SoundStudio 3

soundstudio-top.jpgI have been using SoundStudio 3 ($79.95) for a lot longer than I realized, which is a good thing! It tells you that this is an easy product to get along with and that it ingratiates itself very well.

“Sound Studio 3 is an easy-to-use Mac OS X application for recording and editing audio digitally on your computer. Digitize tapes and vinyl records, record live performances, create your own mixes with crossfades, tweak the levels and EQ, apply digital effects, and save in all major file formats with Sound Studio 3!”

I am still some way off where I want to be with my audio skills, but that is certainly more a function of time and my own aptitude than anything else. I certainly can’t blame SoundStudio. I have been using it primarily to record the segments with Tim, both the conversations and a few review pieces and I have found it very easy and pleasing to use. I have also used it to record some audio dialog for an idea I am working on, and to tidy up some imported audio that I have recorded on a portable device for a project that I am working on. In short – it is a great ‘all rounder’ of an application.

Setting up is easy, with no complicated preferences to confuse or concern, and using it is very straightforward. There are certainly enough options for me with what I am doing.

The editing options are good, but not exceptional – from time to time I use an alternative but I really can recommend this product.

For those of you that have used SoundStudio before the Top 10 changes in Version 3.5 are:

– New ID3 tag / iTunes metadata editor.
– Chapters in AAC (.m4a) and Apple Lossless (also .m4a) formats supported.
– Apple Lossless (.m4a), ADTS AAC (.aac), NeXT/Sun Audio (.au), and Ogg Vorbis (.ogg) file formats added.
– MP3 and AAC bit rate support improved.
– Split By Markers enhanced.
– Several improvements to filter settings, presets, and preview.
– Playback scrolling preferences added.
– Several enhancements in marker display, editing, and saving.
– Several bug fixes in audio editing, filtering, resampling, playback, and saving.
– Several improvments in key shortcuts, AppleScript, VoiceOver, and Cowbell support.

For those of you that want the detailed features here they are:

Recording:

* Multi-track support: layer stereo sounds and save in interleaved format
* Audio Unit plug-in effect support
* Saves in MPEG-4 AAC (advanced audio coding) m4a format
* Saves in MP3 when the LAME framework is installed
* Automator support (launch Automator to see the bundled actions)
* Added “New Mono Document” command for quickly creating a monophonic document
* 24-bit / 96 kHz sample quality, in stereo or mono
* Low latency monitoring, using Core Audio
* Automatic recording starting and stopping based on timers or audio levels (a.k.a. VOX)

Editing:

* Sample-accurate edits
* Markers (a.k.a. Cue Points) with text labels
* Time ruler with units for video and film
* Copy-and-paste editing
* Basic mixing edits
* AppleScript and Automator support

Effects:

* Supports Audio Units
* Dynamics: Compressor, Expander, and Noise Gate
* Equalization: Graphic EQ, Low Pass Filter, and High Pass Filter
* Delay: Chorus, Flanger, Echo, and Reverb
* Volume: Amplify, Fade In/Out/Special, and Normalize
* Repair: Interpolate, Silence, DC Offset, and Swap Channels
* Repair clicks and pops by interpolating samples or silencing them
* Tone, FM, and noise generators
* Pitch adjustment
* Backwards/Reverse Audio

File Formats:

* AIFF (.aif) and AIFF-C (.aifc) with compression including IMA 4:1
* AAC and MP3 (importing only).
* Sound Designer II
* Wave (.wav, PCM only)
* Tab-delimited text (export only)

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