Spear spectral editor

Sinusoidal Partial Editing Analysis and Resynthesis
for MacOS X, MacOS 9 and Windows

Downloads (free) here.

Be sure to read the “help” page for SPEAR containing keystrokes, hints, and solutions to common problems in SPEAR and analysis/resynthesis generally.

SPEAR is an application for audio analysis, editing and synthesis. The analysis procedure (which is based on the traditional McAulay-Quatieri technique) attempts to represent a sound with many individual sinusoidal tracks (partials), each corresponding to a single sinusoidal wave with time varying frequency and amplitude.

Something which closely resembles the original input sound (a resynthesis) can be generated by computing and adding all of the individual time varying sinusoidal waves together. In almost all cases the resynthesis will not be exactly identical to the original sound (although it is possible to get very close).

Aside from offering a very detailed analysis of the time varying frequency content of a sound, a sinusoidal model offers a great deal of flexibility for editing and manipulation. SPEAR supports flexible selection and immediate manipulation of analysis data, cut and paste, and unlimited undo/redo. Hundreds of simultaneous partials can be synthesized in real-time and documents may contain thousands of individual partials dispersed in time. SPEAR also supports a variety of standard file formats for the import and export of analysis data.

Read more in the ICMC paper “Software for Spectral Analysis, Editing, and Synthesis.” (pdf) or in the dissertation paper Spectral Analysis, Editing, and Resynthesis: Methods and Applications (dissertation).

— Michael Klingbeil, author of SPEAR


Hello to the world. My name is David, and I’m a junior in the ILR School. I’ve always wanted to take this course, but I’ve never been able to until now. I do come from a music background–I play piano, guitar, sing, and the ukulele–but I want to seriously look into producing music now. I’m excited to see what’s to come this semester and hope to learn a lot as well.


Hi everyone! My name is Aarohee and I’m a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences. I’m majoring in Biology and Psychology with minors in Spanish and Music. I’m taking this class because I want to learn more about DAWs, music performance techniques, and studio set-up. I have previous music experience in piano, violin, singing, and music production. I look forward to this semester!

Concert Order, Sunday December 7th 2014

Concert order for tomorrow’s 3pm performance in Lincoln Hall B20 performance is below with available rehearsal times in parenthesis.

[table]Computer C (Left), Own Laptop (Center), Computer D (Right)
Shelby Hankee (10am), Laura Furman (10:10am), Henry Chuang (10:20am)
James Winebrake(2:10pm), , Yundi Gao (10:40am)
Michelle Gostic(10:50am), Aarohee Fulay (11am), Skyler Gray (11:10am)


Adam Beckwith  (11:30am), “”, Benjamin Hwang  (11:40am)
Chad Lazar (11:50pm), “” , Kwang Lee  (12:00pm)
Jennifer Lim  (12:10pm), Riley Owens (12:20pm) , Nicholas Livezey  (12:30pm)
Mary Millard (12:40pm), “” , Cassidy Molina (12:50pm)
Cameron Niazi (1pm), “” ,


Brendan Sanok (1:10pm), “” , Hanbyul Seo (1:20pm)
William Seward (1:30pm), Marcus Wetlaufer (1:40pm), Suk Sung (1:50pm)
Matthew Williams (2pm), “”, Jasmine Edison (10:30am)
Christopher Yu (2:20pm), Luka Maisuradze (2:30pm), Lisa Zhu (2:40pm)

Original version of my cover

Hi all,

If you’re curious, here is the link to “Turn It Around” by Lucius, which I covered for Project 2.

Thanks for your feedback today!



Studio and lab issues resolved

Earlier today, a student reported issues in the library lab and studios, including 1) Live 9 licensing problems, 2) Reason network licensing (library lab), and 3) Rewire sharing between Live 9 and Reason.

All issues have now been resolved. All studios are repaired, the library lab license server is back online, and Rewire has been confirmed to work, once again, in all three studios.

– Please be sure to use Live 9 for the remainder of the semester, particularly if you are using Rewire.

– If and when issues of this kind (issues affecting the usability of the labs for any user) come up I certainly appreciate hearing about them so they can be resolved immediately. The more detailed your input the more quickly we can resolve the concern.

