Nero Wave Editor

very good
key review info
application features
  • Create audio file
  • (6 more, see all...)

I must admit I wasn't expecting too much of a good thing out of the (still) monstrous new Nero suite, and definitely nothing fancy about the newly-introduced audio applications. Much to my surprise, I encountered a Wave Editor loaded with features that will simply transform your living room in a small processing studio... and if you don't want to go higher, everything should be pretty OK; but if you plan to go for the heavy stuff, forget about Nero, buy some professional, dedicated audio editing solution and do your job.

Among the so many audio tracks editors out there, it seems that the one presented by Nero in the latest edition is one that brings the best of both worlds: it looks simple (some may read "dumb") enough so almost anyone can start using it in just minutes, while offering enough options and processing power for the needs of a home-user. And if we sit a bit and think, most users are home users... therefore Nero knew their way pretty well.

The Looks

One thing was pretty clear from the very beginning: you don't have to be a sound engineer to learn the workings of the Nero Wave Editor in a few minutes. The whole GUI is simple and light, much more "aired" and neatly-spaced than in most other similar applications and this adds some points to the final grade; a clean, easy to use interface is sometimes much more valuable than the capabilities of the software.

The fact that Nero Wave Editor is a strongly home user-oriented piece of code is immediately seen when we look at the interface: the main screen is occupied by the waveform display, taking up about ¾ of all the surface of the usable screen. The rest is filled with the toolbar (in the upper side) and the spectrum analyzer, stereo field and volume/pan knobs in the lower region. One thing that is worth mentioned is the absence of the transport controls... well, there is a "transport" title but that's not what you could name transport controls, by any means.

The whole appearance is some sort of XP style, slightly 'Vista-fied': every field and tab have been designed in bright, contrasting colors for easy recognition and access, but without being eye-obtrusive. Some text could have gone just fine with the tabs and buttons, but once you've used the Nero Wave Editor a couple of times you'll get used to what the buttons do.

No skinning for the Nero Wave Editor, just the possibility to switch between a Vista-like blue on white interface and the classic one with green waveform on black background and blue selection. The menus and the contained data are pretty easy to use since they have been neatly grouped in Tools, Effects and Enhancements; the VST and DX have their own menu for a better structured and streamlined workflow. Considering Nero Wave Editor as a whole when talking about its GUI, I'd say Nero have done a pretty neat job, even if they haven't come up with anything "wow"... actually, in my humble opinion, things are far better as they are now than adding crappy Vista transparencies that actually do nothing except for draining processing power and ending up in you cursing and screaming in front of the "hanged" CPU.

The generic appearance is quite a sight for sore eyes: I've spent some hours in front of this application and everything's really OK - even though you can't change the colors, they have been chosen wisely. As for the functionality of this neat-looking GUI, things are good, too: the lower part of the screen - where the Transport, Spectrum Analyzer and the Edit History tabs are - can be customized: you can either freely change the area of these fields according to your needs or you can close them and have them in floating small windows that you can drop anywhere in the work area and take benefit from a maximized waveform display.

One thing I did not really like was the fact that the proper transport controls were placed in a toolbar in the upper side, along with other buttons and cannot be stuck in other places except in the shape of a floating window; they're not integrable, but in their initial toolbar and this kinda sucks. As for the toolbars and buttons, feel free to add and delete them from view as you wish; neat customization here!

The Works

Well, it's time we got groovin'! First of all, the Nero Wave Editor can handle AC3,AIF, AIFF, MP3, WMA, MP4, OGG, WAV, WAVE and NWF files and for the average home user, this list should do for about any sound processing needs, no matter whether you'll be editing the soundtrack of your latest picnic movie or tailoring some fav song for a karaoke party. I felt somehow funny as I have read about Nero's own audio format...the NWF (Nero Waveeditor File); indeed many big names in the professional audio software run their formats... but, was this really necessary?

Returning to what the Nero Wave Editor, once more I'll tell you that this application could be one most decent answer to your sound processing needs, especially as you'll most probably get your hands on it as a part of the Nero 8 suite and therefore for a fraction of the price... quite a bargain, I'd say. Nero Wave Editor basically sports the most common effects and audio processing tools you need when home-editing... and some very cool extras many other similar-class software can't even dream about.

