U know a Spectrum Analyzer for every song played in my Mac?
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Old 28-01-2015, 04:46 PM   #1
Heber
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U know a Spectrum Analyzer for every song played in my Mac?

Hello Guys! :victory:

I tired of search for an always visible spectrum analyzer for my mac.

I mean what I want to do is a software that can show me the audio spectrum of every song played either in spotify, itunes, youtube or whatever in my mac.

I found Spectre, iSpectrum and others but I couldn't get them work. I have an Apogee Duet interface but I don't know how to route in order to show the audio spectrum from those sources.

Hope some one can help me. Cheers

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Old 28-01-2015, 07:53 PM   #2
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Re: U know a Spectrum Analyzer for every song played in my Mac?

I never tryed to do this but I guess you would need something like like soundflower to root your audio to this software...

...you could do it trough ableton live...

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Old 28-01-2015, 08:59 PM   #3
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Re: U know a Spectrum Analyzer for every song played in my Mac?

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Originally Posted by Jonathan View Post
I never tryed to do this but I guess you would need something like like soundflower to root your audio to this software...

...you could do it trough ableton live...
That's the right idea. You can route your system audio using soundflower into Live, and then just pop a Spectrum on the track.

If you're looking for more visualization options you might look into other things, or cooking something up in M4L.

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Old 28-01-2015, 09:22 PM   #4
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Re: U know a Spectrum Analyzer for every song played in my Mac?

i think you can get it for mac but winamp has one
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Old 29-01-2015, 08:26 AM   #5
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Re: U know a Spectrum Analyzer for every song played in my Mac?

It might be a pain, but you may be able to achieve that with jack audio. Which is typically used on Linux, but has a version for OSX.

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Old 29-01-2015, 07:39 PM   #6
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Re: U know a Spectrum Analyzer for every song played in my Mac?

The thing is I don't want to keep Live open all the time and I don't want to use winamp because I usually listen music in spotify or youtube.

I spent a lot of time yesterday tryin to get it. I'm going to try jackaudio It certanly looks lie a pain but It's the best option I have. Thanks
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Old 30-01-2015, 04:48 AM   #7
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Re: U know a Spectrum Analyzer for every song played in my Mac?

Soundflower/Jack on the Mac and a DAW / audio editor is all you need.

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The thing is I don't want to keep Live open all the time and I don't want to use winamp because I usually listen music in spotify or youtube.
Well this makes no sense. You want to be able to constantly analyse all of the audio you playback on your computer, but you don't want to keep an application open that allows you to run a spectrum analyser. That's kind of counterintuitive to your goal.

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I spent a lot of time yesterday tryin to get it. I'm going to try jackaudio It certanly looks lie a pain but It's the best option I have.
Well, it's not really a pain. You're just undertaking a pointless exercise.

Looking at spectra from the tracks you're listening to will not tell you anything worth knowing. Spectrum analysers are great for analysing discrete signals, typically individual channels or groups, or a mix. But you want to analyse a lossy format that hardly represents the actual sound. Much of what you see in the spectrum are going to be the result of lossy compression.

And besides, looking at the spectrum isn't going to tell you anything about how a finished track is mixed or anything like that. Really, if you want to hear what's going on in a discrete band of frequencies, you should use a bandpass filter. But again, you're not really going to learn anything.

Anyway, if you really really really want to look at the pretty lines, all you need is a copy of AU Lab and SoundFlower and a Spectrum Analyser audio unit. Then just follow [Only registered and activated users can see links. Click here to register]
and replace "graphic equalizer" with [insert name of your Spectrum Analyser audio unit here].

Voila!
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Old 30-01-2015, 04:50 AM   #8
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Re: U know a Spectrum Analyzer for every song played in my Mac?

And yes, with AU Lab and SoundFlower it is possible to insert any effect you want over your computer's audio output.
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Old 30-01-2015, 08:24 AM   #9
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Re: U know a Spectrum Analyzer for every song played in my Mac?

Thank you very much Jaded

Looks like you know a lot, one guy told me I needed to watch the spectrum of different songs to learn how are they mixed, I know I'm watching a lossy compress signal but maybe I can get the idea where are all the parts in mixing howeveer I think you know some better tecniques to know where is each the part and how to mix each other together besides the band pass

I tried jackaudio and I did not get it was so confusing for me. Then I tried with soundflower and AU Lab the thing is I can not hear what I am watching, If I select Soundflower for input and output in AU document I can see spectrum but I can't hear anything, and If I select as output "my interface" there is not signal through the AU document.

At the end of the day I let Live opened routed with soundflower

Thank you
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Old 30-01-2015, 08:46 AM   #10
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Re: U know a Spectrum Analyzer for every song played in my Mac?

No worries.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Heber View Post
Looks like you know a lot, one guy told me I needed to watch the spectrum of different songs to learn how are they mixed, I know I'm watching a lossy compress signal but maybe I can get the idea where are all the parts in mixing howeveer I think you know some better tecniques to know where is each the part and how to mix each other together besides the band pass
To be honest, I've never heard anyone make this suggestion, so I can't even guess what the meant. But a spectrum analyser's not going to give you any information on how a track was mixed. It's just going to show you the frequency spread across the spectrum of audible sound. It's not like when you look at the spectrum you'll be able to say, "Oh, here's the bass line, there's the lead" and so on. You'll just see a bunch of harmonics that don't really mean anything.

For example, a bass line. It's pitch will be somewhere around the 250Hz mark. But a bass sound's tone and character is defined in the upper harmonics. Like when you hear a "growly" bass line, most of the growl resides somewhere between 1.5-3.5kHz. So if you have that bass line playing with a lead that's three octaves above then that's bout 1-2kHz for pitch. That's why the analyser isn't going to be able to tell you anything because you're just getting a readout from a collection of sounds which are occupying overlapping frequencies.

If you really want to learn about the frequency makeup of individual sounds in a recording, then use a bandpass filter. What you do is set the Q really high so the band is narrow and you just sweep it up and down until you find the part of the sound that you're looking for. So if you want to understand why a kick in a track is really thumpy, sweep up and down the frequencies until you mostly just hear the thump. Then, you know that the thump resides at around where the cutoff frequency is.

Again though, what you'll quickly learn about the individual sounds is that it's very hard to pinpoint each sound to a unique and discrete band of frequencies. That's why mixing can be so challenging, because every sound is essentially competing for the same space. Ultimately, it's up to your ears to decide which sound gets pride of place in each band. That's the point where you actually want to use a spectrum analyser on each sound.

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