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Making noise in Python
Feb 16, 2013
One minute read

I’ve been working with PyAudio lately, on a project to synchronize sound streams across multiple devices. Nothing to say on that front yet, but I do have a nice snippet for programatically generating a tone:

import math
import numpy
import pyaudio

def sine(frequency, length, rate):
    length = int(length * rate)
    factor = float(frequency) * (math.pi * 2) / rate
    return numpy.sin(numpy.arange(length) * factor)

def play_tone(stream, frequency=440, length=1, rate=44100):
    chunks = []
    chunks.append(sine(frequency, length, rate))

    chunk = numpy.concatenate(chunks) * 0.25


if __name__ == '__main__':
    p = pyaudio.PyAudio()
    stream =,
                    channels=1, rate=44100, output=1)



This simply generates a sine wave of a specified frequency and length, and writes it out to an already open PyAudio stream. A pleasant tone is produced. It’s not too fancy, but it beats loading a wave file from disk.

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