Sound Forge Pro 10 boasts a hefty line of effects, divided into four areas.
◊ Processes offer common tasks like normalizing, panning, fading, equalization, dc offset correction, resampling and many others.
◊ Effects is home to numerous reverb and delay settings.
◊ Tools is where the more intricate features live, including noise reduction, clipped peak restoration, batch converter and other repair tools.
◊ FX Favorites however, is where the software changes things considerably. Sony provides a powerful Xpress Effects bank in addition to an endless list of dynamic processing, noise reduction, filtering, time stretch and restoration settings. The real sweet spot however is found in the iZotope Mastering Effects Bundle 2 plugin. EQ, exciter, imager, limiter, reverb and compression - they all do exactly what they say with accuracy and clarity. Proper implementation of the iZotope package can be the difference in sound between a locally produced radio spot and a national ad. The six iZotope effects can be patched together and monitored in real time using the plugin chainer. The mastering exciter, as an example, uses retro, warm, tape and tube emulation to add punch to final mastering processing. Each process comes with more than 20 presets with clever names to aid in getting started. As with any processing, tons of experimenting is necessary, and the results using iZotope are extraordinary. As stated before, proper final mastering sets production pieces a step above basic mixdowns. iZotope makes it simple.
Icing on the cake
There are a number of Sound Forge Pro 10 features that add to its functionality and utility. Pitch bend and pitch shift effects are very accurate. Many times, changing pitch on an audio file will degrade audio and introduce unwanted artifacts and distortion. The software uses intelligent algorithms to accurately perform pitch corrections or changes. Additionally, the dockable real-time spectrum and phase analysis scopes and mono compatibility meter are perfect tools for critically correcting phase and EQ characteristics that could be problematic on the air. Familiar X-Y, rotated, linear and circular phase scopes are available. Sound Forge 10 also makes three VU and four PPM meters available with adjustable integration times, aiding in accurate metering of audio levels in nearly every production environment. Finally, disc-at-once CD burning can be used to master a CD quickly, without closing the program and opening additional software.
While we barely scratched the surface concerning the tools included in Sound Forge Pro 10, it is more than sufficient to say that the software has plenty to offer a serious production house. Whether competitive audio production is in order, or you need to restore audio to its original pristine condition, it can handle the task. Adding this software to the audio production toolbox is certainly a plus.
Wygal is the programmer and engineer for Victory FM at Liberty University, Lynchburg, VA.