Workshop: spectral transcription for artists working with sound – 9/06/2018

af web

The next instalment in the Audio Foundation workshop series caters equally to visual and sonic inclinations.


Spectral transcription is the process of extracting discrete frequencies from a sound recording, and converting them into either musical notation, graphic interpretation, or midi files which can then be used as material for further composition work.

Kerian Varaine has been developing his composition practice in this field for over five years using freely available opensource software.


The workshop will be presented in three parts:

– A talk on the history and use spectral analysis and spectral transcription in musical composition.
– Examples of techniques which the presenter has developed will be presented alongside quick demonstrations of how to accomplish them.
– An in depth tutorial of the techniques Kerian has employed over the last decade.
– Participants are encouraged to bring a laptop (osx, windows, linux) on which they will be guided through the analysis of a bird call and other sounds (which will be provided along with necessary software).


Software sources:

Analysis programs required for tutorial
Spear – Sinusoidal Partial Editing Analysis and Resynthesis (osx, windows, linux (with wine))
Sonic Visualiser – an application for viewing and analysing the contents of music audio files (osx, windows and linux)

Some sort of sound editing software / DAW
Audacity – simple-at-first-glance audio editor (osx, windows, linux)
Reaper – Fully featured professional DAW, available for free indefinite trial period (osx, windows)

Music notation editor
MuseScore – fully featured open source notation software (osx, windows, linux)


Saturday 9 June @ Audio Foundation, 2 – 5pm