Steinberg has added the SpectraLayers software to its portfolio and released SpectraLayers Pro 6. The latest version of the spectral audio editor comes with new editing tools and workflow improvements. They’ve also added ARA support for seamless integration in Cubase, Nuendo, and other ARA-enabled DAWs.
SpectraLayers was originally published by Sony and later became a MAGIX product. This year, Steinberg acquired the graphical audio editor. SpectraLayers allows you to view audio in a spectral display. Edits are made using graphical editing tools, which opens up exciting new possibilities. Most prominently spectral editing is very useful in audio restoration, a task where SpectraLayers Pro 6 competes directly with iZotope RX. But the process can, of course, be applied in music production, mixing, and mastering as well.
ARA 2 support
Unlike an FX plug-in, spectral editing manipulates the actual source audio, rather than simply sitting on top of it. This means that its an ideal candidate for ARA integration, which Steinberg added to Cubase and Nuendo only a few days ago. ARA makes SpectraLayers 6 work and feel like a native editor in Cubase and Nuendo. While I don’t have confirmation of this yet, I assume this also applies to other ARA-enabled DAWs like Logic Pro, Reaper, and Studio One.
Edit audio graphically
SpectraLayers visualizes audio in a spectral frequency display. You can then modify and retouch it with “painting tools”, just like in picture editing software. According to Steinberg, SpectraLayers 6 includes a new selection engine, which lets you create any selection shape visually or based on audio features. You can add visual crossfade marks, and use selections for previewing, selection-based effects, and protecting audio from modification, among other things. Steinberg says that despite its complexity, the process is intuitive because the tools are so familiar from graphical editing. I think they have a point, it really seems pretty straight-forward. Check out the videos below to get an idea of what SpectraLayers can do – it’s quite impressive.
Compatibility and price
Steinberg SpectraLayers 6 is available for Windows (7 and up, 64-bit), and macOS (Sierra or newer). Right now, Steinberg offers introductory pricing at 50% off. For a limited time, a new license costs USD 200, down from USD 399.99. The upgrade from SpectraLayers 5 is USD 50 (regular: USD 99.99). Upgrades from earlier versions of SpectraLayers are available for USD 100 (regular: USD 199.99).