What is Peak files and Map Waveform?

Could someone please explain the following?
In the AUDIO MONTAGE / VIEW/ PEAKS section there is ‘Update Peak files’ and ‘Map Waveform to Level’.
I haven’t found any real-use explanation on these in the manual, forum, or on-line.
I’d appreciate any input on how these are used…

Painting a waveform on screen requires WaveLab to go through many samples. Let’s say there is a large 1 GB file to display. If WaveLab had to read the file bit by bit to show it, the painting time would be huge. Instead, WaveLab created once a “summary” of the samples, which requires much less memory and allows a lightning-fast display of the waveform.
This summary is called a “peak file”. It is normally maintained automatically by WaveLab. But if one is missing or is corrupted, it is still possible to recreate it with the command you mentioned.
All DAWs use peak files, but since there is no standard, there are as many peak file formats as DAWs.

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Regarding “Map Waveform to Level”: When you change the gain of a clip in a montage, either through the Volume/Fade Envelope, or by Pre-/Post-Gain setting in the “Clips” window, you get a preview of the applied gain to the waveform - so you can actually see a fade or whatever gain you apply to the clip. Mind though, that the gain settings for Tracks and Output are not considered for this feature. Without this feature active, the waveform is always displayed as the actual file is saved.

Thank you, both.
I opened the montage and clicked ‘Update Peak Files’ and it responded with ‘All files are up to date’.
So, I’m assuming that this is done automatically and it is something I shouldn’t be concerned with.
Is that correct?

One thing to note, though: the peak file is, by default, automatically generated when the clip is being displayed. If you open a big montage, some clips might not be displayed yet. Since building a peak file takes a bit of time, you might like to build them all at once with the function. In this way, you will not experiment any delay later.
This being said, this function was more useful in the “ancient times” when we had no fast SSDs. Today this has much less interest.

Thank you !!


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