Viewing and analyzing waveforms on a Mac

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by theSeaHawk, Aug 2, 2008.

  1. theSeaHawk macrumors newbie

    Oct 27, 2007
    This unfortunate trend in audio mastering is something I'd like to examine more closely.

    I'd like to be able to examine the waveforms of CDs of classic rock mastered and issued in the 80s (like early Atlantic pressings of Genesis and Led Zeppelin mastered by Barry Diament) and compare them to the brickwalled "remasters" done later. Over at the Steve Hoffman forums members on PCs use EAC to provide screenshots of waveforms like this, so my question here is

    which Mac program(s) would let me rip tracks and then view the audio as waveforms? and to see figures for peak values, dynamic range, etc.

    Example below: the left channel of the 1973 Genesis song 'Cinema Show' from, top to bottom:
    Virgin/Charisma CD - ca. 1984
    Definitive Edition - 1994
    Platinum Edition - 2005
    Mail On Sunday sampler CD (the mastering for the forthcoming 1970-75 boxset) - 2008

    Attached Files:

  2. jackmileshunt macrumors member

    Jun 14, 2008
    audacity should do the trick, it is also open source meaning that it is free.
    if you wanted to do any audio manipulation work, ableton live is very good.
    hope it helps
  3. junior macrumors 6502a


    Mar 25, 2003
    Almost any DAW in existence will show you the waves.
  4. Luap macrumors 65816


    Jul 5, 2004
    I use Sound Studio. Not free, but very cheap for what it does.
    But yes, there is a multitude of apps available which will show you waveforms.

    While im here.. Im very much against the loudness wars too. We have all this amazing technology capable of great sound quality. but the quality is all squandered away in favour of loudness.

    And.. Looking at that Waveform. it is a good example, but perhaps later I will post a better example of 'rectangular music'
  5. theSeaHawk thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 27, 2007
    thanks for the replies, I think I'll go ahead with Audacity.
    Luap, looking forward to the example, hopefully it's not from one of my favorite bands :(
  6. Killyp macrumors 68040


    Jun 14, 2006
    Audacity will actually let you modify the individual samples in the waveform which is actually a relatively unique feature, or at least I haven't found a way of doing it in most other DAWs, although Audacity isn't really a DAW.

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