During playback, preview clip at current cursor position

I have two macros I’d like to make, but I’m not sure if it is even possible.

If it is not possible, I’d like to request these features in Wavelab 8. Please advise.

These macros will be enormously useful for audio book editors. I only say this because, inevitably, instead of answering the question, someone will reply, “Why would you ever want to do that?!?!”

Often, we are removing breaths and clicks with room tone WAY ahead of the play head (as the file is playing). From here on out, I will distinguish two terms that I mean to be different things.

  1. The current play position. In a rolling file, this is the light red bar that moves along the part being currently played.

  2. The cursor position. This is the dark red bar. The current cursor position.

First feature:

Stop the play head – but instead of moving the play position to the last clicked cursor position, keep the play point right where I stopped it. Both current stop commands (stop and stop/play) move the play head to the last clicked cursor position. This is the preferred action most of the time, but there are times when I wish I had an additional stop command that would not move the play position when play is pressed again.

Second feature:

While a file is playing, when this macro is pressed, temporarily moves the play position to the cursor position and plays from there for a specified amount of preview time (ex. 2 seconds). Once that amount of time passes, resumes playback from where the play head was when you clicked the macro.

Why is this useful?

Often when I’m editing an audio book, I’m replacing breaths and pauses with room tone WAY ahead of the part currently being played back. For this example, let’s say I’m simultaneously listening to the edits I made 15 minutes ago while editing 15 minutes ahead of the playback position. I visually encounter a spiky piece of waveform at the end of a sentence that might be undesirable (breath/click/pop) or it might be desirable (a P, T, or ED end of a word). Do I replace it with room tone or keep it? To find out for sure, I currently have to place a marker, scroll out on the waveform, spot where the current playback position is, place a second marker there, stop the file, move the cursor position to the first marker, play and decide if it’s desirable or undesirable, stop the file, make the edit, move the cursor to the second marker, play the file, delete the second marker, zoom back in where the first marker is, delete the first marker, resume editing 15 minutes ahead of the play head.

What I’d rather do is press a macro and have the play head momentarily move to where my current cursor position is, play for a specified amount of time (1 or 2 seconds) and then automatically resume playing where the play head was before the macro was pressed. You can see how much time this would save.

  1. In WaveLab 8, there is an option to prevent, or not, the cursor to jump back:
    2013-05-16_10-29-44.png
  2. In WaveLab 8, you can’t do this directly, but almost
    a) drop a marker at the current play position (this could be a temporary markers, hence one that won’t be saved)
    b) click elsewhere, where you want to check the audio. Trigger a macro to play 2 seconds from this point (this can be assigned to a key shortcut).
    c) Trigger playback from the last marker, thanks to another macro and shortcut, to resume playback where it was originally.

So, you need 3 shortcuts to do it all. Not bad?

Note: the Transport bar of WaveLab 8 has completly been renewed, with new features, facilities, shortcut options, eg.:
2013-05-16_10-37-56.png

Thanks, Philippe, that’s great!

A few follow ups:

Re: 1, it looks like this is something you have to actively switch between. Is there a way to create a keystroke for the cursor to stop and jump back and a different keystroke for cursor to stop and not jump back?

Re: 2, If there were a chapter marker or another type of marker after the temporary marker, wouldn’t the macro play from here instead?

Wouldn’t step a) also require physically zooming out from the current cursor position (last edit point ahead of playback), visually locating the current playback position, mouse clicking the cursor near there, and THEN dropping the temp marker? Unless in Wavelab 8 there’s a way to place markers at current playback position instead of current cursor position. (Seems like there would be similar actions in step b) too)

Also, isn’t there a step d)? Zoom out and move the cursor back to current edit position. (in my example, 15 minutes ahead of the playback point.)

  1. Yes, because the whole transport settings can be activated with a shortcut. You just have to do the preset you want, and assign it to a shortcut.

