2mhWaveEdit README file
5mhWaveEdit is a graphical program for editing sound files. It is completely
8You can find the latest release of mhWaveEdit at:
11The contents of this file is also available inside mhWaveEdit from the help
18 * Unpack the source: tar xjf mhwaveedit-1.4.24.tar.gz
19 * Go into the source directory: cd mhwaveedit-1.4.24
20 * Run the configure script: ./configure
21 * Compile the sources: make
22 * Install the program: su -c "make install"
28For most people, just using ./configure without any arguments should work fine,
29but here are some options that the configure-script supports:
33 If you have both GTK+ 1.2 and GTK+ 2.0 installed and want to use GTK+ 1.2,
34 specify this option.
42 Specifying this option will leave out a sound driver, even if
43 it's libs and headers are found.
48 Specifying this option will leave out libsndfile/libsamplerate
49 support, even if the library is found.
54 This lets you specify the prefix where libsndfile/libsamplerate is
55 installed if it wasn't auto-detected.
59 Use double precision floating point numbers for sample processing. If
60 you intend to edit 32-bit files, you should enable this.
64 This option disables the run-time type cast checking. It makes some parts of
65 the program faster, but makes it harder to debug.
73To start the program, simply type mhwaveedit. If you want to, you can specify
74files to open on the command line, for example 'mhwaveedit file.wav'.
80The area where you 'see' the contents of the file you are editing, is called
81the 'sample view'.
83In the sample view there is a grey vertical bar called the 'cursor'. The cursor
84follows the sound wave when you play the sound. You can position the cursor by
85clicking with the right (2:nd) mouse button. If you do this while you're
86playing a file, the playing will continue from the new cursor position. You can
87also position the cursor more exact by using the 'Position Cursor...' command
88on the Edit menu.
90You can place marks in your file by holding down Ctrl and pressing a number
91from 0 to 9. This will place a mark (green vertical bar) with the same number
92at the current cursor position. You can later make the cursor go to that
93position again by just pressing the number. Setting and jumping to marks can be
94done while playing. To remove a mark, jump to the mark and set it again.
100Playing a file is simple, just load the file and press the play button. The
101green play button plays from the current position. The yellow play button plays
102the current selection, or the entire file if nothing is selected. Stop the
103playback with the stop button (with the red square).
105The playback speed can be varied by adjusting the slider to the far right.
107You can do normal editing while the file is playing.
113Recording is done with 'Record...' on the Play menu, or the Record button (the
114red circle). A dialog box will pop up where you can select what format you want
115to record in. After selecting the format, meters and numbers will appear
116showing info about the volume level of the sound input.
118When you want to start recording, press the "Start recording" button. When
119you've recorded everything you wanted to, press the Finish button and the
120record dialog will disappear and newly recorded sound will show up in a new
123Currently it is impossible to play and record at the same time, so the playback
124will stop when you record.
130You make selections by dragging the mouse over the sample view. You can hear
131what you've currently selected by clicking on the "play selection" button (the
132button with the yellow arrow) or by selecting 'Play selection' from the Play
135You can use the cursor to refine the selection. Use the 'Selection start at
136cursor' and 'Selection end at cursor' buttons to move the selection starting
137point or the selection end point to the current cursor position. You can also
138drag the selection endpoints using the mouse.
140The 'Cut' and 'Copy' functions work like in any other software.
142The 'Paste' function insert the clipboard contents at the cursor position. The
143'Paste over' function works like 'Paste', except that it overwrites the data
144after the insert position.
146The 'Paste mix' function combines the clipboard data with the data at the
149The 'Paste as new' function opens a new window and puts the clipboard contents
152The 'Crop' function deletes all parts of the file that are not selected.
154The 'Silence selection' function replaces the selected part with silence. To
155avoid clicks, the silent part is a line that meets the wave at the endpoints.
157All editing functions work non-destructively, that is, the file you're editing
158isn't actually changed until you save it (the effects also work this way).
165mhWaveEdit has a few simple effects, which are available from the 'Effects'
168 * Fade in/out
170 This creates a linear fade in or fade out effect.
172 * Normalize, Normalize to...
174 This amplifies the sound as much as possible without getting clipping
175distortion. The "Normalize to..." item lets you specify which level to
178 * Volume adjust/fade...
