tricks for eliminating pops on ID starts in montage

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Re: tricks for eliminating pops on ID starts in montage

Post by Justin P » Thu Aug 22, 2019 4:38 pm

Yes, I'm aware that sample rate change during render isn't a factor but I put that in there more for Bob99. Because I prefer the sound of RX or Saracon, and I want to rule out the chance of anything going wrong on gapless renders, I never take a chance with SRC running live even though it seems neutral in this case.

I just took some real-life gapless WAVs of a continuous jazz album that I mastered and tested them out. In iTunes, one of the transitions did indeed have a glitch, but not all of them. Most were OK.

Then I tested in J River Media Center which I trust more than VLC or iTunes. I'm not anti-Apple or iTunes, but I don't use it for QC work.

In J River Media Center which I consider a more prosumer media player, there were no glitches between tracks. I made sure it was set to "gapless" mode and not doing any crossfading.

Then I loaded the WAVs into a new REAPER session and ensured there was no space between the items, or auto-crossfades. Just butted up back to back like in a WaveLab montage test session.

Again, in REAPER, I didn't get any pops when playing from one item to the next.

I think we're talking past each other a bit here on some points so I have to stop investing time right now but I think for the most part, the situation is safe.

The bottom line is if you render the files you intend to use for distribution, and then put them in a new montage to test, and don't hear an issue in the new montage on playback, or if you render again a full file to simulate gapless listening and there are no ticks, then I think there are really no ticks and it's the best you can do.

Attached are two screen shots (close and far) of one of the transitions shown in REAPER.
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Re: tricks for eliminating pops on ID starts in montage

Post by bob99 » Fri Aug 23, 2019 5:30 am

kywoman wrote:
Thu Aug 22, 2019 4:02 pm
Yup, having that sine wav shown above cut to zero at end of 2, or jump up from zero at beginning (3), as on individually sliced files, is where the issue arises, and why the click appears on the files in a spectral view.
kywoman I'm confused. Are you saying that in your renders the last sample and first sample are at 0 ? That's not what I get in Wavelab 9 even with SRC (I know src is not an issue with you, but that's the only way I've been able to get this "tick" to happen with wav files). Could you post a screen shot of the renders butted together in a Wavelab montage showing the last sample of the outgoing track and first sample of the incoming track in waveform view?

This was my screenshot of the renders doing that in Wavelab 9.5 with SRC. The samples aren't perfectly correct, but the first and last samples are not at 0.
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Track render Sine Wavelab 9.5 SRC.PNG
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However I did the same thing in Wavelab 8.5 with crystal SRC and I do get the incoming first sample at 0 (which is totally wrong), and it definitely ticks.
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Track render Sine Wavelab 8.5 SRC.PNG
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Are your renders actually showing the first or last sample at 0, like that 8.5 pic ?

I think it's important to differentiate between running playback from silence into a file whose first sample is not at 0 vs. having the first sample in the file actually being at 0, like in the 8.5 pic.
Last edited by bob99 on Fri Aug 23, 2019 7:18 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: tricks for eliminating pops on ID starts in montage

Post by bob99 » Fri Aug 23, 2019 6:01 am

Here's a closer shot of the 9.5 renders with src. The samples aren't perfect, but they're not at 0 .
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Re: tricks for eliminating pops on ID starts in montage

Post by PG » Fri Aug 23, 2019 6:43 am

I still get the pop introduced when rendering individual tracks from this new file.
The problem is not a bug but a side effect of audio processing. That is, when a clip is rendered individually, the DMG filter is starting from a discontinuity point, ie. from "no audio" to "audio". But this plugin has latency, which means it needs previous samples to work optimally, that is to produce sample T it needs to know samples T-1, T-2, T-...
When you render the file as a whole, no problem.
When you use this kind of plugin, the only way to have a no click production, is to render the whole montage and then do the split, when there is no more a plugin involved.

It's on my todo list in the future, to have WaveLab does it automatically like this: when rendering a single clip, WaveLab would start to render eg. 2 seconds before the clip, but would then discard the 2 first seconds of samples in the resulting file.
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Re: tricks for eliminating pops on ID starts in montage

Post by Justin P » Fri Aug 23, 2019 11:49 am

PG wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 6:43 am
I still get the pop introduced when rendering individual tracks from this new file.
The problem is not a bug but a side effect of audio processing. That is, when a clip is rendered individually, the DMG filter is starting from a discontinuity point, ie. from "no audio" to "audio". But this plugin has latency, which means it needs previous samples to work optimally, that is to produce sample T it needs to know samples T-1, T-2, T-...
When you render the file as a whole, no problem.
When you use this kind of plugin, the only way to have a no click production, is to render the whole montage and then do the split, when there is no more a plugin involved.

It's on my todo list in the future, to have WaveLab does it automatically like this: when rendering a single clip, WaveLab would start to render eg. 2 seconds before the clip, but would then discard the 2 first seconds of samples in the resulting file.
Thanks for the info. Yes, because of this, I always render the whole montage first as one long file to accurately lock in all the plugin processing, and kywoman is doing this as well. It's the only way I know of right now to safely avoid glitches when eventually rendering a WAV of each track without any FX running live.

The problem is that even with this workflow, kywoman appears to eventually be getting WAVs that are not seamless when rendering a WAV of each track with no effects or SRC happening.

I've been testing my recent seamless WAV master files and while I do see something in the first 10ms in a spectral view, I do not hear any ticks or pops when I line the files up back to back in a montage, in REAPER, or listen in J River Media Center to test them out.

It's listening in iTunes and VLC that has triggered kywoman's concern about the WAVs having a tick when playing from one song to the next (instead of a smooth transition that was in WaveLab) but I personally do not trust iTunes to playback perfectly anymore. It used to. I tested my WAVs in iTunes and some transitions were fine, some not, and my previous tests have produced erratic results when repeated, meaning not the same each time.

I have even rendered a new test WAV of the full project using the rendered WAVs of each track to better analyze those transition points and the new test render doesn't reveal any ticks or pops at the transition point which is good.

Anyway, wondering if PG can comment on the state of rendering seamless WAV files when no FX are involved similar to my workflow. I actually run a dither live in the montage output and that doesn't cause a problem. It seems to be more CPU heavy plugins that cause this.
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Re: tricks for eliminating pops on ID starts in montage

Post by bob99 » Fri Aug 23, 2019 3:36 pm

PG wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 6:43 am
I still get the pop introduced when rendering individual tracks from this new file.
The problem is not a bug but a side effect of audio processing. That is, when a clip is rendered individually, the DMG filter is starting from a discontinuity point, ie. from "no audio" to "audio". But this plugin has latency, which means it needs previous samples to work optimally, that is to produce sample T it needs to know samples T-1, T-2, T-...
Yes PG, but from my understanding kywoman is getting this with no plugins, no processing, no SRC. I thought that's what Justin confirmed from the files and montages he got.

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Re: tricks for eliminating pops on ID starts in montage

Post by Justin P » Fri Aug 23, 2019 4:48 pm

I'm still ruling out iTunes as a usable test platform. And here's why:

An album I mastered recently just came out today and I was reminded how much it tested my gapless master practices. Every song segues into the next, it's meant to be a montage of listening to AM radio in the middle of the night while driving. Very creative album.

Here is the link for reference to what I'm about to say below:
https://music.apple.com/us/album/pre-su ... 1465907821

Anyway, I remember meticulously inspecting all the master formats to verify no issues between tracks with the master WAVs. The DDP was of course OK too. Nearly every song overlaps in a fairly music section so this is a great test case.

I just checked the album on Apple Music via my phone, streaming from 4G, as well as Apple Music, Spotify, and TIDAL on my studio Mac connected to Internet. All the transitions are perfectly in tact. No clicks, no ticks, nothing. Just smooth transitions.

Then, I took the master WAVs that I provided to the client and played them in iTunes. Then there were problems.

But, the problems were not repeatable. Some transitions were OK, some were not, and some of the big ones went away or sounded different upon repeated playbacks. This confirms that iTunes is not great at playing gapless local WAV files which may seem surprising but I believe it to be true.

J River Media Center has played eveything I've tested perfectly as expected time after time.

So what I think kywoman is experiencing is iTunes induced glitches, and the fact that the starts of each file show something at the start/end in the spectrogram is causing kywoman to think there is a problem with the files which I can understand, but from what I understand, is normal. I'm tempted to chop some files in Pro Tools, export them, and see how the first 10ms looks in a spectrogram.

