When the line of Sony Creative products was swallowed up by Magix last year there was some concern that the top line products such as Sound Forge and Vegas Pro would disappear. But Magix have stayed true to their word. Vegas Pro has already received an update and has a brand new version (15) pegged for release on the 28th August. A couple of months ago Sound Forge Pro for Mac hit version 3. Meanwhile, Magix has just now released their first version of Sound Forge for Windows. It had very little development from Sony for a long time so does Magix have good news for the passionate Sound Forge user base?
Sound Forge Audio Studio 12
I should point out that this is the entry level version of Sound Forge, not the “Pro” version which is still currently at version 11. But even so, I’ve been a Sound Forge user since version 4 when it was still owned by Sonic Foundry and everything that I use it for and love it for can be done in this Audio Studio version.
In a nutshell, it’s audio editing at its most pure and focused. When the popular freeware editor Audacity starts feeling cumbersome or lacking in features then Sound Forge is where you need to head to discover what proper audio editing software feels like. Where it has suffered in slow Sony development is mostly in terms of looking and feeling old. The editing is top notch but it feels like it’s designed for Windows 98. Magix have taken steps to sort that out – hooray!
Sound Forge Audio Studio 12 is a stereo audio editor, recorder, sound design and restoration tool. If you’re into sampling then Sound Forge is the best tool for editing samples. It’s perfect for editing podcasts, band recordings, mastering, editing sound in video, tweaking vinyl recordings and creating sound effects. It has noise reduction and vinyl restoration tools including a bunch of plug-ins from iZotope to DeClick, DeNoise and DeHiss. There are vocal tuning tools and spectral analysis to help you remove noise visually. You can import any video file, edit the audio and re-render without loss of video quality.
There are some brand new tools in the shape of Slice Editing where you can continue to tweak the edit after you’ve cut the file, and Soft Cut which enhances the automatic fading to guarantee smooth transitions. Sound Forge now has a fully 64 bit architecture. It has VST3 support and comes with over 20 professional plug-ins. You can record at resolutions of up to 32 bit and 384kHz. And all the vinyl and tape restoration tools are new. It also comes with iZotopes Ozone Elements mastering tools which is usually $129. The interface has been cleaned up a little and given a modern feel although it still has its vintage look to the toolbar and tool windows which I really quite like. They didn’t need to reinvent the GUI, just make it display properly on modern computers!
As a Sound Forge Pro user I am tempted to downgrade. Although perhaps I’ll wait to see what Sound Forge Pro 12 has to offer for being 5 times the price. Otherwise, I feel Magix have done a great job and also as a long time Vegas Pro user that makes me very hopeful.
Sound Forge Audio Studio is available now for $59.99. More information on the Magix website.