180 This effect lets you select a starting volume and a ending volume and
181amplifies the selection fading from the starting volume to the ending volume.
183 Note that volumes above 100% may cause sound distortion. Use the 'Find top
184volume' to find out the maximum amplification possible without distortion. (You
185can use this for normalizing samples.)
187 By setting starting volume and ending volume to the same value you get a
188simple amplification of the sound.
190 * Convert samplerate...
192 This converts the samplerate of the entire file to one you specify. There
193are different methods for doing this, usually the one in the top has the best
194quality but can take longer than the other methode.
196 * Convert sample format...
198 This converts the sample format of the entire file.
200 The 'Don't actually change the data' option can be used if the program was
201wrong about the file's format.
203 * Byte swap
205 This "byte swaps" the selected part. It can be used to repair damaged files
206where the byte order is wrong. Note that if the sound looks alright but plays
207wrong, you should not use this option, instead you should use the "byte-swap
208output" option in the Preferences dialog.
210 * Mix to mono
212 This mixes all channels of the file together to a mono sound.
214 * Add channel
216 This copies the first channel to a new channel in the sound, converting mono
217to stereo etc.
219 * Map channels...
221 With this effect, you can change the number of channels in the file. You can
222also rearrange and add (i.e. mix) channels.
224 * Combine channels...
226 This effect lets you create a new sound by a linear combination of the old
227channels. This means you can do channel mixing / swapping / balance / panning /
228amplification etc. by entering different values. For example, to swap the left
229and right channel, you select that the new Channel 1 should be 0% of the old
230Channel 1 and 100% of the old Channel 2, and the new Channel 2 should be 100%
231of the old Channel 1 and 0% of the old Channel 2
233 * Speed adjustment...
235 This effect changes the speed of the selection. The tone will change as well.
236 * Pipe through program...
238 This effect is for advanced users wanting to pipe raw audio data through an
239external program. The output of the program is read back and replaces the
242mhWaveEdit supports LADSPA effects and can also make use of most of the SoX
243utility's effects. To find the LADSPA plugins the environment variable
244LADSPA_PATH must be properly set up.
246All supported effects can be found by choosing the 'Effects...' menu item. The
247effects are listed with names beginning with [B] for builtin effects, [L] for
248LADSPA effects, and [S] for SoX effects.
255Some notes on sound quality.
257The general rule when doing audio editing/processing is to not manipulate the
258data more than necessary and keep an original copy whenever you're processing
259your important files.
261Cut, copy and paste operations move the data around without modifying it, so
262these don't degrade the sound quality. Because of level differences, you may
263get a "step" at the start and end of the inserted part, which can cause a small
266The mix paste function doesn't decrease quality, unless the peaks become too
267high and you get clipping. In that case you will get a warning message.
269Sound data is normally stored as integer values. Therefore, whenever you
270normalize, adjust volume, decrease sample size or filter a sound, the result
271must be rounded. If you use 24 or 32 bit sample sizes, this is not really a
272problem, but if you use 8 or 16 bits sample size, this rounding causes a
273decrease in quality.
275The quality decrease that the rounding causes can be masked by adding a small
276amount of noise before rounding. This is called "dithering". mhWaveEdit
277supports basic dithering and it's enabled by default.
279By default, mhWaveEdit uses floating-point temporary files for storing
280processed results to avoid rounding until the file is saved.
285Even if mhWaveEdit was originally built for editing wav files, it's also
286possible to load and save in a few other formats. mhWaveEdit always supports
287wav and raw files, but if it's compiled with the libsndfile library, mhWaveEdit
288supports a couple of other formats as well.
290To save a file with a different file format, use "Save as..." and choose a
291format in the file type selection box.
293mhWaveEdit has basic support for mp3 and ogg formats. For this to work you need
294to have LAME installed for mp3 support, and OggDec/OggEnc for Ogg support. If
295you have these programs, you can open and save mp3/ogg files just like any
296other file format.
298If mplayer is installed, mhwaveedit can open all formats that it supports, for
299example the soundtrack of a video file. Since mplayer is only a player, these
300files can not be saved back after editing, you have to save the file into a
306mhWaveEdit creates a directory ~/.mhwaveedit where it stores configuration
309The configuration file is called config. It can be hand edited, but the easiest
310way is through 'Preferences' on the Edit menu.
