Null testing (feature request)

How are you guys null testing in Wavelab?

The main way I would null test a montage compared to the rendered output is to first render my master files (DDP, WAV etc.) and then load them in to the montage on a new Wavelab track, of course lining them up perfectly and inverting the phase with the stereo tools plugin. Usually I make Save As… for the null test so I don’t mess up the real montage.

Then I move all my montage master plugins to all the track effect inserts of each track that was part of the original montage, so that my master rendered files do not pass through the montage master plugins again.

This can work sometimes, but lately I’ve found a few plugins that behave differently on montage master compared to track or clip. I also had one plugin that would only be active if you opened the GUI, so yes the null test would be correct accurate, but the bad thing is that the plugin wasn’t active on playback or rendering. Kind of a confusing mess I know.

***My idea is to be able to open a “Null Test Track” in the montage. It would be a track that does not go through the montage master or global master section. It would simply play in parallel to the final output stream of Wavelab which I think would give an easy option to null test masters. Something that I’m finding to be especially necessary in Wavelab because of so many 3rd party plugin quirks.

If a track like this existed in the montage, you could just load in your rendered files, align them with the existing files in the montage and do some null testing.

The null test track would need a phase inverse button or plugin slot to load Stereo Tools plugin to invert phase and do other adjustments if needed.


I’m surprised that nobody else would be interested in this feature request considering that mastering is basically the last step before replication, distribution, lacquer cutting etc.

I’ve had an incredible number of 3rd party plugin bugs over the years and regardless of whether it’s the fault of Wavelab or the plugin itself, I think a real quick and simple way to null test rendered files within the montage they came from would be very helpful. Right now it takes some tricks to do this and by doing these tricks, you can’t ensure the montage is the same as when you rendered it (i.e: moving montage master plugins to all the track masters).

The solution to this feature request is a special null test track that stays in perfect sync with the source files regardless of plugin latency, and the output goes directly to the same stereo output you normally use for Wavelab. Of course there would be a phase reverse button on the track (reversed by default?), but the idea is to play your rendered files along side the live montage they came from to test for issues that may otherwise be hard to notice.

Since most dither plugins generate random noise, you can’t have twice the same exact output.

That’s a lot of extra work.

I think that’s a great idea. I second that feature request.

I usually do null testing by making multiple temporary file (not “named” file) complete montage renders, running the “file comparison” function with delta file output, and determining the “sameness” from there. The advantage of that is you can look at a complete album delta (difference) file (which you can blow up) to easily zero in on areas with differences. It would probably not be practical in your case where you’re needing to compare to the master montage with plugins, but it’s very useful in some cases. So I second your feature request.

PG, strangely, I found the UV22 isn’t random, but is identical on multiple passes. But maybe that’s the exception. Usually even if the dither is different, null testing down to that level (the dither level) is of great use, and necessary.

I wouldn’t be concerned about the dither nulling or not. I agree with Bob that testing at least down to the dither is still a huge benefit.

My main concern is to test for plugins that are inserted but didn’t render, or other unexpected issues that cause the rendered files to differ from what you are hearing on playback.

If it’s not too hard to add, i think it would be a useful feature.