real time spectral analisys

Hello everyone
who can give me a help with the following question, please

I have been using audacity quite well… I like it very much, but I have now a dilema that I do now, wonder if is something audacity can´t do (and if so… should look for other software?)… or is related with the settings I have for AUDACITY in my computer, or even latency, buffer or RAM issues (and if so… should I be able to solve it… what should I do?) …

in “preferences”, I choosed in the “Track control data” that the “audio track” window, should display the “spectrogram” instead of the “waveform”.

I pretend while recording audio in audacity through a laptop with Windows 7, to view the spectrum in real time, however, it displays the spectral data with a delay of around 2 - 3,5 seconds

It is not a delay in wich the data flows continuously and steadily, but in wich the spectra only shows after 3 seconds delayed in the time line…

my problem is more like this… I press “record” … and I know by looking at the time line he is aquiring data, but at the begining it shows nothing in the “audiotrack” pannel… it´s empty for some 3 seconds. And only after this (aproximately) 3 seconds it displays the computed spetrum of all the this chunk of 3 seconds of data recorded. then… blank again… and after this more 3 or 3,5 seconds, it displays the whole chunk of new data, and so on, and so on…

well, I really feel the need to have real-time … continuous waterfall of spectra analysis available so that I can correlate visual observations of animal behaviour with acoustic activity… and this 3 seconds delay wayting for the actualization of information, chunk by chunk of data is a too long for wayting time.

I have already been looking in all the menu´s of AUDACITY a way to solve this… but couldn´t solve it yet.

I have already tried changing from MME, to WINDOWS DIRECT SOUND in the “devices” menu in the “preferences” and as well, tried also to solve this question, choosing “high quality” real time convertion in the "Quality menu at “preferences”, but could not get what I want

Is this a feature I surelly can´t get with AUDACITY, or is just computer related?.. settings I have now in AUDACITY?? What should i do?

Miguel Barreto

Audacity is not designed for real-time analysis and cannot display spectral analysis in real time.


thanks very much Steve

Well… Audacity already does pretty much


There’s free Windows software which will do that, e.g. … Filtering frequency during recording - #12 by Trebor