Replacing Audio File with Shorter File

I often have an album of 10-12 clips where the audio files need to be replaced in all clips, due to remixes, and especially instrumentals and tv tracks. I do this by duplicating the original track(s) (so I can see the original file sync) and manually replacing all the audio files. Oftentimes the replacement files are shorter or longer due to different lead-in or lead-out. Usually the clips have volume envelope moves. When I do this with a longer new file, it’s ok. The volume envelopes dont move, and I can slide the audio source in the clip to line up with the original. But if the new file is shorter, the clip shrinks and the volume envelopes move. The various clip lock functions have no effect on this. I wanted to ask if this behavior could be changed. I’d like the clip to stay exactly as it is, so I can slide the audio to where it should be, and not have to move all the volume points, or clip edges.

Possibly the only way to do this is to add empty crosshatched space at the end of the source when it’s inserted?

I don’t see any benefit in having it as it is, because the envelope points always move.

I’ve attached a screenshot of an extreme example of the way it is now. Original track on top, duplicate track with replacement files on the bottom (first replacement file is longer, second is shorter). Usually the shorter file difference is much much less than this, but even so the volume points usually move enough to be a problem, and the file can’t be slid until the left clip edge is pulled in. It’s a bad example because the replacement files are not musically related at all, but I did it quickly as an illustration of the envelope point movement.
Replace Audio File - Copy.PNG
Also, I think it has been asked before, but it would be great if there was a way to do all the replacements at one time in one window, possibly a two-pane window with source files on the left, and clips on the right, dragging the source files to the appropriate clips.

Yes, certainly room for improvement when it comes to Replace Audio File…

When I’m doing instrumentals, I just make sure that the original files (just before they are imported to Wavelab) have the same sync/timing but I also see how the ability to edit this without distributing the volume automation would be good for some users.

There are times when the instrumental version, or radio edit version is just a shorter file and then you see the crosshairs.

More importantly, I think there could really be a “batch replace audio files…” so that when you have an approved master, and need to make the instrumental version by doing (Save As…), you don’t have to replace each clip one at at time. I’ve gotten fast at it but “batch replace audio files…” would be a welcomed feature. Especially with my recent issue of Wavelab defaulting to the documents folder nearly every time I do “replace audio files…” or other tasks that require the WL browser.

What would be even better is if it was intelligent. Let’s say you have these current file names in a montage:

Song 01
Song 02
Song 03

and you tell “batch replace audio files…” to replace Song 01 with Song 01 [Instrumental]

It would be great if WL was intelligent enough to suggest Song 02 is replaced by Song 02 [Instrumental] and Song 03 is replaced by Song 03 [Instrumental] and further down the line.

I think this is a must for the next WL update.

I do see benefit, for instance in production of commercials or other radio work. I sometimes have to fit the same voice-over in a smaller timeframe, and in that case the clip and its resized envelope will fit like a glove when the file is replaced by the shorter time stretched version.

When you open a montage and some audio files are missing, you are able to choose new files. If a new file is too short, the clip size remain unchanged, and the end is displayed as crosshatched (silence).
Is this what you want?

But even time-stretched scenarios are not done consistently. They’re also half wrong, like my remix/alt mixes file replacements are half wrong.

When a file is replaced in a clip by a shorter time-stretched file, the clip and envelope are shrunk. But when a file is replaced in a clip by a longer time-stretched file, the clip and envelope are left exactly as is. That’s not right. There should be consistency to that, and the clip and envelope should be stretched for a longer time-stretched file. So I would think that should be changed also.

Yes similar to that. As long as the clips and envelopes stay exactly as they are.

I think there should be a global option or button to keep the clips and envelopes exactly as they are when replacing sound files, regardless of the difference in the new sound file lengths.

With the opposite option being to shrink and stretch the clips and envelopes to accomodate Arjan’s time-stretched type usage.

For the way I work, this is perfect.

Judging from this thread:

the shrink and stretch part of this request should probably include “auto shift clips on the right” option. Possibly depending on the status of the “auto shift” button (?). Currently, inserting a shorter file in a clip shrinks the clip but does not auto shift clips on the right. For this part of the request (not my original unchanging “locked” clip request, which I still need, and don’t want auto shift on) auto shift would be needed for both shorter and longer replacements if it was desired to shrink or stretch the clip.