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TL:DR; I have two questions:

  • How do I read / understand audio waveforms in NLE, especially Adobe software such as Premiere Pro, and Audition?
  • What can be gained from understanding these waveforms?

More info:

I've been using Adobe creative suite for some years now and have been starting to question the purpose of audio waveforms. The most I've ever used the waveform is for small jobs such as manually syncing different tracks, aligning sound effects with video and aligning audio tracks with clapperboards.

I've noticed my projects can spend a lot of time generating these waveforms (peak files) so I'm wondering about turning waveforms off, but I'd like to understand what they can be used for before I do so.

So for a start, how do I read a waveform - from what I've seen it doesn't relate to volume, so is it linked to frequency? And if so, does the crude line just represent the max frequency or is there more to understand? What are waveforms generally used for in post production?

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I would just really like to have an overview of how to understand them and what they can be used for - I can't seem to find much information on any forums or elsewhere.

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