What part of the waveform do I start on?
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Old 17-01-2018, 07:03 AM   #1
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What part of the waveform do I start on?

Okay so I know this is a super basic question, but I want to make sure I've been doing this right...

The first image is the sound totally zoomed out
The second is a bit more zoomed in, so you can see that I need to fill in that gap
The third and fourth is the same as the second except... I maxed the volume so that the waveform is more visible. Firstly... Is this a good technique to make sure I am perfectly aligned? Secondly, the 3rd has a purple curser where the waveform gets really loud (transient?), and the 4th is before: DO I SET THE BEGINNING OF THE WAVEFORM ON THE TRANSIENT, OR BEFORE?

Also is there a video you can recommend that explains this?

Thank you!







Last edited by Dhji; 17-01-2018 at 08:56 AM..

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Old 17-01-2018, 08:53 AM   #2
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Re: What part of the waveform do I start on?

The only hard and fast rule I follow when sampling (or trimming my samples) is to start and end at a zero crossing of the wave. If you start and the value of the wave is not zero, it can add additional clicking and harmonics that are not supposed to be there (unless you want that).

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Old 17-01-2018, 09:01 AM   #3
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Re: What part of the waveform do I start on?

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The only hard and fast rule I follow when sampling (or trimming my samples) is to start and end at a zero crossing of the wave. If you start and the value of the wave is not zero, it can add additional clicking and harmonics that are not supposed to be there (unless you want that).
Ah yes I remember reading about this somewhere. The problem is that when the volume is turned up (or maxed in this case), the zero moves. My logic behind doing this is that maybe zero isn't really zero, so if I turn the volume up, I can be sure where it is. Is this logic wrong and I should just keep the volume as is?

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Old 17-01-2018, 09:08 AM   #4
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Re: What part of the waveform do I start on?

Zero shouldn't move as amplitude is multiplicative.
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Old 17-01-2018, 12:23 PM   #5
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Re: What part of the waveform do I start on?

A couple of things.

- Most daws or sound editor have an option to align to 0-crossing. As Oatbag says, if you are aligned to 0-crossing, cranking up the volume won't make a difference.

- When working with stereo samples keep in mind that the 2 channels might have 0-crossing at two different places, so you might have some clicking on a channel.

- If you don't have a clearly identifieable 0-crossing, you can create one, most daws can apply very short fades.

- Do not just crank up the volume of a sample, use the normalise function to prevent clipping.


In your case, I would normalise the sample first (Audacity is a good free editor if you don't have one), then trim the sample at the beginning, slightly to the left of where the bar is on picture 3 or just before that little dip on picture 2.

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Old 18-01-2018, 01:01 AM   #6
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Re: What part of the waveform do I start on?

just a reminder that some sampling artists' groove is to be found in the imperfections around the edges of the samples - starts late, has a click, something happens at the end, could be serendipitous, not just annoying. I find waveforms distracting when it's a job for the ear.

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Old 18-01-2018, 02:19 AM   #7
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Re: What part of the waveform do I start on?

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Originally Posted by Automageddon View Post
A couple of things.

- Most daws or sound editor have an option to align to 0-crossing. As Oatbag says, if you are aligned to 0-crossing, cranking up the volume won't make a difference.

- When working with stereo samples keep in mind that the 2 channels might have 0-crossing at two different places, so you might have some clicking on a channel.

- If you don't have a clearly identifieable 0-crossing, you can create one, most daws can apply very short fades.

- Do not just crank up the volume of a sample, use the normalise function to prevent clipping.


In your case, I would normalise the sample first (Audacity is a good free editor if you don't have one), then trim the sample at the beginning, slightly to the left of where the bar is on picture 3 or just before that little dip on picture 2.
Thanks!

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Old 18-01-2018, 09:43 AM   #8
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Re: What part of the waveform do I start on?

Also, you can use an envelope function in many samplers and some also have cross-fading, all which can get around some of the artifacts of non-zero crossings in one channel. Consider conversion to mono or separating both channels into separate instances.

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Old 18-01-2018, 04:32 PM   #9
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Re: What part of the waveform do I start on?

Definitely if you are just working with a single sample in an audio editor, that exists on its own, with no relationship to anything, or may need to be used in some old piece of sampling kit: worry about zero crossings.

But working in a modern DAW? Nah! Total waste of time.

(Tools, Logic and Live that I know of at least) not such an issue as region fades are typically enabled by default. Sharp fader curve ensures sample regions always begin and end at zero.

