WaveLab 5 -> 6: Why do waveforms suddenly look clipped?

Dear forum,

I’ve wondered about this for a long time:

When WaveLab 6 was released, waveforms that looked perfectly fine in WaveLab 5 suddenly looked awfully clipped in the succeeding version. Please see attached image for screenshot comparisons (vertical zoom settings are the same in both examples - fully zoomed out).

Does anybody know the reason why? IMO, the visual utility of waveforms was pretty much lost when this happened.

How does WaveLab Pro 9.5 look in this respect?


Right click the scale on the left side of the windows and set it for db. I think the Wavelab 5 scale viewed from 0 db to about -50 db initially. The Wavelab 6 scale probably goes from 0 to minus infinity or -200 db initially, like Wavelab 9 does. I think that’s probably the main reason the waveforms would look different: they’re covering different level ranges, and the wider range will possibly look more compressed because it covers a much wider level range in the same vertical space.

Although there might also be additional differences in the scaling besides that, that seems the most likely thing to cause a difference to me.


Thanks for the input! I checked the dB scales in the different versions, and they’re the same (0 to -96.3).

It just occurred to me that in WaveLab 5 > Preferences > Display, there is a section called Waveform display containing two options: 1) Favour accuracy (peak detection) and 2) Favour speed.

With reference to my screenshot example, option (1) renders the «WaveLab 6-style» waveform while option (2) results in the «WaveLab 5-style» waveform.

I cannot find a similar section in WaveLab 6, though. Any information on this would be greatly appreciated!

I think that option is long gone. But you’re absolutely right, Favour Speed is what does it, and it’s pretty incredible really. I took a typical modern loud cd rip, turned on Favour Speed, and you could actually see all the different sections of a song for easy navigation for editing, whereas before it was nearly impossible to see anything like that. Even if it’s not accurate it’s incredibly cool. And even though people would be told to mix and master to look like that in the first place on an accurate waveform, that’s often not the case at all. Maybe you should Feature Request an option in the Wavelab 9 subforum.

One thing I couldn’t do in Wavelab 5 with either setting is drill down to view 24 bit dither at -120 db at all. 16 bit dither at -80 db I could just barely see the thinnest line when fully blown up. In newer Wavelab you can blow up the waveform to easily see either of those. I often need to do that.

It’s a shame that the option was dropped. Favour Speed is indeed a very handy feature, as you point out. I’ll definitely file a request for its resurrection. Thanks for the tip!

Limited zoom: Yes, this is a notable downside of earlier versions. I agree.