Less is more, what is still missing in 8.5

Hi all,
i’m an old veteran of Wavelab since early PC days. I make a living with professional mastering so i spent most of my time on several mastering platforms. Today i updated an old Wavelab release i had on a PC to the latest 8.5 and installed it on a 8 core NMP just for curiosity and wishing in something new. With no much surprise i found a quite same look i was remembering with some new stuff under the hood but i think i’m still missing the point. I see tons of technology in this software but it lacks of obvious and basic functions absolutely needed in a professional environment. When i see every kind of metering, smart bypass, encoding simulation, LUFS etc. i think developers had professionals in their mind. But for a studio integration today WL is still missing basic routing capabilities implemented in any other SW out there quite saying that we should stay ITB. I need a simple and clear routing to join the software to the studio. A source track should be sent to multiple destinations like a DAC for external processing and another DAC for direct dry monitoring. We need also to feed a reference tune to a monitor controller simultaneously for instant ABing while tweaking parameters. That should happen in the stereo montage, without using a fake surround setup. I would like to choose manually which tracks to send at the master and which simply at a DAC without processing. Alternately will be useful the ASIO loop as insert to a track and not only in the master section. I think is simple stuff that will make the difference. Hope to see something like that in the 9.0 release.


I also have some ideas about how to make routing and other things within WaveLab better.

I actually prefer to use Pro Tools to do the initial analog chain processing when mastering most albums. I prefer Pro Tools to WaveLab for this because of the playlist feature in Pro Tools as well as AudioSuite. I find having to insert a few plugins in the master section and managing which ones are active a little bit clumsy compared to the Pro Tools AudioSuite option which simply processes files offline, no routing required. Highlight section and process.

The playlist feature allows me to save various states of a song when it comes to noise and tick/pop cleanup procedures and combine them in any way using duplicated playlists. Whether it’s the source track, or the captured from analog chain track, my first playlist has the raw audio file, then a duplicated playlist will have a cleaned up version that stays perfectly in sync with the raw version. If I need to redo a small section of the song when it comes to noise reduction or cleanup, I can very quickly grab the original raw section, paste it into the new duplicate playist, and re-work it. Once everything is as I need it, I consolidate a new file to lock in the edits and AudioSuite’d sections.

Playlists also help if I need to adjust the length of the tail on a file. I know you can do fades in the montage and I usually do, but it helps to have the source file have some kind of fade or clean ending, and if you do this in the audio editor and trim to much, it’s hard to get it back.

Also, before I get started in Pro Tools, I make duplicate tracks of all songs, send them to a different digital stereo input on my monitor controller, (and then hide them) so I can A/B the raw untouched version with what I’m presently doing to the song. It’s great.

I’d love to do the mastering entirely within WaveLab but I’m too attached to the features in Pro Tools.

As far as the final stages of mastering such as sequencing, track ID, metadata, small plugin tweaks, final limiting/dither, rendering master files etc., I don’t think there is a better option than WaveLab. I also do more basic “in the box” mastering all within WaveLab but for most full-on mastering jobs, I prefer Pro Tools for the heavy lifting.

I would love to see something called a “Source” montage, and a “Destination” montage. The source montage could be where you start by roughly arranging the songs for the album, apply plugins and either route it directly to the destination montage, or out to analog gear and then capture back in to a destination montage or an audio file at the very least.

So far, I think this might already be possible but I haven’t tried it.

The ability to send the raw untouched files (without a duplicate track workaround) to another digital output for A/B purposes in WaveLab would be very helpful.

I think this needs some more detailed thought but that’s my general opinion. I also need to try some new workflows to see if I could essentially do with WaveLab what I do in Pro Tools before moving the files over to WaveLab for finalizing.

All that said, I can’t imagine trying to make a living mastering without WaveLab. Excellent software.

Hi Jasper,
the workflow you use is quite common. We use here the same setup in most jobs: PTHD rig as a player and another platform, as Wavelab, like a recorder. On Pro Tools I use to set the sequence with some volume automations then I simply say to the track to be routed to output X, the dry monitoring DAC, and to output Y, the analog loop DAC.
On the second machine I set the input in record mode and send the output to the wet monitoring path. The advantage for me is that this setup has unlinked sample rates so i can upsample or downsample if needed by changing ADC frequency for example. But several times i don’t need to src stuff, and will be less time consuming using a single machine and a single software platform. I have quite no complain about the way Wavelab works at edit and processing level, as I stated above the strong limit I feel is the integration with the studio setup. To use an external monitor controller the way I use it normally I should set up a fake multichannel montage, use the 1-2 channels for the processing, 3-4 for monitoring. Create an ASIO insert with the same number of channels in the setup, hook the studio loop to 1-2 and make a fake loop with cables to 3-4… then render the output in a folder… then… and is not the right, easiest, cleanest way to work.

I don’t care about a lot of new features. What I DO CARE ABOUT is a DAW that is stable and works without crashing. FWIW

^^^^ All good ideas…

Interesting to know. I prefer to record back to Pro Tools vs. WaveLab because then the playback and record timeline is perfectly in sync. It doesn’t happen often, but if I need to “punch in” on a capture from my analog chain, I can do it very easily.

That and the playlist thing is what keeps me using Pro Tools for part of the project. Something about having playlist options between raw, and various states of edited versions all in sync is huge for me.

@Thomas W. Bethel
I read about the endless series of troubles you had with you setup.
I installed back WL after a long period with other software. I stressed it a bit in the last few days with no major instability. I think I crashed it once while messing with drivers during playback but had no crashes while normal use nor dealing with Fabs, Izos or Waves. I think that the major problem is still the Windows os. Here is running on a New Macpro 8 core with dual 5 gigs video cards. The machine handles 4k video rendering in real time so she’s totally on idling while working with audio. A 32 track session on Logic X with plugs and stuff weights about 3% on processing. So again we’ll see in the next days if Wavelab has major faults on OSX or as i suppose is a Windows thing.

Interesting reading. I moved playback from Wavelab to Pro Tools. Primarily because:

  • Wavelab isn’t great with a lot of 3rd party plugins
    Wavelab is virtually unusable with CPU hungry plugins
    Pro Tools is loads more stable
    Pro Tools is a lot more efficient when it comes to CPU handling
    Pro Tools now has offline bounce and commit making it a lot quicker to use
    Routing flexibility
    Plugin setting handling (copy presets, drag n drop plugins etc)
    I can use my transport controller

I of course switch to Wavelab for creating final masters, DDP making etc. I wish I could do everything in Wavelab but the instability and incompatibility with plugins means I can’t. Hoping v9 fixes this.

I think a playlist concept for the montage would be a very useful and powerful thing for WaveLab. It would also be powerful for single audio files but it would require a secondary file similar to a .mon file or perhaps a file that can stored within the WAV but that might lead to issues as well.

Either way, I agree that Pro Tools works better (for me anyway) when it comes to initial processing but WaveLab is essential for finalizing things and other ITB mastering processes.

Wavelab 6 is running fine on Windows 7 and I have been using it for two + weeks. The problem seems to be with WL 8.5.3.

I am not the only one who is having problems with WL 8 on a PC.

Thanks for your comments!!!