Beat detection

~ 19 Apr 2010, 11:07

Not long ago, I was pondering if there's some useful way to exploit my memory-load sensor of the EpoX 9NPA+ Motherboard I use at home. For those of you which haven't heard about it - this sensor shows you the memory load/traffic in real-time. So, in idle, it blinks very slightly, but when you run any memory-intensive benchmark, it gets quite bright.
A week ago (just as I was listening to «Moloko - Sing it back»), I came up with a nifty way to abuse this sensor: to visualize the beats of some song. Here is it in action:


YouTube - Beat visualization on Epox 9NPA+

Local copy (H.264 750 kbps)

I wrote a visualization plugin for XMMS, which uses a simple beat-detection algorithm, and, when a hit is detected, it blinks the sensor. The blinking is inflicted using a large number of memcpy() operations inside a 64 MB array :) The algorithm is right now only sensitive to bass beats (this is the reason it doesn't detect the snare drums, as visible on the second song in the video).

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