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Hi y'all!

Currently I play around with Cubase LE 4 (I got it with my Zoom H4 and My Presonus Firebox) but I long for a Soundforge like product that I used to have many, many years ago... I'm looking to do final mixing for film and TV, foley recording and sound design kind of stuff. Any suggestions and the reasons why you suggest?

Oh yes, I prefer the MAC platform...

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7 Answers 7

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Hi Andre,

There are already some very in-depth threads on the subject so have a read through those and you'll get the general idea of the pros and cons of the most popular DAWs. Most people are using Pro Tools, with a fare number of others (including myself) using Nuendo. As for audio editors, there are a lot of good examples of software ranging from cheap to very, very expensive. Anyway, here are some links to get you going, plus the 'Related' menu on the right usually gives some good suggestions for other threads on the same subject.

Which DAW?

Pro Tools vs Logic

A trip down DAW memory lane!

Hope it helps!

Colin

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I use Soundtrack Pro, Logic Pro and ProTools.

Soundtrack Pro (in a file-editing mode) is similar to SoundForge, but also has multitrack mode.

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From what I've picked up from listening to a lot of the other guys here and on Twitter, Wavelab + Sound Forge seem to be the business, as does Bias Peak Studio (pro?).

I'd argue you could use Pro Tools for a lot of editing and audio treatment, but the programs listed above are dedicated audio editors and more suited to the task.

Might also want to look into izotope RX2 as far as plugins go.

Please, anyone else feel free to chime in here or correct me, I'm far from an expert on this topic.

Best piece of advice possible: Want to edit audio? Avoid Logic like a rabid zombie with herpes. It really is THAT bad.

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Thats a little harsh, what is your problem with Logic studio? I have never had a problem using it for editing even though its more geared up for composing. Thought it seemed pretty simple really. The amount of great plug ins you get with the package is also very good. –  Lenny Nov 11 '10 at 12:43
    
Logic 9 is actually OK for editing audio, especially with the new "zone-specific" (read "smart") tool that does fades and such. Also clip-based gain is great (they should have pitch too but, well..) What it really lacks is a menu equivalent to the "Audiosuite" menu in Protools. The amount of good quality plugins is silly indeed. –  georgi Nov 17 '10 at 22:16

What you are looking for are two rather different tools. A DAW for mixing and a stereo file editor for stereo file editing.

I noticed that you mentioned mixing for film and tv. Are you speaking of it at a commercial level? I would actually suggest Pro Tools if the people that you are working with are going to be using it too. Especially with Pro Tools 9 the cost of doing mixing for film and tv has gone down a lot. But remember that Pro Tools 9 isn't a buy one buy all kind of solution. I personally do not feel that the plugins are as complete as I would like it to be. Most would compare it to Logic 9 where the plugin collection is much better. However, I feel that Logic 9 is much better suited for musicians and composing.

I would suggest getting something else for sound design and/or foley editing as Pro Tools can be overkill for such purposes. I like Wave Editor by Audiofile Engineering for editing sound files as it is really fast. Loading Pro Tools to edit a wave file is simply ridiculous. Other options include Wavelab, Bias Peak but I look to them for audio mastering rather than just editing. It all depends on how much editing you need to do in them.

It all boils down to your preferences and the environment that you are working in. Look around for a chance to try different software and the tools that you will need. You don't have to have everything to get started. You can always upgrade in the future if you find something is lacking.

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You mentioned you wanted to do film. Pro Tools is the industry standard. If a professional posting house is mixing or recording, it will be done in Pro Tools. There will be exceptions, but what I will say is that both the West USA movie industries in LA and Vancouver are Pro Tools exclusive. Nuendo is the little bro of the industry. I cant say much on Nuendo, I have only used it rarely.

Now with PT9 working with any interface, its like any other DAW that you can use with any hardware now. This almost makes it a no-brainer for anyone - but this perspective is usually shared with other PT users as opposed to non-PT users.

The end to my rant: If you are going to own your own business for local audio editing, mixing, post production for commercials etc. and have everything in house - use whatever you want. If you want to be in the industry as a work for hire - or as an editor for movies etc. use Pro Tools. Knowing Pro Tools is like knowing the basics for this industry - but its not an end all either. Most people say that if you know 1 DAW, you know them all. I find it to be true, its just there is a learning curve to any program - many people know how to use them, but who can work the fastest and most efficiently is a different story.

In terms of whats being taught educationally - both my Bachelors in Music Production and Post Graduate in Sound Design for Film and Games were taught in Pro Tools. Logic was next. Logic is good for music composition. I havent found much use for it anywhere else, however it does come with timecode and frame editing right out of the box, which is something you need to pay for with PT.

On other programs mentioned: I used Wavelab to master albums and print CD's with the corresponding metadata (tags, song spacing, etc). And I used SoundForge to do small audio tasks if it was the program available. Wavelab is a fine program, and I wouldnt talk smack about it either, now SoundForge on the other hand...

Note: I am not too much of a fan of anything running on Windows, as the possibility of a crash (that you cannot force quit) upon DSP/CPU freak out is slightly higher than on a Mac. This statement is strictly my opinion based on my own experience and observation. Do not quote me on this or your computer will explode...

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And read the other posts on this subject. You will get a much more comprehensive look at the entire subject than what I can give you. –  C3Sound Nov 9 '10 at 16:59
    
@C3Sound Thanks for the in depth response, much appreciated! I work as a production sound recorder at the moment and am wanting to expand and your comments have made it clear for me...now to scrape and grovel the cash together to afford Pro Tools! Do they offer educational packages? No worries, I'll scour the net and see what I can find. Thaks again. PS I used to have PC but now I work on Mac, it's the only way to go IMHO when in the industry! :) –  Andre Feldmann Nov 11 '10 at 17:10

for mixing for film&tv you are looking at either Pro Tools or Nuendo. that said, you might really want to grow your daw relationship organically and go with whatever allows you to be creative and do more things quicker. I've seen guys create wonders on Adobe Audition, as much as I've seen people hack things to high standard in Vegas. With the right mindset you can use any DAW to advance sufficiently and then transfer (although it's not going to be the most straightforward experience at first).

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I was wishing last night that I had Nuendo for windows because of the 3D sound plug-in by ISONO. Pro Tools is the industry standard but for some people its just as well to play spin the bottle and pick whichever DAW it lands on. Good luck!

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