Field Report: Sony Creative Software Sound Forge Pro 10

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Sony Creative Software Sound Forge Pro 10

I learned at an early age that having the right tools will decide the success and quality of a job. Some products get us through, while others stand out and make us look like heroes. This is true of Sony Sound Forge Pro 10. It's a veritable "Swiss Army Knife" for audio recording, restoration and mastering.

The basics

Sound Forge Pro 10 is built on previous versions of the software. Current Sound Forge users will find it refreshingly familiar. Upon launching, the user finds a typical waveform workspace where recognizable editing tasks like recording, cutting and pasting are available. Standard transport buttons are located in the transport bar. Other toolbars are fully customizable to aid in quickly locating commonly used features. Additionally, nearly every task in Sound Forge 10 has an associated keystroke.

The software can edit multichannel tasks using project files - a new feature for this version. Templates for project files allow common settings and tasks to be stored for later and repeated use, without having to recreate projects from scratch. Projects can be saved as Windows Media files for Web use, as well as BWF files and numerous other popular audio file formats. As far as waveform editing, common volume and pan envelopes are a click away. Sony improved on Sound Forge Pro 10's workflow by creating custom window layouts, floating window docks and metadata windows. Tabbed browsing puts collapsed windows in plain sight in the workspace. Batch jobs speed up tasks that are applied to multiple files.

Included with the software is an impressive list of tools for restoring audio. Clipping detection, click and crackle removal, clipped peak restoration, audio (general) restoration, and Noise Reduction 2.0i all have multiple presets and capture ability to sample and remove unwanted noise from audio. NR 2.0i is a plugin from Sony that captures the noise print from a selected piece of poor audio. Then, the user adjusts a few parameters to negotiate removal of noise vs. artifacting. The results are impressive. I pulled out a popular 1950s rock n' roll recording and cleaned it up markedly without introducing artifacts. Tape hiss was gone with no degradation to the original material. In addition to the plugin, general audio restoration settings could be invaluable to stations that air older material from LPs or noisy tapes.

Get it on disc

Performance at a glance
◊ Multichannel editing
◊ iZotope Mastering Effects Bundle 2 plugin
◊ Dockable floating windows for increased workflow
◊ Plugin chainer for effect rack-type monitoring
◊ Phase, spectrum and mono compatibility scopes

CD Architect 5.2 is a CD burning software packaged with Sound Forge. It is easy to use, but the best part is the Red Book standard it forces on the CD production process (depending on user preferences). Computer-burned discs can sometimes fail to play in various CD players. However, with Red Book standards enforced, the disc is cut with the standards of any major production house. CD Architect is invaluable if CD production quality is critical,

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