Is it possible to use Sound Forge as an externalcEditor with Cubase?

I’m a new Cubase user.
I used to work with Cakewalk Sonar.
In my workflow, I used to record with Sonar, then export and edit and clean recorded sound files with Sound Forge, which is a very fast way to get clean tracks.
I tried to do this with Cubase (open a file recorded in Cubase with an external editor, edit it, and bring back the edited file into Cubase), but I did’nt find the way to do it.

Is it possible ?

Thanks for your answers

Hi @michel_winogradoff,

first of all: welcome to the Forum!

As far as I’ve just read about, and without using that indeed very nice editor myself (I use WaveLab which has its own Cubase direct access & WAV clip transfer menu entry: AudioEdit in WaveLab):

  • ARA2 functionality was added to (Magix) Sound Forge Pro (edit: as a host!) when version 13 was published in 2019.

[-Edit / Update-]
The following part is now summarized and hidden, since after testing with the Sound Forge Pro 17 30-day trial I wrote a second post below, and the conclusion is:
no, sadly Sound Forge Pro cannot be run inside Cubase (Pro / Artist) as an external WAV clip editor.


Sadly, I can’t test if this does actually work as an ARA2 extension within Cubase Pro / Artist 12 (like SpectraLayers or Melodyne do), but perhaps you have access to at least Sound Forge 13 (or even newer, current version is 17), or, if you can perhaps use a trial version of the latter, you could take a look yourself before buying the latest version, or perhaps someone in the forum can confirm that (or if) it works.

If SoundForge is supposed to run inside Cubase (Pro / Artist only) as ARA2 extension, then - if I’m not entirely mistaken - it should appear in:

  • StudioMore OptionsSystem Component Information, and, if so, it can be
  • activated / removed via AudioExtensionsRemove Extension from Selected Events

And, as already mentioned, to use ARA2 extensions, you need to have a license for Cubase Pro (or Artist) 12, yet in Cubase Elements 12 there’s only that extra AudioEdit in WaveLab menu entry.

(Hope that helps)

Best wishes,

[-Screenshot 1-]

[-Screenshot 2-]

[-Screenshot 3-]

(- edited: typos, readability-)

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[-Edit / Update-] - Part 2 -

Hi again @michel_winogradoff,

since I really wanted to know it, I’d just taken two hours and installed the Magix Sound Forge Pro 17 30-day Trial, but no luck:

  • although the old and honorable Editor - as a host - seems to handle ARA2 related extensions like Melodyne and SpectraLayers fairly well, Sound Forge itself cannot be run via ARA2 in Cubase (Pro / Artist) as a host.

So if you are about to use Cubase seriously, and on a long-term basis, *WaveLab (Pro)*as a seamlessly Cubase-integrated external WAV editor would be the only realistic choice, while WaveLab Elements could perhaps also do most of all those usual clip editing jobs.

And - some happiness is coming back! - there’s something really nice about Cubase Pro 12 that doesn’t require an external WAV clip editor. I’d never spent too much time with in the past, but that is something which I’ll certainly use more from now on. A well implemented method to put permanent effects over a selected clip on a Cubase Pro audio track (sadly not non-destructive / usable per single or multiple audio event/clip, including Auto Apply ON / OFF):

  • direct clip editing via AudioDirect offline processing (DOP)

This method (DOP) also takes almost no toll on real-time resources used by Cubase, whenever there’s some heavy audio editing going on (within more complex projects).
Cubase Pro 12 has the fully featured version of it, Cubase Artist / Elements 12 only allow rudimentary audio processings to be used on a track clip.

More info:

(Steinberg Help - Cubase Pro 12 - Direct Offline Processing Workflow)

(Youtube Channel: The Digital Audio Manual - “direct offline processing V1 in Cubase”)

Best wishes,
[-Screenshot 1-] Direct Offline Processing (Cubase Pro 12)

[-Screenshot 2-] Direct Offline Processing (Cubase Pro 12)

[-Screenshot 3-] Direct Offline Processing (Cubase Pro 12)

[-edited: typos, readability-]

Markus, Thank you very much for your explanations.
I tried all you told me. I’m using Cubase 12 pro, and Sound Forge 16 (allthough i still work on SF v10 whi ch is very very stable (never crashes, very useful when recording actors voice sessions).
I get the same conclusion than you, in other words, that means that unfortunately, I regret that Cubase seems to have a " locked" politic, excluding other editing software than wavelab.
I could give you at least 20 reasons why Sound Forge is unbeatable, the main one is that it stricly respects the architecture of wav files, concerning markers, regions and loops.
It is a real pity that Cubase excludes an “Edit file with an external editor” function, which would be 10mn coding time for the Steinberg developper team.
This reminds me the time (20 years ago) when i used to work also for game musics and design, Nintendo was trying hold and protect the market with the same protective politic.
Regards, hoping Cudase team will read these lines.
Michel Winogradoff

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Hi Michel / @michel_winogradoff ,

thanks for the confirmation, and for your good input by just posing that question - since I really didn’t know enough about the newer versions of Sound Forge. Especially about my “today’s new self training topic”: Direct Offline Processing. To me, that is like a new “door” to a more reasonable and / or flexible workflow.

I’d been using Sound Forge roughly 20 years ago, and always liked its directness and clarity. Yet today and at least to me, that new version 17 felt a bit “outdated”, in terms of “GUI feeling”, compared to Cubase and WL. But that’s certainly more a matter of personal taste and habits, and I certainly don’t mean it in a fundamentalist or negative way.

I also think that Steinberg should bring that open external WAV editor option back (AFAIR this had been removed after Cubase SX).


I don’t think the function does not exist because Steinberg tries to restrict people to use WaveLab. I imagine it is rather a technical detail: It is easy to have an external opened with the audio file in it. It is already more difficult to tell any 3rd party editor which part of the file we were currently working in Cubase, which is an audio event. On top of that a Cubase audio event can consists of samples from different files, so Cubase would need to bounce the event before transferring it to a 3rd party editor. Well, that might actually help with the final obstacle: how to retrieve the edited audio back into Cubase.

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