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The Quintessence of a Waveform: Focus and Context for Audio Track Displays

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Oscilloscope-style waveform plots offer great insight into the properties of the audio signal. However, their use is impeded by the huge spread of timescales extending from fractions of a millisecond to several hours. Hence, waveform plots often require zooming in and out. This work introduces a graphical representation through a synthesized quintessential waveform that shows the spectrum of the traditional waveform plot but does so at a much larger timescale. The quintessential waveform can reveals details about single periods at zoom levels where a regular waveform plot only indicates the signal's envelope. Compression renders the enormous ranges of frequencies and amplitudes more legible.

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AES - Audio Engineering Society