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Old 10-22-2021, 07:47 PM
trackone trackone is offline
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Columbia, SC
Posts: 31
Default Waveform Display

I had couple of files come in that I needed to load into Pro Tools. They were recorded very low in level. So I opened them in iZotope RX 7 to look at some info on the files, looking at the peak and rms levels. I decided to go ahead and increase the gain RX to where the peaks were at -3. I loaded the original file into Pro Tools and the new file with the gain increase from RX. When imported I noticed that the waveforms looked the same in Pro Tools.

Went back to RX and opened the new file and it showed the waveform as expected with the gain increase. Took it to a PC and loaded it into Samplitude and it to had the larger waveform due to the gain increase.

I found that in RX when exporting there is a check box “Preserve non-audio data”. I had this checked. The RX manual states that this preserves the original files metadata. I unchecked and re-imported into Pro Tools and the file now shows the increased waveform.

When listening to the files in Pro Tools both exports from RX play at the same increased level, but the waveforms are different.

So my questions are:
  1. Is Pro tools looking at the metadata to draw the waveform? That's what appears to be happening. Why wouldn’t Pro Tools read the value from the WAV itself and draw the appropriate waveform?
  2. Under what conditions would you want to keep the original files non-audio data? I had this checked originally as I needed to spot the files in Pro Tools to the orignal timestamp. I found out that regardless of whether “Preserve non-audio data” is checked or not the original timestamp still comes through and spots correctly.
  3. What is the default waveform size in Pro Tools? Meaning that when you import an audio file for the first time you have an accurate reading of the waveform based on its peak and rms value. I have never understood how to set this in Pro Tools. I understand you can increase and decrease the wave form size, but where is the default?

It seems that other DAWs do not read and display the waveform as does Pro Tools. They appear to draw the waveform as I would expect. Any insight with this is appreciated.
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Old 10-22-2021, 09:10 PM
Sardi Sardi is online now
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Perth
Posts: 2,465
Default Re: Waveform Display

In PT, grab the RX export where the waveform didn’t change and in the clip list, right click the file and choose ‘Recalculate Waveform Overviews’.

Does that now increase the waveform height when you drag it on the timeline?

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Old 10-24-2021, 10:36 AM
trackone trackone is offline
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Columbia, SC
Posts: 31
Default Re: Waveform Display

I tried recalculate waveform and it did adjust the wave form to the proper height.

I then tried a couple of test for my own curiosity. First I did not save the session and reopened it. I found the waveform at the correct value.

Next I created a new session, imported the wav file from RX, then saved the session. I then recalculated the waveform and closed the session without saving. I deleted the waveform cache then reopened the session to find the waveform at the correct value.

For the final test I created a new session and imported the wav where the waveform had been recalculated. The waveform was at the correct value when imported.

This tells me, if I am correct, that recalculating the waveform actually changes or embeds something in the wav file itself for these values to be read correctly.

Other DAWs read the correct value and the last thing I want to do is remember to maybe have to recalculate a waveform. Of course, next time exporting from RX I will remember to uncheck Preserve non-audio data.

So back to my originally question, why does Pro Tools not see the waveform at the correct value when originally imported?
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Old 10-24-2021, 11:13 AM
weezul weezul is offline
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Newcastle, UK
Posts: 422
Default Re: Waveform Display

Always recalculate after an RX import, despite the warning that it's going to restamp the file... pretty annoying!
MacOS Mojave, i7 6700k, 32GB RAM, RX580
Pro Tools Software, RME RayDAT PCIe
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