Likelihood to Recommend
While Cubase is great at editing audio, and songwriting, it's a champ at creating music to video. It's easy to import the videos into a session, and syncing up the music to the video is very easy for even a beginner. And Cubase can be used all the way through the process - writing, recording, mixing and mastering, and exporting back out is practically a one-step process!
Cubase is also really adept at MIDI, something that was lacking for me in Pro Tools at the time, and allows you to render MIDI to audio in place at a high speed rate, saving you tons of downtime.
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.
- 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.
- Shortcuts aren't easy to learn
- Can be a bit of a resource hog
- Upgrades don't necessarily have enough features to make the worthwhile
- 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.
Based on 1 answer
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.
Sound Forge 10.0
Based on 2 answers
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.
While Pro Tools is the industry standard when it comes to recording and audio mixing, I've found Cubase to be superior when it comes to writing with MIDI. Also, it comes with a lot of features (MP3 exporting, time code) that Pro Tools charges you extra for. They're both about the same price to buy, but learning Cubase is much easier than Pro Tools, which can be a bit cumbersome because it does so much.
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.
Return on Investment
- 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.
Premium Consulting/Integration Services—
Entry-level set up fee?
Cubase Editions & Modules
Additional Pricing Details—
Premium Consulting/Integration Services—
Entry-level set up fee?
Sound Forge Editions & Modules