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How Do Audio Analyzers Work?

by KEN
Audio Analyzer

An audio analyzer is an instrument and tool used to measure and test the quality of audio output accurately. It’s also used to analyze the performance of electro-acoustic and electro-pop devices. The audio analyzer is currently one of the most popular tools used for professional audio and music studio monitoring and recording applications.

An audio analyzer works in much the same way as a microphone analyzer; however, unlike microphone analyzers, it works with audio instead of audio waves. It’s usually the first instrument to be used in any audio production setting. Professional audio engineers, music producers, and even movie producers usually use it to test their audio output devices and components to ensure they’re working properly to deliver audio of optimal quality.

Read on below to find out more about how this tool works.

How Does An Audio Analyzer Work?

If you don’t have a basic understanding of what an audio analyzer is and how it works, you won’t be able to understand and harness its potential. It’s very hard and, in fact, almost impossible for anyone to create a quality recording on their own without the backing of high-quality audio handling devices; which is exactly what an audio analyzer is. The audio analyzer works by analyzing the frequency and level of sound vibrations within a file and then interprets the sound.

So how does an audio analyzer work? The audio analyzer takes a series of recordings and analyzes them to determine the levels and frequencies that are present. This allows audio producers to make a judgment about how well the recording was made. Some of the things they look at include pitch, rhythm, pitch modulation, stereo separation, and other elements related to audio production.

Basically, it looks at how many elements are present in a piece of audio and then compares these elements to find out which ones are the best ones for reproduction. When it finds the ones that work best, it uses these elements as the audio device’s input.

Audio analyzers are commonly referred to as filters. This means that they’re used to reduce or increase the volume of specific parts of a recording by controlling the frequency or level of the audio signals that are present. The different settings that they create include low-pass, high-pass, mid-frequency, and low-frequency.

The filters take a series of recorded sound samples and compare them to find out what kind of settings should be used on a particular audio production. Then, they convert the input signal into a format that the components that accompany the analyzer can read. The more features that are present, the higher the quality of the recording will be. Likewise, the more different options the filters have, the higher the quality of the final product.

The Audio Analyzer’s Two Major Attributions

In audio analyzers, one or more digital signal processors (DSP) are used to provide a range of analytical functions to the analyzers’ monitor output. There are two basic types of attributions for audio analyzers: discrete and non-discrete.

 Discrete audio analyzers operate in a different way than the other types. They have their internal logic processing unit (ICU), a microprocessor, a filter, and a buffer. They also have one or more analog inputs, one or more outputs, and one or more analog-to-digital converters.

  • A non-discrete audio analyzer usually uses analog inputs, analog-to-digital converters, digital-to-analog converters, a mixer board, a processor, a buffer, and an input and output unit. However, certain kinds of non-discrete audio analyzers have analog-to-digital converters as an additional feature. A non-discrete audio analyzer’s output is usually analog-to-digital converters (A/D) and digital-to-analog converters (D/A).

The main difference between a discrete and a non-discrete audio analyzer is that a discrete one doesn’t have an internal filtering unit and only has analog inputs. In contrast, the non-discrete audio analyzer’s internal processing unit performs the same function as its analog input filters. One advantage of the non-discrete kind is that they require less processing power and don’t require you to maintain constant monitoring. This is one reason why they’re preferred in a professional recording studio environment.

How To Choose The Right Audio Analyzer

Choosing the right audio analyzer is a dilemma a lot of people frequently face because there are different types, models, and specifications of audio analyzers to suit diverse needs.

Audio Analyzers

Here are some tips to help you choose:

1. The Type Of Sound You’re Working With

Consider the type of sound or audio output are you dealing with. The type of audio output you’re working with or analyzing would determine the type of audio analyzer you purchase. Of course, some audio analyzers work for all types of sounds. Still, a specialized audio analyzer would do more for your audio analysis than the all-sounds-go audio analyzers.

For instance, if you’re working with EDM audio, you might go for an audio analyzer that’s different from what a person analyzing Indie/Folk sounds would go for. Luckily, you can get most types of audio analyzers at stores like Audio Precision.

2. The Accompanying Instruments and Equipment you Work with

Different audio recording, editing, and producing instruments are better suited for certain audio analyzers. Knowing which recording or instrument suits what would enable you to choose your audio analyzer properly. For example, a studio producer might choose an audio analyzer that’s different from what a DJ or live band would choose because they all work with different audio projecting and producing instruments.

3. Your Budget And The Product’s Price

Another consideration for how to choose an audio analyzer is that of price. When  producing music, expensive products don’t necessarily equal high-quality products, but this doesn’t mean cheap audio products would be of high-quality either.

The key is to first look at your pocket, and then make a budget. The budget would help you research high-quality audio analyzers within your price range to purchase. Most products will be priced competitively, but there will always be exceptions to the rule, so ensure you do your research well to get something within your budget range.

4. Ease Of Use

Another important thing to consider when you’re choosing an analyzer is the ease of use. Suppose you’ve been using an audio analyzer prior to this time, then you’d know how to handle it even if you purchase a complicated audio analyzer. But if you’re new to handling audio analyzers, start with something easy to use instead of a complicated device.

5. Warranty

You should always look into the included warranty. Some brands don’t include a warranty with their package, while some only include an extremely limited one. Also, some brands are more durable than others, so you should endeavor to purchase an analyzer from a brand that provides durability as well as a warranty.

6. Product’s Model

Compare several models before you choose your analyzer. Of course, this process won’t be complete until you’ve made your final decision, but it will inform you of the different models in the market. You’d see which ones offer the best value for your money and which ones are priced too high. Newer models usually include newer technology, higher resolution, and more features, so newer models should be your major focus when comparing audio analyzers.

7. The Audio Analyzer’s Features

The final step is to compare the features that each one offers. Some common features are pitch, tone, pitch, bass, and so forth. A good audio analyzer should possess different types of input and output formats and different features to provide you with higher quality audio. You should also be able to adjust the level and/or frequency of the input signal to get a different kind of result from your chosen analyzer. Look over the features of each and decide what is most important to you.

Types Of Audio Analyzers

When it comes to audio signals, there are four types that are available for testing and analyzing the quality of audio. These four categories are known as dynamic spectrum analyzers, frequency response analyzers, distortion analyzers and digital signal processor.

  • Dynamic spectrum analyzers (DSA) are generally used when testing the quality of audio signals. They work by taking a recording and then filtering out the frequencies below a set threshold. Once the frequency range is filtered out, it will be displayed on the screen in an average spectrum. DSAs have different types of filters. One type of filter is a low pass filter. Another type is a high pass filter. Finally, there are high and low shelving filters that help with filtering out high-frequency noise.
  • A frequency response analyzer takes in the analog input signal and converts it to a series of mathematical equations. This is done by using a mathematical algorithm that takes the incoming signal and converts it into an output signal. By using this technology, engineers can calculate the frequency response of audio based on their input.
  • A distortion analyzer is another type of audio spectrum analyzer. With this, engineers can determine which frequencies are dominant in the audio signal. It’s crucial to note that there may be a significant amount of noise in the signal because there are multiple frequencies. To make sure that the distortion analyzer is accurate, you should look at other analyzers.
  • Finally, there’s the digital signal processor. The main function of this type of analyzer is to reduce unwanted noise in an analog signal.

Conclusion

Indeed, the audio analyzer is an integral part of audio production. With it, audio producers have been able to turn generic sounds into masterpieces. But to get to that level of audio perfection, you need to understand how it works to harness its potential. Following the guide above will not only teach how these incredible tools work, but also ensure you know how to invest in the right audio analyzer.

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