Wavosaure – Review


Mastering with Wavosaure: an improvement to the music production workflow (for Propellerheads’ Reason users).

Author: Edouard Reny – August 12th, 2013

The standard music production process can be summarized in 4 steps: composition, arrangement, mixing and finally mastering. An effective workflow adapted to the power of the production set-up is essential to keep the music producer’s creativity sharp and flowing. Nothing gets more irritating when at a certain point, the load on the CPU becomes so heavy that the computer gets the hiccups or worse, crashes.

We all experienced such frustration at one time or another.

For us, Propellerheads Reason users, we have multiple options to carry out the mastering phase.

The first solution is to master in Reason using the existing “rack extensions” and internal mastering modules. Although it is possible to get some acceptable result, a problem arises for busy mixes: the load on the CPU. There are ways to avoid this by bouncing some of the tracks into audio but it can become quite hectic and costs a lot in terms of flexibility. Not good for the creative workflow…

The second approach consists in rewiring Reason to a DAW, that can host a VST mastering suite plug-in. But here again, it can become quite a nightmare in terms of CPU, and the complexity of the process may deter some, not mentioning an increased risk for a computer crash.

A third possibility is to export the whole mix as an 24 bit audio file, and import the file into a VST compatible DAW or professional wave editor. That is an acceptable solution, but it is quite a shame to open (and have purchased) a CPU hungry software just to read a file… In addition, if one needs to go back to the mix, it will requires to joggle between DAWs, which can create some CPU problems too…

An alternative exists which is so flexible and light on the CPU that it appears like science fiction: Wavosaure.

Wavosaure is a standalone wave editor: no installation is required. It contains all basic editing and conversion functions and supports ASIO drivers and VST protocols. This program is an amazingly tight piece of code: it is so light (560kB uncompressed) that it opens instantaneously, and you can just drag the audio file into it. The VST plugin window is presented like a rack of effects that you can pile up and chain as you see fit (Figure 1). It is stable, and… entirely free (http://www.wavosaur.com/).

Figure 1: The VST plug-in window in Wavosaure is presented like a rack of effects that you can just pile up and chain as you see fit (Figure 1).

The simplicity and lightness of Wavosaure allow to keep a CPU hungry mix open in Reason while mastering the song. That process simplifies the workflow grandly and keeps that creativity, so precious to us music producers, alive and kicking at all times.


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