But I still feel confident that with my workflow that kywoman seems to be mirroring, there is no problem with the actual files and trying to make them behave in iTunes is a losing battle.
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Re: tricks for eliminating pops on ID starts in montage

Post by kywoman » Fri Aug 23, 2019 4:53 pm

bob99 wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 5:30 am
kywoman wrote:
Thu Aug 22, 2019 4:02 pm
Yup, having that sine wav shown above cut to zero at end of 2, or jump up from zero at beginning (3), as on individually sliced files, is where the issue arises, and why the click appears on the files in a spectral view.
kywoman I'm confused. Are you saying that in your renders the last sample and first sample are at 0 ? That's not what I get in Wavelab 9 even with SRC (I know src is not an issue with you, but that's the only way I've been able to get this "tick" to happen with wav files). Could you post a screen shot of the renders butted together in a Wavelab montage showing the last sample of the outgoing track and first sample of the incoming track in waveform view?

This was my screenshot of the renders doing that in Wavelab 9.5 with SRC. The samples aren't perfectly correct, but the first and last samples are not at 0.
-
Track render Sine Wavelab 9.5 SRC.PNG
-
However I did the same thing in Wavelab 8.5 with crystal SRC and I do get the incoming first sample at 0 (which is totally wrong), and it definitely ticks.
-
Track render Sine Wavelab 8.5 SRC.PNG
-
Are your renders actually showing the first or last sample at 0, like that 8.5 pic ?

I think it's important to differentiate between running playback from silence into a file whose first sample is not at 0 vs. having the first sample in the file actually being at 0, like in the 8.5 pic.
NO! I apologize, I definitely misspoke there. For the rendered tracks, the sine wav never cuts to zero or jump up from zero at the file edge. The waves start/end from/at non-zero values, there's no pull to 0 at end. The two screenshots I posted a few posts ago are correct, the bright orange ticks, and the wave crests in WL at sample level are the file edges. Sorry for the confusion there.

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Re: tricks for eliminating pops on ID starts in montage

Post by kywoman » Fri Aug 23, 2019 5:04 pm

bob99 wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 3:36 pm
PG wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 6:43 am
I still get the pop introduced when rendering individual tracks from this new file.
The problem is not a bug but a side effect of audio processing. That is, when a clip is rendered individually, the DMG filter is starting from a discontinuity point, ie. from "no audio" to "audio". But this plugin has latency, which means it needs previous samples to work optimally, that is to produce sample T it needs to know samples T-1, T-2, T-...
Yes PG, but from my understanding kywoman is getting this with no plugins, no processing, no SRC. I thought that's what Justin confirmed from the files and montages he got.
Exactly, bob99 is right. I experience this without no plugins, no processing, no SRC. My initial discovery was from a montage that came from a montage that had the DMG. BUT, I just made a new copy of that original montage with Limitless, and deleted that plugin, the only plugin. So it's a file directly from Reaper with markers converted to Splice Markers. I render tracks (wavs) at native SRC and native bit (48k/32F) no dither, no master section on. And the ticks are still introduced exactly like before. I tested at 44/16 as well. Therefore, I don't think Limitless (or any plugin) is the culprit for the ticks being introduced here, as the tick is introduced without any of the audio processing PG mentions.

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Re: tricks for eliminating pops on ID starts in montage

Post by Justin P » Fri Aug 23, 2019 5:06 pm

I just chopped up a test tone in Pro Tools and exported each clip as if it were a CD track.

It also shows as "something" in RX like the renders from WaveLab w/o any plugin processing.

I still stand strongly that it's an iTunes (and other consumer media players) induced playback problem as explained again a few posts up this morning.
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Re: tricks for eliminating pops on ID starts in montage

Post by kywoman » Fri Aug 23, 2019 6:01 pm

Justin P wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 4:48 pm
I'm still ruling out iTunes as a usable test platform...
OK, for the purposes of getting to the bottom of the tick, let's agree iTunes is flawed. Whether it's flawed or not, it's mostly a digression. Though important to note, I was in no way trying to talk past you. I really wanted to know how you would address this if this happened with one of your clients. But this was all a side topic, and I don't think it helps identify the cause to of the tick to spend much more time on iTunes.

