In this review:
FMOD, Miles Sound System,
Fabric, Audacity, Cubase
Company: Firelight Technologies
Designed with flexibility in mind, you can automate, modulate and ’snapshot’ anything. Event references allow you to aggregate and reuse sounds – the possibilities are endless.
Modular and extensible
Customize to suit your workflow with powerful scripting support. Extend the suite of DSPs with the plugin SDK – and create your signature sound.
Get up to speed and creating in no time – with a visually rich and intuitive interface. You’ll feel right at home.
Profile and tune
Easily tune up and polish your game’s audio with the ability to record exactly what’s happening. Then listen back and make tweaks offline – without the grind.
Built for teams
Everyone working on the same project, at the same time – without boundaries. With ’lock free’ Perforce support, and other VCSs via script, collaboration is frictionless.
With auto-updating plug-ins for Unity and Unreal Engine, iterating on your game’s audio is stress free.
FMOD Studio makes it easy to get rich interactive audio into your game. With an intuitive visual interface, efficient workflow, and powerful collaboration tools – FMOD Studio opens up a world of possibilities to sound designers.
FMOD Studio makes it easy to develop projects targeting multiple platforms and configurations. Asset encoding settings, loading behaviors, content and DSPs can all be customized per platform.
FMOD Studio provides a completely iterative workflow for interactive media. Create, mix, profile and optimize your entire project with instant feedback from the game in real-time.
Smart Presets solve the challenge of maintaining large projects, making it easy to manage parameters, effects, and automations. Improve your project’s scalability all while reducing its memory footprint.
Miles Sound System
Company: Rad Game Tools
The Miles Sound System is one of the most popular pieces of middleware ever released. It has been licensed for over 6,000 games on 18 different platforms!
Miles features a no-compromise toolset that integrates high-level sound authoring with 2D and 3D digital audio, featuring streaming, environmental and convolution reverb, multistage DSP filtering, and multichannel mixing, and highly-optimized audio decoders (MP3, Ogg and Bink Audio).
Why Miles is right for your game
- Miles is Scalable: Miles has a design focused on delivering gigabytes of sound data and tens of thousands of events to your game without issue, with powerful tools to manage voice limits. Miles 10 can handle projects of any size. Designed for the game Titanfall 2, we worked to handle an absurdly complex soundscape, with tens of thousands of audio sources and events required by a game of this complexity and polish!
- Miles is Performant: Miles 10 blends a cache-friendly mixing architecture with processor efficient algorithms to get the most out of every platform. And when using the Bink Audio format (with RAD’s own extremely optimized FFT kernels), you can use compressed audio with a ridiculously tiny CPU bump. Take a look at the CPU numbers for more details!
- Miles is Powerful: Miles Studio is a comprehensive toolset providing complete control over compression levels, mixing, busing, localization, spatialization, routing, DSP, and game parameterization.
- Miles works with Teams: Miles Studio allows designers to work on their own assets without generating conflicts with anyone else, which lets large teams of designers work in parallel. Projects are made of tiny text files, allowing easy diffs and multiple audio engineers working simultaneously. Then, for runtime, you render these flexible projects into packed data files with platform specific options, limits, and formats.
- Miles is Iterative: Miles connects your game to Miles Studio, allowing for modifying, adding, or removing anything in your project instantly while the game is running – all without reopening the game or reloading a level.
- Miles is Introspective: Connecting your game to Miles Studio records TONS of information, from loading times to volume levels of every voice, to what event started what, to the value of every game parameter. This allows for rapid debugging of the sound scape, preventing subtle yet audible issues from consuming valuable production time.
- Miles is Rapid: Miles Studio has an intuitive UI with minimal work necessary to get straightforward tasks complete, and for large adjustments, a spreadsheet style editor for bulk edits. On the code side, a robust, straightfoward, and powerful API allows for minimal engineer time to integrate features.
