Wave Lab 9.5 or Pyramix Native Standard

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Wave Lab 9.5 or Pyramix Native Standard

Postby wildplum » Wed Oct 31, 2018 20:54

For mastering and CD assembly, I have been using Wave Lab since about the year 2000. I am currently using Wave Lab 6 in a Windows 7 (PC) environment. I intend to stay with Windows 7. However I am trying to decide between moving to Pyramix Native Standard or upgrading to Wave Lab 9.5. So this post is about comparing those two programs.

Any advice would be much appreciated but I have one question that I am particularly interested in.

The thing that I like best about Wave Lab for mastering (strangely, I mix OTB, analog, but master most often ITB) is that it allows me to place all the songs for a CD project contiguously on one line (one stereo bus- which I understand Pryamix does as well). Wave Lab then allows me to apply different plug-in chains to each individual song (Wave Lab calls the songs “clips”). Can I do this in Pyramix Native Standard; that is, once I have all the songs lined up on one stereo track, can I then apply plug-in chain A to song 1, plug-in chain B to song 2, plug-in chain C to song 3 etc. before rendering the final CD image?

Thank you for helping me make this decision.
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Re: Wave Lab 9.5 or Pyramix Native Standard

Postby fl » Thu Nov 01, 2018 17:39

Short answer: Yes, and yes.

I think that the hardest thing you'll encounter when switching to Pyramix is that the terminology for various familiar concepts, objects and processes is going to be different. Sadly, this is the case for all DAWs, perhaps as a means of insuring user loyalty by making the competition appear daunting and inaccessible. Pyramix is probably one of the most user-configurable DAWs out there, although a majority of users will not fully explore the full extent of what can be done. Keyboard shortcuts can be edited at any time, and several sets of keyboard commands come as standard equipment with the program, but further customization can be done at any time. Macros can be created which chain various commands together, which in turn can be assigned their own keyboard shortcut, so that typing a single keyboard command can initiate a very complex process of your own creation. Full time Sample Rate Conversion can be activated so that Clips of any supported file format, sample rate or word length can be mounted in the same Pyramix Project. The program uses 32 bit Floating Point math for its internal processing (64 bit F.P. for some processes), in a very audio-friendly way, so that you may come to re-think your OTB mixdown preference.

When Pyramix is first installed, it appears with the default appearance, but from there, pretty well everything about the program can be shown or hidden according to the users wishes.

The main window shows the Timeline where the Tracks run horizontally, and is where the various audio Clips are Placed, showing their waveform displays (or not - your choice). Along the top of this window, you have the main Menu, and beneath that, you can have one or more Toolbars where various menu commands can be displayed as a series of Buttons (similar to WaveLab).

A Toolbar at the bottom of the window can show the Transport controls, Automation Controls and various bits of information about the current Project. Just above that, another Toolbar displays a series of Tab headers which, when the mouse pointer hovers above one, will open up to display a window, menu and special tools relating to the specific task controlled by the Tab. This Tab Toolbar can be located at the bottom or the main window, or placed at either side so that the Tabs open sideways. Individual Tabs can be "torn off" to become free floating windows which can be placed anywhere, perhaps on a second monitor. Individual Tabs can be made hidden or made visible, according to the user's wish. Important Tabs include:

    the Media Manager, where folders containing audio files are Mounted to the project, making the contents available as Clips for placement on the Timeline in its Tracks.

    the FX Rendering Tab, where a chain of effects plug-ins can be set up and applied to a selected Clip or Clips. Pyramix comes with a selection of its own proprietary plug-ins (VS3 format) but also supports the use of VST2 and VST3 plugins. For multi-track applications, the channel routing in and out of various multi-track capable plugins can be determined and modified here. The Rendering process creates a new audio file or files (your choice to either consolidate an edited assembly to a single file, or to retain the multi-Clip condition), to replace that which was originally in the Timeline, insuring that your original files remain untouched.

    the CD/SACD Tab where the CD Markers can be placed and adjusted (along with their associated audio, or not), and information defining the Title, Artist, Composer, Genre, etc. can be entered which will be applied as CD-Text in a CD Image file or DDP, or as meta-data when outputting the various data compressed file formats which support it (FLAC, Ogg Vorbis, MP3 and LC-AAC).

    the Crossfade Editor Tab where the crossfades between adjacent Clips can be created and modified to an exacting degree.

Other Tabs control Playlists, Timeline Markers (for the full Project), Media Markers (applied to individual Clips), Tracks, Track Groups (which really come into play when performing Source-Destination editing), and a raft of other processes.


This is just a brief overview of what is available within this very complex and comprehensive program, but the specific tasks of your inquiry can be handled quite readily with Pyramix. The more you use the program, and make your own customization over time, the easier and less daunting this will become, although at the start, it can look like the learning curve is a vertical wall. The main benefit is that you will not require a collection of audio related programs to perform specific jobs in the process of bringing raw audio to its edited, mixed, mastered and deliverable culmination - most if not all of what you need to do can be performed within the program.

This forum is a very good source of information as is the Pyramix Knowledge Base - https://confluence.merging.com/. There, you'll find everything you'll need to do to optimize Windows for use with the program. While the latest version of Pyramix is compatible with Windows 7, Merging has to keep step with Microsoft, and Windows 10 (as fearful a prospect as that may seem to some) will inevitably become the norm, especially after the spring of 2020. (The sad price of progress...)

To sum up, the answer to the question, "With Pyramix, can I...?" is usually "Yes", possibly via several different methods. I've been using Pyramix for over twelve years, and I'm still discovering new methods to perform and streamline various tasks.
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Re: Wave Lab 9.5 or Pyramix Native Standard

Postby ljudatervinning » Fri Nov 02, 2018 15:16

I am coming from Wavelab (6 and 9) and is only one year into Pyramix Native.
My humble opinion so far is:


I think the clip based effects are more elegantly implemented in Wavelab.
In Pyramix you need to "off-line reder" each clip, vs realtime rendering in Wavelab. This makes it much easier to go back and change parameters in Wavelab.
Metering is far superior in Wavelab vs Native. You will need an additional package in Pyramix. I use Insight from iZotope, but still slightly prefer Wavelabs stock metering.
CD markers are a lot easier to see exact position, and to edit in Wavelab.
Clip based volume/pan is far easier to use in wavelab.

Rendering and album publishing in Pyramix is more flexible.
Routing in Pyramix is far superior.
Stock EQ is far superior in Pyramix.
Monitoring is easier in Pyramix

As I am fairly new to Pyramix, I am probably wrong on some points and/or missing some great features.
Pyramix Native 11.0.6 / 11.1.5 / Ravenna ASIO 11.1.5
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Re: Wave Lab 9.5 or Pyramix Native Standard

Postby DJS » Sat Nov 03, 2018 00:36

I was a WL user for many years in small scale acoustic classical recording work (32ch max). I loved the markers, batch processor, mastering flexibility and clip based FX and the montage.

But Pyramix was an eye opener 8O . The absolutely wonderful 4 point source destination editing, with a multichannel timeline, and the incredible mixer made life so much more productive. Then you can talk about the metronome, beats markers, monitor section, album publishing and the power and flexibility of PMX is amazing.

Productivity is important to me as I am very time poor and this is my second job. PMX leaves WL in the dust for sheer productivity with multichannel (>2ch) projects, which all of mine are now. And PMX Essentials is the DAW bargain of the century.
David Spearritt
Classical and Acoustic Music, BNE, Australia
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