aubio is a library 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
- 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.
A python module to access the library functions is also provided. Please see
python/README.md for more information on how to
A few simple command line tools are included along with the library:
aubioonsetoutputs the time stamp of detected note onsets
aubiopitchattempts to identify a fundamental frequency, or pitch, for each frame of the input sound
aubiomfcccomputes Mel-frequency Cepstrum Coefficients
aubiotrackoutputs the time stamp of detected beats
aubionotesemits midi-like notes, with an onset, a pitch, and a duration
aubioquietextracts quiet and loud regions
Additionally, the python module comes with the following script:
aubiocutslices sound files at onset or beat timestamps
Implementation and Design 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
new_ methods, whereas free operations are done in the
The latest version of the documentation can be found at:
A number of distributions already include aubio. Check your favorite package management system, or have a look at the download page.
aubio uses waf to configure, compile, and test the source:
./waf configure ./waf build
If waf is not found in the directory, you can download and install it with:
aubio compiles on Linux, Mac OS X, Cygwin, and iOS.
To install aubio library and headers on your system, use:
sudo ./waf install
sudo ./waf uninstall
If you don't have root access to install libaubio on your system, you can use
libaubio without installing libaubio either by setting
LD_LIBRARY_PATH, or by
copying it to
On Linux, you should be able to set
$ export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=$LD_LIBRARY_PATH:$PWD/build/src
On Mac OS X, a copy or a symlink can be made in
$ mkdir -p ~/lib $ ln -sf $PWD/build/src/libaubio*.dylib ~/lib/
Note on Mac OS X systems older than El Capitan (10.11), the
variable can be set as follows:
$ export DYLD_LIBRARY_PATH=$DYLD_LIBRARY_PATH:$PWD/build/src
Credits and Publications
This library gathers music signal processing algorithms designed at the Centre for Digital Music and elsewhere. This software project was developed along the research I did at the Centre for Digital Music, Queen Mary, University of London. Most of this C code was written by myself, starting from published papers and existing code. The header files of each algorithm contains brief descriptions and references to the corresponding papers.
Special thanks go Juan Pablo Bello, Chris Duxbury, Samer Abdallah, Alain de Cheveigne for their help and publications. Also many thanks to Miguel Ramirez and Nicolas Wack for their bug fixing.
Substantial informations about the algorithms and their evaluation are gathered in:
- Paul Brossier, Automatic annotation of musical audio for interactive systems, PhD thesis, Centre for Digital music, Queen Mary University of London, London, UK, 2006.
Additional results obtained with this software were discussed in the following papers:
P. M. Brossier and J. P. Bello and M. D. Plumbley, Real-time temporal segmentation of note objects in music signals, in Proceedings of the International Computer Music Conference, 2004, Miami, Florida, ICMA
P. M. Brossier and J. P. Bello and M. D. Plumbley, Fast labelling of note objects in music signals, in Proceedings of the International Symposium on Music Information Retrieval, 2004, Barcelona, Spain
Contact Info and Mailing List
The home page of this project can be found at: https://aubio.org/
Questions, comments, suggestions, and contributions are welcome. Use the mailing list: firstname.lastname@example.org.
To subscribe to the list, use the mailman form: https://lists.aubio.org/listinfo/aubio-user/
Alternatively, feel free to contact directly the author.
Copyright and License Information
Copyright (C) 2003-2016 Paul Brossier email@example.com
aubio is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.