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Spectrum analysis program

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by lovethegrowl, Dec 24, 2013.

  1. lovethegrowl

    lovethegrowl Banned

    Oct 30, 2013
    I want to download a free (or cheap) spectrum analysis program for my old Toshiba laptop. I think it has a microphone input, & I guess the mike will be an old analogue Radio Shack Sound Level meter (calibrated 30HZ-10KHZ plus or minus 3 db.)

    I will be getting a 10 band MXR M-108 through the mail soon. The goal is to try to appropriate the sounds of two or three bass/string set combos I like, using just one bass (space & budget limitations, I know it's a compromise, no one bass can do the job of three).

    Number one priority is an easily readable breakdown of the overtone constituents.
  2. lovethegrowl

    lovethegrowl Banned

    Oct 30, 2013
    Forgot, my program is windows XP. It sure would be cool to be able to download an android program utilizing the internal mic, but I don't think it can be done!
  3. onda'bass

    onda'bass Supporting Member

    Sep 5, 2010
    Buffalo Ny
    Google this "free spectrum analysis program"
  4. Passinwind

    Passinwind I Know Nothing Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    Room EQ Wizard

  5. megafiddle


    May 25, 2011
    I use Visual Analyzer


    Works well for things like frequency response, from a swept signal.

    Don't know if it will do what you want, but it is free and seems to be a very well written program.

  6. The signal from a bass is a very complex waveform.

    Even with a quality spectrum analyzer and a much more flexible, powerful EQ, you'll have a tough time emulating the sound of different basses.
  7. Passinwind

    Passinwind I Know Nothing Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics

    Waterfall plots at least give time domain information too (think attack-sustain-decay), but that'll probably just make the task seem even more daunting...:cool:
  8. lovethegrowl

    lovethegrowl Banned

    Oct 30, 2013
    Your right, but let me be more specific about what I am trying to do. Presently I am modding a Squire Deluxe Active Jazz bass V into a 6 string. The conversion will give me about a 16mm string spacing at the bridge. The industry standard is 17.5mm, & I just plain don't like it. For this bass I have DR Fat beams & I am more or less shooting for the Marcus Miller growl. This will be my ideal Jazz bass.

    However I do play out with a group that plays nearly everything in the course of an evening. I put up with playing rock, folk, even C&W just to do whatever jazz I can (& develop as a jazz bassist) concurrently. For 70% of the stuff we do, a generic P or PJ bass with traditional hex core strings would be optimal. I do have a 6 string Ibanez ST406 (with a wide big ass meck)that will work in those situations, bit I wanna get rid of it.

    As for attack, the round core DRs will never reproduce the transient punch of say, GHS Boomers, or standard D'adarios. The attack is a lost cause. the decay isn't too much of an issue, either. Keep in mind that in clubs/ restaraunts where I perform I am relegated to the role of folk/rock song accompanist most of the time. These are venues in which listeners don't say, "It would've been so much better had the bassist used a Precision or Music Man. What I am shooting for is the timbre of a Precision or the deeper sound of double or split coil pups (not the attack or decay) as close as I can get. It is not worth bringing two basses to one gig to play music that, well, isn't too substantial, music I have little passion for-- though ultimately I will if I have to.

    So let me rephrase what I intend. Through means of spectral analysis & EQing, I seek to emulate the deep timbre of double or split coil pups, using single coil pups that give me the sound I really like.
  9. lovethegrowl

    lovethegrowl Banned

    Oct 30, 2013
    Also, a waterfall plot would be complicated to read, a spectral breakdown of a sustained tone would be better, foes such a thing exist?
  10. lovethegrowl

    lovethegrowl Banned

    Oct 30, 2013
    And yes, I know using just the neck pup of the jazz bass gets me closer to that P bass sound, but I think it could be refined a little more with my MXR 108"
  11. rolandm

    rolandm In search of the lowest note.

    Aug 8, 2010
    Peoria, IL
    The only real way you'll get a single coil jazz neck pickup to sound like a split coil PBass pickup is to dump the high end altogether, as you'll still have the openness of the single coil voicing to deal with. That being said, I run single coil in the neck position for most rock songs, pull back some treble, and find it voices just fine in the mix, and then pull my bridge pickup back in for stuff that doesn't need a growly rock voicing.
  12. Audacity has two ways to do it.
    Free, and isn't just for spectrum analysis. All around audio editor, nice for a free product.
  13. Passinwind

    Passinwind I Know Nothing Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    Sure, but even with a waterfall plot you can just edit your recording down to the bit you care about. I would definitely be using recordings for your purposes, FWIW.
  14. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    yeah, i'd maybe let go of all that; if you want your single coils to sound "deeper", boost the lows and back off the highs, there's not much more to it.

    you can't really EQ a bass to sound like a different bass, much of the difference is in that very time-based envelope of attack and decay that EQ won't address, and the rest is in the series of overtones that a pickup gets from the string that a different pickup in a different spot just won't get, and which EQ also won't address.

    you can't EQ a bridge pickup to sound like a neck pickup no matter what you do, for example.
  15. Also with just a 10 band graphical EQ with a one octave 'Q' on each slider, you will only be able to make relatively broad EQ changes.

    A spectrum analyzer probably isn't going to help you as much as just experimenting with the sliders and using your ears.