sonicWORX Pro FAQ

Prosoniq answer questions about their new audio editor      22/04/09

sonicWORX Pro FAQ

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Prosoniq launched their sonicWORX • Pro Audio Editor earlier this month at the Frankfurt MESSE and have now released more information on it in the form of an FAQ. Here it is...
Q: When will sonicWORX • Pro be available for purchasing?
A: We plan to ship sonicWORX • Pro in July 2009
Q: What will be the recommended retail price of sonicWORX • Pro?
A: The RRP of sonicWORX • Pro is 1.690 Euro, or $1.849 USD.
Q: How does sonicWORX • Pro compare with the "old" sonicWORX Artist and Studio? Which of the tools that were available in version 2 of sonicWORX will be included in the new Pro version?
A: sonicWORX • Pro will not contain any functions of sonicWORX Artist and only a limited set of those that were in sonicWORX Studio. However, there will also be a scaled-down version of sonicWORX at the end of this year which will contain the former studio functions, without any of the extraction capabilities of the Pro version (basically a rewrite of the old sonicWORX software for MacOS X).
Q: Is it possible to upgrade from an old version of sonicWORX?
A: You can upgrade from sonicWORX Studio, Artist and PowerBundle, but not from the free sonicWORX Basic and Essential. In order to do this your previous sonicWORX software will need to meet one of the following requirements:
  • You need a valid version 2.x serial number of sonicWORX (these are serial numbers starting with SWB2-, SWS2- and SWA2-)
    - or -
  • You need a valid version 1.5+ of sonicWORX (the ones with serial numbers starting with SWST-, SWAR- and SWPB-).
Please note that version 1.x of sonicWORX (the one that came with an ADB port dongle or with serial numbers starting with SWRX-) cannot be upgraded.
Beta versions of sonicWORX (serial numbers starting with SPBB-) cannot be upgraded.
The old version of sonicWORX does not need to be installed on your system in order to install the upgrade, however, you will need your old serial number during the authorization process.
Q: Is there an upgrade from Pandora RT to sonicWORX • Pro? A: No, we're sorry, there is no upgrade path for this product. Since Pandora RT required sonicWORX 2 in order to run you can use the sonicWORX 2 serial number to purchase an upgrade.
Q: Will there be an educational discount for students and universities?
A: Yes, we recommend you inquire at our partner stores before making the purchase. Educational discounts typically range from 25% - 50% off of the RRP.
Q: How long did it take you to prepare the sound files shown in the movie at YouTube?
A: The files were picked at random and prepared by sonicWORX developer Stephan Bernsee in the night before the first day at Messe. It took him about an hour per sound file to make the selection and render the results.
Q: Can I remove tracks from a mix after I have selected them?
A: Yes, absolutely. You can extract (isolate), remove or process the selection that you've made in the sonicWORX • Pro editor
Q: Can I use the extracted instruments to create a 5.1 surround mix?
A: Yes. In fact, this is a typical application of sonicWORX. It happens frequently that a studio needs to prepare a 5.1 mix from a stereo master - sonicWORX is an ideal tool to do this.
Q: How do I edit multiple channels? Do I have to edit them individually to extract an instrument?
A: No. You can either choose to edit what we call the "overview channel", which is a channel with information from all channels of a sound file that gets created when sonicWORX • Pro opens a file ( in this case all edits will be applied to the other channels automatically) or to each individual channel in the file.
Q: Can I export the sound representation as an image file?
A: Yes. You can save the 72dpi image of your sound that is currently displayed on the screen as TIFF file to your Mac hard drive ofr viewing and printing.
Q: Can I load the images of my sounds created by sonicWORX into Photoshop for processing, and import them back?
A: No. sonicWORX cannot import images at this time
Q: Does it use the same technology as Melodyne DNA, or is it in any way comparable?
A: No, sonicWORX • Pro is not related to this product and works on a totally different principle. Here are the most important differences:
  • Mono-timbral vs. multi-timbral. Melodyne DNA is intended to be used on mono-timbral (= one instrument) polyphonic audio tracks. A piano track or a guitar would qualify and DNA will allow you to change the pitch and timing of the notes of that track. sonicWORX was specifically designed to work with entire mixes, not just single tracks, and lets you perform all kinds of operations on the selection. You could for instance apply a different EQ to a voice within a mix, or compression, or a reverb, without affecting other instruments in the mix.
  • Note based editing vs. WYSIWYG sound editing. Melodyne DNA detects notes within the track for you. This limits your capabilities to note editing and doesn't give you any freedom to choose the parts of the track that you are really interested in. sonicWORX gives you total freedom to select and group anything you want, not just the notes detected for you by the program. Since the selection is made by you, the user, and the pattern tracker sorts out everything for you behind the scenes you don't have to worry about the program detecting something that isn't there. With sonicWORX, you are in control while with Melodyne DNA you have to rely upon the note detector to accurately find the notes for you.
  • Editing vs. Extraction. Melodyne DNA is not intended to be used to suppress and extract individual tracks from an entire mix, it is intended to manipulate notes in the presence of other notes. sonicWORX is specifically designed to do extraction, suppression and processing.
  • Sound abstraction vs. authentic high res display. Melodyne DNA represents the audio signal in an abstract way ("blobs"). This is convenient for note editing, but it does not accurately represent the original signal. sonicWORX allows editing within the context of the original mix, everything you see in the sonicWORX editor is real, not a simplified abstraction.
  • Pitch shifting vs. track editing. sonicWORX is not intended to change the pitch and timing of notes within a song. While you can do this with sonicWORX, it is easier to do with Melodyne DNA. However, you could use sonicWORX and Melodyne DNA in tandem, to achieve perfect separation with sonicWORX and intuitive pitch shifting with Melodyne.
Q: What about products like Metasynth or AudioSculpt - don't they do the same thing?
A: No. While it might look that way at first sight they are doing something completely different. In a nutshell, there are 3 important differences:
  • 1. Resolution: sonicWORX • Pro uses a proprietary transform that overcomes some of the limitations that the Fourier transform used in these other products normally has. Therefore sonicWORX is better suited to analyzing musical signals. See this web site for more information on the underlying technology.
  • 2. Pattern detection and tracking. None of these other products has pattern tracking capabilities. The pattern tracker in sonicWORX • Pro helps you select different parts of instruments that belong together, without requiring you to select all the frequencies manually (and sort out drums and other interference by hand). You are not simply painting in your spectrum, your pencil is "intelligent".
  • 3. Artifacts. Other products are based on the Fourier transform, which is essentially a filter bank consisting of very steep filters. Typical artifacts of Fourier transform processing fall into 2 categories:
    • Magnitude thresholding: discrepancies between the magnitudes of neighboring frequency "bins" create the typical "warbling" artifacts that occur eg. with low bitrate MP3 files. Hi-hats appear to sound metallic and high frequency ringing can occur with transients.
    • Phasiness: phasiness can happen during reconstruction of the time domain signal due to the non-localized nature of the underlying sinusoids used by the Fourier transform. The sounds appear to sound reverberant, synthetic, "phasey" and lack sharp attack transients and details.
More information:

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