Maybe this is possible in WaveLab already and don’t know how it’s done, but one of many reasons I choose to use another DAW (REAPER, formerly Pro Tools) to do my main analog processing (with plugins on the source before going analog) is the fact that the playback source and record timeline can be shared.
It’s useful in many cases, most commonly if a client sends a new mix to reprocess. You can easily A/B the old and the new, plus if they only changed one small part, you can punch in a section and have it be seamless yet flexible.
Another reason came up tonight that thankfully is extremely rare, but a valid case as well.
This is actually the first time it’s happened to me in REAPER and I may know what caused it, but one of my analog captures from earlier today had a dropout that I just found tonight while proofing the audio before bringing into WaveLab to finalize and send to the client.
Instead of reprinting the entire song, I can reprint this short passage and then do a little crossfade to make it seamless. I don’t have to guess and mess around stitching files together another way.
You see in the Overview attachment, that I punched in a section, and you see in the zoomed attachment that the two versions are perfectly in sync down to the sample. REAPER even has a setting to auto-shift new recordings in time if your converter or something else involved causes latency.
While I don’t do this often, and it’s the first time I remember having to do it from a dropout, a more common use is when clients send a new mix that just has a small area fixed or changed, then I don’t have to reprint the entire song. I can just re-print the intro, or part that changed.
REAPER’s take on playlists is to just stack the versions though only one plays. I personally prefer Pro Tools version where you only see one take, but a dropdown playlist view shows yo all possible takes and makes it easy to edit them around.
Maybe it’s just me, but I find having the play/record timeline linked, with the power of playlists really goes a long way.
Other reasons I do this step in a DAW before using REAPER for the powerful montage stuff is:
How easy it is to clean up sections here and there with RX, while maintaining a playlist to get back to your staring point.
Once you have the song captured back from analog, heads and tails trimmed up, and cleaned up with RX in any spots, you can define “regions” for each song before exporting from REAPER. This means that any new versions of the song that get reprinted, have the exact same sync, starting point, end point etc.
You can seamlessly drop the new capture and cleanup in a WaveLab montage and maintain sample accuracy from a previous version.
For some projects, this can be huge.