Thanks for our reply! Sorry it’s a bit of long feedback, but I hope useful for you (client feedback always good, some people say!)
1.Marketing / demo video: I think everybody noticed that you guys accelerated on this front and that lots of official steinberg video about Spectralayers have been published since 10 month. And there are also a few made by users that are quite interesting, but I guess it’s all about making up for the past years, compared to some other software that have been really active and good and showing off their features in an engaging way.
2.CPU: I took the time to look at ARA, that I didn’t know about, i agree that it seems to be a massive move forward in terms of DAW / plugin integration. It is quite surprising though to see the little adoption so far, one can wonder why DAW didn’t jump on this new way to integrate with plugins years ago, knowing how CPU ressources is a massive blocker to creativity. At the same time it’s like any network effect related innovation, everybody wait that everybody adopt it to adopt it I guess. Anyway, it’s great news when it comes to using Cubase and Spectralayers and I’ve experience the seemless workflow since installing the trial version.
I played around with the tool since yesterday, mainly inside Cubase, I found it really easy to manipulate a very precise piece of the audio spectrum but it was way less obvious and easy to process a whole audio file. In general, a tool capable of being very very granular is expected to be great also for more top level processing, right? That is not my feeling so far. Sorry to bring RX again, but it seems that as RX is not focus on very granular and precise work on tiny bits of frequencies, all it does is apply processing to the whole audio event (like pretty much any insert), i found it way easier to try things, adjust the settings, and A/B reference with or without the audio, rather than with SpectraLayers, but I may miss something here. Hopefully the new processing tools that you are referring tool are going in this direction. Again, for podcast editing, yes sure it will happen to be willing deep correct one frequency, but the bulk of the need is to apply 3 or 4 basic processing to the whole audio file, easily. Hope that make sense.
I found the processing time quite long when applying a tool, even on a 2mn audio file, so for 30mn was really long. I guess it’s normal? Overall, I prefer that it takes time when I’m editing versus when having to suffer stuttering and lags when playing back a plugin. Only problem is that as was then very hesitant to try different level of settings on say the de-esser, as didn’t want to wait for a potential very little difference, if any.
When back to Cubase, I see that the audio event that have been edited, has the SpectraLayers logo on the top right corner, I guess as a reminder that some processing have been applied, is that correct? didn’t find anything on the manual about this. It would be really great actually to know what processing what applied (not the tiny little spectral changes someone could do, but at least the main ‘audio repair’ processing), somewhere (no idea where thin info could be, why not as an Inserts!?
In the Process / Tool window, would be great to preview the ‘effect’ / ‘processing’ only, like a de-esser, Soloing the sibilance only. I didn’t figure out how to do this. You mentioned more AI based / processing tools are coming, any chance to have a mouth de-click and de-plosive coming our way?
Watching a 2018 youtube demo, the guy was very excited by the Cast to layer feature, in Edit (youtube video is called: Magix SpectraLayers Pro 5 | For Producers & Audio Engineers | Extreme Mixing Hacks & Magic), I thought it was amazing as well, but didn’t find it in SpectraLayers 7, was it removed or it’s there but with another name.
Zooming: I struggled quite a bit to understand how I was able to navigate / zoom when dealing with a long piece of audio (30mn of podcast), and I’m not sure I’m quite there where I can navigate easily without struggle, zooming in / out, navigate left / right. Would really make sense to adopt the exact same commands than Cubase, ‘command / trackpad or mouse’ on Mac. When I do this in SpectraLayers, it moves the 3D image…which is great but not what I want. And it’s really hard to change habits, when i zoom & navigate a million time per day on Cubase with always the same shortkey, and have to think about it and change when moving to SL 7.
Manual: I read it, it’s only 70 pages, i see sometimes manual of 200 pages for less complex tools! Some things are not explained in details, and would have love to have bit more in-depth explanations in some areas. I feel that there are lot of things not in there. I guess nothing is perfect! But as there are not hundreds on demo video on youtube, that doesn’t help!
I don’t know the most used features of course, and I’m biased by my own usage of Spectralayers, but I feel a lot of people are interested in audio repair / audio processing, and it would be relevant to try to bring these tools forward, maybe on the bottom left, below the selection tools?
I was confused by the amount of space / pixel taken for nothing when opening the Cubase Audio Editor, so basically SpectraLayers, and clicking on the arrow (Open in Seperate Window), beween the menu (Edit / Select / Layer / Process / transport / View / help), and the top of the window! Both when fully open or when editor is below the tracks inside Cubase. Not a big deal, but as we always say, screen real estate is precious! But also somehow, it confused me when I was trying to go either the Cubase top menu bar or the SpectraLayer menu bar.
Question: what’s the best way to A/B test a processing?
A/B test, before or after applying it by the way.
- before: i know there is the preview button, but it act a bit weird i feel. And I noticed that when your trying to understand / tweak a setting, in a processing tool, you have to clic preview each time you want to reference or A/B test with the ‘by pass’ button, which is a bit annoying. Also, I noticed that when you are with this processing window, you cannot access anymore the Transport panel, which is very annoying. I had to cancel what i was doing, recalibrate where i wanted to listen in the track, reopen the tool and do the settings.
- after: at first, my instinct was to take advantage of the layers, and I was trying to put processing (de-voice, de-noise)… so I could mute and unmute to see the impact and therefore be able to adjut the settings of an effect / processing tool. But I didn’t manage to.
What I ended up doing was to duplicate my track in cubase, apply an effect on the audio event of one of the two tracks, in the Spectralayers editor, went back in Cubase to mute / solo them and understand what Spectralayers did, I’m sure there is a more efficient way. And if I realise i have push to far a specific settings, i have to go back, delete and redo the processing. would be great to be able to just edit the existing processing.
But overall, I think I really like the software, so great job since 10 years to create and develop it!
Have a nice day!