Spectral analysis with Audacity
Spectral analysis is a tool that can be very useful for the musician or the luthier, for example:
- For the fine analysis of an existing musical instrument, for the purpose of its possible reproduction or its adjustment.
- For the analysis of the resonance of a plate, such as a violin top plate
or a violin back for example. This practice, known as tap tuning, is
quite controversial in the community of luthiers, because it is quite difficult to master…
But the resonance of a piece can be seen as its sound signature, and even if it is difficult to predict the behavior of the finished instrument,
it is very useful, for the luthier’s archiving, to keep this trace, for purposes of repeatability and comparison, for
- For the musician who may have difficulty transcribing too fast or too confusing pieces.
- For the musicologist, to analyze the singing of a particular performer or an instrumentalist.
Spectral analysis was in the past a technique reserved for laboratories, and
required expensive equipment
and some training in interpreting the results.
Today we are fortunate to have access to high-performance digital tools with
For what we are concerned here, I want to talk about Audacity.
I already had the opportunity to introduce Audacity, see the article in the section The softwares that I use
I propose a tutorial that shows how you can use Audacity to analyze the song
of a traditional Breton singer, André Drumel.
Didier Jaffredo, host of the forum FFIAC (French Forum of Irish Whisle Makers) has set the pretty nice project
to create a flute respecting the original range used by this singer.
[See Didier’s article on this subject.](http://fluteirlandaise.space- forums.net/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=815&p=4805&hilit=gamme#p4805)
Here is the song of Mr. Drumel, singer of Morbihan, area of Melrand.
Prior to this tutorial, it goes without saying that we must first install and
become familiar with the Audacity software.
See for example the site https://www.audacityteam.org/