Tuesday , April 16 2024
A sound editor that will grow with you.

Software Review: Sound Forge Pro 10 From Sony

Sound Forge Pro 10 is a professional digital audio editor from Sony Creative Software. It provides audio editors and producers streamlined control over all aspects of audio editing and mastering. It is an all-in-one production suite for recording, mastering, sound design, restoration, and Red Book CD creation for both studio and field audio work.

Sound Forge Pro 10 a very sophisticated software program that is made for users of all musical backgrounds. While it can be used on many different levels, it does contain many of the features that may only be required by the most advanced and/or specialized users. This can be intimidating to some, but it really shouldn't be and the benefits of high quality sound can be appreciated by all.

Sound Forge Pro 10 contains a complete set of tools for working with and recording audio. It can create high quality sound, edit in mono, stereo, and multi-channel (up to 32 channels), and perform precise event editing. It includes tools for sound design and mastering, effects processing, and even for creating audio for video.

What do you need to run Sound Forge Pro 10?

• Microsoft® Windows® XP (SP2 or later), Windows Vista
• 1 GHz processor
• 512 MB RAM
• 300 MB hard disk space for program installation
• Windows-compatible sound card
• DVD-ROM drive (for installation from a DVD only)
• Supported CD-recordable drive (for CD burning only)
• Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0

So what's new with Sound Forge Pro 10?

Precise event-based editing now includes a new Event Tool that offers more power and precision when working with audio files. You can quickly move, split, and trim events. You can create fades, apply attack/sustain/release (ASR) envelopes and crossfades in a single data window. This provides an easier way to edit edges and is ideal for audio mastering where you want more control, flexibility, and to increase your editing speed.

Integrated disc-at-once (DAO) CD burning will let you perform CD layout and mastering directly within the Sound Forge editing environment. Contained in Sound Forge is a fully integrated DAO CD mastering component that will let you generate Red Book-compliant DAO premasters suitable for professional replication. This includes all of the necessary tools to create masters that will result in time savings and efficient workflow.

Zplane élastique Pro timestretch and pitch shift plug-in will let you process audio while retaining audio quality with fewer artifacts. This will give you better audio sounds. This means that your files can be time-stretched and pitch-shifted while retaining maximum quality. The plug-in includes various stretching methods tailored to the type of source audio including Pro Soloist, and Efficient Modes.

iZotope 64-bit sample rate conversion (SRC) is necessary for converting material from one sampling rate such as studio quality (192 kHz) to another, like CD quality (44.1 kHz). iZotope will help you protect against the loss of data, noise, and, through the use of a hybrid low-pass filter design along with ringing control, results in better sounding end results.

iZotope 64-bit MBIT+ dither plug-in will take control of the quantization noise as well as controlling where the noise goes. The best sounding audio requires the highest sample rate and this plug-in employs psychoacoustic methods to distribute noise into less audible ranges which results in an improved sound and smoother fades.

Interface changes to Sound Forge Pro 10 include customizable window layouts for more efficient editing sessions, floating window docks for more control over your workflow, and tabbed browsing for maximized data windows that will give you more efficiency when editing multiple audio files.

Musical instrument file processing will let you open, process, and save DLS, GigaStudio/GigaSampler, and Sound Font 2.0 musical instrument files. This will give you more flexibility when working with musical instrument files. Effects and processes can also be easily added directly to samples as well.

Metadata editing is possible through the new Metadata windows so that you can quickly and easily edit CD information, regions list, playlist/cutlist, track list, ACID properties, sampler information, and more. These can be used alongside data windows and are easily dockable in the Sound Forge interface.

Interactive tutorials will provide walk-through demonstrations of common features and functionality. This will allow you to get started and up to speed much faster and puts information at your fingertips. This will result in less time learning and more time editing and mastering.

Mastering Effects Bundle 2 from iZotope include the following six professional audio plug-ins: Mastering EQ, Mastering Reverb, Multiband Compressor, Mastering Limiter, Stereo Imager, and Harmonic Exciter. These will provide more functionality to an already rich environment.

Sound Forge Pro 10, while very a powerful and complex piece of software, installs very easily. It provides a lot of new features that will really enhance your workflow and make it easy to improve just about any kind of audio that you have. Along with working with standard studio audio, you can also use Sound Forge Pro to clean up old analog recordings from tape, video, and other sources, removing noise and other artifacts.

The event based editing really does give you much more control over the editing of sound clips, edges, and fades. The timestretch feature with real-time preview gives very good quality when working with audio and the pitch and time can be manipulated independently.

The updated window layouts and workspace capabilities makes everything much easier to work with and you can even specify window layouts that are designed for certain tasks like CD authoring or video editing so when you are ready to work, Sound Forge is ready to work with you.

Sound Forge Pro also gives you much more flexibility when working with ACID loops. You can create one-shot files, loop files, as well as an ACID 3.0 Beatmapped file. It also provides the ability to work with Video as well including AVI, WMV, MOV, and MPEG files. You can edit a video file's audio track with single-frame accuracy.

Then there are all of the real-time effects. In Sound Forge Pro 10, there are over 40 effects, many of which can be previewed in real-time with different presets. The effects are grouped by developer and include effect types like distortion, flange, noise gate, pitch, reverb, vibrato, and more.

Finally, Sound Forge Pro 10 comes with performance optimization through the global media cache which allows for the customization of the amount of RAM to reserve for media read from or written to the disk giving you more speed and performance when processing files.

Could there be improvements? Sure. The main thing that I see is the supported formats should be increased to include a wider variety, and the addition of a spectrum based editing feature would be a win as well. That said, the improvements and additions to Sound Forge Pro 10 make it well worth the upgrade. If you are looking for a sound editor that will grow with you then I can highly recommend Sound Forge Pro 10.

About T. Michael Testi

Photographer, writer, software engineer, educator, and maker of fine images.

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