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by Adrian Frost
A quick browse through any of the online lists of VSTs will show that there are dozens of different kinds of analysers available - both for free and for a price. They come in all shapes, sizes and colours and, almost universally, your mix is presented to you on a graph that shows you the signal level at every frequency between 20 and 20,000 Hz. From the graph you can get something of an idea of which frequencies, if any, are causing a problem in your mix. However, unless you are prepared to put an instance of the analyser on each track in your DAW and then open a whole bunch of windows, it is hard to see how the different elements of your mix are interacting and overlapping. Enter MultiInspector by VertexDSP. (www.vertexdsp.com) So, do we really need a review of another analyser? In this instance the answer is a resounding "Yes!" Simply, MultiInspector allows you to see the frequency spectrum of all the different elements of your mix in one window at one time. First you need to add an instance of MultiInspector to each track that you want to analyse. Having done that you can open the first instance (or any instance, in fact) of MultiInspector and see the analysis 18
from all the other instances. They will just appear before your eyes. How the different instances communicate is a question that I put to Peter Lang, developer of MultiInspector. You'll find his answer in the interview that follows this article.
pretty much self explanatory. One useful feature to note, that might get missed, is that you can zoom in on specific portions of the analysis using the plus, minus, and double headed arrows that appear below and to the right of the main window. This is great because you can focus right into a Each track is automatically assigned very narrow frequency range using its own colour, which you can change, the controls below the window, or get so it's child's play to see whether your a good look at levels using the bass line is stomping all over your controls to the right hand side of the kick drum or whether your vocalist is window. It is also worth mentioning being drowned out by a certain synth that if you click and hold the mouse part. OK, that's the basics; let's take a button with the cursor inside the look at MultiInspector in a bit more graph window, information on detail. frequency and level at that point appears just over the top right hand The first two images show the whole side of the window - very useful. of the interface, but after that, they show just the spectrum analysis itself. Below the main analysis window you I set up five instances of can find all the settings for how you MultiInspector on a tune that I'm want the analysis waveforms to working on at the moment. When you appear. The first two images show add a new track, it is always worth everything at full resolution with the setting its label on the "Names" tab on first image also showing the effect of the right hand edge of graph window. using Alpha Blending. Below those If you don't do this, you'll eventually settings are the controls for each get yourself into a right mess track that you are analysing. You can particularly if you decide to analyse 16 mute or solo a track and also tracks in one go, which MultiInspector memorize different graphs. For that, allows. you have up to 8 memory 'slots' per track at your disposal. To take a Next to the 'Names" tab is the snapshot of a graph and memorize it "Controls" tab. From here you can set you need only right-click on one of the how MultiInspector responds to the track's memory buttons - labelled M1 incoming signal. The options are to M8. This memorize function means