Sony Sound Forge Audio Studio 8 review
Review Date: 23 Nov 2005
Price when reviewed: inc VAT
Reviewed By: Ben Pitt
An audio-editing program is a bit like a screwdriver - not much fun by itself, but an indispensable tool when performing a variety of tasks.
It's ideal for making your own samples or sound effects for music or video production projects, and it comes into its own for making finished mixes sound big and polished.
This cut-down version of Sound Forge 8 (reviewed in What's New, Shopper, August 2005) offers much of what makes its pricier sibling great. Its basic editing tools are precise and efficient, and it adds support for DirectX and VST plug-in effects, broadening the software's sonic palette enormously. A range of excellent tutorials has also been added to help new users get the most from the software.
There are still some compelling reasons to spend £199 on the full version, though. For one, it allows users to chain plug-ins together and automate their settings, and comes with CD Architect 5 for precise control over audio CD creation. It also has superior pitch shift, reverb and compression effects, although with VST support, Audio Studio users won't be short of high-quality effects, many of which are free.
However, the biggest limitation of this cut-down version is that it supports files up to only 48KHz and 16-bit. This means it is fine with CD-quality audio, but as even low-cost music production software such as Cubase SE supports 24-bit files, it would be necessary to bounce down to 16-bit in order to open them in Audio Studio.
Even so, a 16-bit stereo editor is much better than no stereo editor, and Sound Forge Audio Studio is far more powerful than the free Audacity program. If £199 is beyond your budget and you're prepared to work around the 16-bit limitation, you'll find plenty of power here.
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