XiVero is a new German software company with a complete dedicated range of audio analysis and repair solutions for everyone - from audio enthusiasts to music professionals. Their most interesting product is called MusicScope and it is a very complete and affordable audio analyzer which measures everything anyone would want to measure to understand audio sources.
While reporting about the forthcoming High End show in Munich, we couldn’t help feeling intrigued by a reference to one of the eight start-ups which were invited by the High End Society to exhibit in the innovation area. The company is called XiVero and they already have some serious software available for audio analysis and repair. One of their main products is called MusicScope and was recently updated to version 1.6, now including a “Ultra High Resolution Spectrum Analyzer” that enables the frequency analysis with a resolution of 0.67 Hz/Bin.
MusicScope is available for a very affordable price of 29.98 Euros (incl. German VAT) and now includes a new “Turntable RPM Measurement“ module for high precision measurements of turntable rotations and detect deviations as small as 0.01%. Another important recent update is a completely controllable “Band-Pass Filter” to allow selective listening of dedicated frequency ranges. It also makes it possible to hear frequency parts of the music (e.g. High Resolution Audio) beyond the listening capabilities by translating them down in frequency. And the MusicScope now features a great Spectrogram which, just like the software, was now updated with new color modes - and this is already the third update in 2016!
But let’s start from the beginning. XiVero GmbH specializes in engineering software and hardware for digital signal processing of audio and high frequency signals. Their software products so far - and there are many already - are targeted at High Fidelity enthusiasts looking for tools to check the quality of audio records and how to optimize them. But we could think immediately of lots of interesting uses and, not surprisingly, the company already released a server version of the MusicScope, targeted at the professional audio market.
The Music Microscope
As the XiVero website describes, the MusicScope is a high precision measuring tool that works as an Audio-Microscope to visualize the different quality aspects of a music collection. Adopting the international loudness standards (EBU R128 and ITU-R BS-1770), the software allows comparing digital audio files with the results of professional studio software, while also making possible to analyze analog sources like LPs or tape. Since the software works also with realtime analysis of external audio sources via audio input, it also measures the effects of audio hardware components, such as signal to noise ratio (SNR) and, using the integrated modules Jitter- and THD-Analyzer, it can even evaluate the effectiveness of digital to analog converters or headphone amplifiers.
The software runs on Windows 7 to 10 (32 and 64 bit) as well as Mac OSX from Lion 10.7.3 to El Capitan 10.11.x. It supports all the most current audio formats, sample rates and bit depth, including all DSD flavors and performs automatic recognition of the real bandwidth of high-resolution audio files. It also does batch processing of playlists for a fast analysis of a larger music collection. A VST/AU-Plugin-Adapter connects the MusicScope to a VST/AU Host (e.g. Audio Player or Digital Audio Workstation).
The XiVero MusicScope also grabbed our immediate attention with the inclusion of professional measurement tools in Left/Right or Mid/Side mode, including True Peak Meter, Loudness (with histograms), Bit-Monitor, Direct Current indicator to reveal any DC offset, Vector Scope, Balance Indicator, Correlation Meter, Frequency Spectrum (linear and logarithmic), Spectrogram, Cepstrum for detailed analysis of harmonics, and even Panorama Position and Correlation, with a useful display of the correlation between the left and right channel over the whole frequency-range to identify cancellations.
As the creators explain, the motivation for the MusicScope was based on the desire to perform analysis of high-resolution audio tracks to determine the frequency range and consequently the authenticity of a record, including detecting up-sampled recordings being sold as High Resolution Audio (HRA) files. From there, they added the real-time analysis of analog records, and sophisticated things like detection of Inter Sample Peaks that cause distortions in the analog part of DA-Converters, Loudness Range and measurement of Direct Stream Digital (DSD) records and assessment whether they have been converted back into PCM during their production by checking the quantization noise level.
Following the performed measurements, the XiVero MusicScope produces reports which can be exported with graphics or text.
The recently launched MusicScope Server (www.xivero.com/musicscope-server/), especially interesting for media companies (e.g. Streaming Providers, Digital Content Distributors, etc.) does everything the standard MusicScope does, adding the permanent monitoring of an input folder to analyze new incoming audio files automatically. It also adds comprehensive configuration possibilities for automated actions. Autonomous algorithms sort out suspicious audio files to be examined at a later stage.
XiVero is active in several fronts, including software defined radio and the implementation of open source solutions for the digital broadcast industry. Among its many software products, XiVero also sells an AudioRepair Tool for digital standard recordings (16bit/44.1kHz); an Ambiophonics Transcoder and Player; the HPEX audio enhancer for headphones and HPEX PLAY, a similar app for the iPhone or iPad; a HUM Suppressor application to remove power line hum at 50 and 60 Hz as well as their harmonic frequencies up to 5 kHz and 6 kHz; and the XISRC Sample Rate Converter. All these tools run on both Windows and Mac OS X.