Data AcQuisition And Real-Time Analysis
Scope - Spectrum - Spectrogram - Signal Generator
Software for Windows
Science with your Sound Card!
The following is from the Daqarta Help system:



Spectrum Analyzer

Signal Generator

(Absolutely FREE!)


Pitch Tracker


DaqMusiq Generator
(Free Music... Forever!)

Engine Simulator

LCR Meter

Remote Operation

DC Measurements

True RMS Voltmeter

Sound Level Meter

Frequency Counter
    Spectral Event

    MHz Frequencies

Data Logger

Waveform Averager


Post-Stimulus Time
Histogram (PSTH)

THD Meter

IMD Meter

Precision Phase Meter

Pulse Meter

Macro System

Multi-Trace Arrays

Trigger Controls


Spectral Peak Track

Spectrum Limit Testing

Direct-to-Disk Recording



Frequency response

Distortion measurement

Speech and music

Microphone calibration

Loudspeaker test

Auditory phenomena

Musical instrument tuning

Animal sound

Evoked potentials

Rotating machinery


Product test

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your application!

Vista / 7 / 8 / 10 Issues

Daqarta Input Button Disabled:

If the Input button is disabled when Daqarta starts (and the free trial period has not expired), it means that Vista/7/8/10 reported that there is no input device. Plug a cable into Line In or Mic In and restart Daqarta.

Vista/7/8/10 Microphone vs. Line Inputs:

When running in Vista/7/8/10 mode, only a single input line is recognized at a time, typically Microphone. When you plug a connector into the Line In jack, Windows automatically selects that input instead of Microphone. Daqarta will respond by relabeling buttons as needed on the Input, Auto-Calibrate, Full-Scale Range, External Gain, and User Units dialogs, and will restart the Input if it is already active.

Once you calibrate an input line, Daqarta retains that information and continues to show the presence of that line even if Windows disables it when disconnected. For example, if you calibrate Microphone, it won't be replaced when Line In is connected, but will instead be shown grayed out and the new Line will appear on a second control. If you then calibrate Line In, they both remain present with one shown normally and one grayed, depending on which is connected.

In XP mode, all inputs are always available, whether connected or calibrated.

Headphone vs. Speaker Outputs:

Similar to the above, some sound cards identify themselves as different devices (Speakers or Headphones) depending on whether the headphone jack is in use. Each such output device must be calibrated separately, just like a separate sound card. This will result in a separate calibration (.ATN) file which must be loaded when you run Daqarta using that configuration. See Managing Multiple Devices.

Hidden or Disabled Inputs (Stereo Mix, etc):

By default, Vista/7/8/10 typically disables and hides inputs other than Microphone and Line In. To see and enable these other input lines, right-click the speaker icon in the Windows system tray, and click on Recording Devices. (If for some reason you don't have a speaker icon in the system tray, go to Control Panel - Hardware and Sound - Sound - Manage Audio Devices - Recording.)

In the blank space below the listed devices, right-click and check Show Disabled Devices. If a device appears (Stereo Mix, What You Hear, etc), right-click on it and check Enable.

The next time you start Daqarta, the new device will appear in the Input dialog.

Note, however, that you probably don't need an explicit Stereo Mix option, since Windows Vista and later will automatically default to routing the current output sound to the input line if you simply toggle Daqarta's Input button on.

Stereo Mix (or the automatic default) can be useful to provide the pitch feedback needed for KaleidoSynth operation, without a microphone or any external connection.

The same option also allows viewing of the synth waveform when using the Synthesizer Controls dialog (instead of the Generator) to produce test tones or bursts.

Likewise, Stereo Mix (or the default) can be used with DaqMusiq, such as the DaqMusiq macro, with Pitch Track toggled off so you see the live spectrogram of the generated MIDI performance instead of the more usual note map. Use eXpand with Max set to a low value to see fundamentals, or a high value to see harmonics. Try this in Bloom mode!

Vista/7/8/10 and DaqMusiq:

When playing DaqMusiq via the default F8, d macro, a built-in random source is used to create inaudible internal signals that the Pitch Tracker and Pitch-to-MIDI convert to MIDI music.

The random source is equivalent to the White Noise source in the Daqarta Generator, but is independent and runs when the Generator is off. You can use Spectrum Curves to change the effective spectrum of the source, by applying a curve to the Left Out channel.

But you may want to experiment with more exotic sources using the Daqarta Generator. In that case, real signals are created and sent to the sound card output. In order to hear only the MIDI music, the Generator (Wave) output is normally muted via the Wave Mute button at the bottom of the Volume dialog. (The full unmuted signal is still sent to the Pitch Tracker.)

