WL8 and Surround?

Does WaveLab 8 have interleaved multi-channel Wave file editing? I have not seen any notes about new surround features. WL7 was/is practically useless for surround work.

No, sorry.

This is unbelievable! As a Nuendo and Cubase user working now mainly in surround I cannot use the Steinberg Wave Editor WL8 in 2013 (!) to edit the final surround tracks coming out of these products? This is now coming across somewhat stubborn. Even simple editors for 79,-€ like TwistedWave can be used to edit surround files. What is the reasoning behind such limitations that even don’t fit to the own product range?

There is a low demand on this, i guess because multi channel files are somehow like mp3 files, a final format, ie a distribution format. If you need editing, you do it in the source project, and then you miwdown again. But you will disagree with this i guess.

I disagree - yes, because it simply is not true. It seems you don’t know what is going on with surround (maybe there lays the problem?) Handling of surround files is crucial for certain tasks - not only as a final file format. I’ve done a classical piano recording for Blu-ray Audio. The files were several hours of multichannel material in 24/96 with up to eight channels. You expect me to split and combine this in and for WaveLab? Do you have a clue how error prone that may be and how large the files are getting? The resulting file was nearly 8 GB alone for the final master. You need for this kind of work software that can handle such files with ease. Or as a composer, (using Nuendo mainly) I have often many parts with 5.1 files I combine, remix and so on. Take surround microphone setups (which I use too), record it and you have a lot of surround file, sometimes with different channel counts.
It seems people working in surround (composers, film post pro, classical recording, sound design, games, etc.) are already staying away from WL because it is not possible to use WL reasonable for surround work. And this appears to you as “low demand” - no wonder! There was some loyalty to the WL ‘project’ because WL always had a unique approach and many merits. Now you forced me out of it in a way. I used WL parallel to my other audio editors to keep what I already had learned. On my mastering PC with Win7 WL6 is still running, I never saw a reason to upgrade (because of the new GUI). On my MacPro a second license with WL7 is now also stuck - there is no need to upgrade anymore. Maybe Will Neilkes jumps in and tells you something about surround work too.
And concerning mp3 … came across somewhat insulting as mp3 is on the other side of audio quality spectrum of multichannel high res waves, isn’t it? And watch out for mp3 surround - ever heard of that?

    1. Yes, we need surround. Everything that WL does now, but with surround.

The implemetation of interleaved multis seems quite necessary to me, too.
I really hate to say this, but already with WL7 I have been looking and testing other competitors, sucessfully.
As I receive or prepair files for pre-mastering these days I only use 25% of WLs enourmes capabilities and features. Handling multichannel files would have been one of it.
Anyway, this is a nice release, just not much in it for me, though. I still choke on WL7 a little.
If it wasn’t for 64 bit I’d still be working on WL6. Btw., I find 64 on 64 OS more and more irrelevant.
Must be senil stubborness…

Big K

-1 Have no need for surround. Don’t want anything added that adds more complexity, while catering for a niche group of users.

AS for ‘truth’ based on anecdotal experience of 6 people that I may have met… I won’t insult every other user by using this as a support argument for my view… poll it – ask everyone or maybe the user profiles have already been gleaned from the Steiny database… :open_mouth:

…mmh, besides surround, in all workflows I can imagine the number of channels is always reduced during the process of original recording to distribution format. Either if your target is 5.1 oder stereo, you start with a lot more channels that have to be edited in perfect time alignment (say, 20 mics on an orchestra).

A multichannel (instead of only stereo or mono) track would be very convenient for this basic editing workflow (e.g. like in Reaper).

This cannot be done with clips on different tracks without a proper grouping, meaning that everything you apply to one clip is applied to all within the group und splitting a group will automatically result in two groups (like in all other DAWs…). Grouping in WL is not very handy for this.

Maybe Super Clips will do the trick (a multitrack montage appears as a stereo mixdown super clip)?


Not exactly a valid argument, since WL is a Wave Editor and Mastering software, and not a DAW in which mixing takes place, like Cubase.

Though I don’t use surround myself, I think multichannel editing should be included in a serious editor like Wavelab.

And then there is this new 8 “speaker management”. It looks half-baked in conjunction with no capability to edit multi-channel audio files. Of course WL is no DAW like Nuendo but all functionality editing mono or stereo files is just to extend to multi-channel files for proper mastering. It’s also absurdly inconsistent in Steinbergs product line as they have full featured surround capable DAWs. But anyway … decisions are made and it would take probably years now to implement multi-channel edit. And in a few years there will be again “low demand”, because people see WL still as a stereo editor. Therefore it works as a self-fulfilling prophecy somewhat. Time to move on …

Right, WL does not need any fancy new mixing capabilities. Though, I wanted to point out that even if your target media is stereo, multitrack editing is needed in many steps of a production. Why can we not use use our favourite Audio-Editor for that :mrgreen: ?


We can; it’s called the Montage - with unlimited tracks! :sunglasses:

Maybe Super Clips will do the trick (a multitrack montage appears as a stereo mixdown super clip)?

Right. With the limitation that a super-clip is like any clip: 2 channels output.

You mean a source montage with e.g. 4 stereo tracks is represented as a stereo super-clip in the target montage (mixed down through the Master Section of the source montage)?

This would be exactly what I need! Really GREAT!!! No more filename exchange workarounds in the montage XML needed :smiley:


You mean a source montage with e.g. 4 stereo tracks is represented as a stereo super-clip in the target montage (mixed down through the Master Section of the source montage)?

Yes. What you call a “source montage” is called a “sub-montage”. A super clip can point to an “internal” montage, or an “external montage” (another montage file).

Must have WL8 now! This is really a killer feature that makes my work a lot easier. Thank you very much!


Disagree absolutely. I record multichannel (my hardware recorder does that), edit multichannel (I used to split the channels to use the WL montage, which didn’t enable spectrum editing anyway, but now I do hard editing in Audition, which handles multichannel spectrum editing and denoising); and my surround material is not “mixed down” from independent channels - it is a coherent group of channels at all times (this is how Ambisonics works).

My Wavelab is now only used for working on stereo reductions and for making CDs.

I came to WaveLab 3.5 from CoolEdit 2000, because it was simply a better way of working; now I am in the process of moving back to Audition, because, although I still prefer working in WaveLab, it no longer competes with Audition in the basic facilities that I need. Sadly, I can’t afford Sequioa (it’s hobby for me, not a profession).

Audition is not the whole way there, either - you can’t make files of other than 1, 2 or 6-channels in the multitrack (montage) view, nor as new files - but it will open, edit and rewrite other numbers of channels. Depending on what the next version (coming soon) adds, you may still have a chance to leapfrog them, if you care…

So you can’t have a surround sub-montage, even in a surround main montage? This is a view of surround which simply bears no relationship to the way I (and I dare say many others) work.

Yes…exactly. :neutral_face: