Harmonic/Percussive Separation using Median Filtering

Derry Fitzgerald, Dublin Institute of Technology

Document Type Conference Paper

13th International Conference on Digital Audio Effects (DAFX10), Graz, Austria, 2010


In this paper, we present a fast, simple and effective method to separate the harmonic and percussive parts of a monaural audio signal.The technique involves the use of median filtering on a spectrogram of the audio signal, with median filtering performed across successive frames to suppress percussive events and enhance harmonic components, while median filtering is also performed across frequency bins to enhance percussive events and supress harmonic components. The two resulting median filtered spectrograms are then used to generate masks which are then applied to the original spectrogram to separate the harmonic and percussive parts of the signal. We illustrate the use of the algorithm in the context of remixing audio material from commercial recordings.