Wave Observer is a virtual oscilloscope with the addition of peak level metering functionality. As such, it is useful as a monitoring tool on the master channel, as well as the individual tracks and audio busses.
The plugin offers several handy features that set it apart from most other freeware oscilloscopes. Wave Observer features a wide zoom range, going from a pixel per sample to four seconds of audio in a single frame. It also features a stabilization algorithm that helps with fixing a single waveform on the screen.
Perhaps the most interesting feature, though, is the ability to “freeze” the oscilloscope display and scroll through history. This enables the user to closely inspect the audio waveform in the time domain and locate any potential issues with the transients.
To freeze a single waveform on the screen, engage Wave Observer’s “waveform mode” and adjust the zoom. This mode is useful for isolating a specific area of the signal. For example, when mixing a drum set, it might be useful to focus on the snare drum or the kick drum while adjusting the compressor and EQ plugins.
For a more traditional type of oscillator monitoring, use Wave Observer’s “envelope mode” to observe a wider portion of the audio signal. This can be useful on the master bus, as a visual guide to how much compression is needed and whether or not there is sufficient dynamic range left.
Here’s how the team at Press Play describes Wave Observer:
“Wave Observer is an oscilloscope and monitoring plug-in for time-domain audio analysis. It visually supports mixing, mastering, and sound design by offering a number of unique features.”
Also worth noting is Wave Observer’s user interface. The GUI is well-designed, with a customizable color scheme and support for high-resolution displays. The user can freely resize the GUI by clicking and dragging the bottom-right corner.
Wave Observer is available for free download from the developer’s website. You don’t need to register nor activate the software.
More info: Wave Observer (1.7 MB download size, ZIP archive containing EXE installer, 64-bit VST/VST3/AU plugin format for Windows & macOS)