The VIBES Toolbox for MATLAB gives you the power and flexibility to do a huge range of signal processing, source characterization, you name it! So let me show you how to get started. The VIBES Toolbox is an add-on to MATLAB. So prior MATLAB experience is highly recommended if you want to start using our Toolbox. There are tons of things you can do in the Toolbox, mostly related to data processing and analysis. And we also have some tools to help you view your data more easily, like the advanced 2D plotting, or viewing mode shapes in the 3D viewer. There are four modules integrated into the Toolbox with separate licenses for each, but they’re all accessed the same way. Within the Base Module, you get access to our object-oriented way of working and to the advanced 2D plotting, like we just saw. We also have lots of engineering tools in the Base Module, including functions for signal processing, transfer path analysis, substructuring and the Virtual Point Transformation. Within the Numerics Module, you get access to some modal analysis tools, functions for working with finite element models, and the ability to convert to the state space domain. The module for 3D Visuals gives you access to the interactive 3D environment and is included with the base license. And the ASAM-ODS Module allows you to read and write ATFX data files. But how do all these modules actually work? Well, the Toolbox uses object-oriented programming. This means we have classes of data, things like FRF matrices and time series. For the FRF Matrix, we have fields like data, coherence, and so on that are all properties of the FRFMatrix class. We also have things we want to do to those FRF matrices, like calculating a CMIF or inverting the matrix, and these are all the methods that can be applied to this class. The instances we create of this class, like this FRF Matrix Y, are then the objects. We can use a dot to access the properties of Y and also to execute the available methods. That’s a very high-level introduction to the Toolbox, but might help you as you get started.
To install the Toolbox, we first open MATLAB and navigate to the folder that contains the Toolbox installer. Now we open the install.m file and either run the whole thing or just evaluate this line. And it’s that easy! Now you have the VIBES Toolbox.
We can access the VIBES license manager by typing vibes.ver in the command line and clicking on Manage. You can click here to enter your license server settings. And then acquire the desired licenses like this. Now when we type vibes.ver, we see which licenses we have and when they expire.
Back in the install.m file, there are a few other commands that you might need some day, like uninstalling the Toolbox, but it’s not like you’ll ever want to do that. For now, let’s just run the post-installer to extract the example datasets that go along with the built-in tutorials. To access the tutorials and documentation, type vibes.doc into the command line. If you click here, you’ll see lists of all the different classes. And the page for each one tells you all the properties of that class, along with the methods that can be applied to it. We can click on the methods to see how they’re used and what inputs and outputs are needed. Down here, we also see list of some of the more general VIBES functions and math functions. A great way to learn the Toolbox is by going through all these super detailed tutorials. We can review them in this window or click here to open them in the editor.
Using the “Getting Started” tutorial, let’s briefly go through how to actually work in this environment. You can go through it in more detail on your own, but running this section will create a new TimeSeries object – TS. We can again click here to learn more about this class of data. Or we can click down here to review all of its properties, methods and channels, or to plot or play the data. Let’s check out the methods. You can see that some of them, like “copy”, are built-in MATLAB functions that we can apply to our object. Others, like toTimeBlocks are VIBES-specific, but can still be opened in the editor. This one calls another VIBES function, and again we can open it in the editor to see all the math that’s going on behind the scenes. Whenever we type the name of this object in the command line or in the script, if we put a dot and then press tab, we’ll see a list containing all the properties of the object, and also the methods that can be applied to it. Let’s apply the toTimeBlocks method to this object. To know the required inputs for the method, we can either look in the script or in the documentation. Here we see that there are a few different ways to define the inputs. Using just empty parentheses after the method will use the default parameters in the calculation, and is equivalent to not including any parentheses. If we put a single variable into the parentheses, then it has to be the vibes.block object. And with three inputs, I can set the time, length and overlap of my desired blocks. Putting empty brackets as an input will select the entire variable. So this will operate across the entire time range of my time series. So running this line creates a TimeBlocks object that can then be further operated on. I won’t go through the functionality in more detail today, but hopefully this provides a good overview of how methods can be applied to objects.
In the Toolbox, we use repositories to manage data and enable people to work together more easily. We all know how annoying it is to try to run someone else’s MATLAB script, only to get errors when it tries to load something from their C-drive. So in our toolbox we assign a name to that data path, and then put the name in the script. Then your colleagues can still run the script if they just set up the repository to assign the name to the right location on their machine. To access the repository browser just type vibes.browse, and then click Manage. I can add a new repository by clicking here and navigating to the path of the data I’m interested in. I can change the names of the environment, project or repository here. I can also change them using this drop-down. Once a repository is set up, we can access that location using vibes.fullfile. With an open quote, if I press tab, it will auto fill all the available options. Next I put a comma, and again tab will fill in all the folders and files at that location. Using vibes.fullfile will give us the full path location of something from a repository. We can also load that data directly using vibes.load followed by the rest of the file’s path. Hopefully that’s enough info to get you started using the Toolbox on your own data and problems. If you get stuck, feel free to send us an email.
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