Cubase vs. Sound Forge

Overview
ProductRatingMost Used ByProduct SummaryStarting Price
Cubase
Score 9.6 out of 10
N/A
Steinberg Media Technologies headquartered in Hamburg offers Cubase, a digital audio workstation and audio editing application.
$579.90
Sound Forge
Score 6.0 out of 10
N/A
Magix Software offers Sound Forge, the company's audio editing and digital audio workstation. Magix acquried Sound Forge from Sony in 2016.N/A
Pricing
CubaseSound Forge
Editions & Modules
Starting Price
$579.90
No answers on this topic
Offerings
Pricing Offerings
CubaseSound Forge
Free Trial
NoNo
Free/Freemium Version
NoNo
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
NoNo
Entry-level Setup FeeNo setup feeNo setup fee
Additional Details
More Pricing Information
Best Alternatives
CubaseSound Forge
Small Businesses
Descript
Descript
Score 9.0 out of 10
Descript
Descript
Score 9.0 out of 10
Medium-sized Companies
Audition
Audition
Score 8.9 out of 10
Audition
Audition
Score 8.9 out of 10
Enterprises
Audition
Audition
Score 8.9 out of 10
Audition
Audition
Score 8.9 out of 10
All AlternativesView all alternativesView all alternatives
User Ratings
CubaseSound Forge
Likelihood to Recommend
8.5
(4 ratings)
9.0
(1 ratings)
Support Rating
10.0
(1 ratings)
10.0
(1 ratings)
User Testimonials
CubaseSound Forge
Likelihood to Recommend
Steinberg Media Technologies
I have been a longtime fan of Cubase and would recommend it to anyone, whether they are just starting in recording or a seasoned professional. I find that it is really strong in the pre-production and production phases of a song. Tools like the arranger track, track versions, and the chord track make writing and experimenting very easy. I have used these tools on almost every song that I have started from the writing phase. I am able to experiment with different variations of a song, different channel settings, and even completely different arrangements all with just a few clicks. My writing process and speed have improved so much over the last few versions of Cubase. We have also enjoyed working with the mixing process. The mixers in Cubase are laid out much like a regular console. So for an old timer like me, the learning curve is very low. Cubase did a very good job with layout and labeling. Things are labeled what you would expect them to be and laid out in an order that makes sense. The other part of the mixer that makes it great is the ability to color code and organize tracks. My mix time has drastically decreased since using Cubase.
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MAGIX Software
Sound Forge is great for when you need to edit a lot of audio, like interviews, spoken word, podcasts, monologues, presentations, lessons—you name it. When you have a lot of audio to get through, Sound Forge can make it go by very quickly by using such features as the markers and hotkeys for normalization, inserting silence (where needed), graphical fades to remove audio artifacts, and so on. I've been able to edit a 1 hour interview in 2 hours, having made hundreds of edits in the process. Sound Forge is less useful for situations where you want to hear a realtime effects chain, or record with VST effects on. For instance, if you want the person being recorded to hear their own voice through headphones with reverb and compression applied, I do not know how to do this in Sound Forge. I think it is impossible, but even if it is possible, it is not readily apparent how to do so.
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Pros
Steinberg Media Technologies
  • The user interface is very accessible and easy to operate
  • Cubase will run fine on most PCs with regular hardware
  • VSTs are easy to manage and install
  • Audio routing within the mixer is very simple
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MAGIX Software
  • Markers - You can rapidly edit spoken audio to remove pauses, "ums" and "ahs," by using the marker feature while listening to the audio in realtime. Then, you go back and cycle through the markers and make the edits very quickly.
  • Hotkeys - Once you've learned the Sound Forge hotkeys, you can rapidly perform a number of tasks related to audio editing and mastering.
  • Fixing Clicks and Pops - The Graphical Fade feature allows you to easily draw volume envelopes in extremely short spans of audio, to successfully remove clicks and pops without affecting the rest of the sound.
