Please help me answer these two questions:
1 What are the hardware requirements on a PC if I’m just going to edit and mix audio with WaveLab Elements 8, not record?
2 Are there any advantages to export a single mono audio file from the Audio Montage window in WaveLab Elements 8 instead of from the Audio Files window?
I make voice recordings with high demands on sound quality in a professional studio. The recordings are done with a Neumann TLM 103 via an Apogee One to an iPad Mini and saved as wav mono 44.1/24bit, sometimes 48.1.
The audio files are up to 30 minutes long. I’ll transfer them to a PC where I want to edit them with WaveLab Elements 8, which I am considering buying.
I usually need to use at least a compressor, EQ, de-esser and normalizer/limiter on a file. Then I export to wav 16 bit and MP3 192 Kbps.
Sometimes I mix two or three files in stereo.
I hope this workflow allows me to replace my rather clumsy PC for a smaller laptop without a dedicated sound card. Or will that make the output to my headphones sound so bad that I can’t hear the impact of the EQ and other effects good enough? And what RAM and processing power would WaveLab Elements 8 want?
(You’re probably wondering why I don’t edit the sound on my iPad Mini? Well, the screen is very small. Additionally, I need the PC for other applications that Apple can’t handle.)
WaveLab Elements 8 is very light on CPU so in order to have a supported platform, just make sure you get at least a minimum spec laptop as detailed on the product page. A bigger concern would be obtaining a quality headphone output, as this is not always a given in a laptop. I use an ESI Dr DAC Nano and I’m very happy with it, driving a variety of low (~35R) impedance headphones, but you’ve got to try out the laptop as some have very good audio chips these days, and you can always upgrade later. You don’t need anything special for WaveLab, the standard drivers are fine and you don’t need low audio latency for editing.
I use WL even on a netbook but do note that some plugins don’t work then because the CPU doesn’t have the required features, so stick with the recommendation of at least a dual core CPU and you should be fine; I’ve only ever used Intel CPUs.
Note that in WaveLab Elements 8, “mixing” would be done in the Audio Montage, which is limited in comparison to the “full” WaveLab 8. WaveLab is not really a multi-track environment, so make sure you can do what you intend before you purchase. WaveLab Elements 8 can have a maximum of 3 tracks (stereo or mono), whereas WaveLab 8 is unlimited.
Thanks for reminding me about the plugins and the CPU they need. Was hoping I could be ok with less than the recommended hardware. Not so much for the money but for size, weight and battery consumption.
Three tracks is ok. And in most cases I edit, filter and export only one. I’m relatively new to filtering and wonder if there are any quality benefits with exporting single tracks from Montage?
The quality is determined by the processing you specify, not the path through the program.
Yes, so I understand. But I can use only four plugins when editing. Can I add another four in Montage? Guess not.
Some time ago I asked this question about the plugins in WaveLab Elements 8:
Some WaveLab Elements 8 plugins not usable on old laptop?
I think you should be OK with any dual core CPU though, but we didn’t get a definitive answer as to why some plugins were available in the Cubase plugin set but not in the WaveLab plugin set.
Well, you are only using one or other environment at a time, so not cumulatively, no (other than by rendering then continuing with more work).
(Note that I don’t have Elements, so I don’t know the actual restriction in the Montage)
One at a time. So I thought but wanted to make sure I don’t miss anything.
Can I render a filtered 44.1/32bit track to a 44.1/32bit wav-file, open the wav-file and apply more filters without loosing quality (not counting my flaws in filtering skills)? Guess I must wait with**** dithering to the last export.
So long as you keep to 24 or 32 bit, you won’t be losing anything. As you say, you should dither to 16-bit only at the very end. Theoretically, you should dither to 24-bit if storing in 24-bit as the intermediate format, but I find it hard to envisage a situation when that would have any effect on a subsequent 16-bit result, and frankly, I don’t bother.
Thanks! I guess all questions are answered. Over and out.