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, 22 Aug 2003
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A user control for displaying .WAV files using C#

Sample Image - wavecontrol.jpg


WaveControl is based on the WaveFile class that I wrote in another article. This user control uses that class for parsing of the wave file, and the control itself handles all the drawing/zooming of the waveform.

Features of control

  • Zoom to region - Left click & drag to highlight a region, then right click to zoom
  • Zoom In/Out - Mouse wheel
  • Scroll waveform - Alt-Left click & drag
  • Zoom out full - Double right click


Using the control in your own applications is very simple.

  1. Copy WaveControl.cs, WaveControl.resx, WaveFile.cs to your projects directory
  2. Add the 2 .cs files to the project. I normally do this by displaying the source file and rt-clicking, choosing 'Move <filename> to project'
  3. Save All & Build (VS.NET to get confused if you don't do this)
  4. Now WaveControl should be available for addition to your forms from the 'My User Controls' toolbox.

I am in the process of learning VS.NET & C#, so this might not have been the easiest way to create a reusable control, but it does work. I look forward to other suggestions readers might have.


When I wrote the WaveFile article and first tried to display a waveform, I was getting very poor performance when drawing larger wave files. It was pointed out that this was because I was using PageScale to scale the drawing to something usable. However, this caused much more drawing than was actually necessary. So, in this version I find the max/min peaks for each X value that is being drawn, and draw a line between them, as shown here:

for ( int x = 0; x < m_SamplesPerPixel; x++ )


maxVal = Math.Max( maxVal, m_Wavefile.Data[ x + index ] );

minVal = Math.Min( minVal, m_Wavefile.Data[ x + index ] );


int scaledMinVal = (int) (( (minVal + 32768) * visBounds.Height ) / 65536 );

int scaledMaxVal = (int) (( (maxVal + 32768) * visBounds.Height ) / 65536 );


Things that need fixing/changing:

  • Stereo waveforms still don't work right
  • Only support 16bit waveforms
  • Loading a wave and then loading another wave sometimes causes errors.


This article has no explicit license attached to it but may contain usage terms in the article text or the download files themselves. If in doubt please contact the author via the discussion board below.

A list of licenses authors might use can be found here


About the Author

Web Developer
United States United States
PJ currently works for Avid Technology, and lives in Cambridge, MA. When he isn't coding, you can find him collecting old dusty funk & soul records.

Comments and Discussions

QuestionCan it used with video ?? PinmemberMember 456277620-Jan-15 17:13 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pinmemberalaro4-Jun-11 10:13 
General24bit Wav file support Pinmemberweedweaver1-Dec-08 2:56 
QuestionHow I can add this project to other? PinmemberYulay18-Nov-08 6:49 
QuestionChoose region Pinmembercaptainhan29-Aug-07 0:03 
QuestionHow to copy a part of sound and plaster it to other place Pinmembercaptainhan28-Aug-07 23:44 
QuestionRe: How to copy a part of sound and plaster it to other place PinmemberIbrahim Dwaikat18-Nov-07 7:12 
GeneralFile access Pinmemberamiashu30-Jul-07 7:04 
GeneralC# 2005 Pinmemberjvp2929-Jun-07 17:40 
Generaladding real time "bouncing ball" cursor Pinmemberjbarbermd5-Apr-06 16:38 
GeneralRe: adding real time "bouncing ball" cursor Pinmemberjbarbermd20-Apr-06 17:36 
GeneralWAV Control PinmemberDNA: Code this!6-Nov-04 10:52 
GeneralLeft &amp; Right PinmemberKenneta24-Sep-04 2:57 
GeneralRe: Left &amp; Right PinmemberL Macia2-Nov-08 11:09 
GeneraluLaw format PinsussAnonymous17-May-04 18:12 
QuestionHow to draw a waveform while recording? Pinmembercroch17-May-04 3:24 
AnswerRe: How to draw a waveform while recording? PinmemberIbrahim Dwaikat18-Nov-07 7:13 

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