Audio Waveform

An audio waveform is a graphical representation of sound vibrations as it moves over time.

Misha Tenenbaum avatar
Written by Misha Tenenbaum
Updated over a week ago

Audio Waveform

Visual example of what an audio waveform looks like in EditMentor.

An audio waveform is a graphical representation of sound vibrations as it moves over time—the larger the waveform, the louder the sound at the moment in the audio file.

In EditMentor, the audio waveform can be seen on every audio clip placed on the Timeline if the media file includes audio. No audio waveform will be shown if there is no audio present on a clip.

Using Audio Waveforms

Audio Waveforms provide a helpful visualization of the sound that can help editors in many ways:

Syncing Picture and Audio

On most production sets, audio is recorded separately from the picture. Editors will use the film slate to visually find the sync point where the slate claps, then review the separate, corresponding production audio file and listen for where the slate clap occurs to set a sync point that will be merged with the video. A faster way to find the slate clap in the audio file is to analyze the waveform and identify a sharp spike that occurs in the waveform at the point at which the slate claps.

Cutting Dialogue

Dialogue is a critical storytelling ingredient that the editor must choose what portions they wish to use to tell the story. You often want to avoid placing a dialogue edit in the middle of a word or sound, which could create a jarring auditory experience. The audio waveform allows you to visually identify where individual lines, words, and sounds start or stop allowing the editor to precisely time the edit.

Analyzing Levels

The editor needs to determine if the sound in the edit is playing at an appropriate volume. While there are other tools, such as the Audio Meter, for monitoring levels in real-time, the waveform can also give quick, objective visual insight into the overall loudness of the clip and whether adjustments are needed if possible.

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