Does anyone else think Wavelab 7 design is really clunky?

Interesting dialogues, and clearly a range of experiences and opinions.

For me, the heart of any software or any service for that matter, is the response you get as a user. I choose the services I need on the basis of the support and help that is offered. I think that is paramount at the end of the day and the bottom line in any purchasing decision I make.

For example, I recently ordered a Taylor V Guitar Cable from a store in Texas, the only place I could get it after some research - Taylor is blocking export elsewhere for some reason. The seller, David, found out the import duty for me by emailing a previous UK importer, he packaged the cable in a way to expedite swift delivery, and even photographed the package for me just before posting. We had a really pleasant and creative dialogue between us which resulted in mutual feeling of service (which he loves) and being served (in the nicest possible way?).

I think the heart of this thread is about ‘being heard’ by whoever is designing and steering the development of
WL7 and a wish that comments and ideas are being taken seriously and even acted upon. That is, I believe, what drives improvement and development of any service?

I have been hanging out in these forums for about 10 years now, as a Cubase and Wavelab user, and know that there has always been an underlying ‘tone’ in many, many posts that users don’t feel listened to, or that suggestions are being taken seriously by the people writing the software. I know that attacking others, or being publically enraged doesn’t work, at least long term, so I appreciate calm, considered dialogue and that happens quite a bit here.

I believe it is the user experience which should guide software development and any software developer can only thrive by listening to that user experience, and polling for it. That is how software grows?

Anyway, I started this thread because I wondered if anyone else had the same kind of experience I do when I use the WL software. I don’t need or look for being agreed with, and am interested in disagreements. But I DO appreciate, really appreciate being heard and acknowledged, as we all do.

I get a ‘kind of’ sense of that here; mixed up with a strange kind of ‘aggression’ and ‘defensiveness’, which is a bit beyond me. I don’t have that much time for it at the delicate age of 61 and feel worn out by the aggression in the world.

Thanks for the responses. I don’t think, or sense, that anything is likely to change with WL anytime soon, which I am sad about. But I can live with what is being currently offered, I’m not wetting myself about it!

I am hopeful that someone out there might come up with a serious Open Source competitor developing a thriving community of contributor users, now that WOULD be exciting!

signing out of this thread now.

thanks everyone


Well - It’s up to you to worry about the concept and confusion - you wrote it. And many other DAWS from Sonor to Presonus, Logic etc have rolled out excellent UIs with brilliant “focused” single windows concepts with just as much (if not more complexity than Wavelab will ever have) and they seem to be doing just fine.

I have never seen this type of UI on any application (audio or otherwise) in all my computing since 1993 and I have used a LOT of apps. Also I do not know know a single contact of mine who would use Open Office let alone have an opinion on it’s window design so I do not have any data to support “complaints” there.

What is blindingly obvious tho - is the never ending stream of complaints coming from the Cubase forum or practically any forum these days where an app spawns (or uses) tons of windows. “windows” were cool 8 years ago but in 2011 and beyond (with Metro, touch displays and all this other smartphone/tablet stuff on the horizon) - windows are dead.

And let’s get down to it - Wavelab is two workflows and two workflows only. Editing and Montage. You went ahead and added Batch Processing and “Control Window” into the switcher Window as if to fill space or something since neither of these two is important enough to warrant their own icon on the switcher let alone their own workspace.

To wit - I have done fine with WL7 to this point and never ever created a Control window. Actually the one time I tried - I wrecked the workspace I was trying to build and spend 10 minutes trying to get it back :slight_smile:

Batch Processing too was just perfect as a basic menu command(Tools->Batch Processing)…it’s simply a dialog box that you load files into and press a button to turn them into other files types. That’s it. There is no way that this simple function deserves it’s own dedicated “workspace”.

And if it’s really boils down to just two main processes…it quite possible that instead of making these two the true focus point - perhaps you have added too much unnecessary complexity to the app - thereby giving it a bit of it’s “clunky” nature by default.

Obviously some folks don’t see it as “clunky” so perhaps they have some understanding of WL7 usage that I do not. Or some others opened the app in Audio File mode back in December of last year (at launch) and have never touched any other work spaces at all - hence have no context on the clunky aspect.

Bottom line - if the WL design (not your actual functions) was truly stellar, intuitive and easy to “get” - you wouldn’t have threads like this and wouldn’t have anyone complaining that WL is clunky.

You have instructed us to tell you about things we don’t like in WL and explain why and when possible - propose an alternative. I have tried to do that time and time again but trying to help you “design” a better UI is really not what I paid for here.

As Barry said - we are hoping you can take some of these comments and make a point of investigating why people find your app clunky or even better - show us. Contribute some evidence, workflow, article or how-to as how you would use the app, set up a workspace and all the other stuff you thought was important that resulted in thie “design”. Then hopefully some of us (like me) might start to see the light and maybe I can learn to overcome whatever it is that’s holding me back in WL7. Currently I just blame bad design because I don’t think I am that thick to not be able to use this app.

Here’s hoping you can give us something concrete or maybe consider some better changes for the future.


Since I better read in english as write, I’m just saying, I’m with Vocalpoint.
Whenever I open WLab7 and need a function … I’m seaching and if I found it, I be never 100% sure, if it right what I do. Therefore I do the beachprocessing in WLab6 e.g. …

I don’t want to maintain an endless discussion. I would like to add 3 things:

  • Batch processing is vital for some WaveLab users. The new design is an obvious progress compared to the past, IMHO.

  • You don’t know anyone using Open Office… But be aware this is a major application, totalizing today 92 millions downloads for their latest version (they have a stat page). This is just to say that the world is huge and there are many points of views. On this thread, I count 3 person complaining.

  • At the time of WaveLab 5 or 6, I had complain about the UI. Today, there are complains again, not more I think, and not necessarily from the same people. And I guess this is more or less the case for all softwares. Which is not a reason for me not to listen, of course. But I also listen to people that are happy about the UI :slight_smile:


I don’t view this as “endless discussion” - I view as an opportunity to let you know where I stand on WL strengths and weaknesses and my take is that the UI is weak. I will also add:

  • Batch Processing is super vital to me - (Probably the one WL area that In consider myself an expert in since I use it every single day) but do I really needa dedicated “workspace” clogging up my workflow. Batch in v5 or v4 or v6 worked great. What prompted you to take an already excellent “utility” (at best) and decide that it needed a huge giant screen and all sorts of added clutter? I do not get it. This is/was a dialog box based utility and will never be anything more than that.

  • RE Open Office. Don’t know it…don’t wanna know it. I am over in that “Hundreds of Millions” class of folks who use Microsoft Office. I make no excuses for that nor do I care about Open Office and it’s (most likely cluttered) interface. If that was your inspiration for the WL7 - so be it. Note: Cubase is a MAJOR application…so is Logic and others…let’s at least try to stay in the audio world here when talking UI’s

  • The WL7 UI will continue to be a sore spot for years to come from some but with Windows 8/9 coming fast and new tablet UI designs becoming common place in short order - the days of apps with “windows” are truly numbered. Your UI designs will be taken to task more than you can imagine if you expect WaveLab to be relevant on a personal computer (whatever form factor that might be) circa 2015.

Given that it took more than 3+ years to get from Wavelab 6 to 7 - might be time to start thinking about where you want to go with this - now. Until then we agree to disagree on the UI and that’s okay by me. :wink:


It seems to me that people comparing the look of WaveLab 7 with Windows 3.1 have simply forgotten what Windows 3.1 looked like - it was nothing like WL7, or even WL6. I regret some of the fashionable changes in general software design; more and more often you find icons that are disguised so that you can’t even be sure where they are until you move the mouse over them - what a waste of time and effort! At least WaveLab doesn’t do that yet, though Windows 7 does.

