What's a good setting for Spectograms?

Since messing with the 1.3 Bench mark my Spectogram settings seem to have been changed - judging by the look of the display in Spectrum mode.

What is a good setting to put them back to? And what is the Audacity default?

I use the spectogram analysis to help me identify clicks and pops - the way I had it was before showed me nice bold purple/pink lines where the click/pop was - now it looks much more like a blue/pink rectangular tiled effect.

Additional question: what other uses are there for the spectrum view - I’m curious?


The spectrum view is a tool like any other, so it’s going to have different ideal settings for different purposes.

For your purpose, I’d set the FFT size to 4096, and the limits of the frequency should be 0 → 22050. That’s the highest accuracy setting, and is the most accurate way to find pops and clicks (as you already know). It’ll run faster at lower FFT Size settings, but will be blurrier.

Other musical uses can be to get a general feel for how loud a track might sound, since amplitude is not a good predictor of loudness (if you have a good eye for spectrograms). But the spectrogram is most useful for non-musical types, read the wikipedia article, it’s pretty good:

On the other hand, if you set the frequency limits lower (like 20 → 1000), music looks really cool. As long as you zoom in, and make the size of the track display as large as possible ([ctrl]+[shift]+f), you can see each note much more clearly.

It also looks like there’s a bug in Audacity. If I set the Spectrum to 20 → 1000 and take a look, then set it back to waveform and change the Spectrum setting to 20 → 3000, and then change it back to spectrum, the spectrum display is the same as it was before I change the settings. I’ll go report that.

Thanks for this insight Andy - and for the prompt response - most hepful and insighful. All working sweetly for me again now.

Slower running is not a problem as I detect the genearal location of the clicks with my ears, with Audacity running in waveform - then zoom in and shift to spectrum view to identify the exact location of the click. So I’m never running with spectrum view dynamically.