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Blender Audio Visualisation January 2, 2010

Posted by audaspace in General.

As promised, here the longer news to what I’ve committed and written about Yesterday.

Now after fixing the quickly reported bugs, I’ve been able to do some example videos.

But first of all, I am happy that I can delete two of the TODO list points that were on the List, when opening the Blog:

  • Float should be the default sample format for audio samples.
  • Render sound waves to f-curves to use them in animations.

Quickly some comments to the first point: I’ve been supporting other sample formats than float, like the commonly used S16 format in the internals of audaspace, mainly for the reason that the realtime use shouldn’t suffer from a speed loss. But I found out that in the cases where that could apply, there isn’t much difference in performance and many times when you want to use effects, you have to do floating point operations anyway. So in the end it’s more likely that NOT using float might result in a performance loss, so I removed that programming overhead. Other sample formats for output devices for example are still supported though, as SDL for example only supports the U8 and S16 sample format.

Now to the promised videos. The sound to f-curve operator supports nearly the same options the soundtracker script from technoestupido does (http://technoestupido.musiclood.com/soundtracker.py) .

So as a first try I used the loop he used for his soundtracker example Video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O10lWfH4TWQ) and made similar to him two cubes, where the left one has a highpass filter and the right one a lowpass and higher attack/release values:

The second video is a little more advanced, where I used the pink panther theme song I’ve made with lmms. I animated the count of an array modifier on a cube with different lowpass/highpass values in the operator to get an equalizer.

The Suzannes to the left and right are scaling up with a low pass left and a high pass right and accumulate and additive enabled. Just enjoy:


1. Blendiac - January 2, 2010

Nice! I was surprised to see that not only could we get animations based on volume, but also on specific areas of pitch. Cool!

If I could suggest another sound related area of Blender that could really use some love: The VSE.

Many people in open source are still looking for a high feature video editor that is less broken than Cinellera. Many love Blenders ability to link the editor into the compositor and 3d scenes, but then have to ditch it because of the problems with sound (not) syncing.

I worked on one project that looked like it was working well, but I was timing to music and kept on having to make adjustments. At first I just thought I was being sloppy, but I soon realised that if I played back the same sequence 10 times that I’d get a bunch of different timings. My machine is far more powerful than was needed for the task.

Fixing the VSE’s sound sync issues could easily renew interest in Blender for higher end video editing on open source. Any improvements you could make here would be deeply appreciated.

2. jeff - January 2, 2010

i can’t see any options to do this in Windows. I can’t figure it out and I’m sooo eager to try it.

I’ve even tried doing a couple of builds myself but still no options are showing up in Blender.

Do I need to install Linux? I don’t want to use Linux because there is no driver for my stupid m-audio sound card. When I use Linux, I have to use an old usb soundblaster card.

3. jeff - January 2, 2010

Nevermind, I just found this at blenderartists.org:

“How to use the operator: With one or more f-curves selected in the graph editor hit space and type in sound, should be one of the operators you find then.”

If I get this next job, I’ll donate to get you some new hardware.

4. malcolm-luther - January 2, 2010

hi there thank you for your hard work on this section of blender, I was wondering did you also use the soud ipo to effect the material on the cubes? also brillant use of the array didnt occur to me till I saw this movie. back to the fun,

5. annoo - January 2, 2010

Just saw pink panther 2 last night..what a coincidence!!!Its so nice to see these improvements coming to blender…Just a suggestion…if you cud crossout or put a check mark on the items in the todo list instead of deleting them..I think it would help people who join the blog at a later date…Instead of going through the blog posts they cud just look here to see whats already been implemented and then mayb visit the relevant post…again a great thanxx fr ur work!!!

6. san - January 2, 2010

That is SO cool!

7. anonymous - January 2, 2010

The one todo that I am waiting for most is: “Recode of the Sequencer Audio System for better Audio-Video synchronisation.”
This is a crucial feature.

8. audaspace - January 2, 2010

Thanks for the gratz 🙂

malcolm-luther: No the material is not animated, it’s just a simple gradient that’s positioned globally.

annoo: Thanks for the TODO list suggestion, I updated the list with some old points too so that everybody can see, what has been achieved so far.

9. lala - January 4, 2010


cheers, lala

10. Raub - March 12, 2010

Thanks for this feature, man!

11. Ben - March 17, 2010

This looks great. I remember trying to do similar things in old versions of blender, and having to manipulate the audio in Audacity to filter out frequencies or what have you and then use the old audio analysis script (which only worked on volume) to generate IPOs. This looks much nicer.

12. Joe - May 1, 2010

Wow, really great work here on my most anticipated area of Blender! Thanks so much for all the time and effort you have put in.

One big limitation I have come across though with baking sound to f-curves is that the keys are baked with no way to change or modify them. This makes it impossible to move them after placement, adjust the amplitude of the curves where necessary or add to the curve before or after the audio. The envelope modifier can be used to increase or decrease the amplitude of the curve but this seems like a work around (it also messes with the shape of the curve and makes it jolty). Is there something I’m missing or is it something that has been missed out for a reason? Is there a way to unbake the curve to make it editable?

Thanks again for your great work 🙂

13. Czarek - October 4, 2010

This is useless unless i somehow can edit the curve.

14. giorgio - January 10, 2011

Hi, is this in blender 2.56a ?

how do i get the audio to ipo option ?

i know how to do it in 2.49 …

thanx !

if you want some tracks to play with , feel free to use mines :



Fred - February 2, 2011

giorgio, did you ever figure that out. I’ve spent all night looking for these options in 2.56 and I haven’t had any luck… by the way, checked out your site. Nice animations.

15. audaspace - February 6, 2011

with an f-curve selected hit space and search for sound, there’s no other way to call the operator so far…

16. arthax0r - February 27, 2012

I’m currently working with this process and came across this blog while looking for the docs on “Bake Sound to F-Curve” because I am having an issue with it.

Scripting it into creating a bunch of items that get various ranges of a song baked onto them using a 3:30 minute song, but only 2:50 of it is baking into curves. Then, nothing. The VSE shows the full length waveform and it also renders out the full song in Ogg/Theora. Any tips would be helpful!

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