Glowing Review in Tape-Op Magazine.

Definitely too cynical.

Open up the program, and mess with it. Load in some audio, something you want to fix. download a random youtube video if need and see what you can extract or clean up, just mess with it. start with the tools, explore each of their settings.

Once you get an idea of what the tools are doing, move to the layers and explore their concept/what they can do.

Working creatively with layers

Turning mono track into stereo

… in the eternal words of Smokey Robinson, I second that emotion!

nope I don’t expect it to teach me to drive - but then most cars have the same controls and do basically the same thing. If I buy a helicopter then I’ll probably want a pointer in the right direction…I don’t have time (or inclination) to ‘mess around for a week or two’

FWIW I definitely predate the internet and yes, I know how to read a manual. The original cubase V1 atari manual was an A5 ring bound folder - very good indeed and very comprehensive. My korg MS20 manual similarly was excellent, actually 2 manuals. One of them was full of presets and examples. I could go on.

It’s 2020 not 1978 - video tutorials are a necessity for many if not most - zero excuse for not providing them despite promising them. Could I work out every feature, nuance, shortcut…yeah, probably given time. I’d rather use some of that discovery time making some music…just my opinion obviously. If you want to fiddle your way to becoming expert that’s your call.

Also bear in mind this is Spectrallayers 6…that’s “six”…it’s not a ‘new product’

In the meantime, why not just ask your questions here, and at least give other users the opportunity to help out?

Can you imagine - that’s exactly what I did with my trial; and probably what anyone would do… unfortunately the results I got weren’t great.

So, I’m ready to blame myself of course; it must be me not knowing how to use the tool properly.!

Only, there’s no skilled instruction, no proof, no evidence from the makers anywhere, what its actually capable of…? And I mean exactly, professionally, with real-world BEFORE and AFTER audio examples…

And here we are, still waiting to see/hear those.

In summary, I don’t yet see nearly £300 of ‘value for money’ with this tool. YMMV of course.

Did you search YouTube???

I’ve paid off this program already with work by mostly using the eraser tool…

Mind you I’ve spent some time with RX7 in the past and they are similar concepts.

Guys… Even though official tutorials are coming (yes I know it’s been delayed, that’s frustrating to me too, but it’s for the best in the long term), I’m not sure I understand why you’re waiting for those ones specifically. As lovegames mentionned, there are already videos out there, and I even provided one I created recently in this very thread with a couple real examples : - have you watched it ? It’s only 9 minutes long and covers most of the basic concepts, settings and tools using 4/5 examples.
Also check the links posted by lovegame.

To comment on the Tape Op review, it highlights (though briefly) what’s unique with SL : it’s a full-featured spectral editor, as Photoshop is to picture editing - while RX is more focused on automated processes rather than actual spectral editing. So yes, it indeed has a steep learning curve. But when you start to get it, by experiencing different tools over your spectrogram depending on the problem you want to fix or the ideas you’d like to explore, it really gives you full control over your audio recording.

Thanks, Robin. The tutorial you link was a good intro to the basic tools.

I made a links thread here

thanks for that

genuinely useful

Thanks Robin… Looking at your video was interesting; the early examples were simplistic enough. Importantly, I didn’t like the results of the drums/bass gtr example at the end. For me, it sounded like the SL ‘process’ had ruined the drum sound somewhat; artifacts and unnatural harmonics introduced.

In essence, you’re kind of confirming that I’m actually not missing out on anything here; the vids already available truly show-off the capabilities/limits (sonically) of what SL Pro can achieve.

Ok, but sorry - I’ll have to leave it here, and say this is not for me just now. I will be keeping an eye on developments though… :wink:

Nothing is going to be lossless… It’s always balance of necessary destruction for greater benefit. If the is a major phase/room sound problem between the kick and the snare - well, you can use a gate, or manually chop - but that has its own destructive effects of cutting down the decay and resonance. So not sure what you’re expecting, magic maybe, but the results are actually significantly good compared to other options when you’re working in the context of “pick your loss”.

If you’re working with a perfectly recorded snare and kick with a proper performance self-mix by the drummer, you’re probably not going to apply this process as a conventional mixing practice.

And at that, you might also use this process as a parallel process combined with a choked punchy gate, a blend of the original track, some dynamic frequency ducking, etc, etc.

No need to get sarcastic… seems you’re taking all this a bit personally.

Listen, I’m literally going on what was presented to me. If those are the results, I’m absolutely NOT going to present that to a paying client, as example my best efforts on their material. In this instance, I’d 100% be searching for a different (better.!) solution. I’m happy for you that you’re enjoying the tool. You seem genuinely enthusiastic.

EDIT: so I see you added to your post as I was replying; I rest my case.

Embrace it.

