Dry is unprocessed source track we are working on sent direct to a DAC,
Wet is source track processed with a chain, if analog recaptured, limited etc. (real time input monitoring!)
Reference may be another finished song of the album or from another artist we use to keep the general picture under control.
Reference tracks need to be played, without other processing, simultaneously often with some degree of attenuation. Playing references simultaneously on another lane means using a switch in real time without the need of skipping to another location of the timeline nor adding any black between selections. Reference may also be an alternate analog/hybrid setup ready for an AB comparison without the need of capturing it back. Key is having an I/O matrix on the software for most of the basic tasks in real word hybrid or analog use. Most of the guys out there who are WL Pro users need to use say Reaper, Pro Tools, to solve this major limitation confining Wavelab to a mere assembly/authoring/export software.
Dry is unprocessed source track we are working on sent direct to a DAC,
edit: someone tried to use the 5.1 matrix to solve this big bug but that means working in a non standard stereo montage and troubles with surround instances of plugins, impossible inserts etc. The easiest way is actually to use another software capable of routing.
all of the above involves naturally assignable Master Section to a specific output.
Sad but true. I know you technically can already do the analog gear capture in WaveLab but it is currently severely limited.
What we need is ability to send montage tracks directly to a different output besides the main output 1-2. These tracks would be where the source files are and we would of course put clip FX on each song to make adjustments before going out to the analog chain.
My RME AES card has 8 stereo pairs of inputs and outputs that I use for sending the source tracks to two different DAC choices, then another stereo path to send a fully unmastered version with no clip FX or any processing at all. This way I can A/B between the main DAW output 1-2 and the fully unmastered version on my monitor controller. The versions are fully in sync in the DAW so to A/B on the monitor controller is very smooth and valuable.
Output 1-2 is my main monitoring path so the track that is used to record back from the analog chain goes to output 1-2 but in REAPER I use outputs 3-4 to feed the source track for mastering to one of my DAC units, and outputs 5-6 to feed it to another DAC at the same time and on the mastering console I decide which one feeds my analog gear. The important thing is that WaveLab should be able to send a montage track to more than one stereo output like 3-4, 5-6 etc. This would be the track or tracks that contain the files that are being mastered.
Then in the montage we need to be able to monitor and record to a track directly and right on the track be able to capture from inputs 3-4, or 5-6 etc. In REPAER my script to seamlessly toggle between inputs during playback to audition my ADC units is HUGE. I couldn’t work without it now. Even during playback and input monitoring (while dialing in the sounds) I can press a key command to toggle between inputs 3-4 and 5-6 to compare the ADC choices.
I don’t use WaveLab to record audio so I don’t know all the details but I know there is some limitation with being able to monitor the sound of the ADC out of the main outputs of WaveLab either during playback and/or recording.
I think the External Gear plugin needs to go away in favor of something that works like a DAW where tracks can get routed to any output or buss and other montage tracks can be set to a certain input. Of course, I don’t think WaveLab should turn into a multitrack DAW but there are some things about DAWs like Pro Tools, REAPER, Cubase that make more sense for mastering with analog gear than the way WaveLab currently works.
When I’m working, I just have the record track in “input monitor” mode so I can play the session and hear everything via the record track input and then when I’m happy with it, I record to the new track.
Then of course we need a way to make the source tracks inactive after the recording is done so that the clip FX are not using computer CPU but we also need to be able to make them active again incase a redo is needed.
In Pro Tools the “Track Deactivate” works and in REAPER, I keep the track active but you can make all the plugins go fully “Offline” so they surely do not tax the CPU at all but are still there if you need to make them go back online for a redo.
What’s the point? Any mastering operative software is a multitrack daw by definition. Wavelab is a multirack in concept, but with kind of Appleish crazy logic behind actually forcing and limiting operator to a “view”. I’m thinking to crazy things like last iPad Pro with stellar features, premium prices and software inhibited data transfer on the usbc connector… Why a platform intended for professional use shouldn’t evolve at the 10th release to what professionals need? If with the term “multitrack” you are referring to midi score and vst instruments i agree. But basic routing is at least a 20 years old feature of any pro mastering software. Limited functions are found in toys like Ozone etc. If the product line includes a LE version and a Pro version in my opinion Pro should be pro.
Mastering is not the only domain where WaveLab is used. For quite sometimes, WaveLab has been oriented “processing in the box”, ie. without external hardware.
Hardware i/o like external gear, prevent multitask batch processing of course, a domain where WaveLab has a strong implementation and popular usage.
Still, the popularity of WaveLab has incrementally reached standard studios, and now there is more demand for hardware support. Especially, Mastering Studio try to have their distinct brand, their sound, using combinations of devices. This is how I see things. Therefore I think WaveLab will have to provide this kind of support, without, of course, ever giving up on multitasking batch processing (without hardware).
WL is a deep software, sometimes too deep for average professional use . I don’t think I/O matrix, again basic feature of any platform, will stop customers who need only batch processing or ITB only workflow buying the product. I know for sure a number of colleagues who can’t buy the platform as is or, better, who can buy it (like me) but use it in very limited fashion. You can sure implement some new crazy stuff AI, VR based or whatever in the next release but can’t understand what is the problem solving this super basic question.
I am in agreement with you 100%. I was just saying that while we don’t need WaveLab to evolve to a point where you could record, mix, and produce a song in it, we really do need the basic routing options that come with a traditional multitrack DAW for the routing to and and capturing from analog equipment.
I am not sure why some people on this list (especially newbies) keep wanting WL to be a multitrack recorder and editor. WL is for MASTERING not for multitrack recording. There are plenty of other choices on the market if you are looking for a multitrack DAW. This obsession with trying to make WL a Swiss Army Knife DAW is counter productive IMHO. Leave WL a mastering DAW. I agree with the idea that there should be more routing options in the master section. FWIW
…being more “multitrack” of what it is now.
+1 , in the montage. track outputs and inputs, etc.
For my part and based on the use I give, I only miss two things:
Full automation. For the cases in which I need it I have to do the mastering in Cubase, and it does not work in the same way.
More slots in the master section. The current limit of 12 inserts seems to me an important limitation, and unnecessary in the current times. I currently have to master using the VST Blue Cat’s PatchWork. By my way of working I have in my mastering template 25 VST, very far from the 12 allowed. It would be good to break those limitations.
Otherwise perfect, I love WaveLab!
@MrTopo: It seems you only use the Wave editor and not the Montage in Wavelab. The montage gives you Clip FX slots, Track FX slots, Output FX slots and on top the Master Section FX slots. That’s 3x10 + 12 FX or a total of 42 plugins you can use on one file/clip…
Agree with that. I think it’s worth mentioning that WL is of course also for audio EDITING. Definitely agree also that more routing options are needed in the montage (as outlined by others above).
And you’ve produced something that does this, arguably, better than anything else on the market. WL is hard to beat for ITB.
I sort of agree with you if you have 25 plugins in the chain and it works ok in Wavelab, what’s the point of the limit? Does Cubase allow 25?
Cubase and Nuendo allow 16.
25 processors on a master mean something is badly wrong…
I cannot imagine the CPU load with 25 VST3 plugins running. WOW!!! I thought it weird when I recently had to use 4 plugins. If you are using 25 plugins there has to be something MAJOR wrong with the original material.
Yes, I really do the mastering of the songs using the Wave editor, for the convenience of work.
This is really the template, in which there are also loaded viewers and listening simulations, not just processing effects. As I use a step mastering method, of those 25 plugins I use about 13 or 14 (most subtly, a matter of color and details), but it depends on the project. For that reason and due to the agility of the work, it is convenient for me to have the template with the plugins that I usually use, to have them at the click of a mouse.
It is no longer a matter of number of slots, if there are many or few, it is more a matter of putting limitations were there could’t be, only that.