Join 3,557 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Is there a way to beep out swear words in a music file?
August 18, 2006 6:12 PM   Subscribe

Is there software - preferrably free, natch - that beeps out swear words in music files?
posted by rinkjustice to Computers & Internet (22 answers total)
 
Page Hamilton feels compelled to cuss on his latest album, and we can't have that.
posted by rinkjustice at 6:27 PM on August 18, 2006


When you hear that on the radio, it's been done (usually by the label, occasionally by the station) by hand. It's not voice-recognition.
posted by mendel at 6:35 PM on August 18, 2006


You could use Audacity (free) to edit the song manually.
posted by kdern at 6:36 PM on August 18, 2006


I don't know if there's anything that does this automatically; I kind of doubt it (surely the TV networks would be using it). It wouldn't be hard to do such a thing in GoldWave (shareware) or Audacity (free).

But, really, they probably hear it every day on the playground, anyway; I'm sure they'll be fine.
posted by equalpants at 6:40 PM on August 18, 2006


Your best bet for doing this would be a program like Soundforge or cooledit.
These programs both have the ability to generate simple tones and add them into a soundfile, but as mendel says you would have to do this manually.
Voice recognition of recorded lyrics would be difficult to say the least.
posted by grex at 6:40 PM on August 18, 2006


Why can't we have that? Is there something wrong with using an expanded vocabulary that extends beyond "inoffensive and harmless?"
posted by DoctorFedora at 7:28 PM on August 18, 2006


no, computers aren't smart enough to know when some says "fuck". Out of curiosity, why do you need to do this?
posted by cosmicbandito at 7:35 PM on August 18, 2006


There's no "clean" version available? Sometimes there may be. Try looking in places like Walmart or itunes that sell clean versions of songs. Beyond that, it's manual editing. To the mix of available software there's also Nero Soundtrax if you have the whole Nero mega ultra deluxe package. It's not Soundforge, but you're no doing anything fancy either.
posted by crypticgeek at 7:45 PM on August 18, 2006


Out of curiosity, why do you need to do this?

“The foolish and wicked practice of profane cursing and swearing is a vice so mean and low, that every person of sense and character detests and despises it” --George Washington

Vulgarity demonstrates an inability to master a proper vocabulary, and I don't want to endorse ineffective and crass communication skills to my children. I don't talk like that and I certainly won't permit my daughters to either.

You asked. I told you.
posted by rinkjustice at 7:55 PM on August 18, 2006 [1 favorite]


Well, IANAP, but it seems to me that the context of the words would be just as bad, would it not?

Shouldn't you just deprive them of the entire song? (And, of course, the Teachable Moment attached thereto...)
posted by baylink at 8:28 PM on August 18, 2006


... it seems to me that the context of the words would be just as bad, would it not?

It's not always context. Sometimes it's poor choice in words.

Shouldn't you just deprive them of the entire song?

Yes, many times the song isn't salvagable.
posted by rinkjustice at 8:41 PM on August 18, 2006


Don't actually put a beep in. Just have dead air for a second. Or you could cut to the kareoke version at choice moments :-)
posted by phrontist at 9:08 PM on August 18, 2006


Vulgarity demonstrates an inability to master a proper vocabulary, and I don't want to endorse ineffective and crass communication skills to my children. I don't talk like that and I certainly won't permit my daughters to either.

Buy the edited version.

And keep them out of public school.
posted by Dark Messiah at 10:02 PM on August 18, 2006


Buy your music at Wal-Mart.
posted by IndigoRain at 10:37 PM on August 18, 2006


ClearPlay "automatically" edits DVDs for profanity etc based on a downloadable database. It would not surprise me at all if someone there is thinking about doing this for music... if enough people ask for it.
posted by teleskiving at 12:36 AM on August 19, 2006


Wal-Mart Music was mentioned. Are all music downloads edited for swear words?
posted by rinkjustice at 12:48 AM on August 19, 2006


If you download from itunes, there are often "clean" and "explicit" versions listed. Check it out.
posted by kdern at 4:57 AM on August 19, 2006


Wal-Mart Music was mentioned. Are all music downloads edited for swear words?

Wal-Mart forces artists to produce edited versions of their albums if they wish to be carried by the largest single retail seller of packaged music CD's.

I'm pretty sure they were successfully sued because they were not marking them as not being the product the artist released everywhere else.

If people want badly enough to listen to music but not badly enough to tolerate whatever that artist *put into that music* more power to them, but I have zero tolerance for Wal-Mart hiding the fact.
posted by baylink at 9:19 AM on August 19, 2006


[a few comments removed, if you want to discuss the ethics of swearing/censoring/walmart, you have metatalk or email]
posted by jessamyn at 10:33 AM on August 19, 2006


I recently had to edit some obscenities out of songs for a music contest at work. The best method I found was to use Audacity to highlight the offending word, flip it (so that it played backwards) and reduce the volume of it to 70%.

It keeps the feel of the song intact, there are no jarring beeps or silences, it also keeps the song the exact same length.

It takes a little practice, but once you've done it a couple of times it's easy.
posted by quin at 10:36 AM on August 19, 2006


buy your music from wal-mart. the bastards only sell edited music.

//looks like i've been beaten^
posted by willmillar at 1:45 PM on August 19, 2006


I just came across this program. I haven't used it, but check it out... SafeMusic
posted by idlm at 9:36 PM on March 9, 2007


« Older I was away from home for a wee...   |  My friend recently bought seve... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.