MUSICSCOPE ONLINE MANUAL

MusicScope Online Manual

Compatibility

The MusicScope is Windows (7 – 8.1 / 32 & 64 Bit) as well as Mac OS X (10.7.3 – 10.10.x) compatible.

The activation allows 3 parallel installations. In fact, it is possible to use the Windows and MacOS X Version in parallel by just using one activation key.

Operations

The MusicScope has been designed with focus on operational simplicity.

MusicScope control elements

A music track can be loaded via:

  1. 1. Load (Folder Icon) – Opens a file dialog to load one or several tracks
  2. 2. Drag & Drop – Load one or multiple files by dragging them into the GUI
  3. 3. Playlist – Drag & Drop several audio files into the Playlist to play or analyze them without further intervention.

Start the analyzing process: Play starts the playback, whereas Analyze (Microscope Icon) starts the fast analyze mode. It is possible to switch anytime between Play and Analyze to go quickly through the track or to start the audio monitoring of dedicated parts. A Pause-Function allows a hold of the analysis at any time to have a look at the current measurement results.

The Playlist supports the playback and analyzing of several audio tracks and opens automatically as soon as multiple files are loaded. The list can be opened at anytime by clicking on the track name. By “Drag & Drop” tracks can be added or moved up and down in the list.

A context menu allows the deletion of single items, whereas “Clear” resets the whole Playlist. It is possible to select different report types for each track or even an overall report for the whole list.

Playlist

The MusicScope has several click areas and switches to activate different displays for the visualization of the measurements:

  1. 1. Switch between Levels and Bit Monitor by clicking on the dedicated label.
  2. 2. A mouse click on the graphical TPL-Display switches between Left/Right and Mid/Side mode.
  3. 3. The Histogram can be switched through S-Mode, M-Mode and TPL, just by clicking on it.
  4. 4. The display of the PLR values within the History-Display can be activated or deactivated by single mouse click on the PLR label.
  5. 5. Switching between linear and logarithmic spectrum takes place by a mouse click on the green label just below the frequency axis.
  6. 6. The „Left/Right“ switch activates a separate spectral display of the left and right channel.
  7. 7. The „Pano/Phase“ switch enables the frequency dependent representation of the stereo panorama and phase correlation.
  8. 8. To get a detailed spectral analysis a “-200dB Mode” switch can be activated.
  9. 9. The scales of the spectrum are adaptable via mouse dragging.
  10. 10. The „Cepstrum“ switch enables a special mode to do an in-depth harmonic analysis.
  11. 11. The configuration of the Spectrogram can be changed by using the green labeled switches:
    • MAX (Maximum), AVG (Average) and MIN (Minimum) Mode
    • MON (Monochrome) and COL (Color) display
    • COF – Activation and deactivation of the automatic algorithm to determine the bandwidth of High Resolution Audio material

Realtime Analysis

The Audio Input Mode allows the selection of an Audio Input Device for Realtime Analysis:

  1. 1. Open the Settings Menu (gear-wheel icon)
  2. 2. Select the Audio Input Tab
  3. 3. Select the Audio Input Device as well as the sampling rate and bit depth
  4. 4. Click on Select
  5. 5. Click on „Play“ starts the Audio Input

Applications for the Realtime Audio Analysis:

  • – Vinyl-Record analyzing via DA-Converter or phono amplifier connected to the line-in of the audio device.
  • – Analyzing streaming services by routing their output via virtual audio devices into the MusicScope.

The Audio Output dialog provides the settings for the output device to be used for audio monitoring. To prevent audio feedback under dedicated configurations it is possible to set the output to „No Audio Output“.

Audio-Input

Audio-Output

Audio Format

The MusicScope handles several lossless and lossy audio formats:

  • WAV – Waveform Audio File Format (WAVE)
  • BWF – Broadcast Wave Format
  • AIFF – Audio Interchange File Format
  • FLAC – Free Lossless Audio Codec
  • ALAC – Apple Lossless Audio Codec
  • DSD (DFF & DSF) – Direct Stream Digital
  • DSDIFF (by Philips) / DFF = Direct Stream Digital Interchange File Format
  • DSF (by Sony) = DSD Stream File
  • MP3 – MPEG-2 Audio Layer III
  • PCM sample rates (kHz): 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4, 192, 352,8, 384
  • DSD sample rates:
    • DSD64 2.8224 MHz
    • DSD128 5.6448 MHz (Double DSD)
    • DSD256 11.2896 MHz (Quadruple DSD)
    • DSD512 22.5792 MHz (Octuple DSD)
  • Supported Bit depth: 1, 16, 24 and 32 Bit

The audio monitoring (playback) of the MusicScope supports material of up to 24 Bit / 384 kHz on Mac OS X systems. Direct Stream Digital (DSD) can be reproduced without using a special DSD capable Digital to Analog Converter (DAC).

