Recording - June 2016 - 48

...where we bring you follow-up articles
with application hints and upgrade news
about gear already reviewed in Recording

&
Steinberg WaveLab Pro 9
Audio editing and mastering
-taken to the next level
by Justin Perkins

Steinberg has just released a major
update to WaveLab, its specialized mastering/audio editing software. The new version
is called WaveLab Pro 9; there is also a version with limited features called WaveLab
Elements 9. I can finally say that with this
update, WaveLab is now where I expected
it to be when I first started using it.
New look
As a Mac user, I was happy to see
WaveLab available on the Mac starting
with version 7, but graphically it felt like I
was using Windows 98 era software. The
last few versions of WaveLab received criticism due to outdated graphics and an overly complex workflow with a steep learning
curve. While I think performance and features are most important, it does help when
the software is easy on the eyes.
With WaveLab Pro 9, I'm happy to
report that the graphics and user interface
are completely redesigned and truly feel
like a modern piece of software. Aside
from giving you a great starting point, the
user interface is highly customizable; it
shouldn't be hard to find a style and layout
that works for you, including a choice
between light and dark skins.
WaveLab 7 and 8 drew criticism for their
separate workspaces for audio files and
Montages (sets of files collected and
ordered, etc., for mastering). With WaveLab
Pro 9, we return to a single workspace for
all audio files, Montages, batch processing,
etc., which is something that WaveLab 6
fans will definitely appreciate. This really simplifies the program's look and workflow.

clip is being played or rendered. This is
especially good news for users of Universal
Audio's UAD plug-in engines. In the past, an
inserted UAD plug-in was always allocated
DSP resources, whether the clip was in use
or not. Now, many more instances of UAD
plug-ins can run on a Montage without maxing out your engine's DSP resources.
Another great time saver in WaveLab
Pro 9 is the ability to copy/paste entire
plug-in chains within a Montage or to
other Montages. There is also a search
field for all plug-in menus to help find a
certain plug-in more quickly.

avoid peak levels exceeding 0 dBFS after
sample rate conversion of loud material.
The Final Processing section has two insert
slots-presumably for a limiter and dither
plug-in, but any VST plug-ins could be
loaded here.
The Crystal Resampler found in WaveLab
8.5 (and earlier) has been retired. WaveLab
Pro 9 features a completely new sample
rate converter called SOX VHQ Linear
Phase. This new Resampler is of higher quality, is much faster than Crystal Resampler,
and takes advantage of multicore computers
(one core per processed channel).

Neater organization
Preferences, settings, and key commands
(shortcuts) are now centrally located in one
global menu, rather than having them scattered around into various areas of the app as
on previous versions. Now it's easy to find
and configure all the settings in one location.
In addition, WaveLab Pro 9 introduces a
new Project Manager and File Tab concept,
great for users that work with a large number of files at once. For example, audio

Faster workflow
Other workflow improvements include the
ability to Open/Insert files with copy/paste
shortcuts from Windows Explorer/Mac OS
X Finder, and an improved Naming Scheme
section in the File Render dialogue. For
those who have very organized and meticulous ways of naming or organizing rendered files, this new setup allows you to
apply custom prefixes and suffixes to rendered file names from the Montage or when
rendering single audio files, without affecting their names or metadata in the
Montage. This is another feature that has
saved me lots of time already.
Dynamic plug-in processing is an optional
setting that allows WaveLab Pro 9 to only
use CPU resources on a plug-in if the audio
48

RECORDING JUNE 2016

files and Montages can be contained in a
File Tab, and a number of File Tabs can be
open at one time. This makes it very easy
to keep an organized workspace when you
need to have a lot of files open.
New features
WaveLab's global master section has
been redesigned, with a much better look
and some added features. There is now a
Final Processing section that comes after the
Resampler (sample rate converter). This is
ideal because, in mastering, you'll typically
need some form of brickwall limiter to

Something that was actually introduced
in WaveLab 8.5, but deserves mention
here, is Playback Processing in the Master
section. This is a place where you can
insert plug-ins that do not get applied to
rendered files, but are audible on playback. Some uses for this would be
room/speaker correction EQ, third-party
analyzer plug-ins, and encoding simulators
such as Sonnox ProCodec to check how
your master sounds after encoding to various lossy formats. WaveLab Pro 9 comes
standard with its own Encoder Checker as
well, which is quite useful.



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Recording - June 2016

Contents
Recording - June 2016 - Cover1
Recording - June 2016 - Cover2
Recording - June 2016 - 1
Recording - June 2016 - 2
Recording - June 2016 - 3
Recording - June 2016 - 4
Recording - June 2016 - 5
Recording - June 2016 - Contents
Recording - June 2016 - 7
Recording - June 2016 - 8
Recording - June 2016 - 9
Recording - June 2016 - 10
Recording - June 2016 - 11
Recording - June 2016 - 12
Recording - June 2016 - 13
Recording - June 2016 - 14
Recording - June 2016 - 15
Recording - June 2016 - 16
Recording - June 2016 - 17
Recording - June 2016 - 18
Recording - June 2016 - 19
Recording - June 2016 - 20
Recording - June 2016 - 21
Recording - June 2016 - 22
Recording - June 2016 - 23
Recording - June 2016 - 24
Recording - June 2016 - 25
Recording - June 2016 - 26
Recording - June 2016 - 27
Recording - June 2016 - 28
Recording - June 2016 - 29
Recording - June 2016 - 30
Recording - June 2016 - 31
Recording - June 2016 - 32
Recording - June 2016 - 33
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Recording - June 2016 - Cover3
Recording - June 2016 - Cover4
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