Waveform display, improve transient information

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Davide Bertolini
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2015 13:46

Waveform display, improve transient information

Postby Davide Bertolini » Fri Sep 21, 2018 13:58


I have no idea of how this can be achieved, but I wonder if it's possible to improve the way waveforms are represented.
I find it quite hard to tell what's what just by looking at the waveform.
After mixing/editing in protools for 15 years, I could recognize small details like different consonants and vowels in a vocal performance, every nuance in the articulation of a bowed string instrument.
I worked with Pyramix for a few years, and I still have quite a hard time interpreting the waveforms.
As a result of this, even though the editing workflow of Pyramix is stunning compared to protools, I waste a lot of time finding a precise editing spot. I end up having to listen to it 3-4 times just because I can't "see" it.


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Re: Waveform display, improve transient information

Postby fl » Fri Sep 21, 2018 21:58

The usefulness of any waveform display is going to be subjective, varying from user to user. Small, but annoying differences between different DAWs are common, and made intentionally, I think, to drive user loyalty.

Perhaps one of the things contributing to your difficulties with Pyramix's waveform display, are the "Auto-Scale" functions (either of them), which automatically re-scale the displayed waveform to occupy most of the available vertical space, regardless of how loud the audio actually is, and which changes constantly depending on the contents of the currently displayed portion of audio and how closely you're zoomed in or out. Try going with the "1x" or one of the other Fixed display options and see if things begin to look a little more familiar. In Pyramix's state when it's first installed, there are buttons located in the main window's upper Toolbar which control the scaling of the waveform display. Alternatively, you can access these controls in the main View Menu > Waveform Display sub-menu.

You may also care to experiment with some of the other display options, such as the Half Waveform/Origin display, which looks like a rectified version of the audio, reminding some of us of Studer's Dyaxis program from back in the day. Another option is the so-called Dynamic Waveform, which adjusts the thickness of the waveform's trace to correspond to the amount of variance in level that occurs between successive graphic approximations (in other words, the stuff that goes on between successive points making up the wave's depicted amplitude at any given zoom level - more activity = thicker line), which may remind some of Sonic Solutions, from back in a slightly less remote day. Either of these options could possibly give you more visual information as to the location of transients.
Frank Lockwood, Toronto, ON, Canada
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Davide Bertolini
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2015 13:46

Re: Waveform display, improve transient information

Postby Davide Bertolini » Mon Oct 01, 2018 17:49

Hi Frank,

Thanks for your reply.
I used the fixed zoom all along. Only recently switched to the Auto-Scale and I find that actually helps a bit.
I also experimented with other display options extensively, but I still find the Pyramix waveforms much harder to read than Pro Tools'.
I don't mean to sound like a PT lover/Pyramix hater! As mentioned earlier, I left Pro Tools behind 3 years ago after 15 years of intense use, and switched to Pyramix 90% of the time now.
Hard to describe what I miss, but somehow too many details when not needed ant too few when needed. Maybe too realistically dynamic? So when I want to see small details like a little noise before a take, or the inbreath of the singer, or a sibilant "S", what comes right after which is louder ends up way off scale making it hard to keep track of what's what.

If that's just me, this ends here and I'll live with that :)