I use pro tools to edit all my SFX recordings and was wondering why some people use Pro Tools and a separate wave editor. I was looking at http://www.audiofile-engineering.com/waveeditor/ and can't seem to find anything special that it does that pro tools can not.

6 Answers 6


I use izotope RX as a wave editor, and it works wonderfully (though I wish I could crossfade in there).

Really, the reason to use a wave editor is to bypass a couple of things you always have to do in a DAW situation:

1)create a new session 2)export or otherwise output sounds

By using a wave editor you just dive into the sound and start hacking. apple+s when you're done and move on. this means if you just need to cut up chunks of a take, remove slates, do some EQ, or pull out a couple of annoying blips in the sound you can do so without any import or export steps.

Also, destructive batch editing if that's your thing.

  • @Rene Are you talking about 10 sounds at a time or 3,000 lines of dialogue for a video game? If the latter, I could see where time could be saved, but for 10 sound FX I'd much rather use the Pro Tools method because of the EQ, phase, pitch and corrective tools and things that are available to you that wouldn't otherwise be there. Your thoughts?
    – Utopia
    Dec 31, 2010 at 18:07
  • re: video game dialogue I'd use a more robust wave editor than izotope but yeah. I HAVE done fairly large games exclusively in protools (dragonball Z:Budokai 3 comes to mind), but it didn't feel as efficient as it could be. Re:a small batch of sfx all of the tools are still generally there. The EQ in IzRx is awesome, and I don't do pitch shifting until the point where I'm designing something. FWIW I don't put a sound in my library until after its run through RX, and while I do run some though protools I don't run them all there.
    – Rene
    Dec 31, 2010 at 20:08
  • @Rene Ah, I didn't know RX had a good sounding EQ. Yet another good reason for me to save up and buy it... ;)
    – Utopia
    Dec 31, 2010 at 23:03
  • yeah, the eq in combination with the spectrograph is pretty amazing. It has both an analog mode and a linear phase eq. Also a great hum removal eq with super tweaky harmonics, Q shapes and slopes in it. Add in a basic gain function, the ability to destructively trim the heads and tails, resampling, dither, spectral repair, noise reduction, de clipping, de clicking, etc - you start to lose reasons for bothering with PT on a small set of mono or stereo files.
    – Rene
    Jan 1, 2011 at 3:39

I use BIAS Peak Pro (sometimes happily, sometimes not) for the same reasons that Rene outlined: Immediacy. It's simply a question of the right tool for the right context. If I'm editing a single sound for my own library, it's into the stereo wave editor I go. If I'm designing something complex enough to require multiple tracks, I dive into a DAW.

Don't make the assumption that a wave editor will have more functionality than a DAW; it's quite the opposite. These lines are sometimes blurred, too. For example, Pro Tools, iZotope RX, Soundminer v4 Pro, and Adobe Audition have significant functional overlaps, but each is really good at extremely different things (DAW, audio surgery, library/DB, and wave editing, respectively). An analogy would be how any digital painter will of course have Painter, but they'll also have Photoshop, and probably Alias Sketchbook. Different tools for different contexts, even though there's some overlap.


I use AE Waveeditor along with Ardour or Ableton Live depending on the project. Neither of those DAWs have any real wave editing capability, but I can vouch for Waveeditor's smooth workflow, and I'm sure that this is the reason that people use a dedicated wave editor when the task at hand is so specific. Waveeditor is interesting since it more closely resembles photoshop than other wave editors, and I find this allows more flexibility to be creative. In particular the layering workflow (of effects, and of multiple files) is well suited to the task of readying wave files to be dropped into your favourite DAW's sequencer. Although this can be achieved by other methods, including within pro tools. Wave editor's only real con is that it uses a fair amount of the cpu, and updates seem to be slow going, the next of which is said to dramatically reduce cpu usage, but seems to have been in beta forever. If you're at home using pro tools, then there's probably no reason to get a dedicated wave editor.



I use Soundtrack Pro for just about all destructive editing. It provides some features that I don't get elsewhere, can run scripts and batches and gives me access to all of my AU effects, plus the awesome Logic-only stuff like Space Designer, Delay Designer etc. Plus it's built specifically for the waveform editing, so it's efficient and "just works".


It is just speed and taste. Wave editors are brilliant for working on single files without having to import and bounce to disk. It can also be a bit like choosing between different mics or analog gear, the colouration is slightly different depending on the algorithms and I find that I often have to be more drastic with the EQ in Pro Tools compared to wave editors.


I'm a fan of Steinberg Wavelab. I've been using it on and off for years and for editing SFX it's great.

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