I moved over to Cubase a couple of years ago after all the usual suspects and have been very happy with that environment. This past week I finally had a need for WaveLab, and it’s just officially saved me tons of effort and grief.
I’m putting a new band together that’s just a three piece, so I’m using backing tracks for keyboards. I’m running a Soundcraft Expression 32 with a digital I/O card, so all 32 channels show up in Cubase. This allows me to point each keyboard track directly to a specific track on the mixer so that it’s just another fader to the sound man.
That part was easy. However, as you can imagine, rendering an entire night’s worth of keyboard tracks results in a lot of variety in terms of volume, and I didn’t want the sound man to have to dive for a dozen faders at the start of each song. I’d tried normalizing all the tracks on export but as you’d expect, that was of little help in matching perceived loudness. Enter WaveLabs, the Loudness Normalizer, batch processing and watch folders.
I may in fact have a loudness plugin in Cubase but it still would have been painful. I went through half a dozen iterations to get things where I wanted them (in addition to keyboards, for lighting design & personal practice I also have bass & drums, which needed some EQ tweaking as well as loudness leveling). Doing that a track at a time in Cubase would have had me jumping off a building. Dragging and dropping to watch folders and then testing the results was a breeze.
As I speak, the batch processor is happily chomping away on the entire night’s material, while I relax and do other things. Even if I never used WaveLabs for anything else, it’s already paid for itself.
There are days when I truly love being a geek.