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Pitch vs Frequency | Difference between Pitch and Frequency

This page compares Pitch vs Frequency and mentions difference between Pitch and Frequency.

Introduction:
Both the terms are associated with audio signals. As we know microphone and speaker are the two audio frequency devices used to provide conversion of acoustic energy into electrical energy and vice versa. These are used to provide service to the mankind.

Pitch

• Pitch is subjective quantity like loudness.
• Pitch depends on intensity of the audio signal and not frequency. Hence changes in pitch is observed by varying intensity even if frequency is kept constant.
• The unit of pitch is "mel".
• Definition: A pure tone of 1000 Hz of loudness 1 sone produces a pitch of 1000 mels.

Frequency

• As defined in wikipedia, "it is the number of occurrences of a repeating event per unit of time".
• In other words, number of cycles per second is known as frequency.
• The SI unit of audio frequency is "Hertz (i.e. Hz)".
• Example: If there are 100 cycles per second, frequency is 100 Hz.
• The audible frequencies range from 20 to 20,000 Hz.
• The audible frequency range is influenced by environmental factors.
• The ear can judge given frequency ratio but not given frequency difference.

Difference between Pitch and Frequency

• The relationship between pitch and frequency is nonlinear. Hence a frequency of 1000 Hz produces a pitch of 1000 mels, but a frequency of 2000 Hz maps to pitch of 1500 mels and so on.
• Male vocal folds are 17 mm to 25 mm in length where as female vocal folds are 12.5 mm to 17.5 mm long. Hence both men and women have different pitch in their voices. Male often speak at 65 to 260 Hz where as females speak in 100 to 525 Hz range. Hearing frequency range is from 20 Hz to 20 kHz for healthy young person.


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