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Looking for a Soundblade HD replacement
Old 14th February 2019
  #1
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Looking for a Soundblade HD replacement

Hi.
I think I'm finally done with Soundblade HD. Been a user for years and it's just too flaky to use. So many little things that go wrong or cause a sudden crash, etc, etc.

I've had one master go to production that had an error on it and got manufactured, causing massive embarrassment to me and today I find myself on the fourth version of a master because of problems with it. If it was one problem, I could handle it.

Problem is (and this is why I have continued with it) it sounds beautiful. It really does sound better than other things I've tried. A wav file unprocessed in SoundBlade sounds better than the same in PT or in Wavelab. Don't care about the rights and wrongs of that, it just does.

But, I really can't do with using what is essentially twenty year old software that is still the same with every update.

So! Any recommendations for a mastering DAW that sounds comparable to Soundblade, as I just can't do it any more...?

Thanks,

Jeremy
Old 14th February 2019
  #2
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Thomas W. Bethe's Avatar
 
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1 Review written
🎧 15 years
This does a "very nice job with audio" and works well and is updated on a regular basis. The effects it comes with are also good. Maybe give it a try. Acon Digital | Audio Editing Software
FWIW
Old 14th February 2019 | Show parent
  #3
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas W. Bethe ➡️
This does a "very nice job with audio" and works well and is updated on a regular basis. The effects it comes with are also good. Maybe give it a try. Acon Digital | Audio Editing Software
FWIW
Thanks.. I'll give that a look.

Sound quality is a priority and the thing I need maintain when moving away from SoundBlade.

Any other suggestions are welcome!

Cheers!

J.
Old 14th February 2019
  #4
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Ok, well Acon Acoustica is no use whatsoever as it seems to have no DDP support at all...

To reiterate, I need a mastering DAW that will create and open DDPs natively...

Thanks!
Jeremy
Old 14th February 2019
  #5
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Jerry Tubb's Avatar
 
Verified Member
🎧 15 years
I think lots of ex Sonic users switched to $equoia, PC only.

I’m still using soundBlade HD 2.1 on an old Mac Pro Tower w OSX 10.6.8.

very stable, rarely crashes, no glitches...

a few workarounds...

love the sound of the Sonic Studio Engine!

cheers, JT
Old 14th February 2019
  #6
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
It's a bit lame that in an era when snapshots can be taken and uploaded seamlessly to a cloud backup, that a piece of software so notorious for crashing doesn't even have an auto-save function.
Old 14th February 2019
  #7
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thermos's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeremyPaulCarrol ➡️
Problem is (and this is why I have continued with it) it sounds beautiful. It really does sound better than other things I've tried. A wav file unprocessed in SoundBlade sounds better than the same in PT or in Wavelab. Don't care about the rights and wrongs of that, it just does
I feel you bro. But look at if this way: if you render a ddp in Soundblade and the same ddp in Reaper, the resulting ddps will null. That was the final straw for me. That includes plugin processing (I believe, I can’t fully remember).
I found the best way to take advantage of Soundblade is to pitch to your analog chain with it. That does sound better than using any other daw. But for ddp assembling/creation, FORGET IT. I’ve been creating ddps in reaper for the last 2 years and haven’t had 1 problem! Wav playback does not sound as good, but you get used to it. And Soundblade is its own siren song Island of ideal sound that doesn’t translate outside of itself, and just makes the rest of your life hard. I hate that software.

Edit: also I pair reaper with hofa ddp player maker. It’s the app soundblades player wants to be. It works and runs great on Mac or pc.
Old 17th February 2019
  #8
Gear Head
 
S_mask's Avatar
 
Using two DAWs with Sonic Studio HD 1.9.1 (and 1.9) on Mac OS 9.2.1 (and have a couple of extra Apple G4s from ebay as inventory). Exports to DDP version 2.0 (and imports Exabyte DDPs (v. 1.0)), which can be opened in Sonoris on the PC for CD-Text encoding.

Sonic on Classic works a treat, here, does 4-point edits and bit-clean Zinman dumps and CD loads-back, has awesome manual DeClicking, and a good-sounding SRC (though others look more 'the part' on the infinite wave series of test shots). The adjustable fade splines are black magic.

Peter Mew uses soundblade and, as with previous builds from the old company, says that you still need to find the stable version for your Mac OS version and don't upgrade or expect to use that computer for social media or Instacart orders.

