PROS / You can import and export most audio files with this software.
CONS / It can only extract the audio data from a few video file formats.
VERDICT / More experienced audio editors will appreciate the professional layout reminiscent of a standard DAW.
WaveLab Elements 9 is the audio editing and post production program from Steinberg, the makers of the digital audio workstation (DAW) Cubase. Elements 9 is the limited version of WaveLab 9, which has many more audio editing features than Elements 9.
To test the audio editor's ability to restore audio, we tested it using a vinyl recording sample with noticeable hiss, cracks and pops. We imported the audio into WaveLab and used the audio editor's noise reduction plugins to clean up the audio. This audio editing software allows you to chain together the available 18 audio effects – reminiscent of how classic DAWs operate.
This audio editing program boasts a total of 18 VST 3 plugins, including three Sonnox restoration tools that we used to repair our noisy audio sample. Within the 18 plugins, there are other restoration tools, but they are not as comprehensive as the Sonnox plugins. With some time and adjustments, the software was able to remove some of the cracks and pops from the audio. Although there was still noticeable hiss present, the end result was an overall improvement from the original audio sample.
We also tested the software's ability to import video files and extract the audio data from them. We were able to extract the audio data from MP4 and MPG video files. Steinberg claims that MOV files work within the software, but the program would not recognize our MOV file.
We also tested for any compatibility issues with importing different audio file formats. We took a number of different audio file formats and imported them into the software. We also used the software to convert the audio file to a different format. We were able to convert all of the files we tested, with the exception of MP4 and M4A audio files – we were only able to import those particular files.
WaveLab Elements 9 is great for audio restoration and editing, but there are less expensive audio editors that offer a few more features and compatibility options than Elements 9. This basic program is just a taste of what the full WaveLab 9 is capable of. If you are looking for more professional software, you might want to consider upgrading to the full version.