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Re: Sonograms?/Using "Canary" and other software?

Subject: Re: Sonograms?/Using "Canary" and other software?
From: Vicki Powys <>
Date: Fri, 05 Apr 2002 13:59:19 +1000
on 5/4/02 3:14 AM, Daniel Edelstein at  wrote:

> I am using Cornell Lab of Ornithology's "Canary"
> software to create sonograms.
> My questions:
> Does anyone use Canary (or any other sonogram-creating
> software) with adult groups while presenting programs?
> What are 1 to 3 group educational activities you do with the adults (using
> Canary or other software)?
> Suggest any sources that I use to learn more so I can
> create more activities while using "Canary" or other
> sonogram-creating software?
> Thank you, Daniel Edelstein
> Daniel Edelstein

On a Mac you could try AudioGraph which is $US 25 as shareware.  You could
even use it without paying for it if you can put up with a watermark on the
demo version.  You just download it from the website (listed below).  It
does colour or black and white, a marker scrolls across the sonogram as the
sound plays.  You can set it to play the sound much slower (useful in
understanding fast birdsong). It can show the waveform and sonogram, or just
one or the other.  

Walt says greyscale (black and white) is outdated, but I prefer it to colour
and I never cease to be thrilled by watching sounds being transformed into
elegant shapes on my computer screen.  You can print out the results
economically with an ink-jet printer, and have your findings published in a
scientific journal (which is unlikely to run to colour sonograms in its

AudioGraph has a wide range of settings, for width, height, "blackness",
detail etc.  To use AudioGraph, first you create an AIFF sound file in mono,
then just drag that file's icon over the AudioGraph application icon,
AudioGraph automatically opens and shows a basic sonogram, which you can
then adjust in its settings.  I know that AudioGraph has been used in
presentations to adults.

To a class you would explain how different sounds occur at different pitches
which are measured as kilohertz on a sonogram.  And how some notes rise,
others fall, or occur as trills.  Some notes are pure, others are harsh as
shown by harmonics.  Don't assume that adults would be bored by playing
around with these very basic concepts.  It might be a good idea to ask
participants to draw the shape of the sound they think they are hearing,
before seeing it as a sonogram.

For a copy of AudioGraph sonogram software contact:

Sutherland Studios
PO Box 3849
Weston Creek PO
ACT 2611  Australia


Vicki Powys


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