New Audio Sparklines Module

This might not be for everyone, but it’s been fun and helpful for me!

I’ve been working with AudioBlocks a lot and was missing an easy way to visualize blocks throughout development. I use Jim’s Buffer Debugger regularly, but that’s not an option running headless code like unit tests or for on-the-fly debugging.

Most of the time I just want a quick sanity check. Is the buffer empty? Is there some strange value in there? I want to see what AudioBlocks look like without playing guessing games with DBG statements.

I’m a huge fan of Tufte’s sparklines which are “small, intense, word-sized graphics with typographic resolution,” so I wrote a little helper to uhhh…show a normalized, time-compressed 3-bit waveform :slight_smile:

Here’s a sine:

Block is 1 channel, 441 samples, min -0.999994, max 0.999994, 100% filled

Or a square:

Block is 1 channel, 441 samples, min -0.999994, max 0.999994, 100% filled

Inspired by @jimc’s really helpful lldb python script, I also taught lldb how to render sparklines on the fly for MacOS CLion/Xcode.

On hover:

On click:

The repo:


Very nice!

1 Like

cool stuff

I added a few more features to the sparklines, such as display of NaN/inf/subnormal. It still only supports JUCE’s AudioBlock, but if there is interest in AudioBuffer, I could add support there too.

Also, I finally blogged about it:


I’m definitely interested in AudioBuffer support! Not all my pipelines happen to make use of the AudioBlock class…

I guess you saw this one before right?

Your integration looks a lot tighter at the expense of the bit depth, I bet using both in tandem for the right tasks would be pretty powerful.

1 Like

Nice! It should be pretty easy to bake in AudioBuffer support.

I guess you saw this one before right?

I saw that pop up! Cool stuff. I only use sparklines for visual sanity checking, for example, dumping the contents of a buffer on test failure, or inspection in the IDE…they are so decimated I wouldn’t use them as the subject of tests.

The diff idea here is cool! Pretty interesting idea to base tests on a medium-res visual representation, probably allows for some amount of wiggle room too (a good thing, since float values can be have a bit of variance).

1 Like