Trying to appreciate the value of Wave Lab, questions

I think I probably could use WaveLab LE but am not decided. What I don’t know is, as I read about the different vst3s on board WaveLab, I wonder can they also be used in C6.5.4? It seems like they could be but not sure if this is what Cubase and WaveLab users do, share/swap vsts on occasion. Also, if you own Cubase, do you burn CDs only in WaveLab? Do you think the burner function in WaveLab is better than from Cubase? Does the ‘batch export’ function exist in WaveLab LE like it does in WaveLab? Do you use this instead of the batch export in Cubase because of audio quality differences?

Well, yes, I am trying to understand if I really need this. Thanks for all comments!

I’d like to hear opinions as well. I used to have Wavelab, but I didn’t update it with my OS. Now, they won’t give me credit for my earlier version, which ticked me off. So, I’m mastering on the mix bus of Cubase with an API 2500 hardware bus compressor, a UBK Clariphonic bus EQ and the L1 Ultramaximizer. I then realtime Export Audio Mixdown to 44.1, 16 bits and burn the CD in Nero. I have Waves PAZ Analyzer if I want to analyze the Cubase master bus frequencies and RMS. Why do I need Wavelab?

I don’t know about LE specifically, but AFAIK Wavelab plugs cannot be used in Cubase - certainly not the Sonnox plugs. Ofcourse there are plugs that can be used by both, but I have no clear distinction cause I have both programs anyway.

Does Cubase have a burner function? I didn’t know that. Personally, I mix Cubase projects outboard while recording in Wavelab, so that’s where the mix ends and the rest starts anyway. Wavelab has a bit more than just a burn engine: start/ split/ end markers for CD-audio can be created, CD-text added, ISRC coding, DDP delivery and ofcourse spectral editing, any type of mastering effect, fades and dithering etc. The montage is incredibly powerful and all non-destructive.

Once you use Wavelab, there’s no looking back for these kinds of functions - not so much for quality reasons though. Again, I don’t know what LE lacks compared to full WL, but I think it is rather limited in this area.

If you seriously don’t know, indeed you don’t need Wavelab. Read up on mixing and mastering, and why those two are distinctly different processes. I’d at least recommend anyone to mix to a high resolution file and then as a separate Cubase project do the mastering - preferrably on a different day in a different environment.

You patronizing comment aside, I am mixing at 96KHz with an Aurora 16. . And I don’t master the same day I finish the mix, though I don’t know what difference it would make. I can hear just as well, maybe even better, the changes my mastering tools do for me immediately after finishing the mix. And if I end up not liking it, I can just do it another day anyway.The same tools I use on Cubase’s mix bus-my API Bus Compressor and my UBK Clariphonic are the same ones I’d use on Wavelab.

So what does WAVELAB do for me?

Be specific about its tools, OK?

Nothing, like I said. You obviously have good equipment, and if mastering for you is just applying compression/ limiting and EQ to one track at a time, you’re done. Nothing patronizing there, and you already said you used WL before.

Google “mastering software”. There’s reams out there which I doubt many members would reproduce for you here.

And there is, just around the corner on this very site, the WAVELAB section. Where PG the designer often has input.

Well, you’re right, my burner engine is not within Cubase, momentary lapse there. But I see your point regarding WaveLab.

I also have the ability to mixdown and burn a stereo pair through a TLA C-1 into a Denon/Marantz burner but I would be curious to hear what the WaveLab could do into my in-tower Gear Head burner. Interesting.

So…are you saying you mixdown a split stereo track in WaveLab - and that you get there via an analog mixer, having recorded in Cubase? Explain your process path please if you don’t mind? Also, I am assuming you run the Stereo Out from Cubase unloaded, no compressors, verbs, etc.?

Will my Wave plugins work in WaveLab, anybody?

Aren’t these questions which usually get asked a few weeks into a full audio college course?
Forums aren’t really geared up to answering. I’m sure there’s a YouTube vid out there which would give you the answer you need in about three minutes more clearly than anyone here.

No, not an analog mixer. I use the Tascam DM3200 with a 32-channel firewire interface. It connects as 32 mono inputs and outputs to Cubase (or any variation with stereo channels ofcourse). As I get 32 channels maximum into the mixer, I use two outputs at the same time to record the mixer’s stereo output in Wavelab. So, from Cubase, I don’t use ‘The stereo out’ (and obviously no control room), and on some tracks I use Cubase automation, EQ, compression or other effects, though hardly ever a ‘send type’ effect (like reverb etc.). I do use analog devices with the mixer during the mix, plus built-in effects and possibly EQ. The DM3200 is also a remote controller for Cubase, and ofcourse A/D converter during recording. If you’re interested, here’s a screenshot of my displays during WL recording.

Wow, Arjan, that looks very nice, thanks for the pic. I read the Waves manual and I think I understand how to implement things. You are not really using all the feature in WavLab in your pic, is this typical for you? Is there a another screen with lanes and plugins?

For some reason I did not think you could access WaveLab and Cubase at the same time. Obviously I was wrong and this explains things quite a bit. Basically you can edit both programs at the same time, playing the tracks in Cubase as you adjust in WaveLab? Yes? Interesting. And so you NEVER use the Cubase mixdown feature, right?