Comments about requests for compatibility with Windows 7 are also misplaced; there may be many reasons to use Windows 7 that are unrelated to its looks (which I dislike). Machines come with it now; although I could still order Dell computers with XP at work nine months ago, I no longer can, and there are no longer XP drivers for all the hardware I need in any case.

Nor can I see what a user’s being 61 and/or needing glasses has to do with the design of a program. I am older than that - and wear glasses, not to see WaveLab in particular, but to correct my vision so that I can continue to use all things effectively.

I like the design of WL7 less than that of WL6; in particular, there seem to be too many places where windows docked together are different sizes, so that the boundaries of the different areas of the workspace are never quite right. (This also happens sometimes in the current version of Audition, but much less noticeably.) But I expect the new layout of WaveLab to improve over time, updates and versions, and don’t find that it gets in the way of working.


At the time most of these comments were flying around - Windows 7 wasn’t even released and Vista was barely past SP1. 7 was beta at best yet people were complaining that WL wouldn’t run right. I cannot think of a single reason that anyone would even consider doing a wholesale OS change to a beta let alone complain about why something didn’t run right under it - but there they were…installing preview versions and the like and complaining. Why not just stay with XP and know that everything works right? People are strange…

And with WL7 no longer officially supported under XP - that’s a moot point as well.

That’s how I feel too. 6 was “right there”…as far as workflow (mind you the UI still looked like 1998) but the workflow aspect was more important to me - so I just learned to live with the UI. But then - after that 3+ year wait for Wavelab 7 and to see pretty much the same UI “feel” (with some spit polish here and there)…that was a huge letdown for me. And once the frustration hit with workflow and all these bloody windows and dialogs flying around (and NO manual)…I was really let down for quite some time.

Managed to battle back tho - but had to take a strange defensive position with this app. I finally built two dedicated workspaces - and I have to fight myself to ensure I never click on anything else in the application that might destroy those spaces. So far so good.


Mmh, seems we both read things in each others posts that aren’t there. I quoted someone else in the thread speaking of “we the users”.

Anyway, back on topic; I think a very big part of the perception of clunkiness of WL7 comes from the lack of a manual. I too have struggled hard in the beginning with how WL7 behaves in the Window department, and have never had such an experience with WL before. I still miss having a real manual. A good comparison is Cubase 6, where a real manual is still there - be it no longer in a paper form.

Luck, Arjan

I find it amazing users would be so concerned over the visuals when there is no real manual. IMO Wavelab is functional and I’m used to the icons. Yes it looks a bit retro, and definitely not as hip as most other similar applications, but a snazzy GUI and updated icons isn’t going to resolve a very deep problem that continues to plague not only new users, but users with experience.



The batch processor workspace is an independant window, as it was in WaveLab 6. Just make the window smaller, as in 6, if you want! It is independent from the other workspaces, does not float over them, hence can’t alter your workflow for audio editing. Thanks to the plugin tool windows, a sub-dialog don’t need to be opened to access the plugins, as in 6. Just use drag and drop.
Because a batch process is now a “document” (openable, saveable, dropable, several can be open, etc.), it makes sense to edit it in a simple workspace dedicated to it (a “workspace” being a window+tool-windows to edit a specific document).

new tablet UI designs becoming common place in short order - the days of apps with “windows” are truly numbered.

I have a different mind. Smartphones and tablets are great, but these are not the tools you are going to use in your studio for audio editing. Smartphones and tablets have hardware limits and their software have to adapt to it. Desktop softwares don’t have to mimic this and limit themselves and become “big tablets”; I am certain “windows” are here to stay because they are a fundamental concept. “Microsoft Windows” without “windows”??? BTW, I see the new Microsoft Metro as a kind of good/super start menu, not much more, so far.