Not taking it personally, just analyzed that you’re overlooking multiple aspects based on a short YouTube clip which simply showcases technical potential without exploration of the variabilities likely needed to dial in a final result. I’m hardly impressed by any music I hear used to showcase a DAW or a guitar performance showcasing a pedal, it typically sounds like royalty free music which it probably is - that doesn’t stop me from understanding the technical capabilities of the DAW or pedal and how I could utilize them. As someone who has used the software extensively, you’re blatantly overlooking some pretty obvious aspects and audio engineering philosophy here. If I had had this software with this particular feature 10 years ago when working on some very poor live recording mixes, these utilities likely would have helped me get at least a %10 better result, if not %50, but the %10 would have been worth the cost of the software - the end result might still not be great because of the source material being less than optimum - but better is better however slightly.

You’re looking at the feature as a sole-process finished result - it’s not necessarily. Almost none of the tools I use for deep sound-design for film get final results on their own.

How does my edit rest your case? I’m simply helping you by pointing out you’re looking at it wrong, maybe don’t take it personally and take a step back and give yourself an opportunity to rethink your approach and consensus and that might benefit you in your studio work.

chow for now.

Thanks - and thanks for taking the time with me…

I’ve plenty of experience to draw on from throughout my audio engineer career so far. I’m mainly involved in the folk music/roots music sphere, with a good deal of mixing live band performances - I know my way around putting an album or two together.! I rarely do film sound or creative sound-design projects; I have done and I do understand some of the techniques etc, but I appreciate that is quite a different skill-set required.

So, back to where this all started (‘am I using the app right’? lack of proper tutorial videos/real-world examples etc, etc). Seems, as Robin pointed out, these new, upcoming ‘official’ tutorials aren’t going to be any great shakes away from whats seen on videos already out there - I’m probably not missing out on any of the apps technical merits or use of the tools within (when we do eventually get to see them).

With that, I now know its not me; I was curious, I took a look. Results were ‘varied’ enough shall we say, during my trial run, to not make me seek any sort of ‘instant-buy’ approval from the label boss. Right now, this tool is not an essential need.


you haven’t use RX Advanced have you ?

More, similar technology coming along… a kind of Melodyne ‘Plus’…
Again though, £300 on the nose this time…

interesting- as you say no native cubase/nuendo…yet

Cool man, totally understand - only use what you need. I’m downsizing more and more and being more critical of what I add to my system. To have Spectralayers part of the steinberg fam and to be able to just open it up to use the eraser to take out kick drum pedal squeek with the eraser tool is worth it for me.

Just wanted to make sure others reading the forum aren’t maybe getting the wrong idea of what to expect and with that particular function - you might just be looking to obtain some additional isolated splotches of frequency to then filter down more, compress, transient shape, and then blend in with the original track to mask some problems, etc, etc.

I think using that utility to tuck rap vocals into a 2-track instrumental by carving out space for the vocals is a better example of it being utilized in a more “finished sense”.

I have used RX Advanced fairly extensively yes.

It sounds like you’re frustrated by the lack of usage examples this complex application demands. You would not be wrong thinking that way. I had the advantage of being able to send questions to the development team. Otherwise, I doubt I would have achieved the results I did.

Admittedly, despite owning RX7, I haven’t used it as much as some. I rely on ReNovator, ReTouch, or Spectral Cleaning (MAGIX). The RX titles have matured rapidly since their introduction. But if you want to suggest Algorithmix or CEDAR can’t go toe-to-toe with iZotope, have at it. The rest of us will bring the popcorn.

Before the review went to print, I was mastering a piano piece marred by an irrepressible action noise. While some of the other titles softened, smeared, or attempted to repair the problem, none were convincing.


The client’s options were to leave it alone, or remove the note entirely (the problem was hiding beneath a chord). Neither was acceptable. Re-tracking was out of the question. After hours of trial and error in SL P6, I challenged the team at Steinberg to remove the problem. It took a week, but they finally came back with an approach that worked. The client was pleased, which means I was pleased. I wouldn’t have been able to pull this off without inside help, which is the point of your post.

It’s only a matter of time before other companies appropriate some of the SpectraLayers features- layers, 3D, extensive display configurability, etc. But none would have helped my client make their release deadline. SpectraLayers Pro 6 did.

The public summary of the review is:
SpectraLayers Pro 6 is one of the most potent titles available.

If you’ve been engineering for any length of time, you should be able to discern what is said and not said in a review. For this community’s sake, I’ll hit you over the head with areas not expressly articulated:

Does SL P6 facilitate speed?
Does SL P6 have programmable hotkeys, or use navigation mappings universal among other titles?
Is SL P6 well documented?
Are there tutorials beyond basic marketing videos?
No. No. No.
Yet, was SL in better hands at Sony or Magix?
No, and bemoaning minor concerns would overshadow the present power and future capabilities of this title. That kind of review benefits no one.

The review version of SpectraLayers 7 is due imminently. Most analysts sent detailed lists regarding usage issues, functions, and usability. It will be interesting to see if those suggestions were integrated or ignored.

It’s a shame that software with this potential doesn’t have five times the development resources and market outreach. Welcome to the music industry in 2020. We’ll have to work with the resources available, post on this forum, and lobby Steinberg for more help.

In the meantime, all Tape Op reviews note the writer’s contact information in the text. You can write them directly.