Quick questions by newbie to make decision on buying SL9E

I’m interested a bit in SpectraLayers. I had it tested to unmix audio (splitting voice from track) just for fun, but now I want to make a decision should I buy at least Elements 9.0.

I have WaveLab Pro 11 and there is spectrogram view where I can do things on frequencies like it is in SL One. It seems that these are basic functions in WaveLab, but very good also for restoration (copy/paste blocks). As I see the SpectraLayers is a bit more advanced. Is it right? The one difference is layering and copy/cut/paste to get blocks divided.

If I have SpectraLayers One 8.0, is it valuable to buy SpectraLayers Elements 9.0?

Okay, Brush selection is what I use in WaveLab. Noise reduction would be nice to have better than WaveLab has.

What I’m doing?
A bit sound design, a bit restoration? All other tasks are mainly composing/mixing/mastering.

I know better is to have good tools in pocket and use those that better fits to task. If so, I shouldn’t have posted this here :slight_smile: Who can ban chatting with smart people?

Have a nice day to All!
…and waiting for your recommendations.

I don’t know whether this is helpful or not. Nevertheless, I think anything above SL One would be an improvement for you.

I have SL8 Pro. I don’t do sound design, just NR. From what I gather, SL9 Pro is a pretty thorough redesign of SL8 Pro, including real-time plug-in review, which is a BIG deal to me. With the right plug-in library, you could get a lot of mileage just out of SL9 Elements.

I haven’t done any SL9 testing on any level. Right now, I’m waiting for bug fixes before even thinking about purchasing and installing anything.

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Unfortunately the answer is “it depends”. Do you have some examples of tasks you hope would be better achieved in SpectraLayers? The spectral editor in WaveLab has seen some improvements, and in the context of WaveLab as an audio editor, the spectral editor is excellent at what it does, but it isn’t in the same league as SpectraLayers for specialist work.

If you’re comfortable working in WaveLab and are not happy with the stock plugins, I’d recommend using 3rd-party plugins in WaveLab for NR before considering SpectraLayers, simply because it’s a different workflow, but of course, “it depends” … what type of NR/restoration are we talking about?

If I want to restore a digitized tape recording, I’d probably use WaveLab with Izotope RX plugins, but if I want to isolate voices from a badly-recorded field microphone, I’d probably use SpectraLayers, or perhaps WaveLab with SpectraLayers set up as an external editor.

I have found SpectraLayers to be really good at seperating voice and guitar from old cassette recordings of singer-songwriters, and it’s great to be able to manually process the result so any errors in the seperation can be corrected and improved.

On the other hand, if all I want to do is revive the sound of an old vinyl or tape recording, WaveLab is a better tool and the workflow is optimized for that. I have never been able to get acceptable results from RestoreRig and therefore use other plugins.

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One of my workflows is doing field recordings such as birds, thunder, rain, environment, silence (of course, full of valuable noise) etc, also interviews in field or noisy environment. So I remove unwanted noise with X-Noise, Z-Noise and other NR plugins by Waves as well as iZotope RX. I’ve never got good results from WaveLab’s RestoreRig.

If you are saying that for extracting voice from badly recorded field recording you prefer to use SL, this probably will be game changer. So the extracting valuable material is better than removing many unwanted. Right?

Okay, today I have another question. We (me and my wife) will record a bunch of ballads. There will be only one 12-string guitar. She is aware that in beautifully performed and recorded song there can be one chord that isn’t good. So I think that with SL it could be easier to do the task - split voice and guitar, replace bad chord (arpeggio) with newly recorded, merge both and save. I don’t know is it possible to do with WaveLab.

I’ve never used unmix – I’m assuming you’re talking about unmix – in SL, so I can’t say how well your idea would work. Sorry.

