As far as crankin' out spots fast, fast, fast, Cool Edit Pro is excellent in many areas. If you don't make it perform tricks on the entire wave, only a few seconds will go by using most functions (Stretch and Squeeze, and Noise Reduction are the slow ones, if you consider waiting a minute slow, for such performance). Given faster computer hardware or a RAM-based virtual drive, the trade-off of a few seconds of waiting time versus the enormous power of this program doesn't seem, to me, to be much of a trade-off.
The only thing Cool Edit Pro doesn't have is a "Mixer Screen." But, as has been already mentioned, each track in the multitrack view has a single, left click access to its level. So, the question is, can you live without seeing a screen displaying the 64 sliders? Without a moment of hesitation, I can say "ohh yeah."
Now, the price.
Are you sitting down? Syntrillium has decided Cool Edit Pro is so easy to use, they are going to market it to the general public in computer stores, electronic superstores, and music stores, for-—get this—-a retail price of $399. Along with the program, on CD-ROM, they're also going to include a SFX library and a collection of music (although they probably would not be licensed for broadcast). It would be safe to assume nobody pays retail and that the street price would be closer to $300 than it would be to $400.
Let's pull out our calculators, boys and girls. Buying a faster computer, with much more memory than the one we used for our Test Drive, a drawing slate, and Cool Edit Pro, would cost less than $3000 today-—and that would include a 17" monitor (the 8-in/8-out soundcard would raise the price, however).
It doesn't get any cooler than that.
Thanks to Bob Ellison and Matt Bieber at Syntrillium for releasing the beta version of Cool Edit Pro to Radio And Production, coming soon to a store near you. Visit their Web site at www.syntrillium.com.