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Quickly Create Music Videos Using ffmpeg

I’m going to disclose the command line that I use to generate a simple music video from an audio file and an image. The video will contain the original audio and an XY scope visualization of the audio superimposed over a custom background. The process depends on a few things:

  • ffmpeg – search the internet for download and installation instructions suitable for your platform
  • an image file to serve as a background. To use the command below, you’ll want to make a 1920×1080 image
  • an audio file (of course!)

The following are four separate commands for the Windows command line. Other platforms will be slightly different. You’ll want to change the first three to refer to your own filenames. (You can guess the role of file in the process). The last command is doing the heavy lifting and is a single, really long, command. If you’re not familiar with using a command line interface (typing in commands to a big blank window) you’ll want to know how to copy-paste to a command window and, note that every character is essential.

SET IMAGEFILE="test.png"
SET AUDIOFILE="test1.wav"
SET OUTFILE="testout.mp4"

ffmpeg -loop 1 -i %IMAGEFILE%  -i %AUDIOFILE%  -filter_complex "[1:a]avectorscope=s=1920x1080:draw=line:mode=lissajous_xy:rc=100:gc=120:bc=255:rf=9:gf=9:bf=9,format=yuv420p[v],[v]split[m][a];[m][a]alphamerge[keyed];[0][keyed]overlay=eof_action=endall" %OUTFILE%

That’s it! I hope it works for you.

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Seven Things I’ve Learned About FM Synthesis

If you like math, are interested in synthesis and need to write a paper, maybe this article will be of interest to you. I’m sharing a paper from a long time ago that documents my personal research in to the topic of FM synthesis, with CSound’s foscil opcode and a little math.

The references at the end of the paper might be reason enough to download.

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Release of the Marimba SFZ Instrument

I’m very excited to announce the Big Winky Media Marimba SFZ Instrument is available for purchase.

The instrument is the result of hours of reviewing, packaging and testing dozens of high quality samples from an an-echoic chamber at the University of Iowa. The cord-wound and yarn-wound mallet instruments feature three velocity layers each. A rubber mallet instrument is also included.

Some demonstrations are available below. The demos themselves are provided under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license.

The first demo, More Linear by Dan Liszewski, uses the yarn-wound mallet samples.

The next demo, Shifting Paradigm, also by Dan Liszewski, features the yarn mallets as well.

if you don’t want to pay five bucks, check out the Free Marimba (rubber mallet only) soundfont.