Left/Right & Mid/Side Analysis

Beside of analyzing the Left & Right audio channels it is possible to switch into a Mid/Side mode. The Mid-Signal represents the mono and the Side-Signal the stereo part of the audio signal.

Analyzing in Mid/Side mode provides detailed information about the stereo image and therefore the quality of the stereo reproduction.

A single mouse click on the graphical levels display switches between Left/Right and Mid/Side mode. In M/S mode the labeling and coloring of the peak bars changes.

In Mid/Side-Mode the history circle shows the Mid & Side peaks instead of the L+R peak and Loudness in Left/Right mode.

Levels

True Peak Meter

TPL:
The True Peak Level represents the signal amplitude after the digital to analog conversion to detect Inter Sample Peaks. The simulation of the analog domain is possible because the meter is doing an up-sampling of the measured input signal to interpolate the waveform. A green value and green bars (graphical representation) below 0 dBFS (Decibel Full Scale) indicate a good leveling whereas red marked values clearly show Inter Sample Peaks, which could cause distortions.

RMS:
The value displays the 400ms averaged RMS (Root Mean Square). Light green bars within the filled peak bars represent the RMS in the graphical display. To calculate the RMS the mathematical definition has been used where a 0 dBFS sinus shows an RMS of -3 dBFS and therefore a CREST of 3 dB.

CREST:
The crest factor is the relation between the Peak und RMS values in dB. A pure sinus signal has a crest of 3 dB whereas a square wave shows 0 dB. Heavy compressed and limited music can reach values below 4 dB. A good native studio master should have a maximum crest larger than 10 dB.

PLR:
The PLR is the relation Peak to Loudness in dB. and an indication for the momentary dynamic.

Loudness Full Scale

The EBU (European Broadcast Unit) and ITU (International Telecommunication Unit) defined the standards EBU R128 and ITU-R BS-1770 that are fully implemented by the MusicScope. The algorithm to calculate the loudness considers the physiology of human hearing and therefore delivers a much better indication of the perceived loudness than the RMS.

The loudness values differ in their integration (averaging) times:

Momentary Loudness (M) = 400 ms
Short Term Loudness (S) = 3 s
Integrated Loudness (I) = The averaged loudness over the whole track
Loudness Range (LRA) = This is a very good representation of the music track dynamics

All Loudness values are available as numerical values and as a graphical display. The M- and S-Loudness maximum values are displayed as well.

Loudness Histogram

The vertical Loudness Histogram indicates, similar to a photo histogram, the distribution of Momentary Loudness (M-Mode) or Short-Term-Loudness (S-Mode) and is therefore a further measurement, beside of the LRA, to assess the track dynamic. A click on S-Mode or M-Mode switches between the different modes. The S-Mode provides a graphical display of the LRA to make the value more tangible.

Levels-S-Mode      Levels-M-Mode

TPL Histogram

The True Peak Level Histogram enables the assessment of compression and limiting applied. Strong quality degrading limiting is easily recognizable at a peak around 0 dB. The left channel is green colored and the right channel got a blue color code.

Bit Monitor / Bit-Depth Analyzer / DC-Indicator

The Bit Monitor displays the bit usage. Unused bits are marked blue, whereas different shades of gray indicate the bit utilization.

A rolling Bit History makes it easy to identify stuck bits or regular bit pattern, indicating up-sampling or faulty recording software or hardware.

A mouse click resets the measurements.

A Direct Current Indicator helps to identify any DC offset.

If you want to make use of the Bit-Depth Analyzer then the COF switch (on the left side of the spectrogram) needs to be activated.
The Bit-Depth analyzer marks all bits red, that just contain noise and therefore do not contribute to an improved SNR (Signal to Noise Ration).

 

History

The circular diagram shows the evolution of the peak values (green), Short-Term-Loudness (orange) as well as the Peak over Loudness Ratio (blue) for the whole music track.

Red peaks are caused by inter-sample peaks, exceeding 0 dB. Frequent inter-sample peaks are a source for audible distortions.

It is possible to use the mouse pointer to measure the S-Loudness and PLR (if activated by a mouse click on the PLR label) for a specific track time.

In Mid/Side mode the Histogram shows the peaks for the mid (mono) and side (stereo) signal.

Stereo Meter

The Stereo-Meter is divided into three parts and provides the means to get a better understanding of the stereo image.

  1. 1. Vector Scope – Distribution of the Stereo-Field.
  2. 2. Balance Indicator – An indication of the current signal position in the stereo plane and its width.
  3. 3. Correlation Meter – Green values show mono compatibility and indicate a good localization within the stereo image, because the de-correlated signal part is quite low.

Linear and Logarithmic Frequency Spectrum

The frequency content of the music can be displayed within a linear or logarithmic spectrum.

A linear representation is especially interesting for the measurement of high-resolution audio files.

