This paper explores the effect of reverberation on audio signals that possess a harmonically rich overtone spectrum such as speech and many musical instrument sounds. A proposed metric characterizes the degree of reverberation based upon the cross correlation of the instantaneous frequency tracks of the signal overtones. It is found that sounds that exhibit near perfect correlations in an anechoic acoustic environment become less correlated when passed through a reverberant channel. These results are demonstrated for a variety of music and speech tones using both natural recordings and synthetic reverberation. The proposed metric corresponds to the speech transmission index and thus may be employed as a quantitative measure of the amount of reverberation in a recording.
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