Python and audio frequency analysis

David Cournapeau cournape at
Mon Dec 8 15:31:05 CET 2008

On Mon, Dec 8, 2008 at 10:20 PM, manatlan <manatlan at> wrote:
> I'd like to make a kind of "spectrum analyzer" ...
> Which should display "bars" according bands of frequencies ... in real
> time...
> Is anybody know an audio processing lib in python for that ?


It is possible to use python for audio processing: I am doing in PhD
in audio signal processing, and I mostly use python for my research:
audio file IO, relatively advanced processing, display. You will need
scientific packages to do the processing: numpy at minimum, to give
you an array class ala matlab, for fast vector operations, and scipy
to give you more tools (filtering, multi-dimensional fft, etc...).

Now, it may not be usable depending on your application: if you know
matlab, and your application is doable in matlab, it is doable in
python + numpy/scipy. You can see an example of real-time spectrogram
with the whole scientific python stack here: (last example at
the bottom)

But it may not work out depending on what you mean by real-time: if
you use the term precisely, in its computer-science meaning
(time-bound process), then it will be difficult if not impossible, by
the very nature of python. You need a very precise control of
resources in that context, which python does not give.


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