DIY audio spectrum analyzer

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MichaelaJoy

Active Member
Hi All,
Recently, I saw this chip and thought it might be fun to tinker with.

http://www.ti.com/product/UAF42

Well it got me thinking. Since it is voltage controlled, why not set up a microcontroller to address the housekeeping issues
and make an audio spectrum analyzer for an oscilloscope?

Here's an existing project that draws a clock on an o'scope screen using a PIC.

http://www.micro-examples.com/articles/index.php/PicOClock

Please let me know what you all think. If it's plausable, I'll start picking up parts and chronicle the build here.

JonSea

Well-Known Member
You might want to look at the price of that chip. Ouch.

Are you thinking of using a single chip, tuning it to different frequencies to make an analyzer? That could work for steady signals, and in fact was done for machinery vibration analysis... 50 years ago. Not so effective for signals like music that are continuously changing.

Or are you thinking of a bank of these chips each set to a different center frequency? That would work well for music, but for the cost of even a few bands, you could find a better solution.

MichaelaJoy

Active Member
You might want to look at the price of that chip. Ouch.

Are you thinking of using a single chip, tuning it to different frequencies to make an analyzer? That could work for steady signals, and in fact was done for machinery vibration analysis... 50 years ago. Not so effective for signals like music that are continuously changing.

Or are you thinking of a bank of these chips each set to a different center frequency? That would work well for music, but for the cost of even a few bands, you could find a better solution.
JonSea: It might be good for doing gain plots on things like guitar pedals.
If if works, $20 USD is not a lot of money for a one-on project using one IC. I've been looking at spectrum analyzers, and they seem to fall into two classes: A ) Stand alone unit. Very nice, but very expensive B ) Very cheap, but having no use as far as measurements go. Just some thoughts. I'd be using a low distortion sine wave generator to sweep it. wkrug Active Member ...audio spectrum analyzer for an oscilloscope... I think that's a job for an DSP. I know You are very familiar with the PIC Controllers. Spectrum analyzing should be possible with an dsPIC a functioning source code could be found in the internet. A few Years ago a user made an 128 Band audio spectrum analyzer with an 16MHz 8Bit AVR ( Elm Chan is an absolute crack ) . Youtube Video I guess that should work with an PIC also. As source You can use a noise generator. Another possibility is to take a look at JYE tech. https://jyetech.com/index.php Some guitar effects are delayed overlaps, with an spectrum analyzer You would see nothing. ClydeCrashKop Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member I used a MSGEQ7, seven band Graphic Equalizer chip and LM3915 Dot Bar Display Drivers to make a night club style musical light show. That might make things easy for you. MichaelaJoy Active Member Last edited: ronsimpson Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member I used a MSGEQ7, seven band Graphic Equalizer chip Some where these is a note on using two MSGEQ7s to make 14 bands. You must set the two oscillators one octave apart. Nigel Goodwin Super Moderator Most Helpful Member dr pepper Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member I used the msgeq7 for a project, it worked well, after I found some of the ic's I ordered were Doa. ronsimpson Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member Read this for more information. MSGEQ7 unclejed613 Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member JonSea: It might be good for doing gain plots on things like guitar pedals. If if works,$20 USD is not a lot of money for a one-on project using one IC.

I've been looking at spectrum analyzers, and they seem to fall into two classes:

A ) Stand alone unit. Very nice, but very expensive

B ) Very cheap, but having no use as far as measurements go.

Just some thoughts. I'd be using a low distortion sine wave generator to sweep it.
another, more flexible approach would be to use a laptop computer and Spectrum Lab software. SL has tone generators, etc... as well as a configurable set of virtual instrumentation.. i have used a laptop with SL on it to EQ some very challenging halls. https://www.qsl.net/dl4yhf/spectra1.html

MichaelaJoy

Active Member
unclejed613: That would be the sensible approach.

I'd have to purchase a laptop and the software.
That's beyond my budget ATM.

I thought it'd be nice to cobble something up from parts I have lying around here.