312Each mhwaveedit process creates a session file in the .mhwaveedit directory
313called mhwaveedit-session-<pid>-<session>-<state>, where <session> is the
314session ID number and <state> is a character code showing the state of the
315session ('r' for running sessions).
317Temporary files are by default also stored in the ~/.mhwaveedit directory.
318Which directories to use can be set through the preferences dialog. To get the
319best performance, you should have one temporary directory for each local
320filesystem. The temporary files have names of the form
321"mhwaveedit-temp-<pid>-nnnn-<session>". Do NOT open or remove temporary files
322with the same pid number as a currently running mhWaveEdit.
324mhWaveEdit checks on startup for leftover temporary files and lets the user
325open them. After opening a crashed session, the files can be saved or thrown
334Ctrl+(number) Set mark
335(number) Goto mark
340Ctrl+O Open file
341Ctrl+S Save file
342Ctrl+U Save selection as
350Ctrl+A Select all
352Ctrl+G Position cursor (Go to)
353Ctrl+H Position cursor at file start
354Ctrl+J Position cursor at file end
355Ctrl+K Position cursor at selection start
356Ctrl+L Position cursor at selection end
357Y,U Move cursor to nearest all-channel zero-crossing
358I,O Move cursor to nearest any-channel zero-crossing
360Ctrl+Q Selection start at cursor
361Ctrl+W Selection end at cursor
363+,= Zoom in
364- Zoom out
365> Zoom to selection
366< Zoom all
367Arrow keys Scroll left/right
369Home Move view to file start
370End Move view to file end
371Tab Move view to cursor
372Ctrl+Tab Move cursor to center of view
375Shift+Space Play all
376, Play from cursor pos
378/ Play selection
379H,J Move cursor (and playback) 1/8 of view
380K,L Move cursor one sample
381Ctrl+arrow Move cursor (and playback) half second
382( Play first 3 seconds of selection
383) Play last 3 seconds of selection
388If you find a bug or flaw in the program that's not mentioned in the BUGS file,
389report the bug in the bug tracker (see contact info) or mail a bug report
390describing the bug to: email@example.com
392In case of a crash, please do not send me any core dumps. They are huge and
393completely useless to me. Instead, create a backtrace. Backtraces tell you
394exactly where the program crashed.
396How to create a backtrace:
3971. Enable core dumps: ulimit -c unlimited
3982. Run the program: mhwaveedit
3993. Make the program crash. You should now get a file named core or core.1234 in
400the directory you're in.
4014. Run gdb with the program and core file:
402 gdb /usr/local/bin/mhwaveedit core | tee backtrace.txt
4035. After gdb has loaded, use the command: bt
4046. Quit gdb with the command: quit
4057. Now you should have a back trace in the file backtrace.txt
411There are plenty of things you can do if you want to help the development of
414First of all, look for bugs and report all bugs you find into the bug tracker
415or through e-mail. Sometimes a bug can get overlooked for a long time because
416nobody reports it, so don't be afraid to report bugs that have been there for a
417few releases. You don't have to provide fixes or very detailed information,
418although it helps of course.
420Feature requests are also welcome, report them to the mailing list or to the
423If you speak a language other than English and mhWaveEdit isn't translated to
424your language, you can contribute a translation. To do that, copy the template
425mhwaveedit.pot in the po directory into a new file ll.po, where ll is your
426language code (see
427http://www.gnu.org/software/gettext/manual/html_node/gettext_221.html for a
428list of language codes).
430It's possible to edit po-files by hand, but I recommend a program such as
431poEdit (http://www.poedit.org) for editing translations.
433Note that for those translatable strings that look like "RecordStatus|Paused",
434you should ignore what's to the left and only translate the string to the right
435("Paused" in this example). This convention is there to make it possible to
436translate the same string to different things depending on context.
438After you've filled in all the translations you want (you don't have to
439translate all the strings), mail in the po file to me (see contact info) and
440I'll add it to the next release.
442If a translation is incomplete, you're very welcome to translate the remaining
443untranslated messages and mail them in. Corrections to translations are also
444appreciated, but they may need to be checked with the previous translator
445before including them.
452For bug reports, translation updates, patches and PayPal donations:
455Project page with bug tracker, mailing list membership:
458Mailing list (you must be a subscriber before you can post messages):