Apple has been making a big push to get its developers into OS X’s eye candy, including Quartz 2D and OpenGL 3D graphics. Here are two Mac applications that take advantage of gorgeous UI elements for audio analysis.

Spectre is an all-new audio analysis app built for Quartz and OpenGL. What I like about it is that it’s built with multiple instruments in mind: you can hook it up to individual plug-ins thanks to Apple’s AUNetSend and AUNetReceive objects. As a result, they can even be on another machine. Okay, granted, multiple machine setup aside, you could do that with a range of visualization plug-ins, but the integrated, net-connected suite is still a nice idea. With an oscilloscope, VU meters, and spectrographs, this could be a way to apply some science to the synthesizer patch you’re designing. The fact that this app costs only US$88 ought to help with that, too. Even if you’re not interested in the app itself, the UI design is worth a look; I expect we’ll see a lot more visualizers in plug-ins now that visual rendering can be performed by graphics cards with no impact on sound processing. Universal, but still accelerated for Velocity Engine, PowerPC lovers.

Spectre is built for real-time analysis; on the measurement side of things is the newly-upgraded (and
Universal) FuzzMeasure Pro 2. This is either a way to impress your friends with serious-looking graphs of your studio monitors (look at that there frequency response!) or a genuinely useful tool, or both. I don’t do enough measurement to tell for sure. US$250, via my current fave Mac blog, TUAW.