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06/08/2006 Documentation
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DAF/FAF Assistant Documentation

 

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What's new

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Overview

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Revision History

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Requirements

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Installation

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Configuring sound card

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Removing the program

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Using the program

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Warranty Disclaimers and Liability Limitations

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Related information

 

 

What's new

 

March 2003

DAF/FAF Assistant version 1.1 has been released. This version contains several improvements including new DAF delay range, new FAF range, additional frequency shifting algorithm, saving and restoring configured settings, and Auto Start feature. 

 

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The DAF delay can now be configured in the range of 40 ms - 220 ms. 

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The FAF provides more smooth settings for frequency pitch shift.

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Additional frequency shifting algorithm (Fast FAF option).

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The application now saves the configured settings every time the program is closed and restores them when the program is started.

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The Auto Start feature allows you to automatically start the sound playback when the DAF/FAF Assistant is started. You can assign a Windows (R) shortcut key to the DAF/FAF Assistant application and use this shortcut key to automatically start the DAF/FAF whenever you need it.

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The application has been optimized and provides less noise when small DAF delay settings are used.

 

 

Overview

 

The DAF/FAF Assistant is a software application that implements two altered auditory feedback techniques: Delayed Auditory Feedback (DAF) and Frequency Altered Feedback also called Frequency-shifting Auditory Feedback (FAF). These techniques are supposed to help people who stutter to improve their speech and gain additional self-confidence.

 

Altered auditory feedback simply means hearing your own voice in a manner that is slightly different from the way you normally hear it. Using DAF allows the user to hear his or her own voice with a small delay, similar to an echo. FAF allows the user to hear his or her own voice with a shift in the pitch, so the signal heard is either at a slightly higher or slightly lower pitch than the person's own voice.

 

For many years, it has been known that when people who have stuttering problem speak the same text simultaneously with another speaker (i.e. Choral Speech), they become fluent. The DAF/FAF Assistant allows the user to hear his or her own voice with a slight time delay and a pitch shift and creates the illusion of another speaker speaking at the same time.

 

 

Revision History

 
March 2003 DAF/FAF Assistant version 1.1 has been released. This version contains several improvements including new DAF delay range, new FAF range, additional frequency shifting algorithm, saving and restoring configured settings, and Auto Start feature. 
October 2002 DAF/FAF Assistant version 1.0 has been released.

 

 

Requirements

 

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The DAF/FAF Assistant application requires Windows compatible computer. The application supports Windows 95 (R), Windows 98 (R), Windows ME (R), Windows 2000 (R), and Windows XP (R). The application will not run on Windows NT (R).

 

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The application requires Microsoft DirectX software component to be installed on your computer. Most likely the DirectX is already installed on your computer and you do not have to install it separately.  (See installation section below how to check if the DirectX is installed.)

 

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The application requires sound card that supports full-duplex mode under DirectX. Most of the modern sound cards do support this mode. If the sound card does not support full-duplex mode under DirectX you can either obtain updated drivers from the sound card manufacturer or consider upgrading your sound card.

 

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The application requires headphones and a microphone. It is recommended to use a headset that combines stereo or mono headphones and a microphone. The headset with stereo headphones provides better DAF and FAF effect but they are bulky and it is difficult to use them when you are talking on the phone. The headset with mono headphones is better to use with the phone and it usually provides sufficient DAF/FAF effect. These headsets are easily available in any computer store (e.g. RadioShack (TM), Best Buy (TM), etc.). See examples below:

 

   

Installation

 

There are several steps that have to be performed to install the DAF/FAF Assistant software application:

 

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Download the setup.exe file from the ArtefactSoft web site and copy it to any temporary directory.

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Execute the setup.exe file by double clicking on it. This will launch the installation program. The installation wizard will guide you through the installation process. You will have to accept the license agreement, select the destination directory and specify whether or not you wish to create the desktop icons for the application. If you are not sure what to enter in the installation wizard screens then just press the “Next” button on every screen and the program will be installed to the default directories. After the program is installed you can either delete the setup.exe file or save it in case you have to reinstall the program.

 

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Connect your headset to the computer and run the DAF/FAF Assistant.  If you have the registration key then press “Enter Key” button and type your registration information. If you don’t have the registration key then press “OK” button. You can register the program and enter the registration key later.

 

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Press the Start button and make sure that you hear your voice when you speak. Try to set different setting for the Delay and Frequency Shift and make sure your voice is changed correspondingly. If you hear your changed voice then you have successfully installed the DAF/FAF Assistant.

 

 

If you start the application and get the error message “Could Not Initialize DirectX” then you will have to install the DirectX component on your computer. Open the following link http://www.microsoft.com/windows/directx/downloads/ and follow the instructions to download and install the latest version of the DirectX. You will have to reboot the computer after you installed the DirectX.

 

If you start the application and get the error message “Could Not Create Record Buffer” then you most likely have the sound card that does not support full-duplex mode. If the sound card does not support full-duplex mode you can either try to find updated drivers from the sound card manufacturer or consider upgrading your sound card.

 

If you started the application and did not have any error messages but still you don’t hear your voice or you hear your voice without any delay or pitch shift then your have to adjust your sound system settings. (See: Configuring sound card.)

 

See FAQ section for additional information on errors.

 

 

Configuring sound card

   

The following screen images were taken from Windows XP (R) operating system. If you are using different operating system your screen may look different.

To configure the sound card parameters find the “speaker” icon on your computer toolbar. It is usually located in the right bottom corner of the screen. Double click the “speaker” icon and it will open the Volume Control dialog window.