- Miles is Small: Miles streams and decodes compressed audio on the fly, allowing for a minimal footprint. Data limits can be enforced, ensuring that high demand areas of the game do not prevent important sounds from playing.
- Miles is Cross Platform: The Miles runtime uses the same API for every platform. Miles Studio content can be tailored on a per platform basis as needed.
Fabric provides a plethora of audio features and custom user interfaces that allow developers to design great audio entirely within unity. It’s nested component hierarchy allows users to create complex audio structures and combined with its event based system Fabric reduces the dependency on programmers giving more power to the sound-designers to work independently.
Company: The Audacity Team
Audacity® is free, open source, cross-platform audio software for multi-track recording and editing.
Audacity is available for Windows®, Mac®, GNU/Linux® and other operating systems.
Audacity can record live audio through a microphone or mixer, or digitize recordings from other media. With some sound cards, and on any recent version of Windows, Audacity can also capture streaming audio.
- Device Toolbar manages multiple recording and playback devices.
- Level meters can monitor volume levels before, during and after recording. Clipping can be displayed in the waveform or in a label track.
- Record from microphone, line input, USB/Firewire devices and others.
- Record computer playback on Windows Vista and later by choosing “Windows WASAPI” host in Device Toolbar then a “loopback” input.
- Timer Record and Sound Activated Recording features.
- Dub over existing tracks to create multi-track recordings.
- Record at very low latencies on supported devices on Linux by using Audacity with JACK.
- Record at sample rates up to 192,000 Hz (subject to appropriate hardware and host selection). Up to 384,000 Hz is supported for appropriate high-resolution devices on Windows (using WASAPI), Mac OS X, and Linux.
- Record at 24-bit depth on Windows (using Windows WASAPI or Windows DirectSound host), Mac OS X or Linux (using ALSA or JACK host).
- Record multiple channels at once (subject to appropriate hardware).
Import and Export
Import sound files, edit them, and combine them with other files or new recordings. Export your recordings in many different file formats, including multiple files at once.
- Import and Export WAV, AIFF, AU, FLAC and Ogg Vorbis files.
- Fast “On-Demand” import of WAV or AIFF files (letting you start work with the files almost immediately) if read directly from source.
- Import and export all formats supported by libsndfile such as GSM 6.10, 32-bit and 64-bit float WAV, RF64, and U/A-Law.
- Import MPEG audio (including MP2 and MP3 files) using libmad.
- Import raw (headerless) audio files using the “Import Raw” command.
- Create WAV or AIFF files suitable for burning to audio CD.
- Export MP3 files with the optional LAME encoder library.
- Import and export AC3, M4A/M4R (AAC) and WMA with the optional FFmpeg library (this also supports import of audio from video files).
- Supports 16-bit, 24-bit and 32-bit (floating point) samples (the latter preserves samples in excess of full scale).
- Sample rates and formats are converted using high-quality resampling and dithering.
- Tracks with different sample rates or formats are converted automatically in real time.
- Easy editing with Cut, Copy, Paste and Delete.
- Find the spot to edit easily with scrubbing and seeking or Timeline Quick-Play.
- Unlimited sequential Undo (and Redo) in the session to go back any number of steps.
- Edit and mix large numbers of tracks.
- Multiple clips are allowed per track.
- Label tracks with selectable Sync-Lock Tracks feature for keeping tracks and labels synchronized.
- Draw Tool to alter individual sample points.
- Envelope Tool to fade the volume up or down smoothly.
- Automatic Crash Recovery in the event of abnormal program termination.
- Tracks and selections can be fully manipulated using the keyboard.
- Large range of keyboard shortcuts.
- Excellent support for JAWS, NVDA and other screen readers on Windows, and for VoiceOver on Mac in legacy Audacity 2.1.1.
- Real-time preview of LADSPA, LV2, VST and Audio Unit (macOS) effects.
- Plug-in Manager handles plug-in installation and addition/removal of effects and generators from the menus.
- Generate tones, silence, noise, instruments or rhythm track.
- Change the pitch without altering the tempo.