The issue is that WL introduces a tick into CD Tracks. This is a fact - the tick is not there on the continuous file used to create the individual files, and then it appears after individual files after rendered, without any processing otherwise. The evidence is clearly shown, and it can be clearly heard. You confirmed this, and that's why I was genuinely confused and replied with "but you heard the click, and you see it (the loud value in a spectral view)." So given this tick is written into the files, how can one conclude there's "no problem with the actual files."

If I'm understanding correctly, the supporting evidence you're using to this claim, your own sessions and test tones, or involving iTunes, are secondary or even tertiary points. Why not place the individual tracks 2/3 from the problematic session I supplied to you in Reaper and J River? The whole purpose of my supplying the continuous wav and .mon was so you, a senior user, could confirm the issue yourself and have greater ability to test, offer insight, or further describe the issue to PG and others so that we can prevent the issue recurring to any user, however infrequent. I've already said this is a very infrequent problem, and that I've rendered individual tracks from concerts and other sources that have constant audio running through them for entire program/album. I've done this a lot of times without incident. For this issue, there'd be little point in me supplying examples of all the times it goes off without a hitch. The session I provided does indeed create the issue, so I don't see why that's not considered in your testing, and in concluding there's no problem with the actual files. To not do so is indeed talking past another.

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Re: tricks for eliminating pops on ID starts in montage

Post by Justin P » Fri Aug 23, 2019 6:18 pm

kywoman wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 6:01 pm
Justin P wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 4:48 pm
I'm still ruling out iTunes as a usable test platform...
OK, for the purposes of getting to the bottom of the tick, let's agree iTunes is flawed. Whether it's flawed or not, it's mostly a digression. Though important to note, I was in no way trying to talk past you. I really wanted to know how you would address this if this happened with one of your clients. But this was all a side topic, and I don't think it helps identify the cause to of the tick to spend much more time on iTunes.

The issue is that WL introduces a tick into CD Tracks. This is a fact - the tick is not there on the continuous file used to create the individual files, and then it appears after individual files after rendered, without any processing otherwise. The evidence is clearly shown, and it can be clearly heard. You confirmed this, and that's why I was genuinely confused and replied with "but you heard the click, and you see it (the loud value in a spectral view)." So given this tick is written into the files, how can one conclude there's "no problem with the actual files."

If I'm understanding correctly, the supporting evidence you're using to this claim, your own sessions and test tones, or involving iTunes, are secondary or even tertiary points. Why not place the individual tracks 2/3 from the problematic session I supplied to you in Reaper and J River? The whole purpose of my supplying the continuous wav and .mon was so you, a senior user, could confirm the issue yourself and have greater ability to test, offer insight, or further describe the issue to PG and others so that we can prevent the issue recurring to any user, however infrequent. I've already said this is a very infrequent problem, and that I've rendered individual tracks from concerts and other sources that have constant audio running through them for entire program/album. I've done this a lot of times without incident. For this issue, there'd be little point in me supplying examples of all the times it goes off without a hitch. The session I provided does indeed create the issue, so I don't see why that's not considered in your testing, and in concluding there's no problem with the actual files. To not do so is indeed talking past another.
I don't think WaveLab is putting ticks at the starts of files. I don't hear them in any rendered files when tested in REAPER, J River, or a new WaveLab montage. Only iTunes, but not in a repeatable manner.

What can be seen in the spectral editor at the starts and ends of files, also appears when exporting clips from Pro Tools. I don't think it's a WaveLab problem, or problem at all. I think it's a function of how the display works.

I will test your transition from 2 to 3 again in REAPER and J River, and perhaps render a new file of that transition to disclose if there is indeed a problem with the files, or if the problem is the player.
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Re: tricks for eliminating pops on ID starts in montage

Post by bob99 » Fri Aug 23, 2019 6:31 pm

PG wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 6:43 am
It's on my todo list in the future, to have WaveLab does it automatically like this: when rendering a single clip, WaveLab would start to render eg. 2 seconds before the clip, but would then discard the 2 first seconds of samples in the resulting file.
That would be great PG. I don't render from continuous audio to regions/tracks with processing/plugins except dither, but that should take care of any issues with doing it with plugins or processing I would think.
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Re: tricks for eliminating pops on ID starts in montage

Post by Justin P » Fri Aug 23, 2019 6:37 pm

I just tested some files from kywoman that were rendered correctly from WaveLab (by kywoman), by putting them in REAPER on a single track, lined up back to back with no space (or crossfades) as they should be, and there are no ticks or glitches between the files/tracks when played back. It's perfectly seamless, in my opinion. I then rendered a full WAV of this as proof that there are no issues.

