the basics of digital audio, discussing different audio formats, sampling rates and all the other relevant facets of audio digitization. For the remainder of the workshop, we'll dive in to more advanced Praat usage. Here, we'll discuss, among other things, filtering, formant and pitch measurement, spectral measures (like spectral tilt, spectral COG, and A1-P0/P1 nasality measurement), and pitch/duration manipulation. We'll also spend some time discussing Praat's synthesis and re-synthesis capabilities. Finally, we'll talk about ways to automate repetitive tasks using Praat scripting and ways to diagnose and avoid erroneous measurements, with time left over to discuss measurement issues in your own work.

This workshop will be taught by Will Styler, a Ph.D student and research assistant in the University of Colorado Phonetics Lab. Will has spent countless hours working in Praat, both as a researcher performing measurements and as a programmer, creating and troubleshooting automated methods for measuring vowel nasality, creak and resonance. He also has a particular passion for vowel perception experiments, and has spent far more time than is healthy creating scripts within Praat to alter vowel formant heights and to change vowel nasality in natural language tokens to create clean and controlled experimental stimuli. These techniques have now been used in several published papers.

Participants should bring their own machine if possible, and should attempt to install Praat (free, available from on their machines before the workshop begins.

This is a half-day workshop. There is a charge of $15 dollars with registration. Please contact the organizer for registration.


  • Will Styler, william DOT styler AT colorado DOT edu