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Forums Apple Final Cut Pro Legacy FCP audio waveform stubborn

  • FCP audio waveform stubborn

  • Francois Stark

    July 31, 2006 at 3:06 pm


    Why does FCP sometimes stubbornly refuse to draw an audio file’s waveform, either in the timeline or the source monitor? It usually happens with longer files – 10 to 30 minutes. When you switch the timeline’s waveform on, it only draws a cross on the audio clip – evenly spaced, about 10 per timeline irrespective of your zoom level. Other, shorter clips on the same timeline displays fine.

    I’ve trashed the waveform cache and it did not help.

    Any ideas?


  • Jerry Hofmann

    July 31, 2006 at 4:27 pm

    How much RAM do you have? Probably less than 2 gigs with FCP 5 and Tiger isn’t enough now.

  • Francois Stark

    July 31, 2006 at 5:01 pm

    Two G5’s:
    1 DP 2.0GHz, 3.5GB Ram, FCP 5.0.4, os X.4.3
    1 DP2.7GHz, 4.5GB Ram, FCP 5.0.4, os X.4.3

  • Jeremy Garchow

    July 31, 2006 at 5:33 pm

    Yeah, that ‘feature’ kind of bogus. What I do is deselect all which I have mapped to ‘apple-d’, the default is ‘apple-shift-a’. Then I zoom in a couple of times (‘apple +’) then zoom out (‘apple -‘) and that will usually redraw. You can also delete your waveform cache, but then it’ll redraw all over which will take a while for a longer program.


  • Jerry Hofmann

    July 31, 2006 at 6:23 pm

    Jeremy’s suggestion is a good one…

    I only see this in extremely long sequences, and after trashing the waveform cache, they usually draw completely. You certainly have enough RAM I’d think.


  • sebas

    July 31, 2006 at 7:04 pm

    I’ve found out that sometimes, if the sound clip has been command-L linked to a video clip, the clip window won’t draw the waveform correctly. if that’s the case try command-L to unlink the clips, edit the sound and then link them again.

  • Francois Stark

    August 3, 2006 at 10:04 pm


    I did deselect all and zoom in and out – didn’t help. And no, my audio was not linked to video – it was a voice-over recorded on Pro Tools and read direct from a win2003 server over gig-e into FCP.

    By the way, when I told my one editor about this issue, he told me about a job he’s doing on a new Avid Adrenaline at our one national broadcaster: He also had a 30 minute clip and he wanted to use the waveform to cut where people spoke. After enabling the waveform display on the timeline he took a smokebreak; three minutes later it was still totally unresponsive – calculating waveform display… This in a very fast, shared 16TB storage system with four adrenaline seats.

    I’ll try deleting the waveform cache and see how that works. It still seems a pity that you have to do something like this to get waveform to work properly.


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