What are your favorite software tools for spectral analysis/manipulation? And what do you use them for?

  • mine are Kyma, Metasynth & AudioSculpt and I mainly use them for manipulating pitch, time stretch etc... I know quite a few dialogue editors who swear by Izotope RX
    – user49
    Apr 5 '10 at 23:59

I use iZotpe RX. It's great for sound restoration and useful to clean unwanted noises in general. For creative uses give a look to Spear, it does interesting things.

  • Adobe Audition (commercial) - Spectral Frequency Display produces a spectrogram for existing waveforms and Frequency Analysis can show a real-time spectrum
  • Sonic Visualiser (open source) - spectrum or spectrogram for pre-existing waveforms
  • Visual Analyser (freeware) - can show a realtime spectrum, too, though I don't trust the THD measurement.

As an engineer, I use them to see distortion, glitches or errors in sinusoidal waveforms (which may not be obvious on a waveform view, but show up as a bright vertical line in a spectrogram), aliasing in ADCs, estimate frequency, etc.

The latest version of Audition is really powerful, letting you draw lassos around parts of a spectrogram and then applying filters, gain, etc to only that portion of the time-frequency space. You can even import and export as image files, so that you can edit your recordings in Photoshop. :)


Izotope RX.

The detail of the sonogram and spectrogram displays, the restoration tools and algorithms are unparallelled in my opinion. Add to that a clear interface, in-depth settings and ease of use. I use it all the time when surgical spectral editing is needed.



Kyma X. I just started diggin it... and it's deep! really! :) but the sound quality it's amazing and you can do almost everything you could imagine!

davide ps. Ciao to all of you. :) Really nice site!


Another +1 for Izotope RX. I use it on a ton of my outdoor recordings to remove general ambience, etc... I'll often use it with my hydrophone as well to remove machine hiss from the times I have to crank the pre-amps way up. I've also successfully removed audience coughs from a live music performance (that took a while, but it sounded awesome!).

Fantastically easy to use and fairly inexpensive. Love it.

I really want to play with Kyma X a lot more. I used to work with an engineer that had a copybara that I played with a bit, but I want one of my own. Gotta save up my pennies...


+1 for iZoptope RX.

We do a huge amount of restoration work for major studios and wouldn't be able to get the amount of 'fine-tuned', detailed cleaning without it. Nothing compares in simplicity, efficiency, and ease of use with it's spectral analysis.



Mammut for OSX. it has saved my arse in a number of situations already. also love to just sit down and aimlessly mangle sounds until they are both far from the original point and not resemble anything anymore. just textures. some sort of meditation.


+2 for iZotope RX. It's saved many recordings for me, especially production dialog. Trucks backing up, birds chirping, no problem. Is that cheating to use the "visuals" of sound, rather than to design based just on what you can hear?

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