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Does anyone know what are two thin horizontal lines in waveform window in audio editors? I want to make my sound louder but wo/clipping, look say here https://www.redsharknews.com/media/k2/items/src/48ed12281ae1f6453d2d5ec95b17e082.jpg, lines at approx. peaks, is this to mark headroom or something else? What if sound crosses it, does it mean clipping will occur? I can see in DAW when sound gets clipped but I'm not sure here.

  • Do you mean the thin vertical lines approx. at the peaks? Those are just parts of the time markers, and not specifically related to clipping. There are longer vertical lines near the start of the timestamps, and two more short ones that nearly run in to the time stamp, before the two that are clearly visible by themselves – whofferbert Oct 5 at 22:21
  • I wrote and mean horizontal lines - ibb.co/q7RFYCT – Marky M. Oct 7 at 9:23
  • When I first looked at the posted picture, I'm guessing the colors were off on the monitor which i viewed it, as the horizontal lines near the peaks did not appear at all. When I was able to look at the picture on another PC, they do show up though, so that's my mistake. – whofferbert Oct 7 at 12:41
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If you were talking about blue lines, then:

I don't know how to describe that with terminology, but when you play quieter the waveforms is thinner and lies near that line. I believe that line is that defines an audio region minimal dynamic range (again, I'm bad at terminology, but I mean the dynamic range, like my audio interface has a -120 dB dynamic range), so your DAW also has that dynamic range and that line represents -∞ dB, so all audio content which volume level is above the minimal dynamic range is shown as waveform. If that line is mixed with audio content like this (below) then it's called a zero crossing:

zero_crossing silence

So if you see only that line with no audio content – it represent silence (still some extremely quiet noises can occur). I believe you're editing a stereo file, so each channel has it's own (because I've shown in mono).

  • Thanks but see this pic - ibb.co/q7RFYCT, I meant these :) – Marky M. Oct 6 at 11:39
  • @MarkyM. Another question: is the file editor window tied to to the bottom of the DAW or is it a floating window? What happens with these lines when you resize this section (when tied to the bottom of the screen in DAW) or window? Because those might just be grid lines, which indicate your current waveform zoom level. – Eugen Eray Oct 8 at 15:52
  • Ext. wave editor on board, both lines have -6 dB tag. – Marky M. Oct 9 at 19:31
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    @MarkyM. Then those probably indicate the level of -6dB (kinda like threshold), which is actually a good level for audio recording when going to mixing stage (because you've got more headroom). However clipping occurs at 0dB, so you can increase the volume by 4 dB (I wouldn't recommend more, because -1 dB is already very high for mixing) but only if your entire audio file is as balanced as on the picture. – Eugen Eray Oct 14 at 7:17

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