- Change the tempo without altering the pitch.
- Noise Reduction to remove static, hiss, hum or other constant background noises.
- Alter frequencies with Equalization, Bass and Treble, High Pass, Low Pass and Notch Filter effects.
- Filter a frequency selection created in Spectrogram view or Spectral Selection Toolbar using spectral edit effects.
- Adjust volume with Compressor, Amplify, Normalize, Fade In/Out, Studio Fade Out, Crossfade Clips, Crossfade Tracksand Adjustable Fade effects.
- Reduce or Isolate Vocals given suitable stereo tracks (vocal reduction produces a stereo result).
- Create voice-overs for podcasts or DJ sets using Auto Duckeffect.
- Other built-in effects include:
- Paulstretch (extreme stretch)
- Truncate Silence
- Run “Chains” of effects on a project or multiple files in Batch Processing mode.
- Support for LADSPA, LV2, Nyquist, VST and Audio Uniteffect plug-ins.
- Effects written in the Nyquist programming language can be easily modified in a text editor – or you can even write your own plug-in.
- Experimental modules that extend the functionality of Audacity.
- Spectrogram view mode for visualizing and selecting frequencies.
- Plot Spectrum window for detailed frequency analysis.
- Sample Data Export for exporting a file containing amplitude values for each sample in the selection and Sample Data Import for import of numeric values from a plain ASCII text file
- Contrast Analysis for analyzing average RMS volume differences between foreground speech and background music.
- Support for adding VAMP analysis plug-ins.
Company: Steinberg Media Technologies
Cubase condenses almost three decades of Steinberg expertise into the most cutting-edge digital audio workstation anywhere. The users of our flagship DAW are among the most successful artists on the globe — from engineers recording and mixing rock albums to dance DJs, hip hop producers, songwriters creating pop hits or film composers scoring for Hollywood blockbusters. Cubase combines industry-leading sound quality, intuitive handling and a range of advanced audio and MIDI tools for composition, recording, editing and mixing.
Cubase version comparison
Cubase Pro 9
Cubase Artist 9
Cubase Elements 9
|Ideal for: Professional producers, mixing engineers, composers||Ideal for: Seasoned musicians, project studio owners, bands||Ideal for: Home recordists, bands, singer/songwriters, creative musicians|
|32-bit/192 kHz Steinberg audio enginewith 5.1 surround support||32-bit/192 kHz Steinberg audio engine||32-bit/192 kHz Steinberg audio engine|
|256 physical inputs and outputs||32 physical inputs and outputs||24 physical inputs and outputs|
|Record and mix unlimited audio, instrument and MIDI tracks||Record and mix up to 64 audio and 128 MIDI tracks||Record and mix up to 48 audio and 64 MIDI tracks|
|Unlimited instrument tracks||32 instrument tracks||24 instrument tracks|
|64 VST instrument slots||32 VST instrument slots||16 VST instrument slots|
|256 group channels||32 group channels||16 group channels|
|Control Room: create monitoring setups and performer mixes||—||—|
|5.1 surround support||—||—|
|MixConvert delivers unmatched downmixing quality||—||—|
|Powerful automation system with 4 modes, dedicated control panel and Virgin Territories mode||—||—|
|Sampler Track for quick inspiration and easy creative processes||Sampler Track for quick inspiration and easy creative processes||Sampler Track for quick inspiration and easy creative processes|
|Upgraded Key and Drum Editor for intuitive note, chord or beat creation and editing||Upgraded Key and Drum Editor for intuitive note, chord or beat creation and editing||Key and Drum Editor for intuitive note, chord or beat creation and editing|
|Professional music notation and score editing and printing feature set||Basic music notation and score editing and printing feature set||Basic music notation and score editing and printing feature set|
|Enhanced Chord pads:
A great way to playfully and creatively compose with chords
|Enhanced Chord pads:
A great way to playfully and creatively compose with chords
|Chord pads: A great way to playfully and creatively compose with chords|
