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Platform-Independent Documentation
The documentation applies to the operating systems Windows and macOS.
Help System
There are several ways of accessing the help system. The documentation is available online and you can download most of it in PDF format from steinberg.help.
In our documentation, we use typographical and markup elements to structure information.
Key Commands
Many of the default key commands, also known as keyboard shortcuts, use modifier keys, some of which are different depending on the operating system.
Before you start working, you need to make some settings.
Connecting the Equipment
Your system setup depends on many different factors, for example, the kind of project that you want to create, the external equipment that you want to use, or the computer hardware available to you.
Audio Cards and Background Playback
When you activate playback or recording in WaveLab LE, other applications cannot access the audio card. Likewise, if another application uses the audio card, WaveLab LE is unable to play back.
Latency is the delay between when audio is sent from the program and when you actually hear it. While a very low latency can be crucial in a real-time DAW application such as Steinberg Nuendo or Cubase, this is not strictly the case with WaveLab LE.
The ASIO-Guard allows you to pre-process all channels as well as VST plug-ins. This causes fewer dropouts and allows you to process more tracks or plug-ins.
Defining Audio Connections
To be able to play back and record audio in WaveLab LE, you must specify how the internal input and output channels in WaveLab LE are connected to your sound card and which device you intend to use for audio playback and recording.
Remote Devices
You can use Steinberg remote devices to remote-control WaveLab LE.
This chapter describes general concepts that you will use when working with WaveLab LE. Getting accustomed with these procedures allows you to work more effectively with the program.
General Editing Rules
The common editing operations apply to any Steinberg product.
Startup Dialog
When WaveLab LE starts, the Startup dialog opens, where you can select which file you want to open.
Basic Window Handling
WaveLab LE follows the basic guidelines for the Windows/macOS interface, which means that Windows/macOS standard procedures apply.
Selecting Audio
Almost all types of editing and processing that you perform in WaveLab LE operate on the audio selection. There are numerous ways to make an audio selection.
At various places in WaveLab LE, slider controls are available to change parameters. There are a number of ways to change the value of a slider.
Renaming Items in Tables
You can rename items in tables in the Markers window, and in the Clips window.
Peak Files
A peak file (extension .gpk) is automatically created by WaveLab LE each time an audio file is modified or opened in WaveLab LE for the first time. The peak file contains information about the waveform and determines how it is drawn in the wave window or the montage window.
Processing Precision
WaveLab LE can load audio samples in many formats but processes them internally as 64-bit float samples.
Resetting Default Answers
In WaveLab LE, you can set some dialogs and warning messages to Do not show again. If you want to show these dialogs and messages again, you must reset the default answers.
The Workspace window provides an editing and playback environment for each particular file type. Each environment contains functions that are tailored to the specific purpose of each file type.
Audio Editor
The Audio Editor provides tools and functions for sample-accurate audio editing.
Audio Montage
In the Audio Montage, you assemble audio clips into a montage. You can arrange, edit, and play back clips on both stereo or mono tracks.
RSS Feed Editor
In the RSS Feed Editor, you assemble, define, and publish your RSS feed to the Internet.
File Tab
The File tab is the control center of WaveLab LE. Here, you can save, open, render, import, and export files. It also gives you detailed information about your files and allows you to set up the WaveLab LE preferences.
Info Tab
The Info tab provides information about the active file and allows you to edit the audio properties of audio files and audio montages.
Tool Windows
Throughout WaveLab LE there are various tool windows available that allow you to view, analyze, and edit the active file.
Slide-Out Windows
Slide-out windows are hidden in the frame of the Workspace window. When you hover the mouse pointer over the window name, the window slides out. It is hidden again, when you click anywhere else.
Docking and Undocking Tool Windows
Tool windows can be used as docked windows, as floating windows, or as a slide-out window. You can freely drag around the windows and dock them at various locations.
Command Bar
The command bar of file windows allows you to create, open, and save files, and undo/redo changes. You can also use the text field to quickly find and access open files, and to trigger keywords.
Status Bar
The status bar at the bottom of the screen of the Audio Editor and the Audio Montage window shows information about the active window using the units specified in the rulers.
Context Menus
Throughout WaveLab LE, various context menus are available. These menus group the commands and/or options that are specific to the active window.
Time Ruler and Level Ruler
In the Audio Editor, you can display a time and a level ruler in the wave window. In the Audio Montage window, you can display a time ruler in the montage window.
Managing Tabs
A tab is a container for a file in WaveLab LE. You can open several tabs, but only one can be active at a time. The Tabs context menu offer tab related options.
Activating Full Screen Mode
You can use WaveLab LE in full screen mode.
Resetting the Default Workspace Layout
In WaveLab LE, you can handle files in various ways. For example, rename files from within WaveLab LE or save files in various ways.
Opening Files
You can open one or several files at the same time.
Closing Files
You can close files by closing the file tabs. You can close a single file, multiple files or all files but the selected file.
Saving Files
You can save files under the same name and location or specify a new name, location, and file format when saving.
Deleting Files
You can delete the active file from within WaveLab LE.
File Renaming
You can rename a file and update all references automatically. For example, if you rename an audio file named India to Sitar, all open files that reference the file India are updated to reference the file as Sitar.
File Browser
The File Browser window allows you to browse files from within WaveLab LE. The Auto Play Mode is useful for speeding up the process of auditioning sound files.
Switching Between Files
You can have multiple files open and switch between them.
Recently Used Files
All files that you have recently used in WaveLab LE are saved in a list. This helps you to gain fast access to recent projects.
Temporary Files
WaveLab LE creates temporary files to store intermediary results of the audio file processing and for the undo/redo functions. You can specify where WaveLab LE saves its temporary files and the processing precision of temporary files.
Undoing and Redoing
You can undo and redo as many operations as you like, even after saving the file. The only limitation is the available hard disk space.
Value Editing
At various places in the program, numerical values can be edited by using a combination of text fields and knobs.
Drag Operations
WaveLab LE makes much use of drag-and-drop techniques to perform various operations, some of which can only be performed this way. These are referred to as drag operations in this documentation.
Zooming in the Workspace Window
You can zoom in the Workspace window according to the standard zoom techniques.
You can create presets to save commonly used settings. WaveLab LE provides a selection of factory presets that can be used by most dialogs.
Work Folders vs. Document Folders
WaveLab LE distinguishes between two types of folders: work folders and document folders.
Copying Audio Information to the Clipboard
You can copy information about the name and location of the selected audio file, including any selection information and cursor position. This information can be pasted into an external text application.
Setting the Focus on the Current File
If you are editing inside a floating window or a tool window and you want to switch the focus back to a wave/montage window, you can use the Set Focus on Current File option.
This chapter describes the methods for controlling playback and transport functions.
Transport Bar
With this command bar you can control playback of an audio file or audio montage, navigate between various positions in an audio file or audio montage, and open the Recording dialog.
Starting Playback From the Time Ruler
You can use the time ruler to jump to a position and start playback from there.
Playing Back Focused Audio Channels
During playback, you can switch between playing back the left/right, mid/side, channel clusters of multichannel audio files, or both audio channels.
Playback Scrubbing
Playback scrubbing helps you find a specific position in an audio file by restarting playback repeatedly when you click and drag on the time ruler during playback or when using the Play tool.
Scroll During Playback
You can determine how the view should be scrolled in Play mode.
Playback in the Audio Montage Window
Playback in the Audio Montage window works the same way as in the Audio Editor. However, there are some things to note.
Audio file editing refers to opening, editing, and saving audio files.
Wave Window
The wave window in the Audio Editor displays audio files graphically. Here, you view, play back, and edit individual audio files.
Audio Editor Tabs
The tabs in the Audio Editor give you access to the tools and options you need to edit audio files.
File Handling in the Audio Editor
This section describes the principal editing operations within the Audio Editor.
Mixing Down – Audio Files Rendering
You can render regions of an audio files or whole audio files to a single audio file.
Changing the Audio Properties
You can change the sample rate and bit depth of audio files.
Metadata consists of attributes that describe the audio contents, for example, the title of the track, the author, or the recording date of the track. Depending on the file format of the selected audio file, this data varies.
Silence Generator Dialog
This dialog allows you to insert silence in an audio file.
WaveLab LE provides you with a 3D Frequency Analysis for analyzing your audio.
3D Frequency Analysis
Using the 3D Frequency Analysis, you can view an audio file in the frequency domain.
Offline processes are useful for a variety of editing purposes and creative effects, for example, if the computer is too slow for real-time processing or if the editing requires more than one pass.
Process Tab
The Process tab provides access to the offline processing tools.
Applying Processing
Processing can be applied to a selection or to a whole file. For some operations processing the entire file is necessary.
Gain Dialog
In this dialog, you can apply a gain to change the level of an audio file.
Level Normalizer Dialog
In this dialog, you can change the peak level of an audio file.
Envelope Dialog
In this dialog, you can create a level envelope which can be applied to a selected range or a whole audio file. This is useful if you want to even-out loud and quiet parts or create a sophisticated fade in or fade out, for example.
Fades in Audio Files
A fade in is a gradual increase in level and a fade out is a gradual decrease in level.
A crossfade is a gradual fade between two sounds, where one is faded in and the other faded out. You can automatically create a crossfade when pasting an audio section into another.
Phase Inverting
Inverting the phase turns the signal upside down. The most common use for this function is to fix a stereo recording if one of the channels has been recorded out of phase with the other.
Reversing Audio
You can reverse an audio file or a part of an audio file as if playing a tape backwards.
DC Offset
DC offset means that there is a too large DC (direct current) component in the signal. This most often occurs due to mismatches between various types of recording equipment.
You can change the sample rate of a recording. This is useful if the file that you want to use in an audio system was recorded at a sample rate that this system does not support.
The audio montage is a multitrack non-destructive editing environment that allows you to arrange, edit, play back, and record audio clips.
Montage Window
The montage window is where you assemble your audio montage. This is where you view, play back, and edit audio montages.
Audio Montage Tabs
The tabs in the Audio Montage window give you access to the tools and options you need for editing audio montages. For example, you can edit the envelope curves and fades in clips, make zoom settings, analyze the audio, and render the audio montage.
Signal Path in the Audio Montage
The audio signal passes through the various sections of WaveLab LE in a certain way.
Creating Audio Montages
You can create new, empty audio montages with custom audio montage properties.
Audio Montage Duplicates
You can duplicate audio montages in various ways. This allows you to quickly create new audio montages using the same properties and audio files as previously created audio montages.
Audio Montage Properties
In the Audio Montage Properties, you can define the sample rate of the audio montage.
Import Options for Audio Montages
You can import audio files and Audio CD tracks into your audio montage.
Broken Audio File References
An audio montage consists of references to one or multiple audio files. These references can be broken if you move audio files to another location on your hard disk, for example. WaveLab LE detects broken references and allows you to specify new file locations or replace the missing audio file with another audio file.
Assembling the Audio Montage
You assemble your audio montage by adding tracks and clips.
Clip Editing
All clips are displayed in the Clips window. In this window, you can edit and rearrange clips and drag them into the audio montage.
Managing Source Files of Clips
You can edit files that are used in the current audio montage in the Audio Editor.
Envelopes for Clips
For clips in the audio montage, you can create envelopes for volume and fades, and for panning.
Fades and Crossfades in Audio Montages
A fade in is a gradual increase in level and a fade out is a gradual decrease in level. A crossfade is a gradual fade between two sounds, where one is faded in and the other faded out.
Mixing Down – The Render Function
The Render function allows you to mix down the whole audio montage or a region of it to a single audio file.
Notes Window
This window allows you to enter notes about the current audio montage session.
Importing Audio CDs
You can import audio CD files. The imported audio CD opens as an audio montage.
You can record audio in the Audio Editor and in the Audio Montage window.
Recording in the Audio Editor
Before you start recording, set up the Recording dialog.
Dropping Markers During Recording
When you are recording, you can click the marker buttons to add markers to the recorded file.
The Master Section is the final block in the signal path before the audio is sent to the audio hardware, to an audio file, or to the audio meters. This is where you adjust the master levels and add effects.
Master Section Window
In this window, you can apply effect plug-ins, adjust the master level, and render the audio file or audio montage.
Bypassing the Master Section
By default, the Master Section is active. You can bypass it for each file individually or globally.
Rendering in the Master Section
By rendering the effects using the Render function in the Master Section, they become a permanent part of a file. So instead of performing all processing in real time during playback, you can save the audio output to a file on disk.
