sndfile-waveform - Man Page

manual page for sndfile-waveform 1.5


sndfile-waveform [OPTION]  <sound-file> <png-file>


sndfile-waveform - waveform image generator

Creates a PNG image depicting the wave-form of an audio file. Peak-signal and RMS values can be displayed in the same plot, where the horizontal axis always represents time.

The vertical axis can be plotted logarithmically, and the signal can optionally be rectified.

The Time-axis annotation unit is either seconds, audio-frames or timecode using broadcast-wave time reference meta-data.

The tool can plot individual channels, reduce the file to mono, or plot all channels in vertically arrangement.

Colours (ARGB) and image- or waveform geometry can be freely specified.


-A,  --textcolour <COL>

specify text and border colour; default 0xffffffff all colours as hexadecimal AA RR GG BB values

-b,  --border

display a border with annotations

-B,  --background <COL>

specify background colour; default 0x8099999f

-c,  --channel

choose channel (s) to plot, 0: merge to mono; < 0: render all channels vertically separated; > 0: render only specified channel. (default: 0)

-C,  --centerline <COL>

set colour of zero/center line (default 0x4cffffff)

-F,  --foreground <COL>

specify foreground colour; default 0xff333333

-g <w>x<h>, --geometry <w>x<h>

specify the size of the image to create default: 800x192

-G,  --borderbg <COL>

specify border/annotation background colour; default 0xb3ffffff

-h,  --help

display this help and exit

-l,  --logscale

use logarithmic scale


only draw RMS signal using foreground colour


only draw signal peaks (exclusive with --no-peak).

-r,  --rectified

rectify waveform

-R,  --rmscolour

<COL>    specify RMS colour; default 0xffb3b3b3

-s,  --gainscale

zoom into y-axis, map max signal to height.

-S,  --separator <px>

vertically separate channels by N pixels (default: 12) - only used with -c -1

-t <NUM>[/<DEN>], --timecode <NUM>[/<DEN>]

use timecode instead of seconds for x-axis; The numerator must be set, the denominator defaults to 1 if omitted. If the value is negative, audio-frames are used.

-T <offset>

override the BWF time-reference (if any); the offset is specified in audio-frames and only used with timecode (-t) annotation.

-O,  --border-width

change outer border width default: 1.0

-V,  --version

output version information and exit

-W,  --wavesize

given geometry applies to the plain wave-form. image height depends on number of channels. border-sizes are added to width and height.

Reporting Bugs

Report bugs to <>.
Website and manual: <>
Example images: <>


January 2021 sndfile-waveform 1.5