However, Vista/7/8/10 does not allow the Wave output to be muted (or even have its volume controlled) independently from the MIDI output. With the Generator set to the typical random noise source used for DaqMusiq, you would hear a loud hiss drowning out the MIDI music.

One work-around for this is to set the Generator Level very low, and set the Track Threshold even lower. Open the Generator control dialog (thin button under Generator in the main toolbar, or CTRL+G) and load the .GEN setup file you want to use... typically WhiteMute.GEN.

Now click on the Left Wave Controls button to open the Stream 0 dialog, and find the Level control near the bottom. Click the small button to the right of the Level control to toggle it from % (default) to dB. Then set Level to -80 dB. (You can just enter 80 since the minus sign is assumed.)

The above assumes you are using WhiteMute.GEN or a similar setup. For a multi-Stream setup, you may have to repeat the Level setting on each stream whose Stream On button is active, but not set to Mod.

Save the modified .GEN setup for future use. Use a different name if you want to preserve the original.

Now open the Spectrogram / Pitch Track Controls dialog (thin button under Sgram/PT in the main toolbar, or CTRL+M) and click on the Track Limits button. The Threshold control units should be dB; if not, make sure Spectrum or Sgram/PT is active in the toolbar and hit ALT+Y to change to Y-log (dB) mode. Set Track Threshold to -100 dB, -120 dB, or even lower. (Again, you don't need to enter the minus sign.)

The Generator output will still be present, but now it is 80 dB softer than the MIDI sound... inaudible under most conditions.

Vista/7/8/10 Calibration:

In Vista/7/8/10, the sound card output mixer controls are "virtualized", which means software like Daqarta no longer has direct control over the true hardware mixer functions. The virtual controls don't have separate Left and Right volumes... they always track together. There is only a Master output volume control function, not separate Master and Wave controls. Only one Input control is available at a time.

To restore separate Left and Right output controls, and possibly some additional Input controls (see below), try setting Daqarta to XP Compatibility mode. Right-click on the Daqarta desktop icon and select Properties - Compatibility. Check the box for 'Run this program in compatibility mode for:' and make sure that XP mode is selected, then click OK at the bottom of the dialog. (In particular, do not select Win95 or Win98 mode, since then Daqarta won't run at all due to a "feature" of Microsoft's compatibility emulation scheme.)

Note that running in XP mode does not change anything else in your system. Daqarta will still look the same, including the "Aero" interface if you are using that. The only difference is in the mixer controls available to Daqarta.

However, one minor downside is that XP mode typically reports a huge number of steps for the volume controls, as many as 2048, compared to 192 typical for Vista/7/8/10 mode, or for the same sound card on a native XP system. In reality, there are the same number of actual steps in the hardware (16 or 32, typically), just more dummy steps added. The problem is that during Auto-Calibration each of the reported steps must be tested, to find out which ones actually affect the volume. That can greatly extend the time needed for the calibration, though fortunately you should need to do this only once.

In Vista/7/8/10 mode, the output volume control uses a "virtual mixer" with very fine resolution between steps and no dummy steps. The fine resolution comes at a price, however, since it results in poorer signal quality at lower sound levels. The reason is that the digital waveform is reduced instead of the analog signal, reducing the number of effective bits. (This is the same as reducing the Generator output with the Level controls instead of the normal Generator Volume controls. See the Level control topic for a complete discussion of this phenomenon.)

However, if you will be working with levels near the top of the range and want fine control, Vista/7/8/10 mode has an additional advantage: The fine virtual steps mean that there is no clicking or "zipper" noise as sliders are changed. The coarser steps of XP mode's real hardware attenuator may cause small clicks as the output suddenly steps from one amplitude to the next.

Important: Whether you run in Vista/7/8/10 mode or XP mode, you should make sure that the Volume Mixer (found by right-clicking the speaker icon in the system tray) has the "Speakers" slider at maximum, and all other sliders except Daqarta's set to Mute (click the little speaker icon below each slider). In general, it is always best to fully close all other applications that use the sound card before starting Daqarta, to avoid interference. In that case, the Volume Mixer should show only Speakers, Windows Sounds, and Daqarta sliders.

If you sometimes want to run in Vista/7/8/10 mode and sometimes in XP mode, use a separate desktop shortcut for each, just as if you had multiple sound cards, only here you would set one of the shortcuts to XP compatibility mode. Use a different N: parameter for each shortcut, since each will need its own calibration files, etc. See Managing Multiple Devices for full details.

See also Troubleshooting


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