'Trust the transparency.'
Old 17th February 2019
  #9
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Verified Member
🎧 5 years
For the DDP part, you could easily move to Hofa DDP Master
CD-Burn.DDP.Master | HOFA-Plugins

Easy to use, pretty much flawless, cheap and reliable.
Old 17th February 2019
  #10
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🎧 5 years
Also does someone could do a null test one day to test soundblade ??
Like working with 2 computer connected thru AES (or whatever digital) and play a track with minor change (gain and EQ for exampe) and print on the second computer one file from Soundblade and one from wavelab (or whatever) with the same gain structure and plugin.
Or a basic digital loopback with one computer.

It would be great to be able to check the actual difference old users talk about.
Old 17th February 2019 | Show parent
  #11
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Thomas W. Bethe's Avatar
 
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1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeremyPaulCarrol ➡️
Ok, well Acon Acoustica is no use whatsoever as it seems to have no DDP support at all...

To reiterate, I need a mastering DAW that will create and open DDPs natively...

Thanks!
Jeremy
If that is your only problem with the ACON software then there are alternatives for DDP creation. FWIW
Old 17th February 2019 | Show parent
  #12
Deleted e461f65
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saxnscratch ➡️

It would be great to be able to check the actual difference old users talk about.
there used to be a 2000 page thread about it
Old 17th February 2019 | Show parent
  #13
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🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deleted e461f65 ➡️
there used to be a 2000 page thread about it
I didn't manage to find it.
The only thing I found is a bunch of thread complaining about it
Old 17th February 2019 | Show parent
  #14
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SmoothTone's Avatar
 
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🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saxnscratch ➡️
I didn't manage to find it.
The only thing I found is a bunch of thread complaining about it
I think it's this one.

Why does Sonic Sound Better...

There's a lot of bickering in there but there's one user who sets up a very rigorous test comparing Sonic to Wavelab. IIRC he confirmed a difference at the DAC and it was something to do with the way Sonic bypasses core audio or something.

Sorry I can't be more specific. If you want the details you'll have to wade through the thread. Shouldn't be too hard to find the posts about the test (from memory they're very detailed and long).
Old 17th February 2019 | Show parent
  #15
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🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by SmoothTone ➡️
I think it's this one.

Why does Sonic Sound Better...

There's a lot of bickering in there but there's one user who sets up a very rigorous test comparing Sonic to Wavelab. IIRC he confirmed a difference at the DAC and it was something to do with the way Sonic bypasses core audio or something.

Sorry I can't be more specific. If you want the details you'll have to wade through the thread. Shouldn't be too hard to find the posts about the test (from memory they're very detailed and long).
Thank you !!
(Was looking with Soundblade as key words and not Sonic)
Old 17th February 2019
  #16
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thermos's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
If you want to hear the sonic engine, I think the easiest way to do it is to demo their amarra software. It’s not exactly the same as sonic, but you can hear what it sounds like when core audio (iTunes) is bypassed and replaced with sonic. Just turn amarra on and off while listening. Definitely a difference.
Old 17th February 2019 | Show parent
  #17
Deleted 49af092
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas W. Bethe ➡️
If that is your only problem with the ACON software then there are alternatives for DDP creation. FWIW
But who wants to assemble the DDP in a separate program? That might be fine a few times a month or less but not for a daily mastering DAW.

If you want to stay on Mac, I think WaveLab is the best option right now. The learning curve can be a little goofy but I've been with it since version 7 (when it finally came to Mac), actively tried to find a replacement for it around version 8.5 but I'm extremely happy with 9.5 and version 10 coming up looks to be a big improvement.

I still prefer a DAW like REAPER (or Pro Tools) for the analog I/O process and I use WaveLab for just the final assembly, final digital touches, metadata/CD-Text, and exporting all the master formats from one master session.

It's extremely efficient.

What's it's not great at (but capable of) is the analog playback/capture process but version 10 should see an improvement in this area.
Old 14th December 2020
  #18
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
Don´t know if you are still looking for programs.
In my case, I use DSP Quattro (by the same developer as the old "TC-Spark").
If you are in Windows you must seriously consider "Sequoia". The object oriented editing is gorgeous.

Hope it helps

Old 14th December 2020
  #19
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Jerry Tubb's Avatar
 
Verified Member
🎧 15 years
Once again, I’m still using soundBlade HD all day, everyday to Catch, Edit, Format & Deliver.

In fact I just bought the final version 2.3 to have around, running it on OSX Sierra,

it also runs on High Sierra & Mojave (i think).

Call me stubborn :~)

Also still run sB HD 2.1 on my old mac pro tower, w 10.6.8 Snow Leopard.