Can we agree that if the files are lined up back to back (as they will be presented to the streaming services) in any software, and there isn't a tick at the end or start of the files, then there isn't really a tick there?

A full render of this mock up should put an end to it I would assume right?

I will DM the file to kywoman now.
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Re: tricks for eliminating pops on ID starts in montage

Post by bob99 » Fri Aug 23, 2019 10:25 pm

Justin P wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 4:48 pm

Then, I took the master WAVs that I provided to the client and played them in iTunes. Then there were problems.

But, the problems were not repeatable. Some transitions were OK, some were not, and some of the big ones went away or sounded different upon repeated playbacks. This confirms that iTunes is not great at playing gapless local WAV files which may seem surprising but I believe it to be true.

J River Media Center has played eveything I've tested perfectly as expected time after time.
This reminded me of an old post from the JRiver forum about how iTunes deals with gapless (lossy but most likely lossless also).

It goes from file header information, but It also learns, and adjusts, and keeps adjusting if it finds it's not quite correct, and it saves that per song gapless information in that particular player library.

That's why it's changing. It's actually one of the more sophisticated gapless systems because of that the JRiver post surmised.

I'll dig that up and post a link. ymmv but I've had JRiver do worse than iTunes in a lot of cases.

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Re: tricks for eliminating pops on ID starts in montage

Post by Justin P » Fri Aug 23, 2019 10:43 pm

bob99 wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 10:25 pm
Justin P wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 4:48 pm

Then, I took the master WAVs that I provided to the client and played them in iTunes. Then there were problems.

But, the problems were not repeatable. Some transitions were OK, some were not, and some of the big ones went away or sounded different upon repeated playbacks. This confirms that iTunes is not great at playing gapless local WAV files which may seem surprising but I believe it to be true.

J River Media Center has played eveything I've tested perfectly as expected time after time.
This reminded me of an old post from the JRiver forum about how iTunes deals with gapless (lossy but most likely lossless also).

It goes from file header information, but It also learns, and adjusts, and keeps adjusting if it finds it's not quite correct, and it saves that per song gapless information in that particular player library.

That's why it's changing. It's actually one of the more sophisticated gapless systems because of that the JRiver post surmised.

I'll dig that up and post a link. ymmv but I've had JRiver do worse than iTunes in a lot of cases.
That's interesting, but would you agree that if I took the proposed master files, lined them up in REAPER (to rule out WaveLab influence) back to back and didn't get a click on playback, or on a fresh render of the entire thing as one file again to simulate playback and the clicks are not there, that they are not really there?
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Re: tricks for eliminating pops on ID starts in montage

Post by kywoman » Fri Aug 23, 2019 11:16 pm

Justin P wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 6:37 pm
Can we agree that if the files are lined up back to back (as they will be presented to the streaming services) in any software, and there isn't a tick at the end or start of the files, then there isn't really a tick there?
Sure! But that's not what's already been established in this discussion. You say "in any software." There are already two major playback apps that will reproduce the tick, either from start or when playing the full album (of individual tracks). Given streaming services don't have to disclose what apps they use for playback, I'm certainly not comfortable telling a client that the tick will not be heard on Spotify et al.

You seem to completely discount or disregard that ticks can be be heard in a couple of apps, and when viewed spectrally, there's all the markings of the same sort of discontinuous tick (sharp transient high volume almost like the spike created by a wordclock error).
wrote:A full render of this mock up should put an end to it I would assume right?
¿Que? This doesn't jive with earlier findings that, I would have thought, made this not much of a conclusive finding:
kywoman wrote:
Thu Aug 22, 2019 2:04 am
Here's an interesting (at least to me) finding:
If rendering the album as a single file, ticks do not get introduced, even if that render is entirely from individual wavs that have the ticks in them at the individual track file starts/ends!