Itís also highly unlikely if you are working in a multi track environment that youíre going to cause switch glitch (thatís what I call it at least) during playback. Typically there will be other tracks outputting some audio and your DAW is probably adding some noise whenever audio is active.

As for this sample in particular, use your ears. Looks like a 4 kick with some hats and snares, so start the sample from the rest immediately before the kick click. If youíre not sure, turn the metronome on and move the start point around until it syncs with the metronome click. Also, the beat a 1.2 looks about right.

Also, donít normalise your waveforms ever. Worst advice! Particularly if the sample is part of a set... youíre just killing the gain structure... pick an album with some really quiet and really loud songs. Normalise all tracks to -0.2dB. Then turn your stereo up really loud and listen to it from start to finish... good luck with that. It will be a shit experience but also a valuable lesson.

But if you enjoy it and decide to normalise, remember itís a destructive operation so save as. But dont normalise. (normies suck) The most likely result is youíll raise the noise floor if anything. That and youíre just adding another task or three later when you have to gain reduce via region gain > comp > channel fader... unless you normalise to -12 then youíre gangsta as fuck...
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Old 18-01-2018, 05:11 PM   #10
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Re: What part of the waveform do I start on?

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Originally Posted by Jaded View Post
worry about zero crossings.

But working in a modern DAW? Nah! Total waste of time.

(Tools, Logic and Live that I know of at least) not such an issue as region fades are typically enabled by default. Sharp fader curve ensures sample regions always begin and end at zero.

In my experience using Live's built in "default fades" can make a big negative difference.

If the sample has been cut very precisely, the default fade-in will often be too long, resulting in changing/dimming the attack part of the sample. With percussive sounds, what that means is, that you loose valuable transients and get a more "muffled sound", - like a badly adjusted compressor.

The auto fades are basically a lazy "fix all" tool for people who want quick results without putting in the hard work of editing their samples manually. Or perhaps something to use if you run out of time.

In any case, your results will suffer from it. Which is why, in my opinion, it's always better to turn off auto fades and edit samples yourself, - to your own taste.

Putting in the extra detail work is after all what will make your beats and sound-creations stand out, - while using automated functions will just make you sound like everyone else using the same thing (literally generic).

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Old 19-01-2018, 07:52 AM   #11
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Re: What part of the waveform do I start on?

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Originally Posted by Iyashi Sound View Post
The auto fades are basically a lazy "fix all" tool for people who want quick results without putting in the hard work of editing their samples manually. Or perhaps something to use if you run out of time.
Putting in the hard work to individually cut every blade of grass with a pair of scissors is idiotic when you're standing next to a lawnmower.

Being efficient does not equal laziness and putting in hard work that's not necessary is a waste of your time and you'd be better off spending the time required to open individual samples, manually locating a zero crossing, slicing the sample and saving to do something like - I don't know - putting the hard work in to making music perhaps.

Like I said, if you're using a sample on its own or in an old piece of sampling kit (like last century old) then you don't have a choice, you must cut at zero. But the chances of your 21st century audio interface or DAW's output ever being complete silence is less than zero - thus switch glitch is impossible.

Mute everything and turn the output to max amp and listen to the dither. It's literally the only reason dithering exists - to mitigate the switch glitch effect which occurs because when DA voltage goes from >0 to 0 this produces an audible pop.

Probably the only time you would hear it in this decade is if you cut the power to your audio interface before switching off your amp.

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Originally Posted by Iyashi Sound View Post
In any case, your results will suffer from it. Which is why, in my opinion, it's always better to turn off auto fades and edit samples yourself, - to your own taste.
I put it to you that it's psychological.

If you took a hundred samples, dropped them in a DAW with auto-fades enabled and bounced, then took the same samples and clipped at zero crossing and bounced. I'd wager if you did multiple blind A|B tests, your results would be completely random.

Your brain simply isn't capable of perceiving physical events with such precision - like you couldn't distinguish between a 24 (~41Hz) and 25 (~40Hz) fps video without checking its framerate... let alone something 4ms (~250Hz) or faster. I mean shit, most digital effects aren't capable of that level of precision (without buffering the audio and looking ahead).

And if your perception is so sensitive that you can detect variations of less than a Hz you wouldn't be posting on IDMf. You would be one of the most influential engineers on the planet and have TED talks and shit like that....

