I came across this tool called Praat about 6 years ago when I was taking a linguistics course in college.
I find it to be a very useful, and totally free, language learning tool. Especially for learning Chinese tones.
Once it is downloaded and install, all you have to do are the following steps:
1) Go to the “Praat Objects” window, it one of the default windows that opens, and it’s the one that isn’t pink.
2. Press ctr+r
3. Near the bottom of the screen there is a button that says ‘record’, prepare what you want to say and when you press record it will start to record right away.
4. press stop, if you aren’t happy with the recording, just press record again. If you are happy, give it a name and click the button that says ‘save to list and close’
5. Your recording will show up on the left hand side. click on it, and then click on ‘view & edit’
6. This opens up a chart. See the bottom one that has a blue line? That blue line is your pitch (tone.) Your tone should look something like the tone charts that are available online.
Here’s a link to a much better written overview of Praat, one with pictures!
I just feel that this language learning tool just can’t get enough attention!
It may be more manual than paying a $100+ for a piece of software to analyze it for me, but it is free, and does exactly what I need it to do, and it is great for self-study!
This is where you can get Praat from: