I really hope that with Wavelab 9, we see a very simple way to recreate montages at various sample rates. It would require that the user has a folder of files that are identical in length and name, only difference being that the sample rate has already been converted or is already set to the new target sample rate.
For example, for files and projects that come in at high sample rates, I always have a folder of the files at the original sample rate, and then the same files with the exact same length and heads/tails at 44.1k. The files are identical other than the sample rate. I convert them outside of Wavelab with Sample Manager or RX4.
I would really like to see a way to tell Wavelab to change the montage sample rate and then reference a specific folder of files that are already converted to the desired sample rate. I big part of the problem is that the CD track markers are tied to the audio sample of the montage, and not the timeline. So, if you change a montage from 44.1k to 96k, the makers move earlier in time.
There are a few reasons that I don’t like using the Crystal Resampler. The main reason is that it only works in the global master section and then you have to add a limiter with a ceiling and dither which defats the purpose of the montage master section that easily saves all the plugins inside the montage, no need to manually save and recall the master section.
The way I approach this situation now is kind of a slow and meticulous process. When I get files to master that are 96k for example, I master them at 96k using my digital/analog chain hybrid setup but at this stage, a final limiter has not been applied, I save the final limiter for the last step in Wavelab for various reasons. I properly name and trim the files and export to a special captured masters 96k folder. Then, using Sample Manager or RX4, I convert these files to 44.1k and store them in a special folder with 44_1k in the title so I have identical file sets other than the sample rate.
I still consider 44.1k the main delivery format because so many online distribution outlets need 16-bit/44.1k files, and of course people still make CDs that need to be a DDP master at 16-bit/44.1k. So, I assemble my final master is Wavelab using the 44.1k files, do the sequencing, any final EQ touches, enter CD-Text/Metadata, and then add the final limiter & dither.
After the client approves the project, if they need masters that are 24-bit/96k, I take a screen shot of all the clip times in Wavelab from the “clips” window. Then I do a Save As… of the montage and add 96k to the title. Then I change the montage setting to 96k. Then I replace each audio clip with it’s 96k equivalent.
Then I have to go and change the clip time values in the 96k montage to match the values in the 44.1k version, as well as recreate any volume fades and volume automation on the waveforms.
Then I have to double and triple check that everything was recreated properly. Then I disable the dither on the limiter and I’m able to render 24-bit/96k versions of the approved master. For me, the 24-bit/96k versions are the last thing I deliver to a client after I know the project is done.
It’s a little bit backwards, but most clients wouldn’t know what to do with 24-bit/96k files because they want to burn them to CD, or put on the phone/iPod for various listening.
This is why I choose to deliver the initial master for approval at 16-bit/44.1k, usually as a DDP with HOFA DDP Player Maker for easy listening by the client.
I really hope that Wavelab 9 can make this situation easier because it will be more and more common.