If you attempted any sort of computer-based audio editing or music production in the late 90s and throughout the 00s, hearing “Sound Forge” must strike a nostalgic chord. Software like this and CoolEdit Pro was an affordable solution to get some work done if the DAW heavyweights at the time were out of your reach. For better or worse, bigger companies (in this case, Sony and Adobe) ate up any compact audio editors like these, which is why the open-sourced Audacity is pretty much the only mainstream app reminiscent of those times.
Anyway, what’s up with Sound Forge now? After spending about 13 long years in Sony‘s hands, the Sound Forge product line was taken over by MAGIX (know for its Sequoia DAW) in May 2016. The software was never abandoned, but stayed on the same version for four years. MAGIX seems more determined to keep the product up-to-date and competitive. After a year or so of work, it’s introducing the first major upgrades developed by its American and German teams. The party gets kicked off with the announcement of Sound Forge Pro Mac 3, which is available right now. It is to be followed by a 64-bit version of SF Audio Studio on August 8, and the brand-new Sound Forge Pro 12 around the end of 2017.
Notable additions to SF Pro Mac 3 (yes, Mac-only) include loudness metering and the iZotope plug-ins RX Elements and Ozone 7 Elements as bundled products. MAGIX also added support for 64-Bit float/192kHz/32 channels high-resolution audio, sample-accurate editing, enhanced professional-level filters and processing, and disc-at-once Red Book Standard audio CD authoring. With all of this, Sound Forge Pro Mac 3 lines up among the serious audio processing and mastering solutions for macOS.
The 64-bit version of SF Audio Studio will provide improved DSP algorithms for native audio effects, slice-oriented edit mode for dynamic editing of wave files, VST3 compatibility, and enhanced accessibility features. As for the big Pro 12 release (which we assume will be multi-platform), MAGIX isn’t issuing any details, but it’s adamant it will “carry on this unparalleled legacy.” So there’s that.
Sound Forge Pro Mac 3 is being sold for 299 USD / 299 EUR. You may not find it a compelling proposition when Logic Pro X costs the same and has all the creative facilities to sustain a musical career. However, SF Pro Mac 3 is indeed targeted at professional audio editors whose work must conform to specific broadcast and loudness standards, for example. What’s more, the bundled iZotope products offer very good added value by themselves. Considering this and the fact SF Pro Mac 3 is nothing less than professional-grade software, we’d say the price is fair. More information can be found here.