It’s hard to imagine what dedicated mastering software would look like or how functional it would be without a modular/windows approach.

Understood…but I still do not like the way you say it’s not a “workspace” yet if it’s the last thing I close in a session - it’s the first thing that opens when I start a new session. I cannot begin to explain how much I detest that behavior. I want every new session to begin with the same workspace - yet WL cannot honor this simple request.

Not yet. Not in 2011. But just wait…

Again - you speak of the now. Where of course - this hardware has limits and these devices are really just getting started. But wait.

I too always thought that Microsoft would never mess with a good thing…but now I am not so sure. Certainly not sure about “windows” as we know being here to stay.


All you need to do is check out something like Studio One that already does this today with a singular interface approach that is totally functional and highly efficient without any extra windows bogging down the workflow.

Adobe Audition 4 is along the same lines…clean, functional with almost zero clutter.


With respect, I don’t know that you’d see either of these as the primary ‘professional mastering DAW’ solutions of choice in many mastering houses.

Have you seen what a contemporary SADE screen or Sequoa looks like?

To allay any doubt, I totally respect the fact that WL does not appear to mesh with the way you personally work and that you have some constructive views on what a different GUI could offer users.

It just happens that others support PG’s vision. It’s maybe not an accident that dedicated mastering applications all share a few things in common in terms of the way they are set out.

Right now, I have to get back to work.

I want every new session to begin with the same workspace

This will be possible in upcoming WaveLab 7.2

More than in any previous Wavelab version the workflow in WL7 is dependend on how good you set it up according to your needs. If you wish you can pretty much set it up like WL6, but you have much more possibilities.

For example, in the audio editing workspace I usually have only the wave window open, no other workspace specific tools. I have assigned shortcuts to those tools that I regularly use, so these can be easily opened if I need them (e.g.: “D”, for the german word Datei, to open/close the file browser, “alt+M” for the marker window, or “shift+R” for the error detection etc.). This seems very elegant to me and I have no extra windows open, if I don’t need them. Being able to open my integrated Renovator software from Algorithmix with another shortcut “R” is a very valuable improvement for me personally.

The same for the audio montage window: Easy shortcuts for the workspace-specfic tools, like “M, A“ for marker, “C,L” for clips or “C,D” for CD or “E,F” for effects etc. I open the tools only when I need them which gives me much space for working and makes the window very clean.
I have set up one control window design with all control tools I need plus the master section which always fills my second screen. I don’t have to touch this any further.

Once you have understood the concept of different work spaces, I can’t see a disadvantage in it compared to WL6. Switching from audio editing to audio montage is as easy as in WL6 and for those workspaces you don’t need: just don’t use them.

So, I say: Set up WL7 according to your needs and then your workflow will improve compared to WL6. WL7 is a heavy machine and you have to learn how to drive it. Or should I say a fast horse and you have to learn how to ride it? Anyway, the point is, that, if you don’t need a heavy machine or a fast horse you can also make it a light machine or farm horse – it’s up to you.

Is it possible NOT to show focused clip dock every time I right-click on a clip in audio montage to show context menu ??

I think it would be better to have ‘focused clip’ context menu (instead of both menu and dock)


And this is the problem. Spending time setting up and customising all these workspaces and windows and damn settings is the trouble with most modern software, too much choice and complexity. Functional simplicity is what is good design. All the context sensitive functions at your fingertips without having to customise the nth degree out of it.

I’m afraid I found all this forced customisation in WL7, the silly workspaces, (batch processor is a joke), and the settings editing too much and have pretty much left Wavelab. I now use Pyramix for my classical editing, productivity is light years ahead as is it’s simple interface.

I don’t understand why it is asked too much from someone who is using a program professionally to ONCE customize the program to your needs? Obviously the needs are different. So what is bad whith setting it up to your specific needs?
I also have no understanding for sentences like “productivity is light years ahead”. Extreme exaggerations like that for me lead to not taking it serious.