The Waveform

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For certain types of musical sequences (those based on WAV, MP3, or WMA audio files), the Sequence Editor can display a waveform of the audio at the top of each track.  This can be useful for visually matching up timings and events to the sound.

 

In addition to the waveform itself, a vertical highlight bar is displayed at the current time that your mouse is pointing at.

 

Viewing the waveform
Scaling up and down
Changing the display type
Changing the colors

 

Waveform

A musical sequence with an audio waveform displayed

 

Viewing the Waveform

 

Waveforms can only be displayed for certain types of musical sequences - those based on WAV, MP3, or WMA audio files.  To view the waveform for such a file, make sure that "Wave Form" on the View menu is set to either "Full Height" or "Half Height".  To hide the waveform, set it to "Off".

 

"Full Height" or "Half Height" determines the size of the whole display.  This should not be confused with scaling up and down, which will keep the size of the display the same, but vary the size of the graph within the display.

 

The View Wave Form button on the Standard Toolbar can be used to toggle between "Off" and whichever of "Full Height" and "Half Height" was last selected.

 

Additionally, "View Wave Form by Default" in the Display Preferences dialog can be used to control whether or not a waveform will automatically be displayed whenever a musical sequence (of an appropriate type) is opened or created.

 

Scaling Up and Down

 

When displaying a waveform, the Sequence Editor tries to automatically scale the graph's vertical size so that a lot of the wave is displayed.  There may be occasional spots where the wave goes past the top of the display - corresponding to very loud spots in the audio - but these should be infrequent.

 

However, you may want to zoom in or out.  To do this, click on the "Scale Up" or "Scale Down" buttons to the left of the waveform display.  Note that these buttons are visible if and only if the channel buttons are visible.

 

If you do zoom in or out, the Sequence Editor will remember your zoom settings for this particular sequence for whenever you open it in the future.

 

This should not be confused with the "Full Height" and "Half Height" options, which change the size of the entire display, rather than the size of the graph on the display.

 

WaveformScaleButtons

The scaling buttons

 

WaveformScaledUp

A portion of a waveform, scaled up

 

WaveformScaledDown

The same waveform, scaled down

 

Changing the Display Type

 

By default, the waveform display is centered about a line corresponding to zero volume.  Loud portions of the song will extend both far above and far below the center.  This is known as "full mode".

WaveformModeFull

A portion of a waveform, in full mode

 

Two other modes are also supported: "fold mode" and "top mode".

 

"Fold mode" shows zero volume at the bottom of the display, and above it shows whichever half of full mode would be larger, as if the two halves were folded at the center and lain on top of each other.  It is then stretched vertically so that the full size of the display is used.

WaveformModeFold

The same waveform, in fold mode

 

"Top mode" is similar to fold mode, except that only those portions of the display which would have been above the center in full mode are shown.

WaveformModeTop

The same waveform, in top mode

 

To change between the modes, right-click on the wave form, and choose the desired mode from the popup menu.

 

WaveformMenu

The waveform popup menu, with top mode selected

 

When you choose a mode, the Sequence Editor automatically saves it, and uses it as the default mode in the future.

 

Changing the Colors

 

The colors used to display the waveform can be changed via the Wave Colors dialog, which can be opened by right-clicking on the waveform and selecting "Change Colors" from the popup menu:

 

WaveformMenuChangeColors

"Change Colors" on the waveform popup menu

 

WaveColorsDialog

The Wave Colors dialog

 

Three different colors can be set: "Foreground" is the color of the wave itself; "background" is the field that it is drawn upon; "highlight" is the vertical bar showing the position of the mouse.

 

The colored buttons on the left can be used to set each of these three colors, and the display on the right shows how a sample waveform would look using these colors.

 

The Sequence Editor will remember the colors that you chose, so that other waveforms will automatically be displayed using those colors.

 

WaveColorsDialog2

The Wave Colors dialog, with different colors chosen