With Cubase 12, a new feature has been introduced, called Smooth Waveform Drawing.
It is basically an anti-aliasing that is applied to the waveform edges to make it look smoother.
It is enabled by toggling Interpolate Audio Waveforms under Preferences.
Unfortunately, it did not come without a few issues.
Step 0 :
- Go in Preferences > Event Display > Audio and enable Interpolate Audio Waveforms.
- Set the Lower Zone Editor Display Mode to Show Clips and Events.
- The Editor can have any tab active except VariAudio. The bug won’t occur if the VariAudio tab is opened.
- Switch back to the MixConsole tab so the Editor isn’t displayed.
Smooth Waveform Drawing causes graphical and performance issues in the Lower Zone Audio Editor
- Have a rather long Audio Event and split it in two or more events with the Split Tool.
- Double-click on one of the events to display it in the Lower Zone Editor.
- In the Editor, notice the waveform has lost its smooth state. (Note that the waveform may eventually seem smooth in first place but if you proceed through the zooming step below, it will be pixelated. Alternatively you can select another event and the waveform should become pixelated right away)
- Zoom anywhere in the trimmed (grayed out) parts with Ctrl+Wheel, or with the Zoom slider, or by clicking the Ruler and dragging up or down.
- Result : The Editor refreshes at a very low frame-rate.
- Now (still in the Editor) click anywhere on the waveform with the Selection Range tool.
- Result : The waveform becomes smooth again, and there is no performance issue when zooming over the trimmed parts.
- Now (still in the Editor) select a part of the waveform with the Selection Range tool.
- Click outside of the selection but keep holding the click (without moving your mouse).
- Result : The part that was selected loses its smooth state as long as you hold the click, and will turn back smooth when you release it.
- Now in the project window, select another Audio Event.
- Result : The waveform in the Editor loses its smooth state again.
- Now in the Editor, while the waveform is pixelated, select a part of the waveform with the Selection Range tool, but while doing so, keep holding the click.
- Result : The waveform under the pointer turns back smooth as long as you hold the click during the selection, and stays smooth even if you go backwards. When you release the click, the whole waveform will turn back smooth.
- Now start from a point where the waveform is smooth and the bug not occurring. Should already be the case if you follow the steps properly.
- Grab the Lower Zone separator and slowly resize it.
- Result : The waveform rapidly switches between smooth and pixelated state, and when you’re done resizing the Editor, the waveform won’t be in the smooth state anymore. (Note that the waveform may eventually seem smooth when you’re done resizing the window but if you proceed through the first zooming step, the bug will still be active and the waveform will turn pixelated)
Additional experiment 1 :
- Start from a point where the bug is occurring (pixelated waveform).
- Set the Clip Display Mode to Show All Clips.
- Select all the Event on the track (two or more).
- Zoom anywhere with Ctrl+Wheel, or with the Zoom slider, or by clicking the Ruler and dragging up or down.
- Result : Enjoy the extreme stuttering. Click anywhere on the waveform to stop the bug and the performance will back to normal.
Additional experiment 2 :
- Disable Interpolate Audio Waveforms.
- Notice the waveforms are no longer smooth but that’s normal since it is disabled.
- Select the Event you previously trimmed to display it in the Lower zone Editor.
- Zoom anywhere in the trimmed parts with Ctrl+Wheel, or with the Zoom slider, or by clicking the Ruler and dragging up or down.
- Result : There is no performance issue when zooming over the trimmed parts, even though the waveform is pixelated.
The new Smooth Waveform Drawing isn’t stable in the Lower Zone Audio Editor.
Under certain circumstances, the displayed waveform can temporarily revert to a pixelated state, and when it is stuck in that particular state, after selecting another Audio Event or resizing the Lower Zone for example, zooming over trimmed parts of the Audio Event produces severe frame-rate drops.
The issue does not occur in the external Editor. It is only related to the Lower Zone Editor.
Additionally when the Editor is in the glitched state, and when what is displayed in the Editor is only a trimmed part of the waveform, the graphical performance of the whole DAW is getting impacted, as demonstrated by the following video. Actually, the more trimmed part is displayed and the more you zoom in and the larger it is beyond the screen limits, the worse the performance will be :
Silence lines are thicker :
- Select some audio with the Range Selection tool.
- Make it a Silence with Audio > Processing > Silence.
- Toggle Interpolate Audio Waveforms and compare.
- Result : The silence is displayed thicker when it is enabled.
A fix for this one is planned for 12.0.30, but I’m still posting it here, so all the issues related to Smooth Waveform Drawing are gathered in a single place.
MAC users cannot disable it :
This may or may not be an issue, please MAC users, confirm if this is true or not
- Disable Interpolate Audio Waveforms.
- Result : The waveforms are still displayed smooth and silence lines are thicker.