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Spectrum of Musical Genres
Spectrum of Musical Genres
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Old 8th August 2017, 07:49 PM   #1
Pano is offline Pano  United States
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Spectrum of Musical Genres
Default Spectrum of Musical Genres

I thought you might find this interesting. It's the spectral content of music visualized. You can see the tonal balance of different types of music.

The graphs below are FFT analysis of different music genres. The files analyzed for the this test are the average of approximately 112 different recordings in each genre. I averaged those recordings and plotted the spectrum.
Note that the graphs do NOT show how loud the tracks were mastered, because all tracks were normalized before averaging them. That allows for the overlay on one of the plots. The plots just show tonal balance. You can see the relative levels of Bass, Midrange and Treble for each style of music.
  • Rock section is almost all Classic Rock. Zepplin, Foghat, AC-DC, Janis Joplin, Eagles, Billy Idol, etc.
  • Jazz tracks are mostly mid-century Bebop or Straight ahead. Dizzy, Miles, Coltrane, Mingus, Art Blakey, Horace Silver, Dave Brubeck, etc.
  • Classical section is all orchestral, not chamber or choral music.
  • Opera is a wide selection of mostly 19th century works.
  • Hip-Hop is whatever I had. Eminem, Dr Dre, and others.

Let me know what you think.
Attached Images
File Type: png spectrums-1.png (34.2 KB, 596 views)
File Type: png spectrums_offset.png (45.6 KB, 586 views)
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Old 8th August 2017, 08:47 PM   #2
Hearinspace is offline Hearinspace  Canada
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Spectrum of Musical Genres
Interesting. Though I have no idea what it really means I find it easy to make up a story of how the jazz appears to be related to the classical.

How do you see the much narrower/uniform peak to peak amplitude of the Hip-Hop vs the others?
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Old 8th August 2017, 08:53 PM   #3
Pano is offline Pano  United States
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Spectrum of Musical Genres
Well, I wondered about that. The Hip-Hop looks very uniform, like pink noise. Rock is similar thru the midrange. My guess is that it's the wall of sound producing, with limited dynamics and no empty spaces that does it. Just a guess, tho. More graphs coming.
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Old 8th August 2017, 09:27 PM   #4
Hearinspace is offline Hearinspace  Canada
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Spectrum of Musical Genres
So, in other words, compression?

The other thing that is striking is how far down it is at 10 and 20 KHz. Always testing for flat response, I never considered the facts might be otherwise .
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Old 8th August 2017, 09:29 PM   #5
Pano is offline Pano  United States
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Spectrum of Musical Genres
We should test for flat response, we don't want a curve like this! But this should give you an idea of how much energy there is in different parts of the spectrum.
What I see is that rock & jazz are similar, looking like brownian noise that is high passed at 60 Hz 4th order. Hip-Hop is about the same, but high passed at 50 Hz.
And there is the roll off at the top, which in classical and opera is more striking.
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Old 8th August 2017, 09:32 PM   #6
Pano is offline Pano  United States
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Spectrum of Musical Genres
Three more looks at the graphs. This time aligned at 1 kHz
Attached Images
File Type: png spectrums_aligned.png (36.6 KB, 579 views)
File Type: png rock_jazz_classic.png (30.4 KB, 570 views)
File Type: png rock_jazz_rap.png (27.3 KB, 562 views)
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Old 8th August 2017, 10:18 PM   #7
msibilia is offline msibilia  United States
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Pano,

I did a similar study three years ago and posted the results on TechTalk.
Here is a summary graph. It is pretty similar to yours except I didn't normalize so that I could see something about the dynamic headroom allowed compared to the average. I also used 1/6 octave averaging, so I don't get the -3 dB/oct rolloff that you get with a straight FFT. Pink noise comes out flat. The spectral averaging also hides the 1/12 octave peaks from the chromatic scale that you see.

Spectrum of Musical Genres-music-spectra-png

The details are here:

Musical genre specific average spectral content - Techtalk Speaker Building, Audio, Video Discussion Forum

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Attached Images
File Type: png music spectra.png (128.1 KB, 745 views)

Last edited by msibilia; 8th August 2017 at 10:36 PM.
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Old 8th August 2017, 11:44 PM   #8
Pano is offline Pano  United States
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Spectrum of Musical Genres
Nice work! It's nice to see the headroom available, as well as the genres and sub-genres. I'll go read the thread at Techtalk.
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Old 9th August 2017, 04:26 AM   #9
Hearinspace is offline Hearinspace  Canada
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Spectrum of Musical Genres
Looking at the classical in each test they roughly agree from highest level to ≈8K , about 30dB difference. Can you tell me why then the dramatic difference between the two at the bottom end?

Thanks
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Old 9th August 2017, 06:50 AM   #10
Hiten is offline Hiten  India
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Thanks for sharing. 100 recordings averaged for five genres is lots of work.

Does this tell us (Very very very broadly) about Audio hardware requirement ? Like 2way speakers driven by moderate power amplifier will satisfy 90% need of audio specifications required ? Can average dynamic range of all music genres be calculated from graphs ?
Thanks again.
Regards.
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