Sounds can be loaded from a WAV or AIFF file with the loadsound() function (and saved with the savesound() function or method), or by initialising with a filename:

sound = loadsound('test.wav')
sound = Sound('test.aif')'test.wav')

Various standard types of sounds can also be constructed, e.g. pure tones, white noise, clicks and silence:

sound = tone(1*kHz, 1*second)
sound = whitenoise(1*second)
sound = click(1*ms)
sound = silence(1*second)

You can pass a function of time or an array to initialise a sound:

# Equivalent to Sound.tone
sound = Sound(lambda t:sin(50*Hz*2*pi*t), duration=1*second)

# Equivalent to Sound.whitenoise
sound = Sound(randn(int(1*second*44.1*kHz)), samplerate=44.1*kHz)

Multiple channel sounds can be passed as a list or tuple of filenames, arrays or Sound objects:

sound = Sound(('left.wav', 'right.wav'))
sound = Sound((randn(44100), randn(44100)), samplerate=44.1*kHz)
sound = Sound((Sound.tone(1*kHz, 1*second),
               Sound.tone(2*kHz, 1*second)))

A multi-channel sound is also a numpy array of shape (nsamples, nchannels), and can be initialised as this (or converted to a standard numpy array):

sound = Sound(randn(44100, 2), samplerate=44.1*kHz)
arr = array(sound)

Sounds can be added and multiplied:

sound = Sound.tone(1*kHz, 1*second)+0.1*Sound.whitenoise(1*second)

For more details on combining and operating on sounds, including shifting them in time, repeating them, resampling them, ramping them, finding and setting intensities, plotting spectrograms, etc., see Sound.

Sounds can be played using the play() function or method:


Sequences of sounds can be played as:

play(sound1, sound2, sound3)

The number of channels in a sound can be found using the nchannels attribute, and individual channels can be extracted using the method, or using the left and right attributes in the case of stereo sounds:

print sound.nchannels
print amax(abs(

As an example of using this, the following swaps the channels in a stereo sound:

sound = Sound('test_stereo.wav')
swappedsound = Sound((sound.right, sound.left))

The level of the sound can be computed and changed with the sound.level attribute. Levels are returned in dB which is a special unit in Brian hears. For example, 10*dB+10 will raise an error because 10 does not have units of dB. The multiplicative gain of a value in dB can be computed with the function gain(level). All dB values are measured as RMS dB SPL assuming that the values of the sound object are measured in Pascals. Some examples:

sound = whitenoise(100*ms)
print sound.level
sound.level = 60*dB
sound.level += 10*dB
sound *= gain(-10*dB)