I guess there is really no point in enumerating all the effects present in the Nero Wave Editor as the list is a hefty one. Instead, the Enhancements menu is well worth a stop: band Extrapolation, Camera Denoiser, Dehum and Noise Analysis are thingies you don't meet in any software (no talk on the big names, they're not a concern now). Basically, the features in the Enhancements group bring some more handy tools that will make your work a lot easier, as well as let you experiment with these tools and get to know them better. This capability, combined with the non-destructive processing carried out by the Nero Wave Editor results in a very neat instructional tool for the newbies: do, undo and redo the most fantastic and creative things that cross your mind, nothing is lost from the original track!

Among the effects that have made a nice impression on me, I must definitely add the Re-Analogue filter, a tool that allows you to reproduce the analog media sound from any digital source, no matter whether speaking about clicks and pops, dusty scratches on vinyls and many more. Another cool thing was the surround reverb, a very intuitive and visual tool for creating complex reverberations with your tracks and giving your audio a spectacular resonance, usually met in professionally-mastered tracks.

I smiled quite happily and my anxiety went away as I have learned that the play/pause is triggered the pro-way, using the Space key. And even more, the zoom commands are carried out by the mouse scroll, both in and out, and this adds true functionality to the whole software. The markers and selections can be easily and quickly placed by clicking and dragging the mouse over the track's waveform; a cool feature is that you can extend/reduce the region onto which an effect has been applied by simply dragging a marker, without the need of undo-ing and re-selecting. This nice feature adds both speed and precision to your audio processing, ending up in a greater comfort and more pleasure with your home-processing.

Too bad Nero Wave Editor does not sport instant deletion of selected regions and splitting does not allow you to re-arrange sections in your songs. One more cool thing on the Nero Wave Editor is that it is not resource-hungry: even with extensive filters being applied, the load was rather undetectable, around 35-40MB of RAM, which is really nothing in today's computers. Ah, and two other useful things I've almost forgot: it loads almost instantaneously if Nero SoundTrax is running and displays the name of the operations carried out on a sector. If you want to revisit your work there, just click the tag with the filter's name and the dialog window pops up letting you tweak your sound some more. Just like some sort of "de-freeze"...remember?

The Good

The first two things that come in my mind are the pricing and the tech loading. Being a part in a suite, having a relatively powerful audio editor at hand for virtually zero money is very cool, while having a somehow free powerful editor that does what its rivals can't is even cooler! Good for learning and definitely good for home processing. Zero crashes so far, by the way.

The Bad

I can't think about too many bad things in Nero Wave Editor, as it is a relatively simple editor. Some work on the GUI could add a more 'pro' look, without making it inaccessible to the inexperienced users. In order for the Nero Wave Editor to become a real feared competitor on the audio editors' market, adding pro-like features such as "split", "delete" and "move block" could mean a very serious blow to the rivals.

The Truth

Being a piece of code you actually get in a large bundle, one can say the Nero Wave Editor comes almost for free; which is good. It seems like a well developed software for your audio needs as long as you're not going to ask for some Star Wars-like audio editing; the code looks very stable and this could be the beginning of a very neat future for Nero, as far as audio editing is concerned. Of course, the Nero Wave Editor will not get max rating from me because there's still a lot of work to do. Nevertheless, I can openly say "welcome to the real life, Nero Wave Editor!"
PS: add the split/delete/move and you'll get full 5 stars for Features.

Proceed to Nero BackItUp, Nero BurningROM, Nero CoverDesigner, Nero Express, Nero Home, Nero PhotoSnap, Nero PhotoSnap Viewer, Nero Recode, Nero ShowTime, Nero Vision, Nero StartSmart, Nero Scout, Nero InfoTool, Nero RescueAgent, Nero DiscSpeed, Nero DriveSpeed, Nero BurnRights, Nero ControlCenter, Nero SoundTrax

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user interface 4
features 4
ease of use 5
pricing / value 4


final rating 4
Editor's review
very good
 
NEXT REVIEW: Nero Vision

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