DAWs for Pro Audio Applications

Sep 22, 2010 12:43 PM, By George Petersen



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Version 1.5 of PreSonus’ Studio One Pro DAW software is a major upgrade that includes video playback support from any QuickTime video with sync for composing to picture; the ability to draw automation waveforms; the ability to change tempos within an event; a built-in SoundCloud client that allows users to upload audio files directly to the Web; a new MIDI file player in the browser; and more. The Native Effects plug-in offerings are enhanced, now with 27 64-bit plug-ins, including dynamics processors, modulation effects, amp simulators and reverbs. Studio One Pro also supports VST 2.4, VST 3 and AU plug-ins, as well as ReWire technology. At press time, PreSonus announced V. 1.5.2, which is mostly a maintenance update but adds Mackie HUI support.

Offered in three versions—Full, Lite and Basic—and handling 72/36/24 mono or stereo playback tracks, RML Labs’ Software Audio Workshop (SAWStudio) has been a popular choice for PC users since 1993. One interesting aspect of SAW is a close relationship that founder/developer Robert Lentini maintains with users, often adding updates or minor tweaks on a continual basis, based on specific user suggestions. Currently, SAWStudio is at V. 4.9 and some recent updates include the addition of Studio Reverb V. 2, Studio Frequency Analyzer V. 1.9 and Studio Levelizer V. 3.6, three of the program’s many included plug-ins.


Video: SADiE 6

Now owned by Prism Sound, SADiE 6 software is slated to ship this month, and it can run as a software-only version with any I/O, such as Prism Sound’s Orpheus, a PC’s built-in soundcard or the low-latency SADiE Series 5 hardware solutions. In addition to new technical features, the slick new interface offers an astounding array of viewing options that include complex, shaded-color choices, making this new release easy on the eyes. Rather than a one-DAW-fits-all approach, SADiE 6 is offered in several configurations tailored for specific audio applications, including radio production, video post, mastering or studio recording.

Now at V. 1.3.5, soundBlade from Sonic Studio handles mastering, restoration, recording and mixing chores with eight channels at up to 192 kHz (or 16 channels with the multichannel option). Features of this Mac application include Source-to-Destination editing, real-time multimode editing/gain adjust and fade setting, and real-time AU and VST DSP hosting. It includes Sonic EQ LE, DDP file delivery, background sample rate conversion, TPDF redithering, and iZotope’s SRC and MBIT+ redithering. Options include the Series 300 FireWire hardware interfaces, NoNOISE II restoration suite, renovator spectral restoration and more.

From its roots as a looping/music creation program, Acid Pro 7 from Sony Creative Software has developed into a full-on DAW and audio/MIDI recording, editing and sequencing environment. New MIDI features include MIDI track envelopes and key frames, a drum-grid editing mode, MIDI filtering and processing, and MIDI file export. It also now includes more than 20 DirectX audio effects, VSTi soft synth support and Zplane’s élastique audio time-stretching and pitch-shifting. Supported platforms include Windows 7, Vista and XP.

Intended specifically for audio editing and mastering duties on the PC platform, Sound Forge Pro 10 is an all-in-one production suite for audio recording/mastering, sound design, audio restoration and Red Book CD creation. It offers 24/32-bit 192kHz resolution with multiple video AVI, WMV, and MPEG-1 and MPEG-2 format support, along with an included plug-in for exporting 5.1 Dolby Digital AAC-3 surround files. Also new are 64-bit SRC sample-rate conversion and MBIT+ bit-depth dithering from iZotope.


Review: Steinberg Cubase 5

Now at V. 5.5.1 and supporting Macintosh OS 10.5 and higher and Windows 7/Vista/XP, Steinberg’s Cubase offers new tools among its 56 included plug-ins and eight virtual instruments, such as Groove Agent ONE, Loop Mash, VariAudio and Pitch Correct for working with beats and vocals, as well as REVerence, the first VST3 convolution reverb. Also standard are unlimited audio/instrument/MIDI tracks, stereo and 5.1 mixing, Audio Warp time stretching/pitch shifting and Apogee UV22 HR dithering.

Designed for high-end music and post-production applications, Nuendo 5 employs new ADR tools and an advanced QuickTime-based, Native video playback engine; automated batch file export; Nuendo Surround Panner V. 5; smooth scrubbing; a reworked, networkable mediaBay; and network collaboration for multiseat projects via LAN or WAN. Nuendo 5 also reads CMX 3600 EDL lists provided by the video editor, as well as exported and imported CSV-formatted spotting and ADR lists. Also new is the extended Monitoring Matrix, which lets users listen to individual stems, groups, input or output buses with a single click on the Source button. Nuendo 5 is now shipping and is cross-platform for Windows and Mac OS.

George Petersen is the executive editor of Mix.

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