Audiofile Engineering Spectre review

Spectre is Audiofile Engineering’s real-time studio multi-analyzer. In other words: it enables you to measure sound/audio in real-time. Spectre has beautiful meters and analysis tools are fully customisable. Spectre works with your audio-in equipment out-of-the-box. But with a bit of configuration, it also works with whatever audio program you want to throw at it.

Spectre has a complete set of meters and analysis tools, including spectrograms and more exotic meters and cascade displays. If you can’t display it with Spectre, you probably can’t display it at all. And I honestly doubt if you will find it better designed anywhere else too.

Spectre is extremely configurable. It has a Preferences panel that configures the application and all meters, but then every meter itself has a configuration by itself as well. On a VU or BBC meter, this can be the type of “ballistic” — the scientific method by which the meters work/measure, as well as the colours, the input, even the boundaries within which will be measured.

Now, Spectre displays are all gorgeous. And you can fill up a complete 27″ monitor with meters, but what can you measure?

There are three inputs you can measure:

  • Any hardware attached to your Mac
  • The Spectre Player, which is a simple audio player
  • Any input coming from AUNetSend via the AUNetReceive Core Audio plug-in.

The microphone or an instrument attached via my Duet or any other DAC/DADC you may have works right out-of-the-box. There’s nothing you need to set up first. Spectre can then serve as a measurement tool pur sang. It’s a little bit over the top to display all meters, if you ask me, but you can if you want.

The Player: ditto.

The only thing you need to do if you have multiple inputs activated in the Preferences panel, is configure each meter to get its input from the right source.

The AUNetReceive plug-in is a bit different. It allows you to measure and display meter readings from over the network. That includes any AUNetSend compatible software, including Sony SoundForge, Triumph, Logic Pro, and everything else that can work with this plug-in (iTunes is not one of those).

You then set the AUNetReceive plug-in as active in the Preferences panel, and when the Connect LED is green, you can “connect” each meter to this AUNetReceive host. On my iMac it worked like a charm with Logic Pro running on the same machine. There wasn’t even much of a delay. On a networked machine it will work too, but there will inevitably be a delay, so how workable that is, will depend on your needs.

Spectre can be integrated with a scientific analysis tool called FuzzMeasure.

Spectre is a great audio analysis tool. Not just useful, but beautiful and mesmerising too!