Using Audacity to find out the average frequency of a song


I know that you can get frequency data from the “Plot Spectrum” tool in the “Analyze” menu, but is there a function that tells me the average frequency for the entire song?

Not that I know of.

I can’t help thinking that analysis would always come out the same number, or very close to it. For the same reason an actual Plot Spectrum would almost always come out a fuzzy haystack, the middle of the haystack would always be in the same place.

This is the same idea of people trying to separate instruments from voices in mixed performances based on frequency. You can’t because they’re all the same. On average, all instruments and voices have the characteristics of human hearing unless you have musical celebrities, and even then.

This is the spectrum of one single piano note.

If you have enough of those, say three minutes worth, then it turns into an undifferentiated blob. Analysis wouldn’t do much better, or worse, give you a firm, without question, absolutely perfect reading…based on noise.

I think you might also get a lot of songs with an average tone of 60Hz just based on microphone hum being the only single tone that was there through the whole three minutes.


Plot Spectrum can analyze up to 3 minutes 57 seconds of audio at 44100 Hz sample rate.
What sort of “average” do you want? As Koz wrote, the spectrum will show a very broad “blob”. usually that blob will slope fairly evenly down from about 100 Hz, to somewhere around 30 or 40 dB lower at around 10000 Hz. You can export the numerical data from the Plot Spectrum effect and analyze it any way you want in a spreadsheet application, but I don’t think it will tell you much.

but is there a function that tells me the average frequency for the entire song?

You need this because…?