Sony Sound Forge Audio Studio 9 review

Price when reviewed

Sound Forge Audio Studio is a cut-down version of Sound Forge 9, which picked up a Recommended award (web ID: 117851). It lacks the advanced effects processors, surround support and comprehensive audio CD-authoring facilities of the full version, but includes the same core editing tools that make it invaluable for sound design for video and music production. However, now that budget audio- and video-editing software can record at high sample rates and bit depths, Audio Studio 8’s limitation to 16-bit, 48kHz files was a drawback. As such, we’re glad to see that version 9 supports 24-bit, 96kHz audio.

Audio Studio 9 has also inherited the full version’s ability to move sections of audio by drag and drop, plus its scrubbing tool for up to four-speed playback. The new Disc-at-Once CD burning option is perfect for creating audio CDs where start ID markers are required in the middle of uninterrupted streams of music. Audio restoration is included, too, along with a wizard that guides the user through connecting and recording from a turntable, cleaning up recordings and labelling them. However, the cleaning processor is a cut-down version of that included in the full version of Sound Forge, with no facility to remove low-frequency rumble.

As usual with Sony’s creative software, ease and speed of use is assured. The waveform display zips around audio files, and the toolbox avoids clutter. Interactive help tutorials guide new users through common tasks, with animations pointing to the menus required.

Most of the new features feel immaterial next to the software’s long-standing ability to perform basic editing tasks such as truncating and fading audio files with precision. It’s a shame the plug-in bundle hasn’t improved, although VST and DirectX plug-in support provide the means to remedy this.

However, at just £36 including VAT, it’s time for anyone getting by with the free Audacity editor to upgrade to something with a bit more class.

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