Sound Analysis with the Fourier Transform and Python

Caleb Madrigal (FireEye)
Location: D136 Level: Intermediate
Average rating: ***..
(3.85, 13 ratings)
Slides:   1-HTM 

In today’s world, computers need to be able to interact with humans through more natural interfaces such as speech. If you have ever wanted to be able to use sound as an input (or output) to your programs, then this talk is for you.

In this talk, you can gain an intuitive understanding of what has been called “most important numerical algorithm of our lifetime” – the Fast Fourier Transform (FFT), and you will learn how to use the FFT (along with Python) to extract meaningful data out of audio files.

Here’s what you will learn:

  • Waves are everywhere (sound, light, quantum mechanics, heat, fluid mechanics), and how the Fourier Transform can help us understand them
  • An intuitive understanding of the Fourier Transform from a mathematical perspective
  • Common uses of the Fourier Transform
  • How to use Python, iPython Notebook, Numpy, Pylab, and Matplotlib to perform audio analysis using the FFT
Photo of Caleb Madrigal

Caleb Madrigal


I’m currently employed as a software consultant in Milwaukee, WI. I’ve developed Avionic software, financial analysis software, web apps, and iPad apps. On my own time, I’ve recently been learning about AI, Machine Learning, Robotics (Arduino, Raspberry Pi), and most recently, how to use audio and video to interface with computers.


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