Smooth Waveform Drawing : graphical and performance issues in Lower Zone Editor

Hi,

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.
  • Enable Interpolate Audio Waveforms.

Smooth Waveform Drawing causes graphical and performance issues in the Lower Zone Audio Editor

  • In the project window, trim some of the start or the end of an rather long Audio Event with the handles in the bottom corners.
  • Double-click on the trimmed Event to open the Lower Zone Editor.
  • In the Editor, notice the waveform has lost its smooth state.
  • Zoom anywhere in the trimmed parts with Ctrl+Wheel.
  • 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 this time keep holding the click.
  • 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 click anywhere on the waveform with the Selection Range tool to make it smooth again.
  • 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.

Additional experiment :

  • 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.
  • Result : There is no performance issue when zooming over the trimmed parts.

Summary :

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.


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.
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