How would I go about archiving spectral images on something physical (like paper)

Just like the title says, how would I go about archiving spectral images on something physical (like paper)? Meaning if I wanted to take a spectral image of all the frequencies and print them on physical paper how would I go about doing so?

Not sure if you are familiar with harmor, but harmor has an option to save its spectral content images as a .bmp file and from there you can just print it out on physical paper. I would like to do the same for spectralayers and save my layers on a physical medium.

Spectralayers doesn’t seem to be compatible with .bmp files nor .png files (which Izotope is compatible with).

I’m guessing and assuming maybe the best way to archiving spectral information on a physical medium (where the highest quality is stored and kept archived) is through infrared imaging photography? Where the film background starts off as black and the color of the spectral frequencies can be whatever you want it to be.

The infrared-imaging idea seems pretty elaborate considering what you’re trying to do.

I’d do a screen shot, then print the image with a high-rez color printer on a photo-quality medium. Sorry if this seems obvious. My Dad does this all of the time with his high-rez archiving projects. I’ll let you look up the particulars.

But thats my point, if I do a screenshot and print it on a physical mass object (like paper or high resolution infrared film reels) how would I recall it to playback in spectralayers pro 7? Spectralayers pro 7 doesn’t seem to recognize image files at all.

I can do this in Izotope and Harmor but not spectralayers. How would I be able to archive image files from spectralayers pro 7 and then recall (scan) those images back to spectralayers pro 7?

Hi Joey, beware that archiving spectrograms as PNG or BMP is a very lossy operation:

-There’s zero standard on how this operation should be performed, meaning spectrograms saved in one application cannot be read “as is” by another, each one its own interpretation. Parameters such as FFT Size, Time Overlap, Frequency Overlap and FFT Window can’t be stored in a picture for instance, and they are critical for reconstruction.

-PNG and BMP files are only able to handle 8 bits per pixel, which is extremely lossy (imagine saving your audio projects in 8-bit WAV format).

-Usually those apps allowing you to save spectrograms as pictures completely discard the phase information, only storing the amplitude. Phase is an important component of audio, therefore if you reopen a spectrogram that only have amplitude informations, phase will have to be guesstimated, the true phase can never be fully recovered.

If you intend to save spectrograms for printing that’s fine (and as Poinzy pointed out, you can just do a screen capture then), but you should never consider this as a way to archive audio itself considering the 3 reasons listed above.

Would you ever consider standardizing a universal standard of a spectral image format where the image of fft is without any reduction in quality and stays true to phase? I like to archive all of my works and it would be really interesting if I were able to archive my layers in a physical medium to be kept as a backup in case anything happens, also there are a few experiments that I would like to try with manipulating images and hearing the results. I believe that editing images (of sound) would open up a whole new possibilities of sound design itself.

There are reasons why the big film companies still shoot on film today and there is a another reason why they archive those films and reels. There is also another reason why vinyl still exists today.

I would like to be able to do something like this (click here) and keep my layers saved as a physical document and then further experiment with images and changing images for experimental purposes and sound design.

That could be considered indeed. Not the first time I have requests to export spectrogram as pictures.