At the risk of sounding like being on a loop, it’s ONLY when rendering into individual tracks that the ticks appear.
...
It makes sense to me that when playing the tracks back to back in Wavelab, and indeed, when rendered as a single composite of all tracks, there's no click, because there's no discontinuity there, as shown in the above pic at the sample level - the waves are cresting, but it's just a regular old sine wave with no space between the samples/tracks.
I've always maintained that this doesn't occur in a long render. I don't know why it doesn't happen in a continuous render. The above is the best explanation I've got as to why single continuous waveforms don't show it. But that should make it pretty clear why a full render of the mockup doesn't put an end to it. It's just rehashing what's already been established, and not getting at the fact that rendering the individual tracks that the ticks appear.

But it isn't just my finding. Indeed, you wrote the same thing as the post immediately proceeding:
Justin P wrote:
Thu Aug 22, 2019 4:12 am
And even weirder is if you render a NEW full WAV from these questionable WAVs, there doesn't appear to be any little noise! So weird.
So no, I don't think one should assume that a full render of this mock up should "put an end to it." It's odd to me that the same procedure and outcome will first support a position that something weird is happening and warrant further investigation, but later serve as some sort of Q.E.D.

At any rate...

This seems to be a question of gradation - different apps react differently to playing a track at certain non-zero values as the first data point of the sine wave. Note that this isn't some cherry-picked 'worse case scenario' here - just came across this in my usual workflow. I don't see any reason to think that the ticks couldn't be louder if the source material was different, but still reasonable conditions for a final production master. E.g., lots of digitally created sounds with sharp envelopes of low frequencies that could have waveforms that aren't as easy to reproduce from an actual acoustic instrument. This issue has arisen from time to time, and indeed, happened to me from time to time. But I am no wiser in knowing how fully address the ways to mitigate it, to say nothing of a clear roadmap in knowing how things will happen downstream should these circumstances present themselves. Given I'm in the business of making recordings sound as good as possible on as wide a variety of playback systems and conditions as possible, I don't feel I'm doing right by my client to just put this issue to sleep now. Instead, I'm hoping there will be more knowledge shared so we can all better understand the conditions that contribute to these occurrences and tools provided to address said conditions in successive WL iterations.

Here's my latest discovery:
When I initially listened in Reaper, I heard the tick, and it was of the same magnitude and character as heard in iTunes and VLC (and even JRiver if a user has the Switch Tracks value is set to 'Standard' gap 0.1s'). When Justin mentioned he didn't hear any tick in Reaper, I went back and found a possible explanation for why I did and he didn't. I had inadvertently set the playback rate of Reaper at .500 / half-speed. When at a slower speed, it's clear as day. But moving it to full speed, I couldn't detect it. I then tried at each interval of .9, .8., .7, .6, and the click became progressively easier to hear. So, I suspect that part of the issue here is that it these particular ticks may be below the threshold of detection. But regardless of what Weber would say, the fact that other conditions, as noted above, could produce a stronger transient is still cause for concern, or at least further discussion with PG and others.

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Re: tricks for eliminating pops on ID starts in montage

Post by Justin P » Fri Aug 23, 2019 11:47 pm

As an experiment you could take your first full render from your first WaveLab montage and load that long WAV into REAPER, Pro Tools, or your DAW of choice. Split the audio similar to where you'd put the CD markers, and export them as single files, as if they were the master WAV files for each track.

I have a strong feeling the results will be the same both with iTunes ability to consistently play them without a glitch, and you will likely still see that bit of something in the spectral editor at the very start.
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Re: tricks for eliminating pops on ID starts in montage

Post by bob99 » Sun Aug 25, 2019 9:19 pm

kywoman wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 11:16 pm
I'm hoping there will be more knowledge shared so we can all better understand the conditions that contribute to these occurrences and tools provided to address said conditions in successive WL iterations.
For this particular thing with wavs I think the best you can do is get as close to zero crossing as you can and then test in iTunes and Foobar2000 and jRiver, which I've always found to be really good with wav files on Windows. And also test in some really bad local playlist players like Spotify local files, Amazon local files, Microsoft Groove Player, VLC, and I'm sure there are many more. The bad ones not only will you get a click but also probably a 1/4 second gap.

