Monitoring average and instantaneous signal levels

In order to read back the instantaneous value of any signal inside the SigmaDSP core, insert a DSP Readback cell into the signal flow in SigmaStudio.

If, for example, the readback cell is inserted next to channel 0 of the input cell of the ADAU1701, the readback will show the instantaneous value of the ADC input.

In order to implement a readback in a microcontroller in your production system, click the "Read" button on the readback cell in SigmaStudio after compilation. A write/read sequence will be shown in the Capture window. Simply duplicate this write/read sequence in the system microcontroller in order to implement readback in a production system.

For some processors, such as the ADAU1701, the readback functionality is hardware-based. Hardware-based readback requires a write followed by a read.

ADAU1701 Readback:

For other processors, such as the ADAU1781, the readback frunctionality is software-based. Software-based readback requires a read only.

ADAU1781 Readback:


The DSP Readback cell shows the signal's instantaneous value. This is not very useful for audio signals, which are constantly fluctuating around zero. For audio signals, more useful information is the average level of a signal. To read back the level of a signal, an Envelope algorithm can be used.

Envelope Implementations:

Envelope Peak : Outputs the peak level of a signal

Signal Envelope : Outputs the mean-squared level of a signal

Running Average : Outputs the average level of a signal (similar to RMS)

Simplified peak envelope (Uses fewer instructions - Absolute value followed by a lowpass filter)

Example application - Input monitor

This example project monitors the input level and compares it to a reference threshold value. If the input signal exceeds the threshold, the GPIO output (and DSP readback cell) will display "1". This essentially informs the user if an input is "active" or "inactive."

Basic Level Detectors for Debugging Purposes:


SigmaStudio also contains a level detector algorithm folder for simple debugging purposes.

These algorithms can be inserted into the signal flow and they will read back the signal level without affecting the signal in any way.

Level Detectors Integrated into Existing Cells:


Some cells contain level detectors built into their control GUIs.

For example, the Standard RMS and Standard Peak compressors contain level meters.

Here is their location in the library:

By clicking on the blue icon in the center of the cell, the GUI can be displayed.

After compiling and downloading the project, the level meters will display on the right side of the GUI when the Level Indicators button is activated.

Message was edited by: BrettG - 120719 Added description of level detector cells, added compressor level indicators description

Message was edited by: BrettG - 100301 Clarified DSP readback initiation in SigmaStudio

InputSignalDetection.dspproj.zip