Analog Mastering in Wavelab Pro 10

I’m new to WL and am trying to come up with a plan for analog mastering with WL, and I’m having issues. I know you can use the Reference track to send to multiple outputs, and that you can set a track up with external fx, so there are technically options for getting it done, but it feels very clunky to me as a new user to use analog gear with WL.

Would anyone be willing to talk through how they print their analog masters within WL? I’d like to find an efficient way to print files, and often multiple versions of files that need to stay in sync, and I’m having a hard time doing it all in WL.

Anyone have a process that is working for them? Multiple montages for printing and assembling?

Thanks in advance-

I do everything (pitching/catching, sequencing) in a single Montage. I render the final sequence as new Montages for exporting final production masters for clients, as Justin Perkins suggested, and am very happy with the workflow.

What’s your current process, and where do you feel it’s clunky?

Hey Matthew - sorry for the slow response. I’ll once again admit that I’m new to this program, but I’m printing in a montage where I can control the sync points in case there’s an INST/TV/new mix/etc. I’ll sort of get everything printed there, and then make a new montage where I assemble and get fades and sequencing in place. Then do replacement files where versions would swap out, and I’ve taken some great workflow ideas from Justin Perkins, as well. He’s been very helpful as I’ve gotten going.

Anyway - that I have a montage that is just for printing feels really clunky. I want to print the alt versions at the same time since everything is lined up. I guess if there was some equivalent feature to ProTools’ playlists, I could print multiple versions from a single sync poin and just replace them in the assembly montage, but I don’t know of any way that WL can do that. I feel like I’m missing something that you can print and assemble in one go. I don’t know how I’d do that yet, but I know it has to be possible.

Any advice? Thanks in advance-

Your wording is very confusing… You say you “do replacement file: where versions would swap out”… What does this mean exactly? Are you putting alternate versions on different tracks? In different positions on one track? Are you removing them entirely from the montage?

I think you would find people can help better if you explain in more detail. Chances are, Wavelab can probably already do what you want. Exporting multiple clips at once is something Wavelab excels at. It may be able to export all of your ALT versions simultaneously. I’m just having a difficult time understanding what you’re doing.


Hey Todd - thanks, and sorry about the confusion. There are a bunch of new features to me in Wavelab and also terms, so sorry for describing poorly. I meant to say that I print anything and everything in montage 1. Then I’d save a new montage and sequence everything and get CD markers and metadata into place, and then export to the needed formats. If there is an alt version needed, I would print it with the same start point in montage 1, and then in montage 2, I’d go to ‘Replace Audio file’ and select the printed alt master there, and then export that new file with the same settings from the approved main version.

It is a lot of back and forth, and I know it’s inefficient. I’d love to be able to print multiple versions in a montage that are in sync with each other, assemble and sequence, push metadata where it needs to go, and export main versions in any formats, and also alt versions in any formats, along with Whole Montage export options. I haven’t stumbled into a good process on it yet to accomplish all of that.

I definitely agree that now that we have the ability to easily record in the montage, a playlist or takes system is essential to help manage different passes when a redo or something is needed.

I’ve always loved the Pro Tools playlist concept, and at first I hated the REAPER takes concept but now I like things about that too. I think a mixture of the two could be great.

A system like the REAPER takes system has allowed me to seamlessly punch into previous analog capture for cases where they forgot to send me a radio edit at first, so they send the same mix but with one or two words edited out, which saves me time redoing all the RX work on a new capture. Or cases where they sent a new mix for some other technical or creative reason, but I spent a lot of time cleaning up an intro, or removing the metronome bleed on an outro, sometimes the REAPER takes system has allowed me to preserve some work and avoid redoing any RX or other clean up work. Pro Tools style playlists probably would too but I’m just used to the REAPER way now.

It’s also helpful when you have to do a reprint to easily A/B between the previous capture and your live input before committing again. You need to be able to either make sure everything is identical to the original capture, or be able to instantly A/B to make sure that your intended changes are good.

As far as doing the main, instrumental, and radio edit of a song for example, in WaveLab, you can do them one after the other in the timeline, and assuming they were trimmed correctly from the start, you can match the ends of the new captures to the original files, and then with all three captures selected, you can hold option while trimming them further and the edits should be mirrored. In other words, you can edit the edges of more than one clip at a time by selecting them all and holding option.

As far as rendering, I usually wait until the main master is approved and then when it is, I do a Save As… of the approved master/source montage and then populate the Instrumental versions using the Replace Audio File option in the montage. It’s kind of slow because you have to do them one song at time, and I wish there was a Bulk Replace Audio File option so that we could say replace all these files with the files that are named the same but with [Instrumental] at the end, or something like that. I wouldn’t expect that WaveLab render ALL these versions without some manually assembly first.

Overall though, I think WaveLab is just in an awkward teenager stage. It’s WAY better than it ever was for using analog gear. So, if your main desire is to stay within one DAW for the entire mastering process, WaveLab 10 does it now. I know a few people happily doing this. However, if you main desire is to work in the analog realm and enjoy some of the benefits of a multi-track DAW like Pro Tools, Cubase, Logic, or REAPER (which is ridiculously customizable and scriptable), then maybe you still have to use one of those options for the analog I/O portion, and WaveLab for final montage assembly, and for any projects that are all “in the box”.

I’m sure at some point, WaveLab will improve on these weaknesses but it probably can’t happen all at once as there are other priorities to the DAW as well.