Steinberg Wavelab 7 review
A long-overdue overhaul of the interface, but overall the results are mixed
Review Date: 8 Nov 2010
Reviewed By: Ben Pitt
Price when reviewed: £373 (£438 inc VAT)
Features & Design
Value for Money
Ease of Use
New versions of Steinberg WaveLab are few and far between, but even by its own standards this one has been a long time coming - it's five years since version 6 was announced.
There are two ways to look at this. On the one hand, WaveLab users have been left in the doldrums while those using its main rival, Sony Sound Forge Pro, have enjoyed new features such as high-quality mastering plugins, non-destructive editing, surround-sound support and multitrack editing. On the other hand, WaveLab 6 already had many of these features, and £70 plus VAT for five years of updates is pretty good value.
It's certainly a big upgrade, as demonstrated by the move to Windows 7 or Mac OS X 10.6 only - no earlier versions of Windows are supported. There's a lot that's new, including podcast publishing, improved pitch-shifting and time-stretching, background batch processing, DDP file export for sending to disc-replication facilities and plenty more besides.
Our main criticism with the previous version was its clunky, dated interface, so we're happy to see a thorough redesign this time around. The tabbed docking-panel approach has been done many times before, but this implementation is particularly impressive. Panels slide across the screen to make room as you drag others around, and there are numerous shortcuts for arranging them neatly.
A new Workspaces feature lets you save and recall panel layouts. It could be more streamlined, though, with numerous mouse clicks required to recall a workspace. There are four editing modes - audio file, audio montage, batch processing and podcast - and each has its own set of workspaces. While each of these modes appear to operate independently, certain features such as the Master Section remain linked. There's some sense to this, but it isn't the tidiest approach.
One further workspace type - Control Window - saves and recalls layouts from the software's comprehensive range of metering, analysis and metadata panels. However, the option to launch a Control Window disappears from the main menu when working in Audio File mode.
These interface niggles, along with the sheer volume of panels and toolbar buttons, make it an intimidating application for new users. However, at this price we suspect they'll be willing to confront the steep learning curve in order to enjoy the eventual reward of having so many tools close to hand. Existing users may feel a little lost, too, but there's a well-written PDF document at tinyurl.com/sixtoseven to help you make the transition. Then again, Sound Forge offers much the same set of features and doesn't feel nearly as disparate and complex.
- What's on this week's PC Pro podcast?
- Apple patent reveals iPhone car control system
- Windows 10 release date, features and how to get the Technical Preview
- Microsoft updates Windows 10 tech preview
- End of an era: Nokia Lumia to become Microsoft Lumia
- Google boosts secure logins with USB Security Key
- Nominations now open for UK Cloud Awards 2015
- Lenovo rumoured to be acquiring BlackBerry
- Apple releases iOS 8.1 with Apple Pay
- Microsoft offers cloud access to help fight Ebola
- Google Glass: mugger bait, pub problem and other lessons learned from two dangerous weeks
- Twitter, please don't fiddle with my feed
- How Satya Nadella can get some pay-raise karma
- Windows 10: a step back to go forward
- Michael Dell: Cloud infrastructure is the roads, bridges and highways of the 21st century
- How to check your identity hasn’t been sold to the hackers
- Tim Cook: this is how much TV has changed since the 70s
- Westminster wins the .London battle
- 20 years of PC Pro: from deep pan pizza to virtualisation
- Five reasons why the Apple Watch leaves me cold
- iPad Air 2 vs Nexus 9: Apple and Google's latest high-end tablets compared
- Five things that are actually new in the iPad Air 2
- Bendgate, Antennagate, and why Apple doesn’t care about bad news
- iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 release date, specs and UK price rumours
- Office Online vs Google Docs: which free online office suite is best?
- iPhone 6 Plus vs iPhone 6 design comparison
- How to speed up an Android smartphone
- Nexus 6 release date, specs, UK price and leaked images
- iPhone 6 vs iPhone 6 Plus screen comparison
- Mac OS X Yosemite release date, price and new features
- How to sell more ebooks on Amazon
- 10 ways to make your business more secure
- Top five VoIP mistakes
- How to add in-app purchasing to an iPhone, Android or Windows app
- Remote-control ransomware: TeamViewer and software hardball
- Why laptops with serial ports matter to the Internet of Things
- Make your mobile battery last longer
- Small steps into handling Big Data
- Nexus 5: does it really run stock Android?
- How to get broadband to a garden office