SoundStudio 3.5.5 Review
If open source sound editor Audacity is a little ugly for your taste and tools like Bias Peak are too rich for your needs, then SoundStudio 3.5.5 provides a compromise. Newly updated for Leopard, this is a workmanlike digital audio editor with tools for cleaning up samples, making loops, correcting equalisation and multitracking.
SoundStudio’s strength is its simplicity. All you really need from a sound editor is the ability to view waveforms, zoom in and make selections. SoundStudio makes this easier with a series of keyboard shortcuts dedicated to zooming into (and out of) samples. Though this is really welcome, we had a couple of grumbles while working with it.
First, the caret blinks when in position, which can be a little distracting when you’re trying to find an exact beat point. Second, there’s no automatic way to find zero crossing points. Seasoned audio loop makers will know this poorly selected start and end points can cause clicks – zero crossing points prevent this.
Perusing the manual makes us think that although there are professional level tools available here, that’s not the target audience. Makers Freeverse say they use the software when producing game soundtracks, but it’s well suited to recording old vinyl or cassette to digital. It also opens CD audio tracks direct from the media, making it a high-quality ripping tool, too. With built-in filters available to clean up and boost weak audio sources it’s ideal for the job. SoundStudio’s extensible too, with plug-ins the company calls Monbots, available to download free. These currently add clean-up tools, a mastering console and other useful functions to the application.
SoundStudio 3.5.5 is an essential upgrade for Leopard users and a good choice for all audio enthusiasts. If it included better looping tools we’d be tempted to call it perfect.