|Full instrument expression control on single-note level, plus intuitive handling of articulations and dynamics||Full instrument expression control on single-note level||—|
|TrackVersions: For creating, renaming and managing parallel variations of tracks||TrackVersions: For creating, renaming and managing parallel variations of tracks||—|
|Complete suite of over 90 high-end audio and MIDI VST effect processors, including Quadrafuzz, VST Amp Rack and VST Bass Amp guitar and bass tone suites, REVerence convolution reverb, Frequency 8-band EQ and many more||Suite of over 70 high-end audio and MIDI VST effect processors, including Pitch Correct for vocal editing, VST Amp Rack and VST Bass Amp guitar and bass tone suites, Quadrafuzz and many more||Over 40 audio effect processors, including high-end VST Dynamics, Pitch Correct for vocal intonation correction and the VST Amp Rack guitar tone suite|
|Comprehensive set of 8 outstanding instruments with over 3,000 sounds, including HALion Sonic SE, Groove Agent SE, Padshop, Retrologue and LoopMash||Comprehensive set of 8 outstanding instruments with over 2,600 sounds, including HALion Sonic SE, Groove Agent SE, Padshop, Retrologue and LoopMash||3 outstanding virtual instrumentscomprising the HALion Sonic SE workstation, Groove Agent SE drum machine and Prologue synthesizer|
|Full audio editing toolset with state-of-the-art transient and tempo detection, drum replacement functions and advanced audio quantization||Full audio editing toolset with state-of-the-art transient detection and drum replacement functions||Basic audio editing toolset with loop functions, full-automatic hit-point detection and excellent beat-slicing|
|Realtime time-stretching and pitch-shifting,zplane Elastique v3 algorithms for high-quality time-stretching and intuitive Time Warp tool||Realtime time-stretching and pitch-shifting, plus zplane Elastique v3 algorithms for high-quality time-stretching||Realtime time-stretching and pitch-shifting (playback only)|
|Lanes and Comping: Advanced tools for recording and assembling perfect takes||Lanes and Comping: Advanced tools for recording and assembling perfect takes||—|
|Dedicated punch points which are independent from the locator positions||Dedicated punch points which are independent from the locator positions||—|
|Track Edit Groups: multitrack editing with single-click actions||—||—|
|VariAudio 2.0: MIDI-style note editing of monophonic audio tracks and automatic voicing harmonization||—||—|
|MediaBay: Organize your files and presets in one central spot and locate your content even faster with the intuitive MediaBay Racks||MediaBay: Organize your files and presets in one central spot and locate your content even faster with the intuitive MediaBay Racks||MediaBay: organize your files and presets in one central spot|
|Project Assistant allows for quick startup||Project Assistant allows for quick startup||Project Assistant allows for quick startup|
|Supports all common audio formats and standards plus FLAC support, direct SoundCloud export, OMF import/export and Fraunhofer MP3 encoding||Supports all common audio formats and standards plus FLAC support, Fraunhofer MP3 encoding and direct SoundCloud export||Supports all common audio formats and standards plus FLAC support, Fraunhofer MP3 encoding and direct SoundCloud export|
|Over 5 hours of HD video tutorials available on YouTube||Over 5 hours of HD video tutorialsavailable on YouTube||Over 30 minutes of HD video tutorialsavailable on YouTube|
|Professional workflow: offline process history, key command macros, channel batch export||Professional workflow: offline process history, key command macros||—|
|Track visibility: Shows only the tracks you want to see in the Project window||Track visibility: Shows only the tracks you want to see in the Project window||—|
|Render in-place: Bounce MIDI and audio parts easily||Render in-place: Bounce MIDI and audio parts easily||—|
|VST Transit: Cloud collaboration service||VST Transit: Cloud collaboration service||—|
|VST Connect SE: Unique remote recording plug-in||VST Connect SE: Unique remote recording plug-in||—|
|Profile Manager: Lets you easily store and recall program settings and preferences||—||—|