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Analysis of Sound Signals

  1. Nov 29, 2016 #1
    Hello everyone,

    I am interested in analyzing sounds (both spectral plots and time plot). What type of hardware would I need? There are a lot of free softwares online...

    Are there educational hardware tools that are not too expensive?

  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 29, 2016 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    Could you say more about the sounds? What kind of analysis exactly are you wanting to perform? What is the application?

    You can use a smartphone for basic analysis, but you would need a better microphone setup for some situations. What equipment and software packages have you looked into so far?
  4. Nov 29, 2016 #3
    For sound - a typical PC should do fine, if you have a good digital recording or sound card to record with. Use various combos of : open source, FFT, spectral analyzer, oscilloscope - etc....

    There is no single list - too many variables.
  5. Nov 30, 2016 #4
    I guess a good microphone would be the right type of hardware and then I can use some software for the analysis....
  6. Nov 30, 2016 #5
    Typically (and the mechanical engineers will hate me for this) the electrical systems are probably 100x more accurate than the mechanical, and software, 100 to 1000 or more times more accurate than electrical.

    If you want accurate sound samples from the real world, spend at least 90% of your money on the microphone. ( IMO - conversely for reproduction -- spend the same ratio on your speakers... headphones are a little different, too much hype!). 20 years ago a 44kHz sample was hard to come by, but today that is child's play.

    So, a really good microphone into an average sound card - is far better than a cheap mic into a great sound card.

    Software today is practically free, one guy wants a good tool and gives it away, then the cost goes to zero - all of the others needs something physical.
  7. Jan 4, 2017 #6
    the ffplay.c source from SDL-1.2 has a approx of FFT and little options but best option to visualize acoustics from hardware that being said am xbox controller is my preference and I have the source for output aswell on my website Atmel-uController Repurposed
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