MasVis - User's guide

This page is written in English for our international guests.


Opening soundfiles

Sound files can be opened in three ways in MasVis.

1. From the "file, open" menu.
2. By dragging files from Windows Explorer. Drag and drop them on the MasVis main window.
3. From the command line. Right click on a soundfile and select "Open with...". Find MasVis.

Typically, option 2 is the most convenient.

Playing soundfiles

MasVis can be used as a soundfile player. By default it adjusts the sound level such that it is normalized between tracks. By default the RMS level of the sound is set to -23 dBFS, making all tracks play at an approximately equal loudness. The reason for this is to remove the apparent perceptual advantage that at loud track has. Playback at equal levels makes fair comparisons between different releases of the same track possible.

In some cases recordings have a lower RMS level than -23 dBFS. In those cases, the lower level is maintained, and the track text turns green. In this case the level equalization will not work fully, and you may consider to adjust the normalization level either manually or automatically by checking the "auto" checkbox. If the "Allow clipping" checkbox is checked (not recommended), tracks with a RMS level lower than the normalization level will become distorted. In that case the track text turns red for tracks that are clipped.

Analyzing soundfiles

MasVis can do two types of analyses. The first type is performed automatically as the soundfiles are opened. The results are shown in the "Overview window". It shows the left and right channels placed on top of one another, the crest factor and the peak levels for the channels. The other, detailed analysis takes a bit longer to perform, so it has to be stared manually. It can be done by selecting one or more tracks in the list and pressing "detailed analysis", or by pressing the "Detailed analysis of all" button to analyze all tracks. The detailed analysis conatins several graphs to describe the properties of the soundfile.

Saving the analysis results

Four types of results can be saved from MasVis:

1. The overview picture can be saved as a gif image.
2. The detailed analysis picture can be saves as a gif image.
3. An album can be saved to a single animated gif image. When the image is displayed in a web browser, it shifts automatically between the different analysis images.
4. A web page can be generated for all the tracks in the track list. This option is typically used for albums.

In any of the above cases the results have to be uploaded to a web server if the analyses should be made available to others. While single images may be sufficient for discussions on e.g. Internet fora, option number 4 is recommended. If complete analyses are made available and are linked to, search engines like Google will find it, and searching for MasVis analyses becomes possible. For example, entering "masvis donna summer" in Google will find MasVis analyses done on albums by Donna Summer.

It is a good idea to name the soundfiles so that the artist name, the album name and the track name can be seen in the graphs, especially if they are to be published on the web.

Here is an example of a web page generated by MasVis.

Other soundfile formats than wav - codecs

MasVis can use external codec in order to open soundfiles in for example flac and mp3 formats. These external codecs are enabled under Settings, codecs. Codecs for flac and mp3 formats (flac.exe and lame.exe) are included by default, but you may need to change the path to match the location of the codec exe files on your computer.

Personalizing MasVis results

If you share your analyses on the web, you may want to consider personalizing them. Web pages generated by MasVis contain your name or nickname at the bottom of the page. Each graph contains a logo in the upper left corner that can be changed to put your personal touch to the images. Please change this information on the Settings, personalize menu.