Online Review: sonicWORX PowerBundle v2.5,
    by Prosoniq



What we at AudioMac think of the products, made by Prosoniq in Germany, is absolute clear: absolute top stuff. Their main product, sonicWORX Studio, recently has hit the shelves in a new version, called sonicWORX PowerBundle v2.5. We did a review on version 2.0, where you can read all about the technical features of this post production software. If you haven't already done so, then please first read the version 2.0 review, then return here. The 2.0 review will appear in a new window, which you can close after reading to continue here. All the major good stuff, that was present in version 2.0, is still there. The new version brings a bunch of extra and new functions, that we will review here.

Version 2.5.

We were privileged to be a beta testing site for version 2.5, so we had the opportunity to see v2.5 grow. We agreed upon total information stop during this beta test (we even had to sign a non disclosure agreement), the reason why we were not allowed to publish any information here. Now that v2.5 is for sale we can share our enthusiasm on this new product with you.

What's new: Batch mode.

Most certain the most important new function in v2.5 is the Batch mode. In this module, you can prepare a chain of activities and alterations on a collection of audio files. Batching processes need thinking ahead and planning, so you'd better know what you are doing when you fire up this powerful tool. Some basic knowledge of PowerBundle and it's many plugins will absolutely not be enough. You should have deep knowledge of the possibilities of each and every step to program into the Batch process. The benefits are that -if you take your time to learn- you can obtain amazing results in a fraction of time, compared to doing the same complex jobs "by hand". Not in all situations of course: most probably you will stick to handwork when doing a master. But for almost any other job, the Batcher is a strong tool.

The Batch Processor comes with a separate 49 pages manual, that explains the new "machine". One chapter handles all of the 27 Batch plugins, which are basically macro like commands that perform a certain task. By chaining these tasks, you build a batch which contains a specific sequence of actions and DSP processes on a list of audio files. On the screenshot below you see three screens. The upper one contains the audio files to be processed. The second screen is the DSP page, where you chain up real-time plugins. A Hall Reverb first, then some powering up using Dynasone, and finally a little finishing touch with the +L1 by Waves. A combination I use very often. The lower screen is the Batch window.



In this simple testbatch we defines four steps:

1 - export a copy of the original file so that the original stays intact
2 - apply the plugins defined in the DSP window
3 - insert a silence of a certain value at a certain insertion point (in the example screen the value is set to zero, so basically nothing happens: this step is just built in to show you some possibilities)
4 - save the processed file. If you like, you can change the files audio format on the fly as well into AIFF, SD2 (yes!!!!), WAVE, PAF and Macs System Sound.

You choose the various steps just like you would make your DSP plugin choice: using the right push button at the bottom part of the screen ("Add Batch Plugin"). You cab change the order of the Batch plugins by dragging them up and down in the list on the left side. Very flexible. When you're done, you can save the Batch definition to a file for later reuse. Cool!

Powerful Undo

One Batch plugin caught my eyes immediately: Undo. You can make a very powerful use of this simple command. Let's say that you want to produce two different versions of a file. Normally you would first produce the first one, and then do the second using a copy of the original file you saved beforehand. Takes time. Not so with the Undo Batch plugin. You could first apply a -lets say- Large Hall effect and save the result, then Undo the effect and apply a Compressor and then a Small Hall and save a copy. Double result in half the time. OK!

Time Saver

This Batcher is a real time saver. It will work for you, without you having to sit in front of your Mac. You can now use that time better to do other things that already waited so long to be done. The Batcher will bring the ROI (Return Of Investment) for this software much quicker than with any other software. And will improve the overall time performance of your studio as well, thus bringing a lot of efficiency and money savings into your business. Who doesn't like that! A very important financial argument in these difficult days, where market is heavy for recording and production studio's. This makes PowerBundle not only a quality super package, but a financial topper as well.

We made a screenshot of the new Batch help screen so you can have a peek at it's functions. The screenshot will open in a separate window, that you can close again to return here.

Other new stuff in v2.5.

PowerBundle 2.5 is stuffed with off-line plugins. It would take too much time and space to describe them all here, but believe me: this collection gets you really going any audio way you want. Just to make you curious, I give a screenshot of just one of the many submenus:



Not by coincidence I choose the menu, where pitch and time scales reside. They work very well, within certain limitations of course. If you want to change a baritone singer into a frustrated frog, that won't work ;-). Prosoniq has more sophisticated plugins to do heavier jobs, info at Prosoniq's website (see bottom of this page).

The handling of Windows WAV files has been improved. Certain variations of WAV files didn't feel so well in the Prosoniq environment, but these problems are now solved. A new "minimize audio windows" option rearranges the windows and tiles them, very handy to keep a good overview of your work. Under the hood some improvements were done with the subfolders in the programs main folder. Off-line and real-time plugins are now stored in separated folders, and VST plugins can reside in the real-time folder or a VST subfolder in the real-time folder. This makes arranging plugins a bit more easy. And yes: Waves version 3.0 is now supported too.

No wishes at all?

Are there no wishes at all? Well, hardly any. Maybe this one: sonicWORX still lacks an editing module (you know: the pencil one, present in other software). So, if we want to go for the quality of sonicWORX, but want pencil editing as well, we will have to buy another software package as well. Which means extra investments, thus extending the period to ROI. So, a clear wish to Prosoniq: maybe a next challenge here ;-) ?

Conclusion.

I'll put it straight: sonicWORX PowerBundle is a true powerhouse in more then one way. It's quality when handling audio is superb, and with the Batch module it now is a time saving and thus financial benefits powertool as well. As far as we are concerned, PowerBundle is the best choice for your Mac based studio post production environment, most certainly when high quality and running your business at affordable costs and acceptable production times is important to you. This will apