Audio monitoring

Advanced Audio Monitoring for Spectra

New feature release for Spectra on macOS

Spectra is a software streaming encoder that integrates with a number of popular applications, including editors, color correctors and Blackmagic capture cards. In effect, it extends the capabilities of these apps by adding high-performance streaming capability and enabling remote workflows!

There are numerous benefits to a software encoder, e.g, no extra hardware to mess with and one less point of failure in your workflow. But, since Spectra is a plug-in, it must work within the limitations of those host devices. Until now

Advanced Audio Monitoring takes another step towards extending the feature set of editors, color correctors and capture cards by providing a separate, flexible audio monitoring feature. To explain further, consider the diagram below, which uses a Blackmagic capture card example.

Audio monitoring
Blackmagic Capture Card and Spectra on macOS

Blackmagic has a public API that allows us to achieve an ideal level of integration. However (you knew that was coming, amirite?), that API is limited to communicating with a single application. Once you connect it to Spectra, it effectively stops communicating with macOS, so you can no longer use the Mac for audio and video monitoring.

Spectra’s latest release adds a cool new feature that restores your ability to do audio monitoring. Note that the Spectra control panel currently provides a video monitoring window and audio monitoring via a virtual VU meter – that is a good for confidence, but obviously not for quality.

Spectra now can split off the audio and deliver it to your Mac speakers and headphone jack. Wait, what if my audio is 5.1/7.1? No problemo – Spectra allows you to downmix to stereo and even includes volume/muting controls. No nasty breakout boxes, just plug in those headphones and ensure that your remote clients are getting some sweet sounds.

This same situation is true for Avid Media Composer, Adobe Premiere and DaVinci Resolve, with some subtle differences in implementation.

Avid Media Composer does allow for connecting to multiple devices, so you could use Spectra and still have audio on your Mac speakers….unless you have more than two audio tracks. Spectra Audio Monitoring to the rescue!

DaVinci Resolve throws a different kind of curveball. Resolve has no public API, but they do support Open F/X. Hmmm, but Open F/X does not support audio. Spectra Audio Monitoring to the rescue!

Learn more about Spectra and how it can supercharge your remote workflows. You can also get a free trial version for your particular application.

Streambox Spectra is fully compatible and Optimized for Apple Mac Studio M1 Ultra and M1 Max.