Yes there are issues w plug-ins... and a few workarounds...

but it sounds great, and i love the editing model.

also have DSP Quattro... goodstuff... and a few other Mac DAW apps, Sonoris, Hofa, etc...

the bleeding edge of staying up with the latest DAW trends is overrated... LoL

i tried Reaper just for fun, found it totally unintuitive...

I like DAWs that you Get instantly... like DSP Quattro... I’ve the latest version, haven’t installed it yet, maybe after the holidays.

Oh yeah, pitching with Pro Tools recent version here, it just works.

cheers, jt
Old 14th December 2020 | Show parent
  #20
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by tecnicasonora ➡️
Don´t know if you are still looking for programs.
In my case, I use DSP Quattro (by the same developer as the old "TC-Spark").
If you are in Windows you must seriously consider "Sequoia". The object oriented editing is gorgeous.

Hope it helps

Actually, I am still looking! Not found anything that cuts the mustard. Currently using Pro Tools HDX, but to my ears, it sounds wooly compared to SoundBlade...
Old 14th December 2020 | Show parent
  #21
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lowland's Avatar
 
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16 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeremyPaulCarrol ➡️
Actually, I am still looking! Not found anything that cuts the mustard. Currently using Pro Tools HDX, but to my ears, it sounds wooly compared to SoundBlade...
Could SADiE work for you? PC, but apparently runs fine on a Mac with whatever the helper software of choice is these days (Bootcamp?).
Old 14th December 2020 | Show parent
  #22
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Jerry Tubb's Avatar
 
Verified Member
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeremyPaulCarrol ➡️
Actually, I am still looking! Not found anything that cuts the mustard. Currently using Pro Tools HDX, but to my ears, it sounds wooly compared to SoundBlade...
Do an ITB null test between files between soundBlade and Pro Tools,

you ~may~ find that they Null perfectly. I did this a few years back.

it’s just that the playback on Sonic sB sounds better.

Cheers, Jt
Old 14th December 2020 | Show parent
  #23
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeremyPaulCarrol ➡️
Actually, I am still looking! Not found anything that cuts the mustard. Currently using Pro Tools HDX, but to my ears, it sounds wooly compared to SoundBlade...
Ok....than try DSP Quattro if you haven't yet. Maybe it fit your needs. Otherwise good luck!!!

https://www.dsp-quattro.com
Old 22nd December 2020
  #24
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Thor's Avatar
 
Verified Member
🎧 15 years
There is no real replacement for soundBlade natively on OS X.

You could process in any number of other programs and do your DDP assembly in either Hofa or Sonoris, they do about the same job (or Reaper).

I can count on my hands how many DDPs I've been asked for the last year, everything is either streaming or vinyl, but things may be different where you are.

If you're willing to go to Windows, there's Sequioa, SaDIE, and Pyramix that are all aimed at the mastering crowd, as well as Wavelab (the Mac version was never as stable as the Windows one) although it only supports two channels. Windows will run pretty well on most Macs. Oh, there's also DSP Quattro, haven't tried it in over a decade, no idea what the status is today, but it wasn't a suitable replacement then. I think the same guy who wrote WaveBurner Pro (which was part of Logic in the waybackwhen) was behind it.

Like Jerry, I set up a separate system for stereo mastering and editing with Sierra, latest version of soundBlade with all plugins I've verified will work with it, and don't use it for anything else. I've been focused on surround and immersive mastering for a number of years, which Sonic doesn't really do well, and have been using Nuendo for that side of things. After a brief stint trying out Reaper for a few projects, I'm now finding myself using Fairlight (Davinci Resolve) more and more for multichannel work and soundBlade for all my stereo projects.

My 2 centavos.
Old 22nd December 2020 | Show parent
  #25
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engmix's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by thermos ➡️
I feel you bro. But look at if this way: if you render a ddp in Soundblade and the same ddp in Reaper, the resulting ddps will null. That was the final straw for me. That includes plugin processing (I believe, I can’t fully remember).
I found the best way to take advantage of Soundblade is to pitch to your analog chain with it. That does sound better than using any other daw. But for ddp assembling/creation, FORGET IT. I’ve been creating ddps in reaper for the last 2 years and haven’t had 1 problem! Wav playback does not sound as good, but you get used to it. And Soundblade is its own siren song Island of ideal sound that doesn’t translate outside of itself, and just makes the rest of your life hard. I hate that software.

