Improved overlay management--Feature request

I do a lot of comparisons during R&D where I want to compare response of different measurements. The hardware and measurement tools are great, but the UI is painful. The graphing tool in the automated tests allows me to do this, though it requires so many clicks to rename things and assign colors. My biggest frustration though is the inability to turn a trace on or off. It is made worse by the fact that I’m colorblind and can’t easily differentiate between more than a few colors, but if two measurements are very similar and span enough variation on the plot where I can’t just zoom way in, the easiest way to see how one trace compares to the other is to turn it on and off. The best I can do with the plotting tool is to switch between a very light color and black.

I would really love to have some way to set overlays in the main window as well.

The best test software that I’ve used for regarding convenience of working with overlays is Spectra Plus

SP limits you to twelve overlays, but I just have a button to set an overlay and a checkbox to toggle visibility. The math overlays are pretty nice as well. But again, could we start with just a way to toggle visibility–preferably without a lot of clicking?

Thanks in advance. It wouldn’t be a frustration because I wouldn’t use it if hardware and measurement techniques weren’t so good. So thank you for that!

+1 for this feature (if will be implemented).

plus Max hold option feature req

Yes, please quick save/display/hide overlays on the main plot.

thank you

I agree that an easier to use graphing interface would be great t have…

Agree with this request. I new here and am ramping up on the QA403 and find the graphic tool challenging. Improvement here would make interactions and comparisons streamlined. Another good example is REW. Thanks in advance.

I totaly agrre too.
Overlays are so important for development but even more for repair/failure search.

I used Audiomatica Clio for a long time and they have also a good UI

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+1. That is the greatest issue I have with the software. Every added curve should be automatically assigned a different colour and it should easily be possible to pick which curve is in the foreground. E.g. when troubleshooting a noise issue the first trace taken will hide every following trace behind it.

Agree on the need for this function. Even the ancient Audio Precision System One I use has function. It’s another good example to look at for implementation. You can add identifying notes to each trace. Plus, you can change line color, width, and type if you want to also print it out.

Hi @Kit, yes I agree too. There are a host of feature wants that tie in here too, including user specified offsets, maths, z depth settings, etc.

There’s a new version of the QA40x app that has been started. It’s a ways out. It’s written in Avalonia, which achieves cross platform via the Google Skia graphics libs. Unlike Maui, which uses native controls on each platform, Avalonia runs the exact same Avalonia controls on every platform. All you are asking from the native platform is a bitmap rendering canvas.

So, a re-vamp will need to wait for QA40x 2.0.

Thanks for the update, Matt! Good to know that the project is active. Happy Holidays!


Thanks so much for this personal reply - I didn’t expect that! You are certainly prolific and prompt is supporting the forums.

I haven’t gotten my QA403 yet from Saelig because they are out of stock. They said January, hopefully. I’m looking forward to a more modern user experience than with my old AP System One. A lot has changed in 40+ years!

I think you guys are right on the money in terms of using existing technology to its fullest. About as clever as you can be and at an incredibly reasonable price, too. I hope you are super-successful. As a small business hifi board producer myself, I understand how you can’t do everything all at once!

I’ve had to learn Linux and Python in the last few years but it gets harder as you get older (I’m retired from my first two careers already). I’ll study up on Avalonia when I get the chance.

Best regards and have a happy holiday season.

Kit Ryan
Ryan Sound Lab

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Thanks @Kit and @RobbN. Below is a rough proof of concept for a power quality analyzer using the QA403 on Ubuntu. I’ve written elsewhere about the AC Line Isolator box, and that will become a product at some point. The power quality analyzer SW was written to learn more about Avalonia. I’m not sure why it’s taken so long for Avalonia and Flutter to arrive at a similar end point, where the UI controls are tied to the SDK rather than trying to keep the controls used by the various native platforms (Maui, Java). But having an app that looks pixel-perfect identical–not just similar–on two different platforms just seems smarter today than an app that looks just similar on different platforms (and there’s a ton of little bugs related to the differences). But in Avalonia, the app appears the exactly the same on all platforms. The performance with Avalonia is also something to behold. Each of the graphs in the app below are rendering in about 4mS, so the entire update is happening around 100 Hz. Grab a corner of the app and resize as fast as you can and it tracks without any lag (note the QA40x application disables the screen updates while re-sizing because it’s otherwise unbearably slow–which is pretty typical for Winform apps). All of the Avalonia drawing primitives are done by native 2D renderers (Direct2D on Windows, Skia on other platforms), which means the GPU is doing the heavy lifting on each platform.

In any case, the learning continues. Anyone faced with multi-platform UI should look hard at Avalonia. And if you are looking to invest some time in a new platform just for fun, it’s as good as any if C# is something you regularly use. But, if you had to learn C# and Avalonia at the same time, that would be very tough.


Thanks for taking this on. The screen looks great. I like the multiple vertical scales with reasonable divisions. If you’ve ever used LTSpice, the crazy scales drive you crazy (e.g. 7 small ticks to one large tick!), plus they change with every run. I’ve written to them but they don’t seem to care about it. The clear key is also excellent looking.

I’ll definitely look into Avalonia after the holidays. I’ve been using Python but there are so many things it can’t do in a UI (even using Tkinter).

Can’t wait to actually get my hands on the QA403! they predict sometime in January.

Best regards,


I am also color blind to red and green.

The graph colors can also be problematic to me too.

Hi @DualTriode, Yes, I think the ability to have lots of traces, maths applied to each trace, colors for each trace, averaging, or least-square fitting applied (so you can more easily red noise density), z-axis, etc, all are important.

Hello Matt,
Any news about this requests?

Hi @bmsorin, this isn’t a large feature and not something coming near term. Most like for the V2 software, which is a total re-write.

Hello Matt.
I understand. I’m sorry to hear this, at least for me and those in the topic, these features were important. In the meantime, I tested Cosmos ADC in combination with a Toppind D10 together with REW beta which allows settings via REST API and an attenuator (with overcurrent protection, voltageprotection and autorage ). I can say that for me they are enough, unfortunately, I will give up the QA403, I will list it on eBay.
At least if I could use HW QA403 together with ASIO drivers I would have a reason to keep it.
Best regards and Good luck!

Hi @bmsorin, understood, not every tool works for everyone. Feel free to list the QA403 here if you’d like too. They are currently backordered and depending on your region, it might be an easy decision for someone.

Perhaps an option to select a palette of colours to be used for graphing (and even the UI if you are colour filling it) could be a simple solution?
This meets personal preference and also need where certain colours are unusable for people.

Might be something that can be more easily implemented in a minor version?