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Old March 27th, 2010, 06:07 PM   #1
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Location: New Richmond, WI.
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Why does it take so long to Show Audio Waveforms if FCP?

I have FCP Studio and FCE, and both take a while to show the waveforms in the audio tracks after selecting Show Audio Waveforms. With my old FCE and 20" iMac it even seemed to bog down the system. Anyone know why or how to make it work better? On my new iMac w/ i5 it seems fine once they finally show up but it seems to take a few minutes to do so. The audio files are (or should be) on the my external media drive with the media (2TB RAID FW 800). A previous PC program showed the waveforms by default and never seemed to cause any issues. Thanks!
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Old March 27th, 2010, 06:44 PM   #2
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Waveforms are built by cache files inside the FCP core rendering engine. If you notice in your System Preferences in FCP you have a location where Audio Waveform cache is stored. If that drive is slow, near-full or is highly fragmented then it will take the system a long time to generate those previews. There's only a few things you can do to speed up the waveform preview creation:

- Install more RAM
- Move your Waveform cache location to your fastest internal HDD
- Install and run Onyx which will clear the OS cache used to help FCP create its internal cache files
- Download and run the cleaning routines in Digital Rebellions FCP Tookit, which will clean up FCP cache files for you
- Defrag the drive your waveform cache lives on (iDefrag from Coriolis Systems)
- A highly out-of-order OS directory can also cause slow waveform previews - use DiskWarrior to clean up your directory

A good housecleaning of your OS and FCP should help speed up the generation of these preview files, along with the other tips.
Robert Lane
Producer/Creator - Bike Pilots TV
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