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Originally Posted by Iyashi Sound View Post
Putting in the extra detail work is after all what will make your beats and sound-creations stand out, - while using automated functions will just make you sound like everyone else using the same thing (literally generic).
The whole purpose of automating grunt work like this is to increase workflow efficiency by eliminating unnecessary, repetitive tasks (like cutting all samples at zero crossings).

If you like the process of opening files and manually slicing to zero crossing, that's cool. Enjoy yourself. Have fun. But it makes zero difference to your output in a modern digital audio environment.

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Old 19-01-2018, 07:53 AM   #12
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Re: What part of the waveform do I start on?

Like on Live, auto fades are between 1-4ms. You simply aren't capable of perceiving the difference between these #fact
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Old 19-01-2018, 02:23 PM   #13
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Re: What part of the waveform do I start on?

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Like on Live, auto fades are between 1-4ms. You simply aren't capable of perceiving the difference between these #fact
I like how you think that having sensitive hearing somehow ought to magically make me a TED speaking "influential engineer". ha ha!

I wish that was true

Social anxiety is a bitch though, and having a sensitive hearing mostly just means that you're constantly bombarded by other people's noise.

I'm basically living like an outcast at this point.

But anyway:

I only seek out and cut at precise zero crossings if I'm doing repair work or splicing two versions together. Otherwise I'll just cut and fade where it sounds good.

Also, sometimes jumping from zero can actually add a nice popping or clicking sound to a sample, which can than then be modelled with eqs or filters (analogue filters are especially well suited for this). If you use auto-fades on everything, you'll never even hear those sounds.

So instead of discussing what you think I can or cannot hear, I'd rather urge you to try to be open-minded about it and maybe check it out for yourself.

And of course, just do what works well for you. You lazy sod

I never cut the grass btw. In fact, my lawnmower hasn't left the shed for years and is probably rusted shut by now. I actually prefer it like this - as do the animals that live in the garden.
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Old 19-01-2018, 04:22 PM   #14
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Re: What part of the waveform do I start on?

I tried that once and I got snakes and turtles living in my back yard. Never do it.
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Old 19-01-2018, 04:56 PM   #15
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Re: What part of the waveform do I start on?

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I tried that once and I got snakes and turtles living in my back yard. Never do it.
Thanks.

Where I live (in Scandinavia) snakes are quite rare and all pretty harmless. Worst case scenario is about like being stung by a wasp, - only dangerous if you have an allergic reaction to the venom. In any case, I've never seen a snake anywhere close to the house. Probably because of the local hedgehog population, who are known to eat smaller snakes (they're partly immune to the venom). The climate is too cold for wild turtles, although small colonies of released pets survive here an there - mostly in city parks.
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Old 20-01-2018, 02:27 AM   #16
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Re: What part of the waveform do I start on?

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Originally Posted by Jaded View Post
Definitely if you are just working with a single sample in an audio editor, that exists on its own, with no relationship to anything, or may need to be used in some old piece of sampling kit: worry about zero crossings.

But working in a modern DAW? Nah! Total waste of time.

(Tools, Logic and Live that I know of at least) not such an issue as region fades are typically enabled by default. Sharp fader curve ensures sample regions always begin and end at zero.

Itís also highly unlikely if you are working in a multi track environment that youíre going to cause switch glitch (thatís what I call it at least) during playback. Typically there will be other tracks outputting some audio and your DAW is probably adding some noise whenever audio is active.

As for this sample in particular, use your ears. Looks like a 4 kick with some hats and snares, so start the sample from the rest immediately before the kick click. If youíre not sure, turn the metronome on and move the start point around until it syncs with the metronome click. Also, the beat a 1.2 looks about right.

Also, donít normalise your waveforms ever. Worst advice! Particularly if the sample is part of a set... youíre just killing the gain structure... pick an album with some really quiet and really loud songs. Normalise all tracks to -0.2dB. Then turn your stereo up really loud and listen to it from start to finish... good luck with that. It will be a shit experience but also a valuable lesson.

But if you enjoy it and decide to normalise, remember itís a destructive operation so save as. But dont normalise. (normies suck) The most likely result is youíll raise the noise floor if anything. That and youíre just adding another task or three later when you have to gain reduce via region gain > comp > channel fader... unless you normalise to -12 then youíre gangsta as fuck...
Wonderful! Thanks guys! Great to see you here Jaded, thanks for the lesson!

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I don't know either man. I kinda feel like things are heading towards talking about our feels...
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Old 21-01-2018, 12:30 AM   #17
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Re: What part of the waveform do I start on?

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Originally Posted by Iyashi Sound View Post
I like how you think that having sensitive hearing somehow ought to magically make me a TED speaking "influential engineer". ha ha!

I wish that was true

Social anxiety is a bitch though, and having a sensitive hearing mostly just means that you're constantly bombarded by other people's noise.

I'm basically living like an outcast at this point.

But anyway:

I only seek out and cut at precise zero crossings if I'm doing repair work or splicing two versions together. Otherwise I'll just cut and fade where it sounds good.

Also, sometimes jumping from zero can actually add a nice popping or clicking sound to a sample, which can than then be modelled with eqs or filters (analogue filters are especially well suited for this). If you use auto-fades on everything, you'll never even hear those sounds.

So instead of discussing what you think I can or cannot hear, I'd rather urge you to try to be open-minded about it and maybe check it out for yourself.

And of course, just do what works well for you. You lazy sod

I never cut the grass btw. In fact, my lawnmower hasn't left the shed for years and is probably rusted shut by now. I actually prefer it like this - as do the animals that live in the garden.
Itís not about being open minded dude. Itís science... After ~20-40Hz the human brain cannot distinguish between events (and thatís being incredibly generous). Regardless if your level of mental illness, you are human. Your perception is not so accurate.

Thatís why when you listen to a sound with a fundamental pitch of 250Hz you hear a bass note. Youíd also not be able to watch video at less than this frame rate because youíd just see screen flicker... would literally be impossible for you to interact with a computer screen... so yeah, youíd be world famous: because your perception would defy the laws of physics and you should be studied and researched.

So yeah it is all in your head.
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Old 21-01-2018, 01:58 AM   #18
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Re: What part of the waveform do I start on?

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Itís not about being open minded dude. Itís science... After ~20-40Hz the human brain cannot distinguish between events (and thatís being incredibly generous). Regardless if your level of mental illness, you are human. Your perception is not so accurate.

Thatís why when you listen to a sound with a fundamental pitch of 250Hz you hear a bass note. Youíd also not be able to watch video at less than this frame rate because youíd just see screen flicker... would literally be impossible for you to interact with a computer screen... so yeah, youíd be world famous: because your perception would defy the laws of physics and you should be studied and researched.

So yeah it is all in your head.
I honestly can't tell if you're joking or not. None of what you just said makes any sense.
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Old 22-01-2018, 01:03 AM   #19
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Re: What part of the waveform do I start on?

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Originally Posted by Iyashi Sound View Post
I honestly can't tell if you're joking or not. None of what you just said makes any sense.
It doesn't make sense that displaying a set of still images at a rate of 40ms per image will trick your brain into perceiving motion where there is none?

Well, given that and your lack of cognitive dissonance upon rebutting my lawnmower vs scissors analogy by acknowledging that you own a lawnmower; that doesn't surprise me...

Point is that most software compressors have a lookahead feature so that they can respond to threshold crossings in under 10ms. You claim that your brain is capable of responding to stimulus in less than half that time. Whether you "get it" or not one of these statements is true, the other is misguided.
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Old 22-01-2018, 02:52 AM   #20
Iyashi Sound
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Re: What part of the waveform do I start on?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaded View Post
It doesn't make sense that displaying a set of still images at a rate of 40ms per image will trick your brain into perceiving motion where there is none?

Well, given that and your lack of cognitive dissonance upon rebutting my lawnmower vs scissors analogy by acknowledging that you own a lawnmower; that doesn't surprise me...

Point is that most software compressors have a lookahead feature so that they can respond to threshold crossings in under 10ms. You claim that your brain is capable of responding to stimulus in less than half that time. Whether you "get it" or not one of these statements is true, the other is misguided.
Oh dear.

Please try this:

1. Open an audio editor, - like Soundforge for example.

2. Find a percussive sample that's cut very close to the start of the sample. Like a sharp woodblock sample for example.

3. Take a copy of that sample and make a 4 ms. fade-in at the very beginning (fading in from zero to full over the first 4 ms.).

4. Compare this modified version to the original sample (listen to them!).

The peak level will in most cases be noticeably lower in the modded sample, the attack will be softer - and the modified sample will still sound different from the original even if you compensate by raising the volume.

I realise this is probably not exactly how Ableton's auto-fade works, but it should at least convince you that a 4 ms. fade can indeed make an audible difference.

Or keep rambling about lawnmowers, cognitive dissonance and video resolution. Whichever you prefer.

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