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Old 02-15-2017, 09:16 AM   #1
Ivo Sedlacek
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Default Spectral peaks: mixed feelings. Could this be improved ?

Being used to "comparisonics colours" in Samplitude for years, I was very happy that something similar is coming into Reaper. To view the tracks and to immediately SEE what is going on there is a great thing. If the colours develop logically and naturally. Deepest sound = darkest and the higher you go, the lighter colours. All clear at the first sight. The deepest notes or noises black (you see that something happened there) , then dark blue etc. up to very light shiny colours with the highest tones.

But not in Reaper (whatever adjustment you try to make). There is no natural logic there. No relation dark/deep etc. It seems just like accidental colours that do not tell you much. Flute goes to very high pitch and the spot is dark, low tones yellow ... so it does not tell you anything apart from some extra decoration of the waveforms.

I wonder if this could be developed into more usable and practical scheme ?
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Old 02-15-2017, 09:24 AM   #2
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Have a look at this, Ivo:

View - Peaks display settings.



>
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Old 02-15-2017, 09:27 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by planetnine View Post
Have a look at this, Ivo:

View - Peaks display settings.
>
And don't forget to rightclick there.
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Old 02-15-2017, 09:51 AM   #4
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I of course looked there and tried to make all possible settings. But it seems just to go in cycles ... deep sounds black and then within few hundred Hz and again back to black etc. you can just move the crossing points. Unless I missed something
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Old 02-15-2017, 12:08 PM   #5
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Try "Set range to full spectrum".

You used to be able to drag-stretch the spectrum about before it was released, which I preferred (I set from red at lowest frequency to blue at highest, rather than from red to red with the above preset), but that doesn't seem possible anymore


Maybe we should submit an FR for it? "Half range to full spectrum"..?


Edit: yes it is possible, position the mouse over the right-hand border of the spectrum and drag the edge to "stretch" the spectrum out. Position the red at the LF end and streth the red to lie at the HF end. Is that what you wanted?







>

Last edited by planetnine; 02-15-2017 at 12:15 PM.
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Old 02-15-2017, 03:06 PM   #6
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Yes, I tried everything. Whatever I do, strangely, high tones are dark, low bright, like this shakuhachi solo
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Old 02-16-2017, 06:49 AM   #7
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Hey Ivo, I also was a tad sad to see that the lowest (rumble etc.) tones weren't dark, but haven't had time to hotrod the settings yet. I just figured to be fair to Cockos that I was needing to learn a new language (originally fluent in Comparisonics and will be fluent in Spectral Peak Display). Nonetheless, this is the first improvement to strike a chord in my (former) Samplitude-user mind. And, I like it.
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Old 02-16-2017, 07:07 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivo Sedlacek View Post
Yes, I tried everything. Whatever I do, strangely, high tones are dark, low bright, like this shakuhachi solo
You can reverse spectrum (right click option) and stretch it (drag out right edge of the rainbow). Adjust variance and noise threshold to taste. You can get low notes as colder colors this way.
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Old 02-17-2017, 12:46 AM   #9
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Hi everyone, first post here

Comparisonics waveforms were probably the only thing holding me back from leaving Samplitude as my main DAW (I'm a full-time mastering engineer), and after some emails with Ivo I dived right into Reaper. I have to say I'm extremely happy with Reaper and feel like a bloody idiot for not having made the jump sooner. The hours I could have saved.... So yeah, thank you Ivo.

Spectral Peaks in Reaper have been the number one time drain when setting up the application for my taste/workflow etc. I have spent BLOODY AGES tweaking them, flicking to Samplitude and back, etc etc etc etc. Ages. The thing is that Comparisonics just look like things sound in my head, they fit perfectly with my synesthesia.

I've attached a screenshot showing what I've (almost) settled with, though I might still end up tweaking it more. Key feature is to have 'fade non-tonal content to peaks colour' enabled, and then set the theme peaks to be something pinky-grey/grey-y-pink. This is the closest I've got it to Comparisonics at the time of typing. [EDIT: variance is hidden, it's set to 0.33]

https://www.dropbox.com/s/pbo342k7yh...PEAKS.bmp?dl=0


The point: Spectral Peaks are - in my opinion - better and more detailed than Comparisonics but with one major 'flaw'. The colour spectrum goes from blue to red but never goes to black. So you can have a pure 30Hz tone and it will be blue, the same as, say, a 250Hz tone. Down below 250Hz (where I have it set, where everything else looks right) it's just all blue.