And this doesn't even touch on how the files are going to be when lossy, but I think Spotify and Apple do a great job with their ogg and aac and their players for those, and Amazon does a great job with their mp3's (files) and computer app player, although their web player still can't play Dark Side of the Moon without 1/4 second gaps.

The spectrum view you've shown really threw me because I'd never seen it before. But as PG and Justin and now you say it's because of discontinuity with non-zero levels at the edges of files, discontinuities which are not there at all when the audio is continued in a full render, and are as perfect as possible in a waveform view in continuity to the next file.

There are lots of other players out there I haven't even tried and they're probably all different or in transition as people complain (or don't) about gapless. HQplayer, Roon (is Roon a player? I'm not even sure), Amarra, Music Bee, Tidal. I bet none of them are exactly the same (and even different on Android vs Windows, etc.) in how they treat "gapless".

btw, here's the jRiver / iTunes post I was talking about. It was referenced in the hydrogenaudio gapless article page. There's also a Wikipedia gapless article page.

https://yabb.jriver.com/interact/index. ... #msg322589
Last edited by bob99 on Sun Aug 25, 2019 9:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: tricks for eliminating pops on ID starts in montage

Post by Justin P » Sun Aug 25, 2019 9:54 pm

bob99 wrote:
Sun Aug 25, 2019 9:19 pm
The spectrum view you've shown really threw me because I'd never seen it before. But as PG and Justin and now you say it's because of discontinuity with non-zero levels at the edges of files, discontinuities which are not there at all when the audio is continued in a full render, and are as perfect as possible in a waveform view in continuity to the next file.
Same here. I had never zoomed in so close to the start of a gapless/continuous WAV before to notice this, and I can see why seeing it might confirm the belief there is an actual click in the file but I am quite certain there isn't.

When I lined the files up in WaveLab montage, REAPER, and played them in J River, all was good.

I even took a test tone, split it up in Pro Tools, exported (not bounced) a new file from each separate clip and in RX and WaveLab spectral view, it looked just like the rendered files from WaveLab.

I always closely test files, especially for gapless releases and I just don't think there is a WaveLab induced problem here.

There certainly can be when plugins are involved, or Resampler but that is why I avoid that with my workflow and all is good.
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Re: tricks for eliminating pops on ID starts in montage

Post by kywoman » Mon Aug 26, 2019 3:26 am

Justin P wrote:
Sun Aug 25, 2019 9:54 pm
bob99 wrote:
Sun Aug 25, 2019 9:19 pm
The spectrum view you've shown really threw me because I'd never seen it before. But as PG and Justin and now you say it's because of discontinuity with non-zero levels at the edges of files, discontinuities which are not there at all when the audio is continued in a full render, and are as perfect as possible in a waveform view in continuity to the next file.
Same here. I had never zoomed in so close to the start of a gapless/continuous WAV before to notice this, and I can see why seeing it might confirm the belief there is an actual click in the file but I am quite certain there isn't.
I don't get the impression bob99 and JP are saying the same thing, but maybe I'm mistaken. I've addressed, to the best of my knowledge, a hypothesis why a continuous render would not induce a pop, but a track starting at a non-zero point would. Either way, JP is quite certain there isn't an issue. I disagree. I've said my piece. In short, I hear a tick, including in Reaper under certain conditions, and I see a discontinuity. If there's no tick, I sure am curious why there is a loud bit of energy in spectral view, a sharp change in the waveform from zero at sample level, and an audible tick in multiple players and DAWs, albeit the latter under a slowed condition. At the end of the day, either WL10 helps out with new and/or expanded features that may assist in zero crossings as suggested earlier, or it doesn't. The conversation may be useful if turning attention to such features, but otherwise, I don't see how we're not going to get any further debating the existence of the tick. Hopefully addressing the item below is the last I'll say about it, or at least the reasoning used, which is somewhat confusing to me.
Justin P wrote:
Sun Aug 25, 2019 9:54 pm
I always closely test files, especially for gapless releases and I just don't think there is a WaveLab induced problem here.
To be clear, I never said this is something that might be exclusive to WL, and I certainly have said that most of the time the workflow results in tick-free individual track wavs when audio runs throughout track to track. I don't see how restating that a workflow works fine addresses this relatively unique occurrence in a specific session. I can say, in good faith, there was no tick in the original files the client sent to me, or when played back individually (and, not surprisingly, they start at silence), and yet when worked through in the WL montage, a tick does happen. Given this, it seems like an awfully big burden of proof to say WL did NOT induce the problem here. Could PT, or Reaper, or any other one have resulted in the same outcome? Maybe, though I'd need to recreate this session in the respective DAW to know. But that's not what you are saying.

