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MusicScope - Oscilloscope & reporting tool


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MusicScope is a package aimed at us non audio engineering people to analyse an audio file. DSD128 is also catered for, the process converts the file to PCM to make the analysis. I could never get the hang of Audacity, maybe the care factor was non existent :).

MusicScope reports on the LU of the file as well as sample rate, waterfalls to spot the shonks.

The manual is well written, and offers some examples of what upsampled audio looks like.

 

If the techies could chime in if this tool would be accurate enough to spot the fabrications. Could they also explain the differences between DR and the new units, LRA, LU, just a bit lost there.

 

MusicScope is not free, EUR25. There's also a EUR10 voucher for Highresaudio purchase.

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It looks interesting, but $30 seems like a lot for what it does - though I can see the appeal as a package which does everything in a single tool with nice presentation.

Personally, I'd be a lot more interested in it at half the price and as a VST-plugin rather than a stand-alone app.

 

However I use JRiver as my player which already does all the loudness/dynamic range analysis automatically, and Spek is usually sufficient for a quick analysis to tell whether a file has been upsampled or not - though it doesn't do DSD.

You just drag a file onto it and it's usually pretty obvious if it's truly high resolution or has been upsampled.

 

Things like dynamic range, crest factor etc. are useful to judge the quality of a master (higher crest factor/dynamic range is generally better) though that can be more subjective, and is unrelated to whether or not the track is "HD".

 

One thing that does surprise me is the omission of a bit meter though. In theory you could add a little bit of noise at the bottom of a 24-bit file which makes it be detected as "24-bit" while bits 17-through-23 are empty for example.

 

iZotope Ozone's is a good example of this:

bit-meterptowu.png

 

And if you do start using tools like this to analyze your files, you may just want to stop buying "HD" audio altogether.

It's disappointing how many releases are obvious upsamples or have mastering issues.

 

At this point I'm more concerned about getting a 24-bit file than a high sample rate. At least then if they didn't dither the signal it's going to be far less apparent than a 16-bit undithered track.

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At this point I'm more concerned about getting a 24-bit file than a high sample rate. At least then if they didn't dither the signal it's going to be far less apparent than a 16-bit undithered track.

 

There have been a number of albums that I've downloaded at 24 bits and made 16-bit versions for portable use. For the past year I've done this without dithering. I figure the first time I hear an artifact of undithered 16-bit truncation in ordinary music it will be a thing to celebrate. This hasn't happened to me yet, but it sounds like you've reached the enviable state of being able to hear such artifacts regularly.

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There have been a number of albums that I've downloaded at 24 bits and made 16-bit versions for portable use. For the past year I've done this without dithering. I figure the first time I hear an artifact of undithered 16-bit truncation in ordinary music it will be a thing to celebrate. This hasn't happened to me yet, but it sounds like you've reached the enviable state of being able to hear such artifacts regularly.
It's noticeable to me in JRiver when playing to one of my AirPlay receivers, since they are 16-bit and it is connected to a relatively high gain amp with fixed gain, so I have to use digital volume control.

 

What I thought was a hardware issue actually turned out to be audible distortion due to JRiver's dither implementation. (1LSB RPDF)

 

Properly dithered 16-bit audio is fine, but I'd rather have a 24-bit track so that it doesn't matter nearly as much if they get it wrong or don't dither at all.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I downloaded the trial. It doesn't seem to have the built in feature for saving a snapshot of the results. Is that what the rest of you find, or is it just something with my PC implementation?

Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>QuietPC Low Noise Server>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>Stack Audio Link II>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Path: Server with Audiolense RC>RPi4 or analog>Cayin iDAC6 MKII (tube mode) (XLR)>Kii Three .

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup.
Living Room/Kitchen: Ropieee (RPi3b+ with touchscreen) + Schiit Modi3E to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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I downloaded the trial. It doesn't seem to have the built in feature for saving a snapshot of the results. Is that what the rest of you find, or is it just something with my PC implementation?

 

Click on "Report". You get a snapshot of the final result and you get text file with the summary.

 

Edit: perhaps the trial does not permit this?

 

"The function of music is to release us from the tyranny of conscious thought", Sir Thomas Beecham. 

 

 

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Click on "Report". You get a snapshot of the final result and you get text file with the summary.

 

Edit: perhaps the trial does not permit this?

 

As far as I know the trial version stops after 30 sec. or something.

The report would not regard the complete file and therefore deliver wrong or incomplete values. Could be the reason, that this feature is disabled in the trial version.

 

 

As an example I attached the report files of 'Dire Straits - Private Investigations':

 

 

02 Private Investigations.m4a_report.txt

 

02 Private Investigations.m4a_report.png

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I wish that the report showed "Crest" value range, or something, besides 0.0.

 

 

I just talked to Stephan from Xivero. Good news :)

 

The next version will show min and max value for "Crest". It is expected to be released this week.

 

He also asked me to invite you not to hesitate to send them new feature requests.

The application is very new and every good proposal to improve or extend the functionality is highly appreciated ;)

 

Btw - a new version 1.1.1 has been released today, including MP3 (MPEG-1 Audio Layer III) support.

 

Regards

Matthias

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I downloaded version 1.1.3 last night and now I get a burst of white noise at the end of the analysis:

[ATTACH=CONFIG]16337[/ATTACH]

 

 

I informed the XiVero developers about this. This bug only happens with long AIFF-files.

 

The Bug has already been reported and will be fixed soon.

 

 

Cheers,

Matthias

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If this tool will developed further, it has ability become interesting instrument.

 

For version 1.x it is good result.

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As far as I know the trial version stops after 30 sec. or something.

The report would not regard the complete file and therefore deliver wrong or incomplete values. Could be the reason, that this feature is disabled in the trial version.

 

 

As an example I attached the report files of 'Dire Straits - Private Investigations':

 

 

[ATTACH]16271[/ATTACH]

 

[ATTACH=CONFIG]16270[/ATTACH]

 

How did you get the blue color in the waterfall? I can only get green on green.

 

"The function of music is to release us from the tyranny of conscious thought", Sir Thomas Beecham. 

 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...
Hi Matty,

 

Nice software.

 

For those using DAWs, are you able to provide 32 bit WAV file analysis?

 

Is a VST version planned for the future?

 

Thanks

 

Hi tranz,

 

I'm happy to hear that you like it :)

 

But please notice, that I'm not the developer of the software and I have no commercial relationship to the company.

 

I'm just a good friend of one of the developers and a fan of the software.

It is just a fortunate coincidence that one of my friends shares my interests and by the way is an expert for software development and digital signal processing.

 

I will forward your questions to him and will give you a feedback as soon as I receive his answer.

 

Best

Matthias

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Hi tranz,

 

I'm happy to hear that you like it :)

 

But please notice, that I'm not the developer of the software and I have no commercial relationship to the company.

 

I'm just a good friend of one of the developers and a fan of the software.

It is just a fortunate coincidence that one of my friends shares my interests and by the way is an expert for software development and digital signal processing.

 

I will forward your questions to him and will give you a feedback as soon as I receive his answer.

 

Best

Matthias

 

Hi Matthias,

 

Sorry, I thought you were part of the company. Thank you for forwarding on the questions.

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Hi tranz,

 

32 Bit WAV is definitely planned.

 

There are already lots of exisiting VST solutions on the market. MusicScope is dedicated to the HiFi enthusiasts, who do not need a full-blown DAW but are interested in an detailed analysis of there music collection. So a VST solution is not planned.

 

Regards

Matthias

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