AES Journal Forum

Efficient Tempo and Beat Tracking in Audio Recordings

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Automatic beat tracking consists of estimating the number of beats per minutes at which a music track is played and identifying exactly when these beats occur. Applications range from music analysis, sound-effect synchronization, and audio editing to automatic playlist generation and deejaying. An off-line beat-tracking technique for estimating a time-varying tempo in an audio track is presented. The algorithm uses an MMSE estimation of local tempo and beat location candidates, followed by a dynamic programming stage used to determine the optimum choice of candidate in each analysis frame. The algorithm is efficient in its use of computation resource, yet provides very good results on a wide range of audio tracks. The algorithm details are presented, followed by a discussion of the performance and suggestions for further improvements.

JAES Volume 51 Issue 4 pp. 226-233; April 2003
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AES - Audio Engineering Society