Review: Sound Forge Pro 14
User Review( votes)
Minor quirks in the user interface aside, version 14 of Sound Forge is an indispensable program for audio recording, mastering, and sound design. The Pro Suite comes with a plethora of additional tools to compliment it’s core functionality.
- Complete audio editing toolbox
- Bundled with iZotope mastering and restoration plug-ins
- UI should be brought up to design standards of Magix add-ons/plug-ins
Magix is on a roll recently, upgrading it’s suite of creative apps ever since acquiring Sony’s portfolio of media software. Acid, Vegas, and Sound Forge – the latter we’re reviewing in this article, strives to make your audio/visual production output as seamless and effortless as ever. How does this trio of apps fit into Magix already large collection of content creation tools? Read on to find out.
What does Sound Forge do?
Sound Forge is a professional audio recording, audio editing, and mastering suite. It differs from Digital Audio Workstations like Cubase, Pro Tools, and Studio One in the way that focuses on a single audio file at-a-time – there’s no MIDI production and editing here. Instead, Sound Forge’s strengths lie in mastering stereo mixes, cleaning up artifacts from field recordings, or applying creative edits to individual tracks from larger DAW sessions – utilizing Sound Forge as an external audio editor.
Sound Forge also has the ability to clean up “older” audio recordings, digitally remastering analog mixes with indispensable restoration features.
Aside from the ability to record up to 32 channels of audio recording, Sound Forge includes a new Instant Action window to accomplish mutli-window workflows with the press of a button. This improves the speed it takes to complete tasks, making light work out of what used to be tedious processes in earlier versions. Frequently used functions are seconds away with Instant Action, which puts all of your essential tools and functions a click away. Apply delay, compression, noise gates, and even external effects like Ozone 9 Elements – which comes bundled with the Pro Suite version of Sound Forge.
To compliment features like Instant Action, there is also a new Windows context menu to help make task assignments easier. It’s a simpler version of Macros for Microsoft Excel – but for audio. Another strong feature is the Windows context menu, which allows you to get basic tasks done by right-clicking the context menu without even opening Sound Forge Pro.
Another strong feature new to SF version 14 is WaveColor. The detailed waveform coloring algorithm allows you to identify pitch and volume characteristics according to their color and saturation. Magix rounds out the apps arsonal by including the essentialFX Suite, Analogue Modelling Suite (4 mastering plug-ins), Vintage Effects Suite (3 vintage effects), VariVerb II, and Vandal (guitar amp effects).
If you ever get stuck trying to complete certain tasks in the program, Magix has carried over the rather thoughtful ‘Interactive Tutorials’ from earlier versions. The tutorials walk you through all of the most popular audio engineering tasks, like how to extract audio from a CD or even create ACID loops.
While most audio work can be done in your primary DAW, making SF 14 Pro soft of redundant – there’s alot works out in the favor of Sound Forge’s streamlined,focused workflow. Plus, there’s a lot of additions that come with the Suite version of Sound Forge Pro 14, like Steinberg SpectraLayers Pro 6, iZotope Ozone 9 Elements, iZotope RX Elements, and MAGIX’s own plug-in bundles – making it truly a package of Suite proportions; You can also get the entry level of Sound Forge Audio Studio 14 for just $59.99 or Sound Forge Pro 14 standard for $299. They all have pretty much the same functionally as Pro Suite, you just have to shell out a bit more if you want the big daddy package that comes with all of the extras. If you don’t have SpectralLayers or iZotope software, it’s quite a bargain.