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Sonic Foundry Sound Forge 5.0 8/10

Sound Forge is one of the music industry's standard audio editor. There is no multitrack feature, since SF is designed to integrate with the multitrack editor Acid Pro. There are a load of effects ranging from EQ, phaser, wah-wah etc. Certainly there are more effects than Cool Edit Pro and Wavelab (put together). The new version is more stable than previous incarnations and this version also lets you edit audio in time with a video which you can load up at the same time. It also connects to external samplers, so you can import samples into the computer and then output them back out all in digital. I can see that this will appeal to many musicians who are fed up of trying to edit samples using the tiny LCD on a sampler. SF itself can be used like a sampler, since you can assign midi events to firing up samples, but I have not tried this yet.

There is a CD burn function too. So even if you do not plan to use SF for general audio editting you can use it for mastering you mix. Personally, I found SF easy to use, but it requires a bit of reading of the manual to get the most out of it, simply because it is so full of features. The interface itself is not difficult to navigate around. Many effects are unique to SF (at this price), such as the brilliant "Smooth" effect, with can give your bass and authentic smooth sound perfect for UK Garage. Other effects worth a mention include the impressive Acoustic Mirror, which can process your audio so it sounds like it's being played in a cathedral or church. The templates in Acoustic Mirror are taken from real buildings, so your reverb will sound authentic. There are many repair effects to help sort out any crackles in your final mix, or any pops. SF can even interpolate if the recording gets cut for several milliseconds, but it can't handle gaps of as much of a second. If you buy Acid Pro 3.0 you'll also have access to the plug-ins in that. As well as having a bundle of effects, Sound Forge has several analyser features to detect the various frequencies of your audio file. These frequency statistic features are not as comprehensive as Cool Edit Pro's. Engineers will probably find these features more useful than musicians.

In short Sound Forge is perfect if you deal with audio on a daily basis. If you don't do audio editing all the time, I would not spend the money on this product, since you won't get much out from it (unless you regularly want to make CD masters of your work). It complements Acid Pro 3.0 very well, letting you change "Acid" settings within Sound Forge. If you already own Wavelab or Cool Edit Pro, it is still worth buying Sound Forge, since you'll have access to the huge array of effects.