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View Poll Results: Would you like Spectrogram Item Display implemented:
As a PROJECT option 0 0%
As a TRACK option 3 6.12%
As an ITEM option 10 20.41%
ALL of the above 24 48.98%
[not interested] 12 24.49%
Voters: 49. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 04-20-2011, 10:49 PM   #1
who1981
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Default Spectrogram Item display option [REVOLUTIONARY!]

I was thinking the other day...
Wave forms are nice for showing some aspects of a sound recording (being a direct voltage analog), but are they the only way? Are they the best way? The most musical?

I saw an online music player that used had a Spectrograph display option, after using it to listen to and compare a couple remixes, I realized, this is the way I'd like to view the items in Reaper! Go to:

http://www.indabamusic.com/opportunities/paul-simon

Click play, make sure it's set to spectrogram (lower right) and see for yourself... It visualizes the sound in a way that makes patterns like Verse/Chorus/Bridge, Kick/Snare, or Sibilance/Plosives instantly recognizable. You can even identify Chord changes!

I know the technology is already in place (Spectro plugin), and it seems to be preformant, only using 0.5% CPU while generating a spectrogram real-time. Now just allow this graph to be pained on items in tracks, for editing.
This could be a per project, per track, or maybe a per item option. The generated spectrograms could be cached the same way wave forms are now.

To me this only makes sense. Why have we been using two-dimensional monochrome voltage-analog waveforms to display musical sounds? When a well implemented spectrogram utilizes both color and light intensity to portray magnitude, and the Y axis to show an aspect currently missing, frequency!

As a die-hard, and exclusive Reaper user (gladly payed), I beg you: Justin Frankel, Christophe Thibault, whoever else could make this happen...If implemented seamlessly it would be a feature to brag about, and set Reaper apart from any other DAW.

Thanks,
Stephen Tack





I started mocking this up, using the Spectro plugin, but I have to get some sleep now, you get the gist...

Last edited by who1981; 04-21-2011 at 12:20 AM.
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Old 04-20-2011, 10:54 PM   #2
EricM
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FruityLoops has that option for quite some time now.

You can vote for Reaper implementation here:
http://forum.cockos.com/project.php?issueid=1599

I'd also love to see it in Reaper.

e
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Old 04-20-2011, 11:54 PM   #3
who1981
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EricM View Post
FruityLoops has that option for quite some time now.

You can vote for Reaper implementation here:
http://forum.cockos.com/project.php?issueid=1599

I'd also love to see it in Reaper.

e
Voted.
I didn't see that thread when I searched cause I used the full term "Spectrogram" and it only has the word spectro.

I forgot about FL's Spectro view, it's useful, but being all gray and boring, it's very forgetable.
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Old 04-21-2011, 07:50 AM   #4
who1981
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Default *Pole Response*

I have to say, I didn't expect to get any "not interested" responses, I just put it in for kicks. I would guess it just shows how novel a full color per item/track cached spectrogram is...some people are just so use to wave display that they can't envision the glory I mean people, you could pick/tune the color and intensity with which your sound was displayed! That's some sweet eye-candy, but actually with a practical purpose....
At least so far the people wanting some form of spectrogram display out number those not interested...but folks, feel free to post and justify your vote either way.
Lets get a discussion going.

Good morning!
Stephen
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Old 04-21-2011, 08:05 AM   #5
ngarjuna
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Quote:
Originally Posted by who1981 View Post
I have to say, I didn't expect to get any "not interested" responses, I just put it in for kicks. I would guess it just shows how novel a full color per item/track cached spectrogram is...some people are just so use to wave display that they can't envision the glory I mean people, you could pick/tune the color and intensity with which your sound was displayed! That's some sweet eye-candy, but actually with a practical purpose....
At least so far the people wanting some form of spectrogram display out number those not interested...but folks, feel free to post and justify your vote either way.
Lets get a discussion going.

Good morning!
Stephen
I would take "Not Interested" votes as "I would not use this feature" as opposed to "I think this feature should not be implemented." Usually people in the second category will bother to post why they feel it's either inappropriate to implement or why dev resources could be better used elsewhere.

As far as such an option existing, if it's useful to folks (and doesn't bump too much other important development), I can't see how the option would be problematic. But the fact that I'm open to other people getting features in REAPER that I absolutely would not use doesn't mean that I'm going to vote for features that I have no interest in.

