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aubio documentation

aubio is a collection of algorithms and tools to label music and sounds. It listens to audio signals and attempts to detect events. For instance, when a drum is hit, at which frequency is a note, or at what tempo is a rhythmic melody.

Its features include segmenting a sound file before each of its attacks, performing pitch detection, tapping the beat and producing midi streams from live audio.

aubio provide several algorithms and routines, including:

  • several onset detection methods
  • different pitch detection methods
  • tempo tracking and beat detection
  • MFCC (mel-frequency cepstrum coefficients)
  • FFT and phase vocoder
  • up/down-sampling
  • digital filters (low pass, high pass, and more)
  • spectral filtering
  • transient/steady-state separation
  • sound file and audio devices read and write access
  • various mathematics utilities for music applications

The name aubio comes from audio with a typo: some errors are likely to be found in the results.

Python module

A python module to access the library functions is also provided. Please see the file python/README for more information on how to use it.

Examples tools

A few simple command line tools are included along with the library:

  • aubioonset outputs the time stamp of detected note onsets
  • aubiopitch attempts to identify a fundamental frequency, or pitch, for each frame of the input sound
  • aubiomfcc computes Mel-frequency Cepstrum Coefficients
  • aubiotrack outputs the time stamp of detected beats
  • aubionotes emits midi-like notes, with an onset, a pitch, and a duration
  • aubioquiet extracts quiet and loud regions

Additionally, the python module comes with the following script:

  • aubiocut slices sound files at onset or beat timestamps

C API basics

The library is written in C and is optimised for speed and portability.

The C API is designed in the following way:

aubio_something_t * new_aubio_something(void * args);
audio_something_do(aubio_something_t * t, void * args);
smpl_t aubio_something_get_a_parameter(aubio_something_t * t);
uint_t aubio_something_set_a_parameter(aubio_something_t * t, smpl_t a_parameter);
void del_aubio_something(aubio_something_t * t);

For performance and real-time operation, no memory allocation or freeing take place in the _do methods. Instead, memory allocation should always take place in the new_ methods, whereas free operations are done in the del_ methods.

./waf configure
./waf build
sudo ./waf install

aubio compiles on Linux, Mac OS X, Cygwin, and iPhone.


Contact info

The home page of this project can be found at:

Questions, comments, suggestions, and contributions are welcome. Use the mailing list: <>.

To subscribe to the list, use the mailman form:

Alternatively, feel free to contact directly the author.


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