Test Drive: WaveLab 7 for PC and Mac

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by Steve Cunningham

Like so many other businesses in the 21st century, the audio software business is changing. In some ways audio software has become something of a commodity, as the differences between Pro Tools and Audition and Sound Forge and Wave Editor and Twisted Wave are not measured by sound quality; they all sound good, and only dogs can hear the differences. What differentiates them is their workflows and user interfaces. Once esoteric DSP-based software has become commonplace. Heck, you can record, edit, and mix on an iPhone if you’re so inclined.

In an effort to differentiate themselves, some companies are going cross-platform. Cockos was smart to introduce Reaper in both Mac and PC formats; Adobe introduced Audition for the Mac in an effort to steal some Pro Tools thunder; Avid’s defense was to remove the hardware requirement from the already cross-platform Pro Tools software. Steinberg, went cross-platform a while ago with Cubase and Nuendo. Now the company has granted a long-standing wish of mine by releasing its WaveLab 7 stereo editor in both Windows and Macintosh formats. This is a big deal for me personally... I kept a Pentium 4-powered Windows XP box around for a long time just to run WaveLab.

WaveLab 7 is available as a “full” version, with all the bells and whistles I’m used to, and in a slightly cut-down but still useful version called WaveLab 7 Elements (more about those below). In addition, both versions have been updated from version 6 in several ways having to do with workflow, and so far I like ‘em. Let’s have a look.

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