Acquire Data with the Analog Input Recorder

This topic shows how to use the Analog Input Recorder app to view and record data from an NI USB-6218 device.

To open the Analog Input Recorder, on the MATLAB® Toolstrip, on the Apps tab, in the Test and Measurement section, click the Analog Input Recorder.

Upon opening, the Analog Input Recorder attempts to find all your attached analog and audio input devices.


Opening the Analog Input Recorder deletes all your existing data acquisition sessions in MATLAB.

The data acquisition session created by the Analog Input Recorder is not accessible from the MATLAB command line.

If you plug in a device while the app is open, you must refresh the listing for access to the device. On the Devices tab, click Refresh. Use the same procedure to remove a device from the listing after unplugging it.

Select the device you want to use in the Device List. The app immediately starts a preview of the analog input using default settings.

Modify any scan and channel settings for your specific needs. The following image shows the app displaying three channels of the device. Notice that the Max Rate value has changed with the number of channels; this relationship depends on the device.

Set values for Number of Scans or Duration, and Rate.

Check Continuous if you want to override the duration or number of scans. In this mode, recording will continue until you explicitly stop it.

When you are ready to start recording data, click Record.

When recording is complete, either because the specified number of scan is recorded or you click Stop, the logged data is assigned to the indicated MATLAB Workspace variable. By default, the variable starts as DAQ_1, and its name is incremented with every recording, but you can specify any valid MATLAB variable name. The variable is assigned an M-by-N timetable, where M is the number of scans and N is the number of channels.

The following commands show the beginning of the acquired timetable for a multiple channel recording.

  Name          Size            Bytes  Class        Attributes

  DAQ_4      1000x3             33315  timetable

View the first four rows of the timetable.

ans =

  4×3 timetable

       Time        ai0        ai1         ai2  
    _________    _______    ________    _______

    0 sec        0.59036      1.1226     1.6268
    0.001 sec    -1.0661    -0.49113    0.07001
    0.002 sec    -2.6327     -2.0683    -1.4901
    0.003 sec    -4.0592     -3.5349    -2.9738

The timestamp elements of the table are relative to the first scan. The absolute time of the first scan is available in the timetable UserData property. For example,

datestr(DAQ_4.Properties.UserData.StartTime,'dd-mmm-yyyy HH:MM:SS')
    '30-Jun-2017 15:24:10'

In the Analog Input Recorder, click Generate Script for the app to open the MATLAB editor and display the code for recording data. The following code is generated for the finite (non-continuous) 3-channel recording of this example. Notice that this code uses the startForeground function; a continuous recording would use startBackground.

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