Edit: also I pair reaper with hofa ddp player maker. It’s the app soundblades player wants to be. It works and runs great on Mac or pc.
I'm in the same camp. I ditched using SB because I ripped one to many hairs out of my head when using it. And it's all well and good that many can make it work on an older system, but that's also very telling. Unless it has been updated, SB is a 32 bit program. There aren't many new plugins being developed at 32 bits. In a way this makes SB a legacy program.

I'm curious about the pitch and catch method. Obviously your running SoundBlade at 24bits 48 or 96k etc to pitch. On your other system, are you capturing at (for instance) 16 bit 44.1k?

Thanks...
Old 22nd December 2020 | Show parent
  #26
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thermos's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by engmix ➡️
I'm in the same camp. I ditched using SB because I ripped one to many hairs out of my head when using it. And it's all well and good that many can make it work on an older system, but that's also very telling. Unless it has been updated, SB is a 32 bit program. There aren't many new plugins being developed at 32 bits. In a way this makes SB a legacy program.

I'm curious about the pitch and catch method. Obviously your running SoundBlade at 24bits 48 or 96k etc to pitch. On your other system, are you capturing at (for instance) 16 bit 44.1k?

Thanks...
I can run 2 instances of Reaper on my 1 laptop. 1 pitch at 32 bit 96k through my Dangerous Convert 2, and capture in the other instantiation of Reaper at (whatever bit depth) 44.1 with my Merging Anubis. Works flawlessly.


Reaper gives zero f&^ks what sample rate/bit depth you are running, and you can mix match a 16 bit 44.1/32 bit 96k file in the same session. Also you can run really as many instances at a time as you want, either as tabbed projects running from the same application, or you can say put a copy of Reaper in the documents folder and run that at the same time as the applications version.
Old 22nd December 2020 | Show parent
  #27
Lives for gear
 
thermos's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thor ➡️
There is no real replacement for soundBlade natively on OS X.

You could process in any number of other programs and do your DDP assembly in either Hofa or Sonoris, they do about the same job (or Reaper).

I can count on my hands how many DDPs I've been asked for the last year, everything is either streaming or vinyl, but things may be different where you are.

If you're willing to go to Windows, there's Sequioa, SaDIE, and Pyramix that are all aimed at the mastering crowd, as well as Wavelab (the Mac version was never as stable as the Windows one) although it only supports two channels. Windows will run pretty well on most Macs. Oh, there's also DSP Quattro, haven't tried it in over a decade, no idea what the status is today, but it wasn't a suitable replacement then. I think the same guy who wrote WaveBurner Pro (which was part of Logic in the waybackwhen) was behind it.

Like Jerry, I set up a separate system for stereo mastering and editing with Sierra, latest version of soundBlade with all plugins I've verified will work with it, and don't use it for anything else. I've been focused on surround and immersive mastering for a number of years, which Sonic doesn't really do well, and have been using Nuendo for that side of things. After a brief stint trying out Reaper for a few projects, I'm now finding myself using Fairlight (Davinci Resolve) more and more for multichannel work and soundBlade for all my stereo projects.

My 2 centavos.
Reaper takes more than a brief stint and is well worth it.
Old 22nd December 2020 | Show parent
  #28
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Thor's Avatar
 
Verified Member
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by thermos ➡️
Reaper takes more than a brief stint and is well worth it.
I'm sure it's a great tool for those who like it. I appreciated the flexibility and comprehensiveness, but not the support model or the sound. As someone who works hard to make the sound quality as high as possible, that's key to any system for me.

But again, it's great we have different tools to choose from and different ways of working. If it sounds good...it is good. (Joe Meek).

Cheers,
Thor
Old 22nd December 2020 | Show parent
  #29
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thermos's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thor ➡️
I'm sure it's a great tool for those who like it. I appreciated the flexibility and comprehensiveness, but not the support model or the sound. As someone who works hard to make the sound quality as high as possible, that's key to any system for me.

But again, it's great we have different tools to choose from and different ways of working. If it sounds good...it is good. (Joe Meek).

Cheers,
Thor
A DDP with/without plugins made with both Reaper and Soundblade will null.
Old 22nd December 2020 | Show parent
  #30
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Thor's Avatar
 
Verified Member
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by thermos ➡️
A DDP with/without plugins made with both Reaper and Soundblade will null.
Then you need look no further.

Your best solution isn't necessarily mine.

The OP was asking for suggestions, which many people have offered, you and I included.

It sounds like you've found something that works for you, as have I. Either of which may or may not work for the OP, that's up to him to decide.
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