With such a huge amount of bass heavy music coming through here, better LF colour resolution (?) would be awesome. It just needs to go from blue to black as you get down below, say, 120Hz or so. Check out a track I snapped yesterday - a drum n bass track with WAY too much bass. The parts without bass look pretty close, but the Comparisonics clearly shows the full range (ie LF) spectrum detail/contrast better.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/s9b5fsrdll...PEAKS.bmp?dl=0

https://www.dropbox.com/s/6cnc45smcw...PEAKS.bmp?dl=0

Other than that I'm very happy with Reaper, so I suppose I can't complain

Last edited by Macc; 02-17-2017 at 02:55 AM.
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Old 02-17-2017, 02:58 AM   #10
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Oh and if we could have much higher peak display gain (96dB would be great), I'd be very happy.
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Old 02-17-2017, 03:01 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Macc View Post
Oh and if we could have much higher peak display gain (96dB would be great), I'd be very happy.
Sorry if I've misunderstood something here, but if you are talking about peak size try SHIFT + UP-DOWN keys
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Old 02-17-2017, 03:42 AM   #12
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Quote:
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Sorry if I've misunderstood something here, but if you are talking about peak size try SHIFT + UP-DOWN keys
Yep, I'm aware of that - but it's restricted to 36dB. You can easily hear stuff that isn't visible even at maximum zoom.

Samplitude (sorry!) allows you to zoom right to the noise floor and beyond, which for fades etc in mastering is very useful. Especially in combination with spectral peaks/comparisonics.
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Old 02-17-2017, 05:10 AM   #13
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Sometimes it feels like music is being composed, tracked, mixed and mastered by the numbers. A totally mechanical process where precision, not art, is the goal. Now this new form of sound X-rays comes promising more numeric analysis. Music is becoming science.
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Old 02-17-2017, 05:35 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irvin View Post
Sometimes it feels like music is being composed, tracked, mixed and mastered by the numbers. A totally mechanical process where precision, not art, is the goal. Now this new form of sound X-rays comes promising more numeric analysis. Music is becoming science.

Just bear in mind that music (and other audio art forms) are not the only thing people use DAWs for. Audio recording preparation and delivery is not restricted to music or entertainment. Some aspects of mastering for music are more of a technical aspect, too.

Eg. Not all drawings are art, some are technical illustrations and make no claims at all for art.



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Old 02-17-2017, 07:28 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irvin View Post
Sometimes it feels like music is being composed, tracked, mixed and mastered by the numbers. A totally mechanical process where precision, not art, is the goal. Now this new form of sound X-rays comes promising more numeric analysis. Music is becoming science.
I'll disregard the implicit assertion that I do my job by the numbers

On the contrary, being able to use all one's senses in a variety of ways - for example, seeing there's a potential problem in 3 or 4 minutes' time from the current moment in the track - can help one to be more aware, and therefore better serve the music.

This particular feature makes things more fluid, instinctive and intuitive, not less. It's *not* a numerical feature, it's much too vague for that. And you know, you can always close your eyes.

Last edited by Macc; 02-17-2017 at 07:35 AM.
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Old 02-17-2017, 08:19 AM   #16
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I'll disregard the implicit assertion that I do my job by the numbers .
My post was not directed at anyone in particular - just a simple observation that lots (a majority, in my experience) of people are more technicians than musicians nowadays, bent on tweaking sound way beyond what is practical or beneficial. You can see it every forum: the technical questions, requests, arguments, expectations, techniques, etc., far outweigh the musical conversations. Lots of DJ's making music, lots of kids with entire hard drives filled with cracked software who can't tell what an arpeggio is, lots of users more interested in 40 bands of parametric EQ or 30db of compression on a snare than actually recording a good performance.

There are, of course, lots of people doing music the 'traditional' way and lots of others combining great musical skills with great command of current technology - but they are a minority at the end of the day.
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Old 02-17-2017, 08:36 AM   #17
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I agree with Macc regarding he value of using Comparisonics. I never worked in Samplitude without the feature turned on. Until my PC tells me otherwise, I will always have Spectral Peak Display on in Reaper whether recording, editing or mastering. It's an awesome feature. Comparisonics always helped me save time.
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Old 02-17-2017, 08:37 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irvin View Post
My post was not directed at anyone in particular - just a simple observation that lots (a majority, in my experience) of people are more technicians than musicians nowadays, bent on tweaking sound way beyond what is practical or beneficial. You can see it every forum: the technical questions, requests, arguments, expectations, techniques, etc., far outweigh the musical conversations.
All music is numbers anyway-it doesn't really matter what angle you look at it-vibrations are measurable and repeatable.
I guess why we see more technical threads is because it is more technical these days-especially if any type of 'computing' is done in the process of recording.
Tape was using electrical/vibrational impulses.The most direct way to cut was by the "edison method" from mouth to plate,but not everyone has/had that equiptments.

Dj's get a lot of stick by some classically trained musicians,stating there is no skill to dj'n-- I firmly disagree..it's a modern form of composition as well,just different.It is an art in itself imo.

As far as sound designing-well it is practically the only way to even be close to being original these days=it's all been done before..blahhhhblahhh.

What type of conversations are you looking for? about how your chord changes at bar2? what is there to discuss??

