How to analyze music, podcasts and audio files

Whether you’re analyzing music for an ear training exercise or making notes your favourite podcast, you’ve probably experience jotting down timestamps in a notepad and using an audio player to fast forward, rewind and pause at specific points which is not optimal for learning. Notetracks is a platform built to easily analyze music, podcast or any other audio and video files and gather notes and annotations precisely on the track (think of SoundCloud meeting Google Docs).

More of a video tutorial person? This help article is also available as a full-length video on our YouTube channel. Check it out below.

To begin, open Notetracks, create a new audio project and give your project a title.

Notetracks – how to create a new audio project

Next, add your track into the workspace. You can do so by clicking either of the two ‘Add Track’ buttons on the left side of the screen.

Notetracks – how to add a track to the workspace

You can also add your tracks by directly importing via Dropbox or Google Drive. You can also drag and drop.

Notetracks – how to import a track to the workspace

Your file will now be uploaded into Notetracks. Next, ensure you’re in the comment pane at the top of the workspace. This will allow you to begin making notes and analysis on your track.

Notetracks – how to switch to the comment pane

Use the playback controls at the bottom of the workspace or drag the playhead to navigate through the track you’d like to analyze.

Notetracks – how to navigate along the waveform

Once you’re at the point in the file where you’d like to start making audio analysis, click the ‘New Comment’ button or double-click on the waveform to leave a note. You can also leave a note on a specific duration of the track (for example, from 0:10-0:20).

Once you press post, the note will now show up visually in the workspace alongside the waveform. Audio analysis is important to determine changes in audio, such as in a song, like tempo, timbre, key, and the like. Analysis allows creators and scholars to become more in tune with audio, which can then allow greater reflections.

Notetracks – how to leave a note for audio analysis
Notetracks – how to leave a note for audio analysis across a duration of time

You can also leave markers in Notetracks. Markers are great to use to quickly note a point of interest. You can listen to the track and leave markers at the same time, making it easier to denote more precisely.

To leave a marker, navigate to the left-middle of the workspace and click the ‘New Marker’ button where you’d like to leave one. It will now show up visually along the waveform. Markers appear the same as notes do but don’t have anything written in them. You can edit markers to include text after they’re created.

Notetracks – how to leave a marker

For markers and notes, you can click and hold each to drag them along the waveform as well.

If you’d like to leave labels and tags, switch over to the ‘Draw’ tab at the top of the workspace. You’ll be greeted by a menu bar with a variety of tools to take advantage of. Additionally, ensure that the ‘Draw’ section of the waveform is expanded.

Notetracks – how to switch into the draw tab

To leave a label, select the ‘Text’ icon and navigate in the track where you’d like to leave it. Scroll down past the comment pane. You’re now able to type in the title of the label you’d like to create. Labels can be useful for denoting specific sections of a song or podcast episode, for example. Like notes, labels can be dragged along and moved with ease.

Notetracks – how to create text labels

Notetracks also has the ability to leave tags. These tags represent instrumentation primarily, such as drums, guitar, and keyboard, but can also be used for sound effects and transitions in other audio projects.

Notetracks – how to create tags

Both tags and labels can have their colour changed by selecting the desired shade from the top middle of the workspace.

Analysis is often shared with collaborators to further leave insight and feedback. If you’re interested in sharing your audio analysis with others, check out our help article on How to Share an Audio File.

Audio analysis is an important part of breaking down and further understanding a piece, such as a musical composition. Deep analysis allows for greater knowledge and insight, emotional understanding, and repeating themes and patterns. Analysis can further be used to transcribe, translate, and annotate audio like podcasts, radio shows, and interviews.

Through utilizing Notetracks' litany of tools and features to analyze audio, be it a song or otherwise, users can easily, quickly, and intuitively leave notes, labels, and tags on their audio files. With its strong collaboration, annotation, and note-taking tools, Notetracks is the ideal platform to take your audio analysis to the next level.

Try Notetracks for free today.

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