Linear Spectrum

The amplitude scale in decibel (dB) can be changed by vertical mouse dragging.

The logarithmic Spectrum provides a higher resolution for the lower frequencies.

Logarithmic Spectrum

In case of the logarithmic spectrum the frequency scale can be adapted via horizontal mouse dragging on the scale.

To extend the amplitude resolution a „-200dB Mode“ is available.

A mouse click on the „Left/Right“ switch activates the separate spectrum view for the left and right channel. The left channel got a green and the right channel a blue color coding.

Spectrum-Left-Right

The “Pano/Phase” switch activates the display of the frequency dependent panorama position and phase correlation. The color-coding is identical to the Stereo Correlation Meter.

The panorama position is normalized to display the relative position of the signal but not the absolute. Larger red areas indicate de-correlation that for example can be caused by wrongly combined microphones (phase switch).

Spectrum-Pano-Phase

Cepstrum

The Cepstrum provides in-depth information about the periodicity of the spectrum and therefore about harmonics within the original signal.

To activate the Cepstrum-Display it is necessary to switch the Spectrum into the logarithmic frequency scale. A Cepstrum switch enables the activation of the function.

The values of the Cepstrum do not correspond to the scales of the Spectrum. The mouse pointer is used to fetch the Cepstrum’s Quefrency in ms (milliseconds) and kHz.

Areas of Application:

  • Identifying harmonics in music.
  • Finding very small amounts of harmonics in sinus signals used for analysis (e.g. in-depth Sample Rate Converter Analysis).
  • Reveal mechanical errors within gear boxes, engines, etc. by an acoustic analysis.

Cepstrum

The large red peaks of the Cepstrum screenshot are 1.13ms (around 880Hz) apart, indicating that there are harmonics of 880Hz in the spectrum. The mouse pointer displays the 880Hz fundamental frequency within the spectrum.

Spectrogram

The Spectrogram is a representation of the spectrum over time and enables the detection of periodical interfering signals as well as the determination of the highest frequencies containing music to analyze High Resolution Audio tracks.

The amplitude spectrum is represented either in monochrome (MON) or two different color scales (BRY & COL). A click on “MAX / AVG / MIN” toggles the spectrogram between maximum, averaging and minimum mode.

Hovering the mouse pointer over the spectrogram displays the absolute values in decibel as well as the track time below the mouse pointer.
To determine the noise density the mouse pointer needs to be placed in an area of the spectrogram that just contains noise.

 

An automatic cut-off frequency detection algorithm marks (vertical red line) the estimated frequency range that contains music. To make use of the automatic cut-off frequency detection it is necessary to activate the COF-Switch (at the left side of the spectrogram). The spectrum needs to be in “Linear Frequency” mode.

Jitter Analyzer

The Jitter Analyzer uses a 11.025 kHz test signal (Download Link) to measure the periodical jitter of a digital to analog converter (DAC). Especially periodical jitter causes harmonic distortions which have an adverse effect on the music reproduction.

To execute the measurement it is necessary to use an analog to digital converter (ADC). This can be either an external device connected via USB or the laptop or desktop line-input.

Attention: The microphone input does not work!

Measurement:

  1. 1. Connect the DAC output with the ADC input.
  2. 2. Launch the Jitter Analyzer (Settings => Jitter Analyzer Tab) and select the audio input. A click on „Start“ initiates the measurement.
  3. 3. Inject the 11.025 kHz test signal via computer, CD-Player, etc. The chosen relation between the test signal frequency and sample rate assures that the signal is free of quantization noise.
  4. 4. The level of the test signal should be below 0 dB.
  5. 5. Measurement of the side bands by using the mouse pointer. The jitter is directly displayed in pico seconds (ps).

The displayed spectrum bandwidth can be switched between „Narrow“ for a detailed jitter search around the test signal to „Medium“, „Wide“ or „Ultra Wide“ to identify jitter with higher frequencies.

THD Analyzer

The Total Harmonic Distortion (THD) Analyzer uses a 1 kHz test signal (Download: 16Bit / 24Bit) to measure harmonic distortions of HiFi components which have an adverse effect on the music reproduction.

To execute the measurement it is necessary to use an analog to digital converter (ADC). This can be either an external device connected via USB or the laptop or desktop line-input.

Attention: The microphone input does not work!

Measurement:

  1. 1. Connect the output of the HiFi component with the ADC input (Attention: Be aware of maximum allowed levels!).
  2. 2. Launch the THD Analyzer (Settings => THD Analyzer Tab) and select the audio input. A click on „Start“ initiates the measurement.
  3. 3. Inject the 1 kHz test signal into the component via computer, CD-Player, etc.
  4. 4. The level of the measured test signal should be below 0 dB.