It's like a great painting-just enjoy,there's really no need to endlessly debate why the picture is great?
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Old 02-17-2017, 08:41 AM   #19
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Don't hijack the thread. I believe that the Reaper development team is taking our input seriously and improvements in user tweaks will certainly come our way. At least that is what some of us (from the Samplitude user camp) would hope.
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Old 02-17-2017, 08:53 AM   #20
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What type of conversations are you looking for? about how your chord changes at bar2? what is there to discuss??
I'm not looking for any particular type of conversation. Just happy to observe and make some observations when some topic of interest pops up.
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Old 02-17-2017, 08:57 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Studiodawg View Post
Don't hijack the thread.
^Hopefully that was not directed <this way>.
I love the spectral peaks-think it's a fantastic addition..but if it's actually stopping people from making music..because user can't tweak to contentment....well.. hm.
The pre-release forum is basically timetravelling for some users -- current.v users are basically living in the 'past' (in terms of developments.)
Peaks today- maybe interactive holograms tomorrow>
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Old 02-17-2017, 09:00 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irvin View Post
I'm not looking for any particular type of conversation. Just happy to observe and make some observations when some topic of interest pops up.
Happy to converse and observe with you.
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Old 02-17-2017, 10:53 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Macc View Post
Hi everyone, first post here

Comparisonics waveforms were probably the only thing holding me back from leaving Samplitude as my main DAW (I'm a full-time mastering engineer), and after some emails with Ivo I dived right into Reaper. I have to say I'm extremely happy with Reaper and feel like a bloody idiot for not having made the jump sooner. The hours I could have saved.... So yeah, thank you Ivo.

Spectral Peaks in Reaper have been the number one time drain when setting up the application for my taste/workflow etc. I have spent BLOODY AGES tweaking them, flicking to Samplitude and back, etc etc etc etc. Ages. The thing is that Comparisonics just look like things sound in my head, they fit perfectly with my synesthesia.

I've attached a screenshot showing what I've (almost) settled with, though I might still end up tweaking it more. Key feature is to have 'fade non-tonal content to peaks colour' enabled, and then set the theme peaks to be something pinky-grey/grey-y-pink. This is the closest I've got it to Comparisonics at the time of typing. [EDIT: variance is hidden, it's set to 0.33]

https://www.dropbox.com/s/pbo342k7yh...PEAKS.bmp?dl=0


The point: Spectral Peaks are - in my opinion - better and more detailed than Comparisonics but with one major 'flaw'. The colour spectrum goes from blue to red but never goes to black. So you can have a pure 30Hz tone and it will be blue, the same as, say, a 250Hz tone. Down below 250Hz (where I have it set, where everything else looks right) it's just all blue.

With such a huge amount of bass heavy music coming through here, better LF colour resolution (?) would be awesome. It just needs to go from blue to black as you get down below, say, 120Hz or so. Check out a track I snapped yesterday - a drum n bass track with WAY too much bass. The parts without bass look pretty close, but the Comparisonics clearly shows the full range (ie LF) spectrum detail/contrast better.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/s9b5fsrdll...PEAKS.bmp?dl=0

https://www.dropbox.com/s/6cnc45smcw...PEAKS.bmp?dl=0

Other than that I'm very happy with Reaper, so I suppose I can't complain
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Old 02-17-2017, 10:55 AM   #24
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Regarding Ivo's request, I think after tweaking this a bit I should behave very similar to comprasonics, wich was a hreat tool in Samp when editing vocals and such.
I need to dig in deeper this weekend.
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Old 02-17-2017, 10:59 AM   #25
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I think (hope anyway) that a lot of the "technical discussion" is about getting to understand the tools we're using so that we can be more efficient when it comes time to actually making music. That is, we think about it now so that we don't have to in the heat of battle.
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Old 02-17-2017, 02:33 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonas Ekstrom View Post
Regarding Ivo's request, I think after tweaking this a bit I should behave very similar to comprasonics, wich was a hreat tool in Samp when editing vocals and such.
I need to dig in deeper this weekend.
Hey Jonas, it's me

Samplitude's soul-destroying automation and annoying idiosyncrasies pushed me to Reaper, very pleased I made the jump.

Check out my settings above, except for not going to black as freq approaches DC, it's pretty close to Comparisonics I think. Make sure you change the theme peaks colour as well (see my screenshot). Hope this helps man!

By the way, regarding the 'black for lowest freqs' and higher peak display gain, is there a formal place for me to log that? Sorry, I'm new round here and don't want to breach protocol...
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Old 02-17-2017, 04:08 PM   #27
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All feature requests can be presented and discussed in Feature Request forum.
http://forum.cockos.com/forumdisplay.php?f=23
Feature Requests, how to create sticky outlines how to create a proper FR. It's not really tight and formal ruling, but as shown by too many recent "requests", FR has much better chances to raise above regular noise when it follows the guidelines.
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