Is there a Mac app that will let me draw (and listen to) a waveform?
January 16, 2009 4:33 PM   Subscribe

Is there a (hopefully free) Mac app that will let me draw (and listen to) a waveform? I just switched to a Mac 4 months ago, and I remember there being all sorts of little audio tools that did stuff like this, but now I need one that will allow me to simply draw a waveform. Now, ideally I'd like to paste in graphical or vector shapes (photoshop or illustrator) and use those as the waveforms -this is really what I'm looking for - like a line to waveform ability. Would an oscilloscope-type software be more what I'm looking for, and would that allow me to "dial" between the drawn waveforms? Thanks!
posted by itchi23 to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
It's been a while since I last playedwith it, but I seem to remember that MetaSynth has capabilities similar to what you're looking for. Sadly, it's about the furthest thing from free, or even cheap.

If you don't mind things that are a little more abstract, there are some web-based pic-to-audio toys: vOICe and the demo for HighC.
posted by lekvar at 4:59 PM on January 16, 2009

Audacity will let you draw waveforms, but doesn't have any sort of import function.
posted by zsazsa at 5:24 PM on January 16, 2009

Sound Studio _could_ be the man you're after?
posted by schwa at 5:29 PM on January 16, 2009

Hmm my linkage for sound studio got lost. Google it.

Anyways. It doesn't do what you need - just checked.

You (or a "smart friend") could write a Python script to convert from an image file to a sound file. But the information density is pretty high and I think it would be hard to create the initial images to make the sounds.

Do you have any example images you could point us at?
posted by schwa at 5:39 PM on January 16, 2009

Among many other features, NI Reaktor will synthesize waveforms that you draw. Try out the demo.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:04 PM on January 16, 2009

Praat or Wavesurfer or Audacity all display waveforms, play the audio, and do lots more. However, you seem to be asking for an app that lets you draw a line and then listen to it. That isn't going to fly, unless you are willing to draw an awful lot of lines: 44100 points per second of sound? (Ok, you could use less, but drawing sound doesn't really happen.....)
posted by fcummins at 7:17 AM on January 17, 2009

There's no reason you can't draw sound waves, and you don't have to draw 44000 points of sound per second any more than you have to actually draw 90000 pixels per inch with a painting program if you want to print at 300 dpi.

Audacity doesn't really do a great job of it, but if you generate a tone you can mangle it to your hearts content.
posted by substrate at 1:13 PM on January 17, 2009

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