Question about clip gains and signal flow in Montage

I’m gradually getting deeper into WL Pro, using it to do more, so I have some questions.

I can adjust a clip’s gain, gain either in the gain envelope (My least favourite option) or in the clips tool window - which shows Pre Gain and Post Gain
What’s the difference between changing gain in the clip envelope rather than the clip list?
Why does metanormaliser operate in the pre clip rather than envelope?
Is pre and post related to Clip plug ins?

I like to use nudge to adjust clip gain, but it seems only to work on envelope gain in the montage.
Can it be set to nudge gain in the Clips Tool Window?
Also, the minimum nudge I seem to be able to set is 1dB. 1dB is too coarse. I’d like .5dB steps if at all possible. I cannot seem to set this in my prefs.

How does the signal flow in the montage from the clips through to output, in what order through gain envelopes fx etc

If I’m starting an album, I always get my clip gain set where I want it first. I usually do this by ear, with half an eye on my VUs
(Maybe I’ll try using metanormalizer )
Very often, step 1 is turn all the mixes down about 5 or more dB!
Can I select all clips and reduce gain NOT IN THE ENVELOPE but in the Clip Tool window all by the same amount in one go?
For instance, In Protools I’d select all clips, then use the nudge clip gain keyboard shortcut to reduce all clips by the same appropriate amount

Thanks all


Pre And Post Clip Gain setting in the Clip Tab are related to the plugin chain, not the envelope. I use the Meta Normalizer first to quickly change the Pre-Clip gains of each song to my desired starting point level. I like the setting that gets the loudest part of each song hitting the same LUFS, and then fine tune from there.

The Clip Envelope is pre Clip FX by default, but in the Envelope Ribbon Tab you can change it to post Clip FX if you prefer that. I tend to only use the Volume/Gain Envelope for automating the level, but not really changing the overall level unless it’s late in the game and I just want to send a bit more level into the Clip FX rather than using the values in the Clip Tab.

I think at one point I suggested finer nudge options such at 0.25 or 0.50 dB but I don’t think that ever happened.

You can’t apply the same clip gain to all clips in one command, but you can quickly copy/paste gain values in the Clip Tab. I find that I only want to do this when working with alternate versions of the same mix (instrumental, TV mix, etc.) or maybe stems so their relationships stay the same, but for getting a new EP or album stereo mastering session set up, the Meta Normalizer is great for getting all the songs to FEEL the same loudness. I like the attached settings using the “Top Of Loudness Range”. Rather than using an integrated LUFS level, this makes it so the loudest moment of a song such as the 3rd chorus or bridge or ending is set to the same level. I find that to be more natural.


Clip Tab Gain Pre FX Level
Clip Envelope (is Pre Clip FX by default unless you change it to post)
Clip FX/Plugins
Clip Tab Gain Post FX Level
Montage Track Section
Montage Output Section
Global Master Section


Thank you, that’s all clear now.

Maybe I should get better acquainted with the meta normaliser.
I’m not a fan really of the envelope either.
I’d quite like an option to turn off envelope adjustment in the montage unless adding a modifier key - 'cos 99.9% of the time if I’m at the front of the clip I want to adjust a fade, not the level.

PG - I’d love to be able to adjust all clips in the Clip tab in one go. Select all and manually set a fixed value, or nudge them all up or down by the specified nudge amount. (Which ideally would be in .5dB increments)


When I first started using WaveLab I didn’t really pay attention to the Meta Normalizer, seemed like a gimmick or headache. That was a mistake.

Now that I’m doing more projects 100% in the box, I love it. It provides you with a GREAT starting point for mastering. Assuming it’s a normal or not totally crazy album, within a couple seconds, you can set all the songs to be pretty close to the same average loudness and so that the loudest section of each song is hitting the same. This means that once you find a Clip FX chain that works for one song, it might be very close to working for the rest of the songs as far as your dynamics settings and gain staging goes.

To take it one step further, my handful of Clip FX plugin chain starting points are created based on this level so within a few seconds, I’m already in the ballpark of where I like to be and then I can of course fine tune by ear as needed, but the Meta Normalizer is a major time saver.

The best part is that it’s totally non-destructive inside the montage too. No damage, no extra files, just very clean workflow.

And while I haven’t totally migrated my analog I/O workflow to WaveLab yet, it can also work well for setting all the songs to roughly the same level before they feed into your analog mastering chain. Something I do in REAPER.

I agree that 1/10th dB nudge increments would be more useful for mastering.

I also wish would could define one clip as the “master” clip, run the Meta Normalizer and have the master clip be set to the level, and the rest of the clips changed by the same amount. This would be quite handy for my library music client where I’m mastering a handful of versions of the same song. We base the mastering chain off the main version, and the rest of the alt versions get the same treatment. As for now, I just have to rapid fire copy/paste the main version clip gain to all the others. I’ve gotten fast at it but a native solution would be best.

This is from a few years ago, but I assume it is basically the same in WL10:


Signal Flow in the Audio Montage

  1. The audio samples are read.
  2. Clip envelope (unless post-effects mode is active)
  3. Clip effects
  4. Clip envelope (if post-effects mode is active)
  5. Clip pan
  6. Individual clip gain (Clips window)
  7. Clips are mixed into the track slot (for example, overlapping clips).
  8. Track effects
  9. Track level settings/surround pan
  10. Each track is mixed into a bus that has as many channels as defined by the audio properties of the audio montage (between 1 to 8).
  11. The audio channels are processed through the plug-ins of the master output.
  12. The channels are sent to the Master Section input.

Signal Flow in the Master Section

  1. Channels/sample rate can change at each plug-in slot.
  2. Master Section meters
  3. Final Effects/Dithering pane in the Master Section
  4. Playback Processing pane
  5. Independent meters
  6. Speaker gain for playback
  7. Playback or file format rendering

I personally duplicate the clip in question, then “Replace Audio” on the duplicate with the new file.

But yes, I am 100% on board with the Meta Normalizer thanks to Justin. It gets everything in the ballpark, and any other level adjustments I do on the transfer console or other processing. It’s wonderful to have one less cognitive roadblock while working.