But honestly it's not that novel or amazing an idea; if you're depending on visual cues to that degree in your mixing I might suggest you're using the wrong body part. The point of the visual readout is not to give me detailed information about the audio spectrum (the way I use it, at least), just to give me a quick visual to estimate where in the song I am. If I want detailed information about the dynamics or frequency spread I get that from listening (since that listening is what will shape my solution to any such issues that might arise).
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Old 04-21-2011, 08:37 AM   #6
who1981
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Default The main use...EDITING

Quote:
Originally Posted by ngarjuna View Post
if you're depending on visual cues to that degree in your mixing I might suggest you're using the wrong body part. The point of the visual readout is not to give me detailed information about the audio spectrum (the way I use it, at least), just to give me a quick visual to estimate where in the song I am. If I want detailed information about the dynamics or frequency spread I get that from listening (since that listening is what will shape my solution to any such issues that might arise).
I agree, MIXING is ALL about listening, and ironically it's the part of music production to which nearly all current spectrograms (plugin level, like spectro) are applied. I propose that by implementing non-realtime (cached) spectrograms as the means of sound item display (instead of waveforms) would be a great enhancement in the EDITING process; which is much quicker when you can use your eyes primarily, and not have to listen and re-listen to get things lined up right. [Currently when editing together a sloppily recorded song my spacebar gets a real workout] Especially when trying to match-up/splice/crossfade takes you could see the actual chord/note changes and sibilance in a recording that otherwise would look ambiguous in waveform display. And when dealing with a low waveform (that I'd normally have to zoom up to see transients) or a volume maximized/hard-limited waveform (that just looks like a brick), a spetrogram could render valuable visual cues that a wave can not.

Think of the possibilities!
Happy mixing

Last edited by who1981; 04-21-2011 at 12:04 PM.
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Old 04-21-2011, 04:23 PM   #7
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I'd rather hear it. I'm really hoping we are heading back towards that trend, listening that is. I really do miss the days where all I had was a couple of VU meters to look at forcing me to listen to everything else.

Karbo
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Old 04-21-2011, 06:27 PM   #8
who1981
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karbomusic View Post
I'd rather hear it. I'm really hoping we are heading back towards that trend, listening that is. I really do miss the days where all I had was a couple of VU meters to look at forcing me to listen to everything else.

Karbo
Oh, trust me, I listen... When you only had two VU meters the kinds of edits you were expected to perform were much more rudimentary (on tape I assume)...these days pandora's box is open and I'm expected to work magic! So currently I edit, listen, fudge it a little listen again, repeat... I need a tool to help me nail splices the first time, quickly, as some times I have a ton of editing to do (not all of us are working with strictly professionals).... I'd much rather save my ears for mixing...the final result of editing is artistic, the process is mechanical, if I can save time, effort, and my ears by seeing the sound better, that SOUNDS good to me
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Old 09-11-2011, 09:11 AM   #9
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Would be pretty nice...While I do advocate listening to the sound rather than blankly staring at analysis displays/numbers, there can be considerable advantages when the ears and eyes can work together to achieve some desired result.
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Old 09-11-2011, 10:54 AM   #10
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A great idea IMHO.
I am from the Yamaha QX-1 / MC500-MKII era where staring at a DAW would have been a blessing.
If I had Reaper back in '85 I could have been a contender.
And would have recorded vocalists to avoid working so many of them.

I agree with Hawkeye form the Huron Nation about vocalists:

"Do not try to make them understand you. That is because they are a breed apart and make no sense".

Daniel Day Lewis as Hawkeye
Last Of The Mohicans 1992, United Artists
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Old 06-04-2015, 07:42 AM   #11
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I just wanted to add a "me too" vote for this feature.

I use Izotope Rx a lot of remastering and audio restoration, but usually with the plugins themselves hosted in Reaper.
However in the native Rx app itself, there is an extemely powerful spectrographic display of the audio if you want it, instead of the time-domain waveform.
It's hugely useful for locating problem bits of the audio - say that one cough or bit of bass drone that happens in 20 minutes.... your eyes can find that a lot more quickly on the screen than if you have to listen in real time for 20 mins!
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Old 06-08-2016, 01:59 AM   #12
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I'd also like to vote for this, unless it's been implemented already. It's really useful for transcribing.
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Old 06-08-2016, 04:22 AM   #13
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If memory serves I asked for this a while back, glad to see it's gaining some traction now, +1
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