Master Section Presets
You can save all settings that are made in the Master Section as a preset and load the presets later.
Monitoring Background Tasks
When rendering, you can monitor the process, and pause or cancel tasks.
A dropout most likely occurs when your computer does not have the processing power to handle all used effect processors.
Markers allow you to save and name specific positions in a file. Markers are useful for editing and playback.
Marker Types
You can use different marker types to locate certain positions quickly.
Markers Window
In this window, you can create, edit, and use markers while working on an audio file or audio montage.
Creating Markers
You can create markers in the wave window and montage window in stop mode or during playback. You can create specific markers if you already know what you want to mark, or create generic markers.
Deleting Markers
Markers can be deleted in the wave window or the montage window, and in the Markers window.
Moving Markers
You can adjust marker positions in the wave window and in the montage window.
Navigating to Markers
You can jump to the previous or next marker using the corresponding marker buttons.
Hiding Markers of a Specific Type
For a better overview, you can hide marker types.
Converting the Type of a Single Marker
You can convert markers of a specific type to another type.
Renaming Markers
You can change the names of markers.
Selecting Markers
There are several ways to select markers.
Selecting the Audio Between Markers
You can select the audio between two adjacent markers or between any two markers. This allows you to select a section that has been marked.
Binding Markers to Clips in the Audio Montage
In the Audio Montage window, you can bind markers to clips. By doing this, the marker remains in the same position, relative to the clip start/end, even if the clip is moved or resized in the audio montage.
Looping a sound allows you to repeat a section of the sample indefinitely in order to create a sustain of unlimited length. Instrumental sounds in samplers rely on looping organ sounds, for example.
Creating Loops
You can loop the audio selection and tweak the loop during playback.
You can read audio tracks from regular CDs and save them as a digital copy in any audio format on your hard disk.
Import Audio CD Dialog
In this dialog, you can import one or more tracks from an audio CD.
Importing Audio CD Tracks
You can import audio from audio CDs into WaveLab LE projects.
Podcasting is a method of distributing multimedia files over the Internet, for example, for playback on mobile devices and personal computers. Podcasts are distributed via the RSS standard (Rich Site Summary).
RSS Feed Editor
The RSS Feed Editor is divided into several tabs. The Feed and Episodes sections show the information for the feed or an episode, depending on the item that is selected in the list below. This is where you can add files, Internet links, or textual information to the RSS feed and its episodes. The Main section shows an item list of the basic feed and all episodes that are included in the RSS feed.
Creating an RSS Feed
There are several ways to create a new RSS feed or episode.
Setting Up an FTP for RSS Feed Publishing
To be able to upload a RSS feeds to your FTP server, you must enter the FTP server details first.
Publishing RSS Feeds
You can upload an RSS feed from within WaveLab LE to your FTP server.
Checking If Publishing the RSS Feed Was Successful
After creating and publishing an RSS feed, you can check if the upload was successful.
Customizing means making settings so that the program behaves and looks the way that you want it to.
Customizing the Wave Window and the Montage Window
You can set up the wave/montage window by adjusting colors of waveforms, background, cursor lines, etc., and changing the look of the ruler and other window details.
Customizing Shortcuts
In WaveLab LE, you can control many functions via shortcuts to speed up your workflow. You can edit existing shortcuts and create new shortcuts.
Plug-in Organization
WaveLab LE comes with various plug-ins. You can exclude plug-ins from opening in WaveLab LE and add additional plug-ins.
Touch Bar (macOS only)
The Touch Bar at the top of your keyboard gives you shortcuts to the WaveLab LE functions. The Touch Bar changes automatically based on where you are in WaveLab LE and offers a subset of the available options. You can customize the Touch Bar according to your needs.
You can configure WaveLab LE according to your needs.
Global Preferences
Global Preferences are preferences that apply throughout WaveLab LE. Before you start working with WaveLab LE, it is recommended to edit these preferences according to your needs.
Audio Files Preferences
This dialog allows you to define settings for editing in the Audio Editor. However, these settings also affect other parts of WaveLab LE. You can choose defaults for editing and playback, adjust the visual appearance of the waveform displays, and determine how WaveLab LE works with audio and peak files.
Audio Montages Preferences
This dialog allows you to set up general parameters for all audio montages or for the active audio montage only.