Comparing tracks waveforms

I made some comparisons between tracks from different editions of the same movie – or even between different tracks in the same edition – to have an instantaneous look at how different are them.

I also have seen comparisons made by others for the same reason. Problem is, in some cases they used a very tiny range, where only the “top” of the waveforms are revelead, while the rest is each waveform is hidden below the threshold; in that way big chunks of each channel seem to be simply silent (when they are obviously not) while only the center channel seems really active.

Here you can see the waveform of the same track – The Thing (1982) DTS:X (showed as DTS-HD MA eight channel) – represented using different deciBel ranges, from 18dB (as seen in some other comparison) to 145dB (24bit maximum dynamic range); software used is Audacity, a great freeware that I strongly recommend to use to anyone, not only to show waveforms…

18dB range
24dB range
36dB range
48dB range
60dB range
72dB range
84dB range
96dB range
120dB range
145dB range

Next is an animated GIF with all the 10 ranges, to show incremental differences between them:

I added also a static comparison between six different ranges, if someone needs more time to compare them.
Link to 6 range comparison – from 18dB to 72dB: http://www.framecompare.com/screenshotcomparison/KZPYGNNX
Link to 6 range comparison – from 60dB to 145dB: http://www.framecompare.com/screenshotcomparison/FC21MNNU

The Thing has a dynamic around 72dB; as you can see, 18dB and 24dB ranges are absolutely not enough to show complete waveforms; at the contrary 120dB and 144dB ranges are too much, showing a lot of noise floor that could be taken for signal; I think that the best choise would be to use the 72dB range to compare waveforms – to show not noise floor still retaining enough signal to discern differences between tracks; screenshots are taken fullscreen, removing any toolbar, and showing track fit to width and fit to height; complete eight channel track is 1680x896px.

 

MOVIE AUDIO TRACK WAVEFORM SCREENSHOT – GUIDELINES

There is no standard AFAIK for comparing track waveform screenshots, so I dare to start guidelines:

  • Audacity shall be used – because is free and multiplatform
  • 72dB range shall be used – a good compromise, for both 16bit and 24bit tracks
  • activate “show clipping” – to see if there are any clipped parts
  • use default level – state it clearly as “(leveled)” if levels were modified; implied on captured tracks
  • use version sync – state it clearly as “(sync’ed)” if sync was adjusted; implied on captured tracks
  • when using channels from different tracks in the same comparison, make them recognizable
  • screenshots shall be taken from a 1920×1080 pixel desktop size
  • screenshots shall be taken fullscreen using eight channels – if channels are less, add empty ones
  • when everything but track time and channels is cropped, image would be 1680 pixel wide
  • image height: 1ch 164px; 2ch 276px; 3ch 388px; 4ch 500px; 5ch 614px; 6ch 726px;7ch 838px; 8ch 950px
  • single channel alone: 1680x112px
  • use extensive caption and file name – at least title (year) edition format
  • save screenshots as PNG – it shows waveform perfectly and file size is smaller than JPG

I added also a static comparison between six different ranges, if someone needs more time to compare them.
Link to 6 range comparison – from 18dB to 72dB: http://www.framecompare.com/screenshotcomparison/KZPYGNNX
Link to 6 range comparison – from 60dB to 145dB: http://www.framecompare.com/screenshotcomparison/FC21MNNU

The Thing has a dynamic around 72dB; as you can see, 18dB and 24dB ranges are absolutely not enough to show complete waveforms; at the contrary 120dB and 144dB ranges are too much, showing a lot of noise floor that could be taken for signal; I think that the best choise would be to use the 72dB range to compare waveforms – to show not noise floor still retaining enough signal to discern differences between tracks; screenshots are taken fullscreen, removing any toolbar, and showing track fit to width and fit to height; complete eight channel track is 1680x896px.


MOVIE AUDIO TRACK WAVEFORM SCREENSHOT – GUIDELINES

There is no standard AFAIK for comparing track waveform screenshots, so I dare to start guidelines:

  • Audacity shall be used – because is free and multiplatform
  • 72dB range shall be used – a good compromise, for both 16bit and 24bit tracks
  • activate “show clipping” – to see if there are any clipped parts
  • use default level – state it clearly as “(leveled)” if levels were modified; implied on captured tracks
  • use version sync – state it clearly as “(sync’ed)” if sync was adjusted; implied on captured tracks
  • when using channels from different tracks in the same comparison, make them recognizable
  • screenshots shall be taken from a 1920×1080 pixel desktop size
  • screenshots shall be taken fullscreen using eight channels – if channels are less, add empty ones
  • when everything but track time and channels is cropped, image would be 1680 pixel wide
  • image height: 1ch 164px; 2ch 276px; 3ch 388px; 4ch 500px; 5ch 614px; 6ch 726px;7ch 838px; 8ch 950px
  • single channel alone: 1680x112px
  • use extensive caption and file name – at least title (year) edition format
  • save screenshots as PNG – it shows waveform perfectly and file size is smaller than JPG

First comparison following the guidelines: http://blog.sporv.com/the-thing-1982-waveform-comparison


Some examples: first eight channel, fullscreen and cropped, then five channel, fullscreen and cropped; at the end the LFE channel from three different tracks

The Thing (1982) – UHD-BD DTS:X (as DTS-HD MA 7.1) [NOTE: FULLSCREEN, DO NOT USE IT AS IS, BUT CROP IT]
The Thing (1982) – UHD-BD DTS:X (as DTS-HD MA 7.1) [NOTE: CROPPED, USE THIS]
The Thing (1982) – Shout! BD DTS-HD MA 4.1 [NOTE: FULLSCREEN, DO NOT USE IT AS IS, BUT CROP IT]
The Thing (1982) – Shout! BD DTS-HD MA 4.1 [NOTE: CROPPED, USE THIS]
The Thing (1982) – LFE channel from DVD Dolby Digital 5.1 (sync’ed), Shout! BD DTS-HD MA 4.1, UHD-BD DTS:X