Sound Forge 2

Sony’s fa­mous audio app, now on the App Store

Mac Format - - RATED - £54.99 De­vel­oper Sony Cre­ative Soft­ware, sony­cre­ativesoft­ OS OS X 10.7 or later Re­quires 64-bit pro­ces­sor, 2GB RAM Ex­tremely fast per­for­mance Sup­ports 64-bit plug-ins Events make edit­ing much eas­ier Pros will miss some key tools

If you work with audio files you may know Sound Forge al­ready: it’s a wave­form ed­i­tor that en­ables you to record, edit, fix and out­put broad­cast-ready audio in a va­ri­ety of for­mats.

If the name doesn’t ring a bell, Sound Forge is a ri­val to pro­grams such as Stein­berg’s WaveLab or Adobe’s Au­di­tion. You can use it as a stand-alone ed­i­tor, to edit sam­ples and per­for­mances, or to master fin­ished tracks from dig­i­tal audio work­sta­tions such as Logic Pro X. Sound Forge 2 is a lighter ver­sion of Sound Forge Pro Mac 2, sold for half the price via the App Store.

Get­ting the price down means this ver­sion doesn’t have the Con­vrt batch pro­cess­ing tool, the loud­ness me­ters or the iZo­tope Mas­ter­ing Ef­fects Bun­dle. It also lacks some of the Pro edi­tion’s audio re­pair tools in­clud­ing Declicker, Denoiser and De­clip­per. How­ever, it pro­vides the same en­gine and key edit­ing tools as its more ex­pen­sive sib­ling, in­cludes the Wave Ham­mer com­pres­sor and sup­ports 64-bit Audio Unit (AU) and VST plug-ins.

While it can work on mul­ti­ple files and record up to 32 audio in­puts, it isn’t de­signed for Logic or Garageband-style com­po­si­tion, doesn’t do MIDI and doesn’t in­clude CD burn­ing, and while it of­fers SMPTE tim­ings, you can’t open ef­fects chains and ed­its you set up are a se­ries of in­struc­tions which re­main ed­itable. Edit­ing can be re­gion-based or event-based, with the lat­ter mak­ing it easy to make

Sound Forge is a blind­ingly quick app for edit­ing, and pro­duces pris­tine, broad­cast-ready audio files

video files and edit the audio tracks. What this is is a blind­ingly quick pro­gram that can com­bine audio from mul­ti­ple tracks, erad­i­cate im­per­fec­tions and pro­duce pris­tine files suit­able for broad­cast or use in other ap­pli­ca­tions.

Sound Forge is a non-de­struc­tive ed­i­tor, which means it doesn’t process the file un­til you tell it to: the huge changes to wave­forms: when you move an event to another part of the time­line, any­thing you’ve ap­plied to that event moves too.

You can ap­ply ef­fects or re­draw wave­forms to re­move clicks, pops or coughs; move sec­tions around, time-stretch or pitch-shift them; add cross-fades or in­sert si­lence; and, us­ing Wave Ham­mer, add a range of com­pres­sion ef­fects. It’s hard to en­vis­age an audio prob­lem that Sound Forge can’t fix, es­pe­cially as it can also use plug-ins you might al­ready have, such as Melo­dyne.

The in­ter­face isn’t the most user­friendly, CD burn­ing is an odd omis­sion and the miss­ing cleanup tools mean that for fix­ing poorqual­ity audio you’d be bet­ter off with the Pro ver­sion. How­ever, Sound Forge’s speed and price tag more than com­pen­sate. If you’re look­ing for an ed­i­tor that works as quickly as you do, Sound Forge 2 should be on the list. Gary Mar­shall

Sound Forge is a great com­pan­ion to Logic Pro and an ex­cel­lent audio app in its own right.

Sound Forge’s cus­tomis­able in­ter­face is a lit­tle in­tim­i­dat­ing, but the learn­ing curve isn’t too bad.

Sony’s Wave Ham­mer com­pres­sion tools are now on the Mac, so you can squeeze tracks un­til they squeak. Then you can re­draw the wave­form to re­move the squeak…

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