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Re: tricks for eliminating pops on ID starts in montage

Post by bob99 » Mon Aug 26, 2019 7:07 am

kywoman wrote:
Mon Aug 26, 2019 3:26 am
If there's no tick, I sure am curious why there is a loud bit of energy in spectral view, a sharp change in the waveform from zero at sample level, and an audible tick in multiple players and DAWs, albeit the latter under a slowed condition.
My take on the spectral view is that it's an unfortunate visualization of what is going to happen in single play of that single file, not considering the audio in the file that precedes it in the playlist and the file that follows it. I know it's the same in the Izotope and Wavelab spectrums but I can't imagine that it means anything useful in cases of continuous audio between aligned files.
Like stairsteps in a waveform that were modified in many programs after many complaints, I'm not sure this type of visualization shouldn't be reexamined.

When I test this with sine waves split not at zero crossing, I get exactly the same colorful vertical line in the spectrum at start and end of the single file, but waveform view shows perfect continuity if the files are butted together. Is that not what you're seeing in the waveform view in Wavelab?

In waveform view of the renders, do the samples look different than the original waveforms when butted together, or in your case is there a line drawn from zero, as if the first or last sample actually is at zero?

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Re: tricks for eliminating pops on ID starts in montage

Post by bob99 » Mon Aug 26, 2019 8:12 am

kywoman wrote:
Mon Aug 26, 2019 3:26 am
and I see a discontinuity. If there's no tick, I sure am curious why there is a loud bit of energy in spectral view, a sharp change in the waveform from zero at sample level, and an audible tick in multiple players and DAWs, albeit the latter under a slowed condition.
OK, now I see what you're talking about in the waveform, but it still doesn't change my point. If you open the render audiofile in the Wavelab "audiofile workspace" (as it used to be called), it has that disturbing line drawn to zero at the end. But if you load the file as a clip in the montage (as I always do), it doesn't.

So in that case, I'd say leave the spectrum views like they are, because that and the "audio file open" waveform view are examining a single audio file in isolation and are depicting what happens when bounded by silence on both ends (a click happens). So they are equally unhelpful when examining continuous audio that happens to be split into separate tracks/clips. If a click happens and it's not in the original, the click should be visible in the rendered clip waveform view to call it a mistake in the render. If a click happens and it's not visible in the original or the render, I'd call it a playback issue in whatever's playing it back. That's why they have to keep tweaking these players, and why all the players are so different. Because they're not doing it right. (and even possibly other daws like reaper playback at slower than normal speed not being quite "perfect"). I don't know why it's so difficult for so many players to get gapless playback right, at least with wav files, but apparently it is.

The spectrum views and audio file waveform views don't mean there's anything wrong with the renders, or that a click or anything else is being introduced in the renders. They are just unfortunate predictive visualizations of what will happen if the single file is played in or out of silence, not played as intended, with the preceding and the following continuous track files.

That disturbing dive to zero or brightly colored vertical "click" doesn't (actually "shouldn't) even happen when the files are played back to back. That's not something that's "in" the files. It's something that's entirely based on the next sample that will be played after the end of the file, and in those views that sample is assumed to be zero. That's why I think those visualizations are in a way "faulty" and misleading in cases like this. (when examining for continuous gapless playback).

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Re: tricks for eliminating pops on ID starts in montage

Post by kywoman » Mon Aug 26, 2019 9:38 pm

It happens to everyone now and then I guess. I was ready to post a reply, had to login (timed out I guess), and upon returning, the reply was no longer there, and what I had copied wasn't there either. Previously I've been able to rescue the text (and I almost always copy to clipboard before a post for this very reason), but this time no such luck. That puts a reply unlikely till next weekend, unfortunately. In short - what you propose, bob99, seems plausible WRT spectral view, but disagree on it I used that to segue into ways to help prevent the tick, while addressing your posts along the way. Thanks for your contribution, my silence here isn't for not wanting to participate. Pretty annoyed I just lost 30+ min on this!

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