— Professor Ernste

P.S. While solving an issue in the lab, someone asked about the Network Drive being unavailable. Please see the FAQ on that issue if that happens again.

tristan perich at cornell

tristan publicity photo (2)

hi everyone– i just wanted to write a quick post to remind you about tristan perich’s residency at cornell this weekend. tristan is one of the most celebrated young artists working in digital art and electroacoustic music today, and it’s a great opportunity to hear some of his work, hear him speak, or meet him while he’s on campus.

i’m also really pleased to be putting on a concert featuring his music. tristan will perform his piece for two percussionists and 1-bit electronics (joined by prof. mike compitello), and there will also be performances of a large portion of his music for keyboard instruments (including the piece for three toy pianos and 1-bit electronics that i posted earlier in the semester!) performed by myself and the other two doctoral students in my program. i am particularly excited to be playing his piece ‘dual synthesis’ (an *extremely* demanding work for harpsichord and electronics) for the first time.

you can find information on the residency (including the composers forum lecture on nov 7 at 1:30PM and the concert on nov 8 at 8PM) at this link:

you can also learn more about tristan and his work here:

hope to see you!

>david f

Listening from today

Erik Satie: Vexations, score and music (excerpt).

Terry Riley: In C (1964)

Original recording (instrumental ensemble)

Another version (chamber ensemble)

Version for orchestra

Musical score here.

Steve Reich: Come Out

Brian Eno: Music For Airports (Ambient 1)

Alvin Lucier: I am sitting in a room

(Optional) In Bb (YouTube crowdsourced video/music project)

Project One

We ran out of time during section, and it’s too large to directly upload to this blog, so here’s my piece for Project One:

Perhaps ‘Sturm und Drang’ might be a bit much, but I think the thunderstorm sounds justify the dramatic title. Also, I couldn’t think of anything else, so there.

I got the following tracks from Trifonic: vocals, “ambiance”, synth strings, bass, kick, and guitar. I found recording of a thunderstorm on the sound library–thank you, Dave Welsh! I found a track called “breath” that featured two raspy breaths in quick succession. I used those as a sort of heartbeat at the start and end of the piece. I don’t know whose track that is, but thank you, and feel free to comment on this post and take credit; that track was really cool, so you definitely deserve it.

There’s also a pulsating drone throughout. I used drumsticks and chopsticks and recorded myself running the sticks across the keyboards (the one for the iMac, the Yamaha keyboard and the MIDI input device). That track was originally supposed to be rain, but I put resonators on it (Valhalla and Rome, I think), and really liked the sound, so I removed the percussive attacks and made it unrecognizable by adding more reverb. I really like reverb. And resonators. Resonators are cool.

Let me know what you think!

Lab Questions, Fall 2014

Hey everyone-

A few questions have been coming up repeatedly, so I wanted to post a few notes here that might help you get back to work quicker:

1) STUDIO B PASSWORD– Studios C and D are set up so that when the computer restarts, it will automatically log you back in.  For whatever reason, Studio B’s computer has decided to do its own thing.  If you find yourself locked out of the Studio B computer, the password is written on the whiteboard behind the monitor.  You should be logging into studio user, not guest.

2) SOUND QUALITY ISSUES– Another frequent concert has been with sound quality (specifically, with stuttering and static).  The first thing to check is where your files were opened from.  When you start working, you should copy all of your files from the network (or from any other flash drive, etc. you might be using) to the Studio computer’s drive or desktop.  Just make sure to copy all of your work back to the network when you’re done!  If you’re working directly from the network or a flash drive, this is going to slow things down.

If this doesn’t solve your problem, the program or computer might just need to be rebooted.  As a reminder, these programs require a lot of computing power, and the computers have been in almost constant use the last few days.  So, please, please, please, shut any programs you’ve opened when you’re done.  If there is not someone waiting at the door to take over when you finish, please shut everything down.  David and I have walked into the rooms multiple times to find that everything has been left on overnight- this shouldn’t be happening.  If everyone’s a little bit more conscientious, it’ll help give the equipment some time to cool down and prevent further problems.

3) I can’t figure out what’s wrong and I’m wasting my much-needed studio time- If you can’t figure out the problem, and can’t get in touch with Professor Ernste, David, or myself quickly, please remember: the library lab is available for you to use during library hours! The same goes for if you run out of reserved studio time and want to keep working.

Hope this helps!


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