Sound Forge Audio Studio 16 - Ability to seek while mastering

Saine wrote on 12/2/2022, 12:46 AM

Hi all,

I upgraded my system (PC) a month ago and literally through that whole time I've been trying to find a simple, high quality wave editor for performing a final master on files. It will be used for 'official' masters so it needs to have a high quality resample algorithm.

Izotope RX, Wavelab and the like are expensive and filled with features - very crowded, for when just a minimalistic wave editor / mastering utility is needed. I most certainly -do not- want multitrack recording etc. as I do all that with a DAW as per usual. The main view needs to be simple, just a clean empty screen where I can drag and drop my audio files for mastering.

I remember the old Sound Forge Pro 10 used to be 100% this - and while I was disappointed to see that the new Sound Forge Pro has a busy interface, multitrack etc, there still exists something called Sound Forge Audio Studio 16 - and what's more, it is advertised as being suited for mastering duties.

It even comes with Izotope Ozone Essentials included, which is handy since that limiter is very nice.


Long story short.

It's starting to look like you can't master with this program after all - there is a separate window for a plug-in chain with a "preview" button, but that always starts playing from the beginning.

The advert mentioned this can be used for mastering but I can't find the functionality from the ancient versions of SF where you could listen to the plug-in chain in real time and of course - seek to any position within the track.

Of course, that functionality is necessary when listening to the material from different points of the track while setting the limiter levels etc.

But it literally says this program has mastering tools, so I'm confused. Can someone assist me where the ability to 'seek' with the plug-in chain is? If that is non existent, then this is certainly not a program which could be used for mastering.


Saine wrote on 12/2/2022, 6:27 AM

Adding to this, as it could help someone in the future.

There seems to be a workaround of sorts - it's a bit clumsy, but if you prefer to use the trimmed down version of SF (not the pro version with all the bells & whistles) and want to be able to pre-hear your mastering effects at a selected point within the track, you can try this:

- Have the audio window and the plugin / plugin chain window lined up next to each other, so you can view both.

- Set your limiter (or whatnot) and when previewing it and wishing to "seek" to a selected point, use the yellow (by default) loop marker region as a point-selector. It will work even though your plugin window is open.

- Then, before applying the effect, remember to drag the loop marker back to the beginning of the track (otherwise it will only process what's inside that region).

It seems like it works. Again, use the pro version if you need more - but if the Audio Studio version is 99.99% what you need, just with that one seek option missing - then this should work.

rraud wrote on 12/2/2022, 12:55 PM

Welcome to the Magix Sound Forge users community @Saine.

The plug-in chainer was changed in SF-11 (and later) to be used in different modes. To use the chainer like in Sound Forge 10, "Apply Plug-in chain" in the 'FX Favorites' menu must be selected. The 'Record' UI was also changed in SF-11, and 'Remote Record' was removed.. though it was brought back in SF-15. Both the redesigned chainer and record UI take a while to get used to transitioning from SF-10 and before.

Later versions of Sound Forge can be customized to be almost identical to SF-10, The default factory layout is cluttered with multiple tools windows and toolbar items that folks may not use and can be hidden. Different user layouts can be saved just like in SF-10. The overall color of the newer versions can be changed as well for Dark, Medium, Light and White. which was not possible in SF-10 and other SCS (Sony) versions. below is a basic simplified display comparison of Sound Forge 10 and 15.

If I wanted to spend the time, the colors can to set be almost exactly like SF-10 Above. I used SF-15's 'White' display option in this comparison. I typically use 'Dark:

The lower cost SF Audio Studio UI is basically the same as SF Pro, both include iZ's Ozone Elements. Speaking of which.. iZotope's holiday sale is going on with huge discounts.

Saine wrote on 12/3/2022, 12:06 AM

Thanks for the info rraud.

For new users, it could be made more clear on how the plug-in chainer functions (especially in terms of 'seeking' / choosing which area to preview when using plugins) - even the help/tutorial section was quite unclear about this I think.

Looking at the big picture, though, the price on this thing is great for what you get, and it looks like I finally got my workflow working like I need it to, so I'll be purchasing the program now.

rraud wrote on 12/3/2022, 12:19 PM

FWIW, I was on the beta test team for SCS Sound Forge Pro 11 which was when the plug-in chainer and record UI changes were initiated. I 'questioned' these non-intuitive changes but Sony ignored my comments and recommendations. My rapport with Magix is much better..

btw, Sound Forge Audio Studio does not have the modal plug-in chainer and automation. "Apply Plug-in chain" must still be selected in 'FX Plug-ins'. (aka, FX Favorites) menu. However SF Audio Studio does have the (restored) 'Remote Record' and the relatively new 'Instant Actions' menu. The "Organize plug-ins" in the 'FX Favorites' menu was moved to the 'View' menu and renamed "Plug-in Manager" in SF-16. Otherwise it is the same as Sound Forge 10 so a user will not have to relearn much.