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Discover the audio spectrum with this music frequency chart

Music Frequency Chart

Here is the music frequency chart that shows the average sound spectrum of the music analyzed. So far, it contains 18 albums and 172 tracks. The frequency chart will be updated as we study more music.

About this project

Have you ever wondered what audio frequencies are in a piece of music? Or how low does a track go? Well, so have we. This project started as a conversation between a few friends. The question was, how low does a speaker need to go? This leads to the question of what is the frequency range of what we are listening to? It isn’t the first time that we have had this conversation either.

A bit of research shows a lot of subjective opinions but little actual data. Most articles you will find talk about the frequency spectrum of different live instruments, but what does this tell us about music in our record collection? The closest published research on the subject seems to be the 1988 paper called The Spectral Distribution of Selected Compact Discs. Which looks at the amplitude distribution and spectral energy for 30 selected CDs. This, you will agree, is somewhat limited, especially when you discover that they only analyzed 25-second segments of selected tracks. We have also had over 30 years of music and technological advancements since then.

So we decided to analyze the frequency spectrum of recorded music and publish the results here. This study isn’t the place for a “vinyl vs. digital” debate (we listen to both), so all music analyzed is digital. Some music is chosen because they are classic albums. At other times a track just interests us.

We use a custom program to do the spectrum analysis. It performs an FFT of an entire track with the stereo channels averaged together, and Hanning windowing applied. This data is then processed to give the average spectrum per decade.

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