Analyze MP3 to find instrument timings

I’m new to Audacity and not a music major, so forgive me if my use of certain terminology is incorrect.

Is Audacity able to create a label track to show every time a certain instrument is played. I have used the onset detector to create labels as to when certain notes and peek thresholds are found, and played around with the note onset to create label tracks. It is close to what I want to do but I would like it to find an instrument (or frequency range that a certain instrument is in). One example would be to create a label mark for every time the bass drum is played. I’m not trying to isolate out the instrument just get a marking as to the exact time they are played (Onset?) in the song. I image I could use frequencies if I could enter the frequency of a bass drum, a guitar, or even a vocal. But I have been unable to find a plug-in that allows a frequency range for instruments.

Any help or pointers is appreciated.


Most musical instruments have not only the note they are playing, but harmonics and overtones, too. That’s what keeps a high-end violin and a crappy one sounding different on the same note.

That also makes it terrifically hard to split instruments apart from each other.

And that makes it nearly impossible to “tag” notes from specific instruments.

This is a frequency analysis of one piano note.

Just by looking at the blue waves, can you tell which note that is? If you had a bassoon playing the same note, the analysis would be a disaster — and that’s only two instruments.


You can always duplicate a track, equalize it to hold your specific frequency range and then apply the sound finder.
However, there’s much more to it.