Help Sell Me on Switching to WaveLab for Mastering

We’re a professional recording studio running Nuendo 11 as our primary DAW on PC.
Our current mastering process currently revolves around 2 completely separate stages…
We’ve been mastering in Nuendo and then encoding metadata and formatting the project in StudioOne.
Sell me on WaveLab.

The question is: why do could consider changing? What is not good enough in your current system?

1 Like

grab the trial see if you like it?

I taught mastering at a tech college for a few years. When I unexpectedly took over the mastering class I had to use Studio One for the first semester because that is what the previous instructor was using.

I tried with a very open mind to learn/use Studio One in the mastering project mode but in the end, it still felt like a toy and I kept having to mention caveats that you wouldn’t have to do in something like WaveLab. I convinced the school to get WaveLab Pro for the classroom for future semesters.

I don’t have time to list them all but three things stood out clearly to me:

  1. At least at the time, there was no way to replace a song file in the mastering project mode with a new mix file (unless you were mixing in S1 of course). I didn’t see a way to just point Studio One to a new external file to use which is helpful for when clients send a new mix file, or if you want to make the instrumental version of an album.

  2. There was no way to process at the highest available sample rate such as 96k or 88.2k, then externally sample rate convert that file (via RX, Saracon, or the WaveLab Batch Processor. etc/) and then have S1 recreate the montage at 44.1k to make the DDP and 1644 WAV files. You’d be stuck using the internal SRC of Studio One. Not great:

  3. Exporting the files was strange when it came to marker management as well as songs that overlap/crossfade. I remember for one project with songs that crossfade, the only way we could get a clean master was to make a DDP first in S1 and then export each track from the DDP as a WAV. I can’t recall all the limitations here but it wasn’t pretty.

In WaveLab, all this is much simpler.

Oh, and it drove me nuts that in S1 the LUFS readings did not restart on playback. For time sensitive loudness readings like Integrated LUFS, it was crazy to me that you’d have to manually reset the metering when you press play in S1. WaveLab does this automatically.

While some of the stuff I mention in this article can be done in S1, you may find some other things that WaveLab can do and S1 cannot:

Also, now that WaveLab has Reference Tracks, I would not want to go back to a mastering DAW that doesn’t.

And as a bonus, as a WaveLab user you get to interact here for reporting any issues, feature requests, or troubleshooting with the person who created and still develops WaveLab. Support doesn’t get any more direct than that.

As mentioned, use the 30 day trial and find out for yourself. WaveLab does have a bit of a learning curve but it’s well worth it.

I have some resources here to help you get started if needed:


Thanks. Very helpful. I agree S1 doesn’t feel like a professional tool.
I’ve been planning on switching to WaveLab because integration between Nuendo 11, Spectralayers Pro 8, and WaveLab seems like it would speed up my work-flow. I just need a little push to stop putting it off.
S1 doesn’t seem like it was made with analog/hybrid studios in mind. It feels like it was made for making music in your bedroom as a hobby with nothing but a laptop and headphones lol.

Yeah. I mean, S1 definitely has more mastering focused features than something like Pro Tools, Logic, Cubase, etc. and it seems like it could be useful for mix engineers that need to master a few projects a year.

However, it didn’t feel like something I’d want to be my daily mastering DAW.

WaveLab can definitely do an analog loop easily in the montage via the External FX plugin or by using a Reference Track to play the audio into the analog chain and record back to a newAudio Montage track.

S1 on its own is inadequate most definitely. Maybe it’s improved in more recent versions (I never liked it enough to update after StudioOne2) but I’ll absolutely NEVER use song-mode for tracking/mixing so, if I can choose a mastering DAW that allows me to fully integrate my mastering suite with Nuendo and Spectralayers, that seems like the better option.

Whether or not WaveLab is the better option over another DAW isn’t where I need the push though. Where I need the push is to motivate me to pull the trigger.
I don’t care for S1 but, because I can do all the processing in Nuendo before sending the tracks over to S1, it’s not stopping me from getting work done.
The 2 motivating factors for me currently are

  1. The process of closing Nuendo and opening S1 to finish mastering.
  2. It just seems so cheap… and it is.

These days everyone seems to think they’re an engineer without an engineering education nor training. It’s easier for them to admit that all the expensive tools make a difference than it is to admit that they simply aren’t going to reach the same skill level of a properly trained and educated professional engineer by watching infomercials on YouTube. All the flashy tools definitely help me achieve a sound that you aren’t gonna get from a Scarlett 2i2 and some plugins but they also help artists understand that there’s a difference between their bedroom studio and a real one. They can actually SEE the flashy hardware and expensive software; unlike knowledge, talent, and experience…
So seeing an amateur tool like S1 being used, just seems like bad for business.
Sure, we all say “All that matters is how it sounds at the end” and in a perfect world that would be true but the reality is that, no matter how good it sounds in the end, perception plays a strong role.

I’m just looking for some feature that makes me feel like I can’t master another project without making the switch to WaveLab so I can be motivated to drop $500 on software. I have no hesitancy to drop that and significantly more on hardware on a regular basis but software, with its perpetual obsolescence, is another story

I really think look at the demos and mastering engineers
who using WaveLab as there living and then go by your gut feeling
for me WL is the way…

regards S-EH