All harmonic distortions above a threshold are marked with their frequency [Hz], amplitude [dB] and THD [%].
The overall THD is provided in percent and as a relative measurement to the test signal in dB.

Ultra High Resolution Spectrum Analyzer

The Ultra High Resolution Spectrum Analyzer Module is a powerful tool to do a visual and acoustic analysis.

Features:

  • High frequency resolution of up to 0.67 Hz/Bin.
  • Selectable spectrum length.
  • Display of the spectrum, averaged spectrum and spectrogram.
  • The spectrogram color and speed can be changed.
  • Band-Pass-Filter to listen to a selective frequency range to identify for example periodic distortions.
  • The „Frequency Translation“ makes it possible to listen to frequencies beyond the hearing capability by translating them down into the audible range. It is actually possible to listen to frequencies of High Resolution Records beyond 20 kHz.
  • The gain control amplifies the signal to compensate the lower amplitude of higher frequencies.

Steps to do a Measurement:

  1. Load an audio file into the MusicScope and start the playback by pressing the play-symbol.
  2. Start the Analyzer via Settings (Gear Symbol) and the tab UHR Spectrum Analyzer.
  3. Select the Spectrum Size. This determines the resolution of the spectrum.
  4. Press “Start” to initiate the analysis.
  5. Activate the “Band-Pass Filter” to listen to a selected frequency range. The Band-Pass-Range can be changed via mouse dragging on the frequency scale.
  6. Select the “Frequency Translation” to listen to ultra high frequencies by shifting them into the audible frequency range. This is especially useful to analyze high-resolution records or to identify periodic distortions.
  7. The lower and upper value of the Decibel scale can be changed by mouse dragging on the appropriate scale.

Turntable RPM Measurement

The „Turntable RPM Measurement“ module enables the measurement of the turntable rounds per minute with a precision of 0.01 %.

We only need a Signal to Noise Ratio (SNR) of 9 dB and a test duration of 15 – 20 seconds to achieve a very precise measurement.

Measurement:

1.) Use of a test LP that provides a frequency stable test sinus with an arbitrary frequency within the range of 400 Hz – 5000 Hz.

2.) Set the nominal RPM (33 1/3 or 45).

3.) Provide the test frequency played by the record (e.g. 1000 Hz).

4.) The test signal can be recorded either by microphone (e.g. Laptop Microphone) or via phono pre-amp (Line-In).
Select the audio input source via the “Input” drop-down menu. The input signal level must be above -20 dB. A correct level is indicated by a green marked level meter.

5.) Playback of the test track and starting of the „Turntable RPM Measurement“ module. The MusicScope modules are located under settings (Gear Symbol).

All deviations above 1% are marked red and they are not part of the averaging to get the measured data. Numerous deviations beyond the 1% mark are an indication for a turntable problem.

If there is no signal then the measurement stops. Furthermore, the tool stops after 120 seconds of continuous measurement automatically.

Positive deviations are marked orange whereas negative deviations are marked blue to make the interpretation of the deviation plot as easy as possible.

Averaged Measured Data:

  • Deviation in percent
  • Rounds per Minute (RPM)
  • Measured test tone frequency

The screenshot displays a simulated measurement with a constant deviation of 0.3 % and a superimposed 0.55 Hz flutter caused by a spindle hole offset.

This measurement has been distorted with deviations larger 1%. It is recommend to repeat the measurement.

 

Reporting

At the end of the music track analysis the measurement results stay in the display for further investigation. To save those data a reporting function exports them as picture (.png) and/or text file (.txt). A click on the “Report” button, which replaces the “Track Time” display at the end of a full analysis, opens the report save dialog.

The Playlist provides similar report settings. If the tick box for the “Overall Report” is selected then a file save dialog opens at the end of the Playlist-Analysis to choose the destination for the report.

Beside of the important measurements per track the report contains the Playlist Loudness Range (LRA) which allows for example the calculation of the averaged album dynamic.

MusicScope Cloud

Share your measurements with the MusicScope Community.

Measurement Upload:

If you want to share your results with the MusicScope community then just activate the “MusicScope Cloud Upload” function within the playlist window.

All necessary data like album or track names are automatically taken from the meta data of the audio files (FLAC, ALAC, AIFF, DFS/DSD und MP3).

Measurements of audio files without meta data (e.g. WAV) cannot be processed and the upload is not possible.

Access the MusicScope Cloud:

The album view displays the latest MusicScope Cloud uploads. A click on “Update & Load more” loads further entries.

A double click on an album entry opens the album details and track list.

By clicking on a track name the related measurement report is displayed.

Search the MusicScope Cloud:

Searching within the MusicScope Cloud is a very important function to find the measurements of a whole album or a track.

It is possible to handle several tabbed searches in parallel.

The highest level offers a search for an album or track and in later versions it will be possible to search for artists.

The next level allows the refinement of the search to have an easy drill down through the data.

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