Digital Sound & Music: Concepts, Applications, & Science, Chapter 2, last updated 6/25/2013
This reads an array of audio samples into y, assuming that the file is in the current folder of
MATLAB. (You can set this through the Current Folder window at the top of MATLAB.) If
you want to know the sampling rate and bit depth (the number of bits per sample) of the audio
file, you can get this information with
[y, sr, b] = wavread('HornsE04Mono.wav');
sr now contains the sampling rate and b contains the bit depth. The Workspace window shows
you the values in these variables.
Figure 2.40 Workspace in MATLAB showing results of wavread function
You can play the sound with
sound(y, sr);
Once you've read in a WAV file and have it stored in an array, you can easily do
mathematical operations on it. For example, you can make it quieter by multiplying by a number
less than 1, as in
y = y * 0.5;
You can also write out the new form of the sound file, as in
wavwrite(y, 'HornsNew.wav');
2.3.5 Modeling Sound in Octave
Octave is a freeware, open-source version of MATLAB distributed by GNU. It has many but not
all of the functions of MATLAB. There are versions of Octave for Linux, UNIX, Windows, and
Mac OS X.
If you try to do the above exercise in Octave, most of the functions are the same. The
fplot function is the same in Octave as in MATLAB except that for colors, you must put a digit
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