Spectral average of a soundfile

Jan 16, 2013 at 4:53pm

Spectral average of a soundfile

I have a little knowledge of Max but not enough… I’d like to take a soundfile and make a spectral average of it, resulting in something like a spectral freeze but which is representative of the entire file. What is the best/easiest way to do this?
Thanks, Mark

Jan 17, 2013 at 7:54am

play it into an fft, record and accumulate the results?

Jan 18, 2013 at 2:32am

hey good idea!
reminds me of someone who did the spectral analysis of all the weekly top ten pop songs from the past 30 or 40 years and then sequenced the running average of those spectra (1 second per week I think, 52 secs a year, the whole piece went for maybe 1/2 hour or so. Cant remember who it was.

anyway couldn’t help myself– heres a basic version using pfft~ it’s pretty self explanatory (uses a jitter matrix which accumulates, then normalized) albeit inflexible (pfft needs to be size of 8192).

call this file spectralAccumPFFT

– Pasted Max Patch, click to expand. –

and then open this one:

– Pasted Max Patch, click to expand. –
Jan 19, 2013 at 5:42am

The piece you’re thinking about is by Luke DuBois (a Jitter developer BTW). It’s called “Billboard”.
http://lukedubois.com/ (choose Projects and scroll down…)

Feb 2, 2013 at 9:31pm


Feb 3, 2013 at 1:37am

@Marmot you’re welcome

@zlp yep that’s the one I think, although I’m sure I became aware of it way before 2005 (what it says on his website), more like the late ’90s…


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