Does anyone know of any software that will overlay a waveform with color coded frequencies?

i.e. Low frequency is colored as red, mids as yellow and highs as green (or something like that) and the colors are stacked as to form a color coded waveform.

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  • 1
    Because there are an infinite number of frequencies, and the band-width of visible colour isn't that large, you are stuck between limiting your frequency range so that you can see different frequencies, or having fairly low resolution, and not being able to tell semi-tones apart. It might make more sense, as is usually done with spectrograms, to plot frequency as height, and use a color/heatmap to depict amplitude/volume. I can't really see the point of colour coding a waveform. If I'm missing something, can you provide an example of what you mean? – naught101 Oct 23 '12 at 4:27
  • I wrote an iPhone app that does something like that. For clean monophonic audio input, it draws a line where a note should appear on a grand staff, and colors that line green for in-tune, red for sharp, and blue for flat. You end up with a line graph of the note pitches, colored for pitch. It's called Sing-inTuna, in Apple's App Store. – hotpaw2 Aug 3 '13 at 8:24

The problem you have with a waveform it's that you don't get to see the individual frequencies so you have nothing to colour in.

If you want to colour frequencies you don't want to look at the waveform but instead look at a frequency analysis (obtained through a Fourier transform from the time domain to the frequency domain) - which is what spectrum analysers do. And various spectrum analysers can colour code frequencies.


If you want to see the spectral content of a waveform, you can use Audacity (open source), open your wave and switch to spectrum view.

You get to see your wave with: time as horizontal axis, frequency as vertical axis, amplitude of a frequency at a given time color coded.

Google "audacity spectrum" and see if that fits your needs!

image search result.


There is software to display the total waveform of the audio, showing the integrated amplitude of the sound dynamically.

Check ToneBoosters a VSTi (Windows only) called TB-EQualizer. There are others, of course. This one has a free demo. Maybe that's what you are after, since in a way it does a frequency analysis, but as already said, frequencies are mixed in audio. I think some color is used.

You don't have to use the equalizer to activate the frequency analysis.


maybe PhotoSounder ? http://photosounder.com/ I've never used the app... But unlike most frequency analysis apps, it seems to work IN the time dimension as well. Instead of taking a fixed length sample and graphing frequencies over the whole range of it, it uses color and y dimension of a picture for frequency and the x direction is time. I'm not an expert in this area, so I can only wish you good luck in your search.

  • While this link may answer the question, it is better to include the essential parts of the answer here and provide the link for reference. Link-only answers can become invalid if the linked page changes. – American Luke Oct 21 '12 at 17:59
  • well, i agree, but there's really nothing IN my answer other than the name of the app. If the link changes, the app name probably changed with it.. – Stephen Hazel Oct 21 '12 at 19:00
  • What I'm trying to get at is that you should describe what the app does. If you have no experience with it, why do you recommend it? – American Luke Oct 21 '12 at 19:10
  • 3
    well, i tried :/ – Stephen Hazel Oct 21 '12 at 21:48

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