 

 

Click on “Options|Properties” menu item. The properties dialog window will be opened.

 

 

There are two groups of settings: for Playback control and for Recording control. You will have to check or adjust both of them.

 

 

Configuring the Playback settings

 

On the Properties dialog window (see picture above) select “Adjust Volume For Playback”.

 

Make sure that “Volume Control”, “Wave”, and “Microphone” items are selected among the others in the “Show the following volume controls:” list. You can have several other items selected here which is normal.

 

Click OK button. This will close the Properties dialog window and will update the content on the Volume control dialog window.

 

 

Make sure that you have the following setting in the Volume control dialog Window:

 

Volume Control Volume set near MAX (this is your master volume control. Adjust it to have comfortable sound volume) "Mute all" is UNCHECKED
Wave Volume set to MAX  "Mute" is UNCHECKED
Microphone Volume set to MIN  "Mute" is CHECKED

 

 

Configuring the Recording settings

 

Click on “Options|Properties” menu item again. The properties dialog window will be opened. On the Properties dialog window select “Adjust Volume For Recording”.

 

 

Make sure that “Recording Control” and “Microphone” items are selected among the others in the “Show the following volume controls:” list.

 

Click OK button. This will close the Properties dialog window and will update the content on the Recording Control dialog window.

 

 

Make sure that you have the following setting in the Recording Control dialog Window:

 

Recording Volume set to MAX "Mute all" is UNCHECKED
Microphone Volume set to MAX "Select" is CHECKED

 

Close the Recording Control dialog window. You sound system is now configured.   

 

 

Removing the program

 

To uninstall the program go to the Start | Programs | DAF FAF Assistant and select “Uninstall DAF FAF Assistant” item. This will remove DAF/FAF Assistant from your computer.

 

   

Using the program

 

You can start using the DAF/FAF Assistant with basic reading exercises. Set the delay value to 50-70 ms and the frequency pitch shift to +/-5 and start reading aloud. You should see noticeable speech improvement. Several researches show that short delay (approximately 50 milliseconds) and/or a moderate frequency shift (approximately one-half octave) immediately reduce stuttering about 75%. Try to work with different delays and frequency shifts to find the optimal values that provide the best fluency for you.

 

When you are comfortable with the basic reading skills you may want to start experimenting with DAF/FAF Assistant in many different situations. Try to use it when you are reading to someone, speaking with close friends or family members, talking on the phone, doing public presentations. 

 

You can create your own schedule of exercises or contact your speech-language pathologist to discuss the possible ways of incorporating the DAF/FAF techniques to your speech therapy.

 

You can find more about DAF/FAF techniques in the book 'No Miracle Cures: A Multifactoral Guide to Stuttering Therapy' (free full-text download). 

 

If you feel that you need a professional speech therapy advice please consult with your speech-language pathologist.

 

The DAF/FAF Assistant interface is simple and intuitive. There are three gauge controls that are responsible for setting the Delay, Frequency Shift, and the Volume. The Delay has the range of 40 ms to 220 ms. The Frequency Shift has the range of -10 to +10 which corresponds to +/- one-half octave. These intervals are widely used in DAF/FAF speech therapy. 

 

The DAF/FAF Assistant automatically saves configured Delay and Frequency Shift settings when you close the program and restores these settings back when you start the application.

 

The Start and Stop buttons turn on and off the sound playback. 

 

The Fast FAF checkbox when set turns on the simplified frequency shifting algorithm that can work better on less powerful computers. The standard frequency shifting algorithm (Fast FAF is OFF) provides better sound quality but requires more powerful processor. 

 

The Auto Start checkbox when set will automatically start the sound playback when you start the DAF/FAF Assistant. You may use the Auto Start feature to simplify the launching of the DAF/FAF Assistant. The Windows (R) operating system allows to assign a shortcut key to the DAF/FAF Assistant. So when the user presses the assigned key (e.g. F10) it will launch the configured application. In this case you can start the DAF/FAF Assistant and start the sound playback immediately by simple pressing the assigned shortcut key.

 

The Actual Delay displays the current delay value computed by the application.

 

 

 

 

The DAF/FAF Assistant can run in the background or when it is minimized. So you can work in another application and still have the DAF/FAF sound playback on.

 

 

Warranty Disclaimers and Liability Limitations

 

The DAF/FAF Assistant and any and all accompanying software, files, data and materials, are distributed and provided “AS IS” and with no warranties of any kind, whether express or implied and you hereby assume the entire risk of using the Software. This disclaimer of warranty constitutes an essential part of this License. 

Any liability of Artefact, LLC will be limited exclusively to refund of purchase price, if any. In addition, in no event shall Artefact, LLC or its owners, principals, shareholders, officers, employees, affiliates, contractors, subsidiaries, or parent organizations, be liable for any indirect, incidental, consequential, or punitive damages whatsoever relating to the use of DAF/FAF Assistant, or to your relationship with Artefact, LLC.

In addition, in no event does Artefact, LLC authorize you to use DAF/FAF Assistant in applications or systems where DAF/FAF Assistant's failure to perform can reasonably be expected to result in a significant physical injury, or in loss of life. Any such use by you is entirely at your own risk, and you agree to hold Artefact, LLC harmless from any and all claims or losses relating to such unauthorized use.

 

 

Related information

 

Electronic devices and stuttering treatment. By Judy Kuster.

 

Using Electronic Devices to Treat Stuttering. By Casa Futura Technologies.

 

 

 

 

 

 
   
 

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