Conman, chill Baby, I am trying to learn something from Arjan. :laughing:

P.S. Steinberg has this process where you cant post on the WaveLab forum unless you own WaveLab. I couldn’t ask a question if I wanted to. :cry:

I found the 30 day free trial option for WaveLab and I have answered a few questions for myself at this point. On first blush, I would not call the software intuitive! Ha, more like a printer program I have for a P-Touch device. But the Wave plugins come right up and work very well here. Which was one of the big questions. I also see how Arjan was able to move the WaveLab output meter onto the surface of Cubase, pretty cool.

I will give it a go.

No, as you found out, this is actually a Cubase picture with the Wavelab recording window on top.

No, I never use Cubase mixdown and always mix realtime. I was pleasantly surprised at the time, that not only can Cubase and WL work at the same time, but more importantly, can share the same audio interface at the same time! (Well, at least my interface). Cubase sends out 32 tracks - actually 30, and Wavelab receives and records 2 (or more if I wanted to), and uses 31-32 for playback to the Tascam deck.

However, don’t think too much of the ‘integration’ of the two programs. If I edit a Cubase audio track in Wavelab, changes are not immediately shown. They do sound ofcourse, but I have to delete the wave image to make it show correctly. But I only edit tracks in Wavelab if the Cubase editor can’t handle it (spectral editing for instance), and otherwise Wavelab is mostly for mastering.

Wavelab is not easy to get around at all, and has many hidden powers that can even surprise experienced users after years of usage. Another problem is the lack of a serious manual. I suggest you download the WL6 manual, where at least some more info is given on the basics of features, not just where a menu item can be found.

I think it should be mentioned that, although we’re all entitled to mix any way we like, Arjan’s procedure could be classed as somewhat eccentric! Even if he prefers to come out to analogue for the final mix, there’s no reason to run a seperate recording application alongside Cubase. The stereo output can easily be routed to a new track in Cubase.

Again, this is NOT ANALOG. The mixing desk has analog processors connected, yes, but the process is digital all the way. Recording into Wavelab makes much more sense, since it has much better input metering, plus it is where the mix is taken anyway. Nothing eccentric about that; to me, recording back into Cubase is useless.

Arjan, well, I do appreciate your path and your signal chain. And I would now say that I think your mixer is more unique than mine. I can dance all around it, trying everything I can think of, but I cannot get Cubase to play to the inputs of WaveLab. Sure, I can drag the nonworking output meter onto Cubase. Ah, if looks could kill. :slight_smile:

I have to ask, in your connections window, VST connections, does your WaveLab show up as a device that you can route to? It seems this would be necessary somehow. And I don’t have this. It does show a hardware connection bar/space/tab in WL, and I can choose to use two channels of WL, but they do not find my Mackie.

So, either yours is a VERY unique setup as I feel it is, or there is some tricky method to the hookup that belies my frustrated brain at this hour. Any help would be appreciated.

And thank you for agreeing with me that WL is a very complicated program to the uninitiated. I guess the end users are not hanging out in the skateboard parks. :laughing:

ER… On second thought, I am thinking it might be possible to make the connection to WL if I go out to my mixer via Firewire, and return via firewire to two other channels - sort of digital domain. I guess I can see where this might be described as a ‘digital’ path but I think there might also be some converting going on? Are you going out firewire to your board and going back in firewire to find WL, Arjan? I don’t know this Tascam board you have but this seems the only way.

In my VST Connections, Cubase uses the mixer’s firewire interface (IF-FW), and has 32 channels in the input tab and 32 in the output tab. These go into the mixer, and then Wavelab uses the same firewire interface at the same time for input and output. So, I play 30 channels to the desk from Cubase, while Wavelab uses 31/32 for its own playback, and uses IF-FW channel 31/32 output for its input. So there’s no direct link between Cubase and Wavelab, they only use the same interface (=driver) at the same time. Like I said, I was pleasantly surprised it worked like this, and maybe it’s unique to the IF-FW’s driver, but I don’t really know that.

:laughing: If they do, I don’t know which park that is. :laughing:

I’m trying to picture this mixer setup. It’s all digital? So you’re running multiple digital outputs from Cubase into a digital mixer, returning digitally into Wavelab? That’s possible. But how do you use the analogue processors without coming out of the digital realm?

No, ofcourse there is D/A and A/D going on for analog external processors, which may be the odd analog reverb…

“ER… On second thought, I am thinking it might be possible to make the connection to WL if I go out to my mixer via Firewire, and return via firewire to two other channels - sort of digital domain. I guess I can see where this might be described as a ‘digital’ path but I think there might also be some converting going on? Are you going out firewire to your board and going back in firewire to find WL, Arjan? I don’t know this Tascam board you have but this seems the only way.”[/quote]

Like this, Arjan? So are you using physical cables to your 31-32 inputs, from the FireWire return to the board? I can see this and can probably pull this off. The funny thing about WL - and I am not laughing - is that I think I can connect it like this because WL sees my Mackie. Still, putting Cubase into it is still a complicated path. I think you see more clearly than I do. Brilliant on your part. :sunglasses: