Sound Forge Pro 11 Adds Useful Tools
often Radio World asks me to review audio editing software that is
designed or suitable for the radio production or creative director. I
must admit that it’s exciting to tinker with new plug-ins and see
how well the program performs in a real-world environment. You may
remember that I shared my thoughts earlier this year on Sound
Forge for Mac. Now, it’s time to look at the latest edition
of Sound Forge for PC — Sound Forge Pro 11.
Forge Pro 11, users will find a new Record Options window to make
life just a wee bit easier. Simple and sweet would define the
wish to start the recording manually, they can go right ahead. The
program defaults to the manual mode. If users wish for the program to
automatically start recording when it hears audio, simply set the
audio threshold. Perhaps a daily satellite feed needs recording.
Sound Forge Pro can handle that, too. It’s extremely easy to set
what time for the program to start and stop recording and it will
handle multiple entries. It can even be set it to record daily or
weekly at the same time. This took about two seconds to figure out
and it worked like a champ.
feature that I liked was the DC offset button. At times, a sound card
will add DC current to a recording and you may notice a line on your
waveform. Sound Forge Pro 11 can automatically correct this problem.
This will save time and much energy trying to fix the problem in
meters are an interesting addition to Sound Forge Pro 11. There are a
total of six meters to view: Momentary Loudness, Short Term
Loudness, Integrated Loudness, Loudness Range and True Peaks for Left
and Right Channels. There are also boxes that display the numeric
value of each loudness meter.
is an interesting tool to study the audio with which you are working,
I’m not sure how useful it is in day-to-day production duties. Sound Forge boasts that it can be used to help comply with the CALM
Act; for our purposes in radio production, I don’t think it
benefits us. It may be if you are in video production. For an audio
forensics junkie such as myself, it is fascinating to watch.
PLUG ME IN
improvements have been made in not only the plug-ins themselves but
the plug-in chain, as well.
chains can play a big role when creating or mastering a piece. They
are key to shaping the sound of your creation. The chains allow the
ability to rearrange the order of effects that are put on a track or
can add /remove a desired effect. Unlike previous versions of this
program, Sound Forge now has the ability to click away from the
plug-in chain so you may edit or adjust the track you are working on.
If a user likes a chain that has been created, it’s easy enough to
save it for future use. Users can also work on different plug-in
chains associated with different tracks in another window. To all
current Sound Forge users, this is a huge improvement to work flow.
and improved features of Sound Forge Pro 11 are the audio restoration
tools. I’m a collector of 78-rpm disks and this is a field near and
dear to my heart. I am thrilled to see a multitude of presets in the
De-Noiser and De-Clicker … even some geared for 78s. The De-Clicker
did a pretty solid job of removing crackle from a beat-up 1936
Brunswick record. Artifacts were minimal. However, I was slightly
disappointed with the De-Noiser. It did a decent job but I felt like
I didn’t have as much control as I should. I would have liked a
graph to help me adjust which frequencies I wished to attack more
aggressively. It did remove surface noise but, due to limited
control, fell apart if I pushed it harder.
Sony Creative Software
Sound Forge Pro 11
Floating plug-in chain
New record options window
Still no multitrack capabilities
For information, contact Sony at www.sonycreativesoftware.com.
the De-Clipper was impressive. I intentionally over-modulated my
voice when recording into the program, and we all know how bad
digital distortion can sound. I applied the De-Clipper and I was
blown away. Immediately my voice was clear and crisp. No distortion
or artifacts to be found. Well done, Sound Forge!
a production guy or gal, you know how important voice processing is.
I found all the tools I need to make a voice sound big and beautiful.
I recorded three voices (an older male, a younger male and a female)
and applied various compressors, limiters, vocal enhancements, to
each track. Since each person’s voice is unique, often a setting
that can sound great for one voice will sound dire when applied to
another set of vocal chords. Sound Forge Pro 11 offers a multitude of
processors and an infinite number of choices to achieve the sound
that you are looking for. Thanks to the plug-in chain, I was able to
make each voice full, crisp and clear.
ever encountered an error that the soundcard can’t support a
particular sample rate? This is frustrating to say the least. But
alas, there may be a solution — Sound Forge Pro 11 will
automatically adjust the sample rate for playback to one that your
soundcard can support when you are using an ASIO device. The Sample
Rate box in the program will display that it has changed the sampling
rate to accommodate the device you are using.
My one big
gripe with the Sound Forge family, including this latest release, is
that I would like to see multitrack capabilities. I am not a fan of
having to take my audio files out of Sound Forge and use Sony’s
Vegas or another program just to create a mix.
overall experience with Sound Forge Pro 11 was positive. The creators
clearly are listening to consumer feedback and have made some
necessary improvements to the program. The wealth of plug-ins and the
audio restoration suite make it a useful tool for audio forensics.
While the ergonomics of the program still aren’t completely to my
liking, being able to navigate away from the floating plug-in chain
definitely helps the workflow. I would recommend this program to
anyone entering the audio restoration or voice-over field. What
exciting goodies will we encounter in the next edition of Sound
Plotkin is the director of production and creative services for a
large metropolitan radio station.