Tasks & DSI Tutorial

This tutorial is available from within Sonneta by selecting Help > Tasks & DSI Tutorial.

This tutorial walks you through the steps to record and analyze different phonation tasks that allow you to measure the Dysphonia Severity Index (DSI). It assumes you have completed the Essentials Tutorial and the Calibration Tutorial.


Recording different tasks

  1. If there is no open “Untitled” document, then open a new document by selecting File > New from the File menu. You can also use the document you created in the Essentials Tutorial by selecting File > Open Recent and choosing your document.
  2. Enter a Birth Date and Gender if this is a new document.
  3. Select Sonneta > Preferences… from the Sonneta menu, and then click the Calibration item in the toolbar.
  4. Under Measures of Interest, check the "SPL" and "Jitter, DSI" boxes, and set the Target SPL to 75 dB C.
  5. Check the "Warn when noise calibration is needed" box, and close the preferences window.
  6. Click Voice in the Info | Notes | Voice | Speech control in the top-left of the document window.
  7. Click Record in the toolbar.
    1. In the Task field, select "/a/ - Habitual".
    2. While sitting upright, take a deep breath, say “Ah” at your habitual pitch (be prepared to hold it for 8 seconds), and click the Record button. Try to maintain an SPL of 75 dB. With clinical subjects, if the subject is not able to maintain this SPL or phonate for 8 seconds, that is OK.
    3. Click OK to dismiss the sound editor window.
  8. Repeat step 7 two more times and look at the "Fo (Hz)" and "J Loc (%)" charts. Are points on the chart for individual measurements close together or spread out? If they are close together, the measurement is very repeatable and you can stop here. If they are spread out, you should make 3–6 more measurements to get a better idea for the best measurement. Sonneta will automatically choose the best measurement to calculate DSI.
  9. Click Record in the toolbar.
    1. In the Task field, select "/a/ - Min SPL".
    2. Take a deep breath, say “Ah” at a comfortable pitch, but this time phonate as quietly as you can without your voice breaking, and click the Record button.
    3. Click OK to dismiss the sound editor window.
  10. Repeat step 9 two more times.
  11. Click Record in the toolbar.
    1. In the Task field, select "/a/ - Max Pitch".
    2. Take a deep breath, say “Ah”, but this time phonate at as high a pitch as you can comfortably reach (falsetto register is OK), and click the Record button.
    3. Click OK to dismiss the sound editor window.
  12. Repeat step 11 two more times.
  13. Click Record in the toolbar.
    1. In the Task field, select "/a/ - MPT".
    2. Click the Record button before beginning your phonation.
    3. Take a deep breath, say “Ah” at a comfortable pitch and SPL and try to hold it for as long as possible. Try to keep going even if your voice breaks towards the end.
    4. Click the Stop button after you have ended the phonation.
    5. Click OK to dismiss the sound editor window.
  14. Repeat step 13 two more times.

Once you have recorded at least one sample for each task above, Sonneta will calculate the Dysphonia Severity Index (DSI) and display it in the top row of the table. The top row, which displays a date in the first column is a summary row. It summarizes data for the individual measurement rows, which display their recording start-time in the first column. You can expand or collapse all individual measurement rows for a session date by clicking the triangular disclosure button at the left of the summary row.

Setting the summary task filter

The summary task contains summary statistics for measurements made on a given date. The summary statistic may be a mean, median, maximum or minimum for all tasks that appear in black text beneath the summary row in the table. Entries in gray text are not included in the summary statistic.

  1. In the document window, change the summary task filter (labelled “Summarize:” at the bottom of the window) from “/a/ - Habitual” to “/a/ - Max Pitch”. Note how the summary statistic for Fo (Hz) displayed in the summary row of the table changes to show the mean pitch for the Max Pitch task. The Max Pitch samples will now appear in black in the table while other tasks are gray.
  2. Change the summary task filter to select other tasks and note how the triangular summary indicators move on the Fo (Hz) and SPL (dB) charts.
  3. The charts will also change colors when you select the summary task. Most norms have been created for the "/a/ - Habitual" task. So when you select other tasks to summarize, there may be no norms available for comparison (and hence, no colored bars). Change the summary filter back to “/a/ - Habitual” when you are done, and save the document.

You are now familiar with how Sonneta manages recordings of different types of tasks and their associated norms. You are not limited by the predefined list of tasks in Sonneta. You can define your own tasks and develop norms to go with them — and Sonneta will keep track of these as well.