More Long Time Noob Questions: Montage Meta Normalizer

Second in a series of ‘noob’ questions.

BACKGROUND: I have -rarely- used Montages because I almost always worked on single WAV files. If I needed to audition files, I used the Basic CD. But I’m now working on BIG pieces (a 2 hour opera). It too is a series of discrete Cubase projects (WAVs) but those files are CONSTANTLY changing over time as the piece develops.


I desperately need a way to Loudness Match the component WAVs as the overall project changes and burn CDs of the work in progress. I can’t be screwing with opening each WAV, tweaking them individually, then burning them as Basic CDs. I need some way to AUTOMATE the process if possible… even though the component WAVs will be changing ALL THE TIME… including in terms of length.

So… is there a way to set up a Montage with CD Markers such that:

  1. It is ‘dynamic’… the component Clips ‘flex’… they automatically re-size. And they automatically update as the source WAVs are changed. How? As ‘noob’ as that probably just read, I need specific instructions… especially the part about making the markers expand/contract to fit the changing WAV boundaries.

  2. Can be ‘Loudness Meta-Normalized’ with just a few clicks. ie. can this process be turned into a ‘one-button’ job once the project is setup? OR can this be set to run automatically just before the CD Wizard runs?



As far as I know this is not possible. Probably easier to remove/replace the clips in the montage and redo CD Wizard.

You could try using Shift + M and press returm. The Meta Normalizer dialogue remembers the last used settings or you can use presets.

My wish is for a way to normalize audio clips using the clip gain envelope so that it’s easy to fine tune by ear after WaveLab does it’s mathematical normalization. Also, so that the normalization takes place before any clip effects.

It would be very useful for setting up mastering sessions in the montage. You could tell WaveLab to normalize all clips to -18 LUFS for example so that all dynamics and saturation treatments are at a reasonable starting point.

Bummer. But thanks.

I thought I read somewhere that markers could somehow ‘bind’ to clips and that gave me some hope that as the WAV file was regenerated the markers might ‘flex’ as well if they were ‘bound’ to the clip. (If that made sense.) Apparently not. To my mind that would be a very useful feature. PG?


Something like this might be a helpful feature.

Right now the only way I know of where you could import references to WAV files into a wavelab montage is to use a Nuendo/Wavelab combination, exporting/importing as AES31, using markers. This might get close to your workflow but of course you’d need Nuendo. For more info see: ‘Importing AES-31 files created in Nuendo’ in Wavelab manual.

Agree that would be helpful.

I found you could do this in the montage with scripting. If you resize the clips with scripting to artificially long lengths, the clips will shrink to the new longer source files, and the attached markers will follow (so that’s good). What I didn’t expect was that when scripting, the following clips will not ripple based on the montage ripple setting. So the following clips need to be moved by scripting, which might be difficult. I haven’t had time to pursue this further but I probably will eventually. You could possibly search for someone who’s discussed scripting here and ask if they would be willing to do this for you. Or you could look at the example scripts and available functions/commands and figure it out yourself. If I come up with anything usable I’ll post back. At this point I know very little about the scripting.

See the problem is… if yer doing an opera… or =any= theatre piece, yer constantly moving stuff around. Scenes are being added, dropped, resized, etc.

So I was -hoping- that Wavelab would behave a bit like a desktop publisher with ‘frames’ where each set of bound markers was like the frame in a publishing document. You know–where the frames automatically resize and the surrounding frames ‘flow’ and move dynamically left and right to fit as the component pieces change. So if a designer updates a picture ‘A’, the document automatically shifts left or right to adjust. Does that make sense? It seems like this might be something that anyone working on a theatre piece would want.

You know… all three of us. :wink:

What you seem to be describing is a reconforming tool common in post production circles. The usual suspects in that world include EdiLoad and Conformalizer. They are EDL based solutions. As far as I am aware, neither are designed to work with WL. Nuendo has a reconform feature … but I haven’t used Nuendo.

‘EDL’ ?

EDL = Edit Decision List

Obviously, there’s a whole world of software that has been around forever that solved this problem decades ago and I’m just a child and a moron who didn’t even know the right questions to ask. :smiley:

And perhaps WL isn’t even the right tool for this (sigh). If so, are there any open source or low cost tools in that space? OR even more basic, places you might suggest to start researching this workflow?

Or is the answer, “Sorry, pros expect to pay $$$$ for this sort of thing.”?

Thanks in advance.


PS to PG :smiley:
I’m in this middle ground… I create Cubase projects from which I generate scores for the musicians to play live, but then I re-purpose as songs for CDs and web, multi-media etc.

Since I’m just one guy and there are so many formats, it’s critical that everything be ‘version controlled’… ie. that I update the original song and then I have as little work to do as possible to make sure that the sheet music is properly updated, the audio formats are fresh, the CDs match, MP3s, etc. Some of the most -embarrassing- moments of my life have been people pointing out that the version they paid for on the CD didn’t match the version on the web site… or the version they were hearing at the live show.

Sorry for gassing on, but I used to be a computer programmer and as you know this sort of thing is so -normal- in computer programming and I see it all the time in desktop publishing. It’s driven me NUTS that Cubase and WL have never had it. I hope you’ll consider ‘reconformation’ or ‘dynamic clips’ for a future release.

Well, you can’t be an expert at everything man. I wouldn’t have a clue how to do even basic stuff on a Black Magic DaVinci Resolve system.

