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I'm looking for a cheap wave editor (as in not the $600 for Peak) to use with Basehead. Wave Editor seems very nice! I'm playing with the demo now and although I'm only getting started, I'm already enjoying it. I can see it being useful, especially for the price of $79.

My editing, mixing and mastering of sound effects is done in Nuendo, I think Wave Editor will be a good first pass at editing my sounds. With Wave Editor, I could directly from within Basehead run a mid-side decoder, normalize, trim, add some metadata etc.

Can anyone comment?

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5 Answers

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oh this is a sore spot. I come from Cool Edit on PC and have tried pretty much everything in the lower price bracket on the Mac, including Wave Editor, DSP Quattro, Sound Studio, Peak LE/Express and others.

For being straightforward my heart is with Sound Studio. It's a terrible hack of an app by Freeverse who have virtually dropped support for it (, focused on the iPhone, and were recently acquired by ngmoco, a large game developer). Still, I haven't found anything on the Mac that allows me to chop sounds quicker than SS. Yet it's full of bugs, and lacks basic features such as (wait for it).. meters.

EDIT: I just tried Amadeus Pro and it feels promising, and with some getting-used-to it could be my editor of choice. It has all the necessary basics, some odd shortcuts, and some interface inconsistencies (sonogram view). The meters are buried in the Transport window, which is not visible by default (don't ask me..) But at this cost these are no troubling features.

Wave Editor is strong and keeps getting better, but for me it lacks the immediacy of Sound Studio (which has the immediacy of Cool Edit). The multiple window interface makes it feel scattered. If you come from Sound Forge on the PC then it will probably make more sense. I like its extensive support of markers, and niche functions (m/s decoding etc), but it still lacks on the ergonomic front (shortcut keys, quick access to functions). I don't think the idea of Layers translates too well and for me the interface feels sluggish. And then there's the trouble with fades (single click on SS, 3 levels deep menu on WE). For all the nice features, WE feels inconsistent and convoluted.

DSP Quattro puzzled me with the strange choice of just 4 plugins per track. I heartily recommend to the makers to drop the idea and limit the legacy to just its name.

The one software I could never get into was Soundtrack Pro. There's also Wavepad but I feel an inexplicable discomfort with it. Same with TwistedWave.

I really wish Adobe would port Audition to OSX, and there is a fair chance of them actually doing so, seeing how SoundBooth has progressed so far, and the recent changes to the interface across CS4. Unfortunately CS5 did not bring much news re sound to the table. No mention of Audition 4 either.

There's also talk of WaveLab coming to the Mac, which might sweep the market if Steinberg can better Bias on price. edit: Here it is - version 7.

All in all, it feels like no (Mac) developer actually did research on what we use these things for. And even then I can imagine companies not feeling very motivated with desktop software at the moment, given the portable app market goldmine. The one title that could make some change, without coming from an iphone-obsessed vendor, is Audacity, but that team have no idea what they're doing (pardon the bluntness).

Another problem is that it takes more than just a few launches to evaluate a product and it takes many months to get an idea of how committed a company is to developing their product. In my case with SoundStudio I feel bad but also I still haven't found anything snappier.

Hope this helps.

p.s. I'd love if someone who's tried the higher end (soundblade, peak pro, etc) chimed in with their comments.

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@georgi.m Thanks for giving such a in depth answer. Very useful. I'm going through them, to see if there is another better option. I don't intend to spend much time editing each sound from the wave editor, so I probably don't need to be too picky as long as it has basic editing and VST support. I wish Wave Editor could save the 'layers' as a template, this would be a great option that would tip the scale for me. I can sort of do it, but via a workaround, which is unpractical. DSP-Quatro, although more expensive, seems quite nice. I'm downloading the demo now. Thanks again for all the input. –  Andrew Spitz Mar 18 '10 at 10:13
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Hello I use TwistedWave. It's work well and the developper is very very reactive.

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I would recommend Amadeus. It's the closest thing I've found to resemble SoundForge, (which is the only Windows app that I miss with all my heart. ::tear::)

It helped that Amadeus was used as a teaching tool by one of my profs in Electroacoustics. The incredible things he could demonstrate (and compose, on a microscopic level) by only using: copy, paste, fade and gain commands. Once you learn the shortcuts, it's a zippy little app.

Not too stiff on the wallet, either.

Amadeus by Hairersoft.

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I'm a big fan of Wave Editor. In fact, I used to loath sample editors until I started using it a couple years ago (around v1.2... they're at 1.4.6 now) and did all my sample editing inside a multi-track DAW. The developers themselves are studio guys and are not only responsive to the needs of users (they participate in the forums), but they themselves keep in mind what the product is being used for and try not to overload it with frivolity, mainly so they can keep their own sessions flowing. The support desk built into their apps is pretty cool, too, with someone getting back usually in 3-4 hours, sometimes up to a day.

In keeping with your needs you stated above, all of the developer's products support both VSTs and AUs. While you can't make a "layer" template per se, you CAN create a .wedt file (wave editors native file format, which includes all the layer, non-destructive editing, effects, & etc. info) with as many pre-built layers and effects and markers as you want. Save that and open a copy every time you want to use it as a template (or check "Stationary Pad" in the finder Get Info window, which will cause the opening program to request you save a duplicate of the file before editing).

Editing's pretty quick and painless. Just be sure to enable whatever you want or need from the view options menu, otherwise you might think (quite justifiably) you're missing something. While they are lacking on shortcut keys for some basic editing function, they have a shortcut key editor that allows you to customize the keys and add a shortcut for ever menu item.

One thing that throws newcomers off is fades. They get bogged down with the fade editor (in the layers menu->add fade), thinking it's the only way to create and/ or edit fades. While it is pretty powerful, don't overlook the corners of the smart edits which, depending upon your shortcut key, allow you to simply click and drag to create basic linear or logarithmic fades of any length up to that of the smart edit itself. You can also adjust and create cross fades in the same single-click and drag manner. There's a lot buried in the program and chances are if think there's an easier way to do something, there probably is.

BTW, Andrew, I just stumbled across your sound + design podcast on itunes not two days ago. For the three episodes you popped out it was very interesting. Will we see/ hear anymore?

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Very useful answer, thanks! I've actually been getting into WE. I'd figured how to save the layers, but the problem has been that in Basehead I can press a button and the sound opens up in your wave editor of choice but I can't actually pick the .wedt file, or at least I can't figure it out. It's not a big deal though. Regarding the podcast, the sounds are just sounds from my site that gets repackaged automatically as a podcast. The problem is that the audio player on the bog was acting out a little so I scrapped the idea, and never told anyone about it. Maybe I should just do it again. –  Andrew Spitz Mar 23 '10 at 20:44
    
The .wedt file is WE native that still has all the layer, plugins, track info etc. attached. You will need to flatten it 'Layer - Flatten' in order to create a .wav file. If you do this, you will still have the .wedt file to go back to if needed. –  user139 Mar 24 '10 at 11:17
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I've played with Wave Editor a fair bit, but I can't seem to get in the flow with the app. I keep going back to it from time to time, but i've found app oddly processor intensive for no reason. It has been a bit more functional for me since I mapped better shortcuts, but it is still growing on me.

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