Can anyone recommend a software oscilloscope solution for OSX?
October 22, 2007 12:00 PM   Subscribe

Is there a reasonable software-based oscilloscope for the Mac? I need to record a video of approximately 20 seconds.

I have a 20 second or so AIFF. I need to stick on a software oscilloscope, and record a video of the output. The oscilloscope needs to be perfectly synced to the audio, and it would be preferable if you could adjust how "zoomed in" it is.

I'm thinking something similar to the Windows Media Player visualization Scope option.

I've tried PixelToy but it's too pixellated for my liking.

Can anyone also suggest a way of recording it to video? Obviously anything that can directly output a video would be good, but if not, can anyone recommend the very best screen recorder?

Many thanks in advance!
posted by Magnakai to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
There are modes you can run some of the different FOH software available out there which will show a visual waveform of different types.

Try, for instance, Mac the Scope or Mac FOH or the recently released Mac version of SMAART.

Both Mac the Scope and SMAART have free demos available. MacFOH is a one-man developer, and getting a free demo from him might take some finagling.

For screen capturing to a Quicktime file, you should use Snapz Pro X.

For outputting as video and recording that way, there's a DVI to Video dongle you can buy which will tell your Mac that it's got a video-sized monitor hooked to it. You can then move the target window to the second monitor and hook a recorder to the provided S-Video connector.
posted by tomierna at 12:16 PM on October 22, 2007

I you have dev tools installed, you could use AU lab to run AUAudioFilePlayer (comes with os x) and smexoscope. Of course any other audio unit host would work too if you have one. Don't know about screen capturing though.
posted by advil at 2:16 PM on October 22, 2007

A came across Signal/Scope ($59) and Signal/Scope Pro ($99) the other day. I've not used either and have no plans to but it might be worth checking out.
posted by 6550 at 11:43 PM on October 22, 2007

I tried using smexoscope, but the display redraws horizontally rather than refreshing continuously.

SMAART seems the best option so far, but try as I might, I can't disable various text labels on the visualisation field, hampering the usefulness somewhat. Apart from that issue, it's pretty useful.

Mac FOH looked good, but is incredibly expensive. It also appears to not be released yet.

On the other hand, Snapz Pro X is superb, doing exactly what I need in a pretty decent user interface. Three thumbs up for that!

I'm now thinking I might have to find a vintage oscilloscope on eBay to get the right effect.
posted by Magnakai at 8:24 AM on October 24, 2007

I tried using smexoscope, but the display redraws horizontally rather than refreshing continuously.

Have you tried using the time control to zoom in? It's been a long time since I used an actual oscilloscope but IIRC oscilloscopes typically update horizontally (at 60Hz or whatever), and most of the time in practical use for electronics they appear to be continuously updating because one is looking at just a few cycles at like 1kHz, so the width of one cycle is 1/1000th of a second -- i.e. the data comes in faster than the update rate of the screen. The default settings on smexoscope are for the width to be something like 2sec, so you won't get continuous updating because the trace is moving from left to right at too slow a rate (.5Hz). It would have to move fast enough that the entire width updates at maybe 10 frames per second before it would start to appear continuous to the eye. I get something like continuous updating when the time knob is set to .3 or so.
posted by advil at 1:40 PM on October 24, 2007

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