WL is an elegant and extremely powerful stereo editing and mastering solution.

In the world of audio post production, there are two or three common DAW applications. ProTo*ls and Nuendo, I think it would be fair to say, are the forefront there. It follows that a lot of the tools are developed to integrate with them.

For example, if you have to integrate sheet music in the workflow Sibelius is obviously likely to integrate well with PT since they are owned by the same company.

I don’t know exactly what it is that you specifically have to do, or how you are set up, but maybe you are looking at a combination of one or two applications to have an elegant solution. WL will be a part of that I expect.

As mentioned above an elegant solution is already there. It’s called Nuendo. You can do all the work in Nuendo, set up the material as required (as you would in Cubase), and then use markers to define CD tracks, and then export to a Wavelab audio montage using AES31. See the Wavelab manual for details. Using this technique, you would never need to edit the source audio in Wavelab, you do it all in Nuendo and Wavelab is just used to create an audio montage and burn the CD. Every time you update the Nuendo project you can just export to AES31 and create a new montage for burning the CD. No new wave files are required… the audio montage references to the exact same WAV files as used in the Nuendo project.

As mentioned, (please see post above) IMO Wavelab Pro 9 is the right tool for the job, but in combination with Nuendo. Disadvantage: this is not a low cost tool (but there may be an upgrade path).

Using a Nuendo/Wavelab combination the workflow would be:

  • Edit audio as required in Nuendo (probably using a mixdown to a single track to make things easy to export). BWF files are recommended.
  • Add markers named according to the format outlined in the Wavelab manual. (This is an option and not strictly necessary if the events are already arranged appropriately.The markers are used by Wavelab to automatically insert CD markers at the corresponding positions when the project is imported).
  • In Nuendo, export as an AES31 file, choosing the appropriate track(s) in the AES31 dialogue
  • In Wavelab, import the AES31 file. This opens directly as an audio montage with all the CD track markers you created in Nuendo already in place. Each event from the Nuendo track is now a clip in the audio montage. The audio montage references the exact same WAV files as those used by the Nuendo project.
  • Adjust the pauses and gaps (if required) using the CD wizard
  • Adjust to the required loudness using the Meta Normalizer
  • Burn the CD

This procedure is like adding Wavelab as a CD burning application to Nuendo. It’s an easy process and most of the work is done in Nuendo. You don’t have to export any new WAV files. Both applications are referencing the same WAV files, so the CD always matches the Nuendo project. Each time you change the original Nuendo project you just create a new AES31 file and import to a new audio montage in Wavelab. The Nuendo project file, the AES31 file and the Audio montage file could all use the same name, for easy control of different versions.

I’m not explaining this properly I guess.

All I want… (all I have EVER wanted)

…is that when the component clips (WAVs) change—like if I make a change to the song in Cubase, the Montage could ‘see’ this had happened and automatically update the bound markers so everything ‘flexes’ without having to ‘adjust’ -anything-.

I would just open the Montage and hit the Burn CD button and it would -know- that the component WAVs were new lengths but that the gaps between songs and ID info and so on were still the same.

(IN FACT… this is exactly the same feature I have asked for for like 10 years in the Basic CD). :slight_smile:

I’m CONSTANTLY revising songs as I compose… adding, deleting bits, then burning CDs and it drives me NUTS that WL doesn’t give me the option to automatically update the CD markers!

No, IMO you are explaining it very clearly.

However, Wavelab just isn’t set up like that and to be honest I can’t see them changing this any time soon, if ever. As I’m sure you know, clips are not only relevant to whole audio files marked by CD markers at the beginning and end. The clips are windows to the sound files and can use any portion of that file and can do a whole lot more. The design really is very sophisticated and complex. Changing / modifying this design to make CD markers somehow know when the source has changed and how it has changed is probably infinitely more complicated than might be expected. All just my opinion, of course.

Don’t take this personally. I’m being rhetorical… my comment is more for PG. (People sometimes get angry when I use their comments as a jumping off point.)

I do not think it would be -that- hard. I envision the programming flow as follows:

  1. When the Montage is opened, give the user an option ‘Re-generate CD Markers?’.

  2. The markers are deleted.

  3. All Clips are selected.

  4. The function in the CD Wizard which automatically generates the CD Markers from each Clip is called.

Et Voila.

The -only- tricky part is that the new Clips may be of different size (since the songs may have changed in length since the last time the Montage was opened). So WL needs to be able to re-scan for the change in WAV lengths and adjust accordingly, leaving the gaps as before between Clips.


I just noticed something in Wavelab 9 that makes this a lot easier than in Wavelab 8.5. The clip ends can be dragged to the right after the underlying source file is lengthened and saved. You couldn’t do that in Wavelab 8.5: the clip edge ends were locked.

So make an original montage, use the CD wizard to make the CD markers so that they’re bound to the start and ends of the clips. Turn on Track Ripple so that following clips will move to the right when you drag out the clip ends.

Then the next time, after you’ve modified the source files to be longer, drag the clip ends as far to the right as they’ll go (which will be end of file). The markers and the following gaps will follow.

Really not nearly as hard (or impossible) as it was in Wavelab 8.5.

But then I tried it again in Wavelab 8.5 and get the same thing. You can drag out the ends. All this time I thought this was the big problem and it’s not really a problem at all. It’s pretty quick and easy to do really.