Sound Forge 2
Sony’s famous audio app, now on the App Store
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…