  • Organizing VST Plugins - Sound Forge has a nice way of organizing VST effects into folders so you can put your most regularly-used plugins in a "Favorites" folder while organizing others in a sensible way.
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Cons
Steinberg Media Technologies
  • Some documentation is confusing and may be different than the version you have
  • Finding how to set up more complex audio environments can be cumbersome
  • Audio library can be a little confusing
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MAGIX Software
  • Batch Processing - While I like a lot of things about the batch audio processing in Sound Forge, the inability to hear the effects chain is limiting.
  • Performance - Sound Forge takes a long time to open large files the first time they are opened, as it draws the waveform. It also takes a long time to save large files, every time.
  • Inability to Listen to VST FX in Realtime - Technically you can listen in realtime, but only from the beginning of the waveform, rather and it is not easy. You have to open the VST effect and turn on the "Preview" mode which starts the audio from the very beginning, without being able to seek.
  • Inability to Chain VST FX - You have to apply one, then apply the next, then the next, in a destructive mode. The only non-destructive way you can test out different FX chains is by applying them one at a time, and then hitting "Undo" over and over to get back to an earlier state. But you couldn't, for instance, add a reverb, then add compression, then go back and change the reverb. You'd have to undo the compression first.
  • FX Preset Management - You can save FX presets but it does not save your last-used settings from session to session, and with some VST FX plugins, it doesn't even save them between application, undoing, and attempting to apply again.
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Support Rating
Steinberg Media Technologies
Any time I've had to reach out to customer support, they've been fast to respond and answered my questions to the best of their ability. Authorization of the software is easy, and the company is great about emailing you promptly. Overall, they do a great job.
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MAGIX Software
I've never contacted MAGIX for support, nor Sony or Sonic Foundry before them (Sound Forge is on its 3rd developer now). But I've always been able to find exactly what information I needed through the support of its large user community. There are a number of audio engineering forums available where you can search the post history to find out how to do specific things in Sound Forge, or you can make a new post if you are running into an issue that has not already been solved.
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Alternatives Considered
Steinberg Media Technologies
We chose Cubase in the beginning due to price differences between Pro Tools and Cubase. As we learned to use Cubase, we realized the flexibility between MIDI and audio was far more advanced than any other product on the market. We still feel like the MIDI implementation in Cubase is beyond any other product on the market. We have also found that the audio engine alone is on par with all of the industry standard software. During the 18 years we have used Cubase, we have noticed more and more high-end mixing, mastering and production studios using Cubase in their workflows.
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MAGIX Software
I tend to use WaveLab for recording, because I can apply effects chains to the audio as it is coming in. So, if I'm recording a singer, I can give them reverb, compression, EQ, and other audio effects in realtime going into their headphones. I'm still recording the dry signal, so I can change all of those effects later if I wish. Sound Forge does not have a way to do this as far as I know. Where I do prefer Sound Forge is audio editing, specifically of spoken audio, although it is quite useful for music as well. I worked for a company once where I had to edit hundreds of testimonials. I was paid on a per-testimonial basis, flat rate, so I had a strong incentive to get them done as quickly as possible, without sacrificing quality. I would listen through a testimonial all the way through, marking every area that had a long pause, an "ah" or an "um," a click, pop, or other undesirable audio artifact. I could then cycle through the markers and fix all the problems quickly.
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Return on Investment
Steinberg Media Technologies
  • Using Cubase over something like Protools means that new users are more likely to be successful during training and due to this, decrease training time.
  • More trained staff means that we are able to complete more projects faster instead of waiting for a more skilled staff member to become available.
  • Implementation on-site for on-site recording has been very reliable and has decreased the amount of failed recordings during events.
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MAGIX Software
  • Sound Forge has had a very positive impact in saved time editing files. It would have taken me hours longer using WaveLab, Audacity, Adobe Audition, or some of the other competitors for tasks like editing interviews.
  • Sound Forge has also had a positive impact in saved time through its batch processing features which allow me to normalize and apply effects to a huge set of files all at once.
  • Sound Forge has not had any negative impacts that I am aware of beside the cost.
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