First, let me just say that I think Wavelab 9 is the best version of Wavelab EVER. I love it so much - ALREADY! I do have a feature request though:
When I’m mastering, I use two computers. I use Cubase for playback on one computer, and route the signal out through my analog mastering chain, then I “capture”/record back into Wavelab running on the other computer. This allows me to mix (within Cubase), and master (withing Wavelab) simultaneously. This also allows me to work at any sample rate without having to resample - the signal just leaves Cubase and D/A, goes through my analog chain, then enters the A/D capture - and it is then processed in Wavelab - all of this happens in realtime. This method requires me to use the Wavelab input plugin if I want to finish mastering within Wavelab, and the input plugin works well, HOWEVER:
I like to do A/B comparisons with other audio already recorded into my montage, or with other professional masters that I like to use as reference tracks. There is no way to instantly switch back and forth between the incoming audio, and the playback of another track in Wavelab. This makes it difficult to make sure things are sounding the way I like - as I often like to use a bunch of my favorite reference tracks to compare with when mastering.
I am constantly loading and unloading the audio input plugin. Please consider adding some functionality to Wavelab to make this process simpler! Many thanks!
P.S. Possible solution: Just being able to instantly “bypass” the audio input plugin would work. This way I could set up a loop in Wavelab, and i hear my audio playing back just like normal, then hit a key command, and instantly the audio input plugin becomes active, and I hear the incoming audio routed through the master section. Then hit the button again, and you hear the loop again, and the audio input is muted… Maybe Wavelab keeps playing the loop in the background and the audio stream into the master section is just muted and replaced with the “input stream” while the plugin is active…
Another note: I did notice some problems with the current “input plugin” implementation.
An audio file MUST be open for the input plugin to work - but this makes no sense because why do we need to see an audio file if we intend to monitor incoming audio through the input plugin?
BUG? If I hit spacebar to make the input plugin active, and I am monitoring the incoming signal, after a time, the input plugin will automatically deactivate itself. I’m not sure if it has something to do with the length of the audio file that’s open or whatever, but as #1 states above, I’m not even using that audio anyway - I’m just monitoring incoming audio.
I know I’ve been hoping for a bypassable input plugin, but I wanted to bring this small issue to attention in case you hadn’t yet seen it. I have noticed that when using the input plugin, that after some time has passed, it just disables itself, and I have to hit “play” again to re-enable. It’s not super important, but I wanted you to be aware of the issue so I figured I’d post here about it again.
I think this would be tough to integrate into my workflow. I need to be able to compare:
The incoming audio stream that I’m preparing to record into Wavelab (I play back from Cubase - use whatever plugins I want there), go through my mastering hardware, and then monitor through the input plugin so I can run plugins within Wavelab. All of this happens in real time.
Already recorded clips in Wavelab - these may also be running clip plugins (compressors, eqs, limiters, etc).
With MCompare as I understand it, I’d have to render everything to be able to do the comparisons? I need to be able to make the comparisons in real-time. That’s why I still think a bypassable input plugin would be very important. Maybe there are other ways to accomplish this though - there have been some other threads on this forum about the issue… some people have suggested an input mixer and a few other things.
Yes, Melda MCompare works in realtime. You could even have multiple instances of the plugin running at various stages, in order to facilitate gain-compensated comparisons at the different stages.
Of course, MCompare can also compare rendered files as you suggest. But its main functions are to perform realtime comparisons between (a) various points of your signal chain; (b) your realtime audio with other recordings. So as long as you can route your signal into MCompare (which you should be able to easily do in both Cubase and WaveLab), then suddenly you have the ability to do the thing you asked for: stop the incoming audio stream instantly to hear gain-compensated comparison audio. MCompare can do it.
I haven’t tried this yet - but I’d really prefer to be able to do this directly within Wavelab. There is nothing strange about the way I do my mastering. This is VERY common in the mastering world, so I believe Wavelab needs to eventually address this issue… I realize it may be complex, but I believe it to be very important for mastering functionality.
For comparing what I’m working on to other mastered material, I actually like having the other mastered material coming from another app routed to another digital input of my monitor controller because I can just let it roll, and let my project roll and then switch back and forth without dealing with the timeline play stop/start, or loading files into a project and deleting them later.
I can just make a few playlists in a media player to play good sounding reference material.
What I do think WaveLab needs is a way to send your unmastered material to more than one output, pre or post FX so you can have another input on your monitor controller/desk to A/B the untouched source material with what your processing is doing and have them be perfectly in sync.
This is a big part of why I use REAPER (formerly Pro Tools) for the initial audio processing, and mostly use WaveLab to do the final touches and render all the master formats which is something WaveLab excels at. I think the analog I/O and routing flexibilities are something that could use an overhaul now that everything else is so dialed in.
Your idea for another output would be cool for A/B comparisons with and without effects. I like it.
Right now, my main concern is the incoming audio stream (what is to be recorded - this audio is being mastered/processed in real time with hardware, monitored in Wavelab with the input plugin, and mastered/processed in Wavelab with plugins in the master section) - comparing that with other material that has already been recorded into a montage. I gradually build up the Montage as I go - so there may be 7 files in the montage that are already mastered - all with clip FX, etc. When I’m working on the 8th song, I like to jump around and compare with the previous 7. I’d rather not use another app - because sometimes I will go back and make adjustments to some of the other song’s clip FX as I work within Wavelab.
It would also be really cool if there was a way to instantly copy all of the effects from the master section directly into clip effects for the track I’m mastering… so when I finish recording track 8 into the Montage, the master section FX can be instantly copied into the clip FX for the new clip, and clip FX are all loaded and ready. Then I go on to track 9.
Yes, I misunderstood. I thought you were talking about comparing your works in progress with other mastered material from other bands/artists and not something you are working on and have already populated into the montage.
Over the years, I do less and less broad strokes with the the analog gear and just use it in more of a fixed position for an entire project. This lets me jump from song to song and fine tune and fine tune more until I’m happy with all songs in the project and then print that in one pass through the analog chain while I rest my ears and get other things done.
I use REAPER for this task because of the better routing options such as sending the untouched audio to another stereo output (pre-FX) so I can A/B the raw file with my digital and analog work. Also, the other customizable aspects of REAPER make it an incredible tool for the basic audio processing. It took a lot of time to learn and configure but now it’s saving me a ridiculous amount of time in ways I didn’t even know were possible.