  2. yes… or no. Because you have the choice to jump back to certain type of markers only, see:
    2013-05-16_23-43-14.png
    Yes, a marker is inserted at current playback position instead of current cursor position, unless you set the edit cursor. I mean: start playback… marker will be inserted at the play position. But start playback then set edit curosr (with a click) and the marker will be inserted at the cursor position. IOW, play position is used as insert position, until you set the edit cursor. When you restart playback, the play positon is the hot positon again.

Thanks, Philippe!

Yes, a marker is inserted at current playback position instead of current cursor position, unless you set the edit cursor. I mean: start playback… marker will be inserted at the play position. But start playback then set edit curosr (with a click) and the marker will be inserted at the cursor position. IOW, play position is used as insert position, until you set the edit cursor. When you restart playback, the play positon is the hot positon again.

But in my example, I’m editing ahead of the playback and, as editing requires setting the edit cursor, the marker will always (for me) go to the current cursor position, not the current playback position. So in my example, I will always have to zoom out and hunt for the playback bar then click the mouse near there before inserting the marker.

But in my example, I’m editing ahead of the playback and, as editing requires setting the edit cursor, the marker will always (for me) go to the current cursor position, not the current playback position. So in my example, I will always have to zoom out and hunt for the playback bar then click the mouse near there before inserting the marker.

No, you can simply insert the marker before setting the edit cursor ahead.

Philippe

Ok, I’m afraid you’ve lost me. Does setting the edit cursor mean something other than clicking somewhere in the timeline after pressing play?

Yes, just click on the waveform. If you click in the time line, playback restart from there.

Then I can’t “simply insert the marker before setting the edit cursor ahead.” Please re-read my above workflow.

The workflow should be:

  1. “I see some section ahead that I want to check”. I don’t click yet.
  2. I insert a marker (key shortcut), at the song position
  3. Now I click where I want to check the audio ahead.
  4. I press a shortcut to start playback from the inserted marker.

That workflow is impossible for what I’m doing.

  1. The play head is playing (let’s say) 15 minutes behind where I’m currently editing.
  2. As I listen to the audio from 15 minutes ago, I’m actively replacing breaths and silences with room tone in the section I’m zoomed in to. Remember, this is 15 minutes ahead of the part I’m listening to. (Audio book, not song. These files are on average 3 hours long.)
  3. All this time, I’ve been moving the cursor because you have to move the cursor in order to select an area to replace with room tone.
  4. At some point, I see something that I’m not sure if I should replace with room tone. Now and only now do I see this. Not directly after pushing play. The file has been playing this whole time. I have not stopped it for (let’s say) 35 minutes. I’ve been replacing room tone this whole time, clicking the waveform because there is no way to highlight a section without clicking the waveform.
  5. I want to preview this point. So I need to place a marker on the play position, which is 15 minutes ago. But now, if I insert a marker, it will go to wherever I last highlighted a section and replaced with room tone. Not the play position, 15 minutes in the past and WAY off the screen I’m currently looking at.

Now do you see why what you’re suggesting is impossible for my workflow?

I was speaking about WaveLab 8, not WaveLab 7.
In WaveLab 8 there is the possibility to start playback from the previous marker of the file, with a single shortcut. Hence if you insert such a cue marker, each time before editing ahead with the mouse, that makes markees you can jump back to. You see?

I’m sorry, I promise I’m not trying to be difficult, but I still don’t see.

I see that I can place a marker before I hit play, and that (assuming I haven’t placed any more of these types of markers), I can jump back to the point where I hit play.

I see that I can place such a marker where I’m currently editing.

But I don’t see how I can place such a marker where the current play position is, when I’ve been making hundreds of edits way way ahead of the play position since I last hit play long long ago.

I believe I understand what you’re saying, but I still don’t think it applies to what I’m talking about. Please bear with me. I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and chalk it up to my lack of understanding. Can you copy/paste my above 1-5 work flow and replace my way with the way you’re describing?

