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Old 28th October 2011, 11:32 AM   #1
Billyo is offline Billyo  Australia
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Default Does a real time freeware spectrum analyser exist?

Hi guys,

I've been hunting up and down the web for a freeware (or at least minimal cost) audio spectrum analyser that simply shows a spectrograph of whatever is currently playing thru the soundcard.

I thought that it would be easy to find one, but I can't find one anywhere! There are a few like Blue Cat that can plug into a host, etc - but they either only work on music you yourself have made, or on sound files like mp3's.

Does one exist that can show a spectrograph of what's playing? I'm starting to think that it doesnt...
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Old 28th October 2011, 12:23 PM   #2
alexcp is offline alexcp  United States
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AudioTester can be used, I believe, in free mode. Without an (inexpensive) license it lacks some features but does spectrum analysis.
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Old 28th October 2011, 01:22 PM   #3
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I've done this with Visual Visual Analyser. I can't quite remember how to both view the spectrum and listen at the same time, but it's not difficult.
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Old 28th October 2011, 10:59 PM   #4
Billyo is offline Billyo  Australia
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Thanks guys - I downloaded both of these programs, but once again, they seemed to want to get the signal from a mike.

I'll keep playing with them and see if I can get them to work.
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Old 28th October 2011, 11:21 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Billyo View Post
Hi guys,

I've been hunting up and down the web for a freeware (or at least minimal cost) audio spectrum analyser that simply shows a spectrograph of whatever is currently playing thru the soundcard.
How about looping back the output of the soundcard back into the mic input ?
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Old 29th October 2011, 12:03 AM   #6
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This depends on your sound card. With mine I have the option to feed the digital signal being processed by the sound card straight back into the computer without any conversion going on. This makes it very easy to see if windows is performing any shoddy sample rate conversions too! Have a look at the input options in any of the programs you are using, if all you have is mic input and line input then you're screwed and will have to do a loop back. If you've got like wave monitoring or mix monitoring then you might be okay. ARTA will function for free, but wont allow you to save.

Attached is my card in internal loop back mode.
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Old 29th October 2011, 11:17 AM   #7
Billyo is offline Billyo  Australia
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Thanks guys!

I think I found a way to do it... using the Realtek HD audio manager "mixer", I seem to be able to make the spectrograph and oscilloscope in Visual Analyser to correspond to what I'm listening to. Not sure which setting it was that fixed it..., but it was certainly something in the audio manager.

It does a bad job of scaling the x-axis though, with the numbers on the scale badly messed up most of the time.

This is The Prodigy "Breathe" - famous for its bass, with a lot of activity at around 70 Hz


Click the image to open in full size.


This one below is a subwoofer test (Subwoofer Excursion Test by Bass Test on Bass Test | Grooveshark - Listen to Free Music Online - Internet Radio - Free MP3 Streaming) that had an annoying faint whine - i was wondering whether it was coming from my system somehow... but sure enough, there it is at 4KHz (at least according to the scale). I'd be sort of annoyed if I'd paid money for that test

Click the image to open in full size.
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