Kind of automation...and signal flow


Just returning to Wavelab after many years. But I need some help in understand the signal flow regarding automated fades.

I understand that I can apply the various fade shapes to audio files and montage clips (or create my own custom fades). But what I would like to do is, for example, a fade out using the master gain section.

Otherwise would I be right in thinking that the audio file/clip that is fading out - is actually fading out into a master buss that is at full gain?

Advice much appreciated.

Best regards,


In the montage, the fades can only be drawn on the audio clips and not on the master section itself so the fades are before the global master section, montage output effects, and the montage track effects.

For an audio file in the Audio Editor, the fades are destructively applied to the source file and would also be before the master section processing.

In the montage, you have the choice of making the volume envelope settings (level and fades) happen before or after the inserted clip FX so this can help some situations but with either setting, the fades still happen before the global master section, montage output effects, and the montage track effects.

I’m hoping that WaveLab 10 can bring some other automation options so we can automate the parameters of a final limiter in the montage output effects or global master section throughout the timeline, or simply just the overall level throughout the timeline but for now, you can not do this.

Thanks very much for your reply.

It’s hard to understand why this has not been implemented. This means the master section is always at full gain even if the audio file/clip gain is at zero output. Doesn’t make sense for mastering purposes?

I must admit I’m somewhat disappointed. Wavelab 9 has so many great features that I have discovered already but this feature is key for me. Turning the Master buss gain to zero output should be a standard feature I would have thought?

Anyway I will really have to consider returning Wavelab now :cry: … I wonder if I can still do that if the box has been opened…



You may want to get some other opinions but that’s the way I see it regarding the fades and automation.

I also don’t have a problem with the master buss being set to 0dBFS. It’s not adding any noise if there is none at the source. Some people like to do fades post-limiter and pre-dither but with the way I work, the current setup doesn’t bother me. I would be lost without WaveLab and not able to work nearly as quickly and accurately.

Maybe some others can advise you how to make WaveLab work for you.

Thanks Justin.

I’m thinking that the master section would only be completely silent (not adding any noise) if the master section dithering was turned off?

(Which makes me wonder if dithering plugins are always on or only apply dithering when an actual audio signal is detected?)

It’s been a while since I tested it - but wouldn’t any dithering become audible if the master section was at at full gain but the incoming signal was very quiet or fading out?

Thanks again,


I use the auto-blanking setting in the included iZotope MBit Dither, and some other dither plugins also have auto-blanking feature. This usually means that if ~500ms of silence is detected, the dither noise is turned off.

Fading out dither noise itself could be counter-productive but you would have to talk to some extreme dither nerds to be certain of that. I would think any fading of the dither would instantly produce 32-bit float audio again and cancel out the original dither.

I just use the auto-blanking found in many modern dithers and this works well for me.

In principle, dither is at a fixed level regardless of the level of the signal being processed - it is only related to the LSB of the signal to be preserved. Also, to my mind, blanking out dither during absolute silence just highlights its presence on either side.


I agree. I’ve never used auto-blanking, but maybe most people do. I would imagine most people just use whatever the default is in their dither.

I’m also a little confused about the original request. I would only ever consider doing fades on clips because the versatile fade functions are really only built in to clips on any program I’ve seen. How would fades be done after track or master section sections ? Fading songs using full length track volume envelopes ?

I guess part of the request was pre or post volume envelope plugins in the clips themselves, but the other way I was reading it was post clip completely, as if fading after track or master section. Is there common usage that way in some other program? I’d be interested in knowing, and seeing how it worked.

Sorry if I’ve misunderstood.

Thanks for the replies. Really helpful.

I usually do my mastering in Cubase with any fade outs being automated at the Master buss level post all effects and limiting.

Thus my original request was really about how to achieve this in Wavelab. (Sorry forgot to mention Im also used to doing limiting automation, changing the limiter threshold through the track.

But to achieve a similar effecting Wavelab I would need to adjust the gain/volume envelope in each montage clip.)

Appreciate your input.



The master section IS completely silent unless you introduce processing into it - it’s al in the digital realm, so having the faders at 0 dB or -120 makes no difference. It’s only a stupid calculator. And, with Wavelab, there is no dithering in the master section if you don’t put it there.

Also, dithering in itself is only randomising the LSB of the samples, preventing a long sequence of either 1s or 0s. Many engineers use dither without any noise shaping (which doesn’t mean the result is therefor silent).

Yes, I think the master section is probably a non-issue for you. You probably should not do any audio processing after the dither and that includes fade outs/gain changes. You could even still do your initial mastering in Cubase and then bring the files over to WaveLab montage to sequence and finalize the album and properly render all your master file formats, which is really what WaveLab excels at and it’s an often overlooked part of the mastering process.

To me, that’s really the best part of WaveLab is the montage and sequencing/finalizing a project and rendering the myriad of master files a client might need and being sure all the metadata/CD-Text etc. is good to go.

These are things that DAWs like Cubase, Pro Tools, Logic etc. are just not designed to do.

Thank you all for taking the time to reply.

Much appreciated.