Spectrogram For News Post
July 17, 2021 11:50 PM   Subscribe

Can you recommend an app or an online service that would generate a spectrograph (waveform) of a voice audio file? This would be used as a visual for a Facebook social post or for a blog multimedia post.
posted by DreamStar to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I use Praat (desktop app) for generating spectrograms. The UI is a tiny bit clunky but there are tons of guides online (written and video), and it’s easy to use once you get started.
posted by chaiyai at 1:07 AM on July 18

SoX can do it, quick example:
sox file.mp3 −n spectrogram -r
posted by Bangaioh at 1:35 AM on July 18 [2 favorites]

I don't have a particular recommendation but this enhancement request for Tenacity (the fork of Audacity) describes a few of the different colour schemes in some detail.
posted by Lanark at 1:56 AM on July 18

There is an Android app called Spectroid that produces an interesting graphic though it only does one thing and in real time. Play your sound file on one device and Spectroid it on another.
posted by SemiSalt at 5:15 AM on July 18

Audacity and take a screen shot.
posted by tiny frying pan at 5:25 AM on July 18

n.b. that a spectrogram and a waveform are two different things — a waveform is the one that shows the loudness of the audio over time, whereas a spectrogram shows a representation of the different sound frequencies in the audio clip. It sounds like you probably want a waveform. As mentioned above, Audacity (or any other audio editing software) will display one that you can screenshot.
posted by mekily at 8:16 AM on July 18 [2 favorites]

Praat does both spectrograms and waveforms. As mentioned, the UI is clunky, but what you want to do is easy in Praat.

I would not install Audacity without doing some research first; there was recently some hullabaloo about them being taken over by shifty folks who turned it into "spyware." I don't use it so I didn't look into it, but you should be aware.
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 11:35 AM on July 18

There are a handful of websites and apps that are meant specifically for creating social media friendly videos for podcasters. I don't have a podcast, but when I wanted to share a link to a podcast on facebook, I was obsessive enough to use one of them. It's called Headliner.

I think the best thing to google if you want to find these things is "audiogram".

The advantage that these tools offer is that you get a waveform video with an audio snippet from the podcast. I think that's pretty engaging. Most of these services also offer transcription. Headliner includes 10 minutes per month of transcription with their free tier. The main drawback, in my opinion, is that the free tier for these services adds a watermark.

Before Headliner, I tried out an app developed by This American Life. It was called Shortcut. They still use it to help people share their content, but I don't think you can use it with arbitrary podcasts. It is available on Github, but it isn't actively maintained. WNYC has another one of their own. I think it's just called Audiogram. It looks like it is still under development. Shortcut was handy and convenient when TAL was hosting it, but in its current form, it looks like it might have a steep learning curve and require a modest amount of tech savvy. Same for WNYC's tool, I would imagine.
posted by stuart_s at 1:02 AM on July 19

sox file.mp3 −n spectrogram -r

That won't do it, because the character in front of the n is a U+2212 ('minus sign') rather than a U+002D ('hyphen-minus', ASCII). What you meant to say was:

sox file.mp3 -n spectrogram -r

Copying from HTML man pages can mess you up!
posted by scruss at 7:53 AM on July 19 [1 favorite]

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