BTW, I purchased Wavelab 8 yesterday and will perform the upgrade as soon as I finish my current audiobook.

But I don’t see how I can place such a marker where the current play position is, when I’ve been making hundreds of edits way way ahead of the play position since I last hit play long long ago.

What I propose is that you create the marker before you start editing (while playback occurs). After you have finished one edit, you instruct playback to jump to the marker. When you need editing again, you do the same procedure: insert a marker, then edit.

What I propose is that you create the marker before you start editing (while playback occurs). After you have finished one edit, you instruct playback to jump to the marker. When you need editing again, you do the same procedure: insert a marker, then edit.

I guess here is where I’m not following you: If I hit play, then create a marker, I am effectively making a marker wherever the play position happens to be at this point. Which would be great if I could still place a maker at current play position after making edits. Because I’m ALWAYS going to be making edits before I know where I need to stop. I need to go back to wherever the play head happens to be when I notice a waveform bit up ahead that may or may not need replacing with room tone. In the time between pressing play and now, I’ve made dozens or hundreds of edits and there is no way to know where to place the maker until after making all these edits.

So again:

  1. I press play.
  2. I begin replacing silence and breaths with room tone, gradually getting farther and farther ahead of the play head. I’m manually scrolling the wave form with my mousewheel. Very quickly, the play head is no longer on the screen. It’s to the left of my current view.
  3. So far, the edits are going great. I’m getting farther and farther ahead of the current play position. As I edit visually, I monitor the play head aurally, hearing the edits I made in the recent past. Suddenly, I visually see an isolated peak in the waveform after a sentence. It could be a click or a mouth noise. But it could also be the end of a word. Perhaps it’s a “T” or “ED” or “ING” word ending. I want to listen to it before I replace it with room tone. But if I press stop, the play head will jump to my current cursor and I will lose my current play position. At this point, I can hear you saying, “That’s why you must make the marker before you start editing.” But this is literally impossible because I don’t know where I need to preview until I encounter it visually. And my task is replacing breaths and silences with room tone. So when I do finally spot a place I need to preview (remember the play head has been playing nonstop this whole time), I’ve made lots of edits and there is no way I can not make these edits in advance (unless you are proposing time travel).

So what I currently have to do is first make a marker at the current edit point. To avoid confusion, we’ll name this marker “Bob.” (And remember, dozens or hundreds of edit points lie between my current cursor position on screen and the current play position off to the left somewhere.) Then I zoom out and make a marker near the still-moving play head. We’ll call this marker “Tom.” Then I hit stop. I move the cursor to marker Bob. I play from there. Lo and behold, the isolated peak in the waveform turns out to be an undesirable mouth noise. So I replace it with room tone. I zoom out again and find marker Tom. I put my cursor there and delete that marker. Goodbye, Tom. I hit play. I put my cursor back on Bob, delete him, and continue replacing breaths and silence with room tone.

At this point, it may be helpful for a third party to jump in and either explain to me what I’m not understanding or explain to you what you’re not understanding. Because we keep repeating ourselves.

I guess here is where I’m not following you: If I hit play, then create a marker, I am effectively making a marker where play started.

No! The marker is inserted at the current playback position, not where playback started.

No! The marker is inserted at the current playback position, not where playback started.

Unless I’ve made edits after playing and before making the marker, which in my workflow, will ALWAYS be the case.

I debated whether or not that bit would muddy the issue . I had opted to keep it. In retrospect, I decided to edit it to avoid confusion.

Unless I’ve made edits after playing and before making the marker, which in my workflow, will ALWAYS be the case.

No. In WaveLab 8, when you choose to restart playback from the last inserted marker (after making your edits), then you can insert a marker at the current song position again.

In WaveLab 8, when you choose to restart playback from the last inserted marker (after making your edits), then you can insert a marker at the current song position again.

So, that means in Wavelab 8, there is a way to insert a marker at the current playback position even though the current cursor position is elsewhere?