The new interface is based upon a single window approach set around a new ribbon style toolbar like you’d find in Microsoft Office. The toolbar is located more in the middle of the screen with metering, markers and error correction above and the main waveform and montage display below. To the right we have the redesigned master section. The toolbar contains a tabbed menu system giving access to all the usual editing commands and the ribbon dynamically changes to reflect the menu selection. So only the tools relevant to what you’re looking at are available. To bring the various elements of a project together they’ve created “File Groups” which is a tabbed system that contains all the files within that project, while the new Project Manager gives you an overview of the entire structure.
The Master Section has been redesigned and can now accommodate 12 inserts with individual configuration including mid/side processing. The monitoring has been extended by M/S metering functions and a Resampler option provides easy sample rate conversion. But the most visually (and hopefully aurally) impressive addition is the MasterRig. MasterRig is a suite of 6 high-end multiband plug-ins – “the most powerful ever developed by Steinberg”, says the press release. You can create a chain of up to 8 effects within the one instance of MasterRig. The 6 plug-ins consist of all the usual mastering suspects; Compressor, Dynamic EQ, Saturator, Limiter, Equalizer and Imager. The EQ, Compressor and Saturator can also support mid/side processing per band.
There are plenty of other new features and enhancements including direct exchange of audio with Cubase and Nuendo, new regular plug-in versions, clip-based send effect automation, new naming schemes and rendering options. Wavelab Elements will of course have a radically cut-down feature set but even so it still retains 5 of the MasterRig plug-ins, the Resampler, the audio exchange with Cubase and Nuendo and the new look interface so maybe it’s not as cut-down as one would assume.
The boxed versions of Wavelab Pro 9 for Mac OSX or Windows will be available shortly from the usual retailers or direct from Steinberg for GBP £428. Upgrades from previous versions are available now as a download from GBP £73. Wavelab Elements 9 is available for GBP £73 as a download or you can have it in a box for the same price very soon.
More information: http://www.steinberg.net/en/products/wavelab/start.html