At the risk of getting deleted, I’ll add that, if I had to do it all over again, I’d get SL Elements instead of SL Pro. All the NR features I really need are in Elements. Besides, I discovered, after extensive use of SL8 Pro, that the program did only one thing exceptionally well. Other NR programs I had did a better job with the remaining NR and basic editing tasks.

That may have changed with SL9, but, regardless, I think I’m going to stick with the barebones program from now on.

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This is what I wanted to have as an answer to my professional sound designer question :slight_smile:
Today I made field recording - a 15 minutes of book advertising, so will try NR tools I have and I’m sure for 90% this day will end with a purchase.

Thank you! Your sentence really answers to “do I need Pro or Elements could be enough?”

BTW playing around unmixing always make me thinking that this is just for fun. I newer liked the results. For demoing and sketching, maybe for home karaoke for leisure time when no one is listening, sure, it can be used. But not for serious tasks. I tried unmix a ballad, where is only woman’s voice and 12-string guitar and on all 10 tries there is voice tails in guitar layer and guitar tails in voice layer.

The only workflow in which I see the reason of using unmix feature is use instrumentation layer to play while singer is singing new/better layer and use the same instrumentation layer to let other players to hear the rhythm, melody, flow, while singer does his job.

Huh, I’m worried of day-night job on upcoming ballads album. Already did a 10 min demo with 3 songs and night birds (recorded at 3:30 AM) in background. Sounds gorgeous!

You’d probably have to get a $20k DAW from Audionamix to get a truly professional unmixing result.

I hope the letter “k” was added by mistake. :disguised_face:
If not, I’ll buy my wife flowers and wine and let her sing every song more than once.

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Keep in mind SL was designed first as a spectral editor. Automated Unmix will get you close, and the spectral tools will finish the job. SL is all about having control over the spectrogram and not just rely on automated processes.


So the one thing is that SL in half duplicates the job of WaveLab (visual control over the sound plus editing (“sculpting”) tools) and second half is the automated job of unmixing, also Noise and Hum reduction (the difference between Elements and One) that WaveLab doesn’t have or has in not so good quality. Is it right?

In fact I just need to understand should I spend $63 for SL 9 Elements to do the job that is $1K worth :slight_smile:

I’m curious to find out what that “thing” is.

I did have buyer’s remorse initially when purchasing the Pro upgrade from Elements but have found some uses with the Pro features that help with workflow.

@ArthurNeeman would recommend trialling Elements if it’s possible so you can play around with it.

I’ve gone as far as I dare go, I think.

Bought SL Elements tonight!

With this Noise Reduction works much better than tools I already have. Selecting multiple places just noise to cover full frequency range, I can remove anything that is unnecessary. Having many field records at night where are beautiful birds I can now select many regions between many bird trills and vertically to cover any frequency, then I register noise and on preview I have pure night bird choir! EXCELLENT! And losing so little sound material that it doesn’t matter. This wasn’t possible to achieve with Waves Z-Noise, X-Noise, iZotope (I have light version) nor any stock NR and Restoration plugins.

Thanks all for your answers. This leaded me to the best purchase this year!


I found that Waves X-Noise leaves artifacts if the signal is really close to the noise floor.

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I very successfully used the unmix vocals feature in Elements when I was working with a live video recording. I did a multitrack of the musicians but there was bleed preventing me from doing any tuning on the vocals, including 3 part harmonies on some songs. With Spectralayers I was able to lower the bleed of the guitars (singer playing guitar and singing simultaneously), just enough to be able to use Variaudio to tune the vocal. Too much removal of the guitar from the vocal resulted in artifacts, but I was able to decrease the background noise just enough. Because there was also bleed of vocal in the guitar mic, I was also able to remove just enough of the vocal bleed so that when I tuned the vocal track, you didn’t really hear the non-tuned vocal bleed in the guitar mic rubbing against the tuned vocal in the vocal mic.

A newer tool that I’ve been using recently is Waves Clarity VX. It may be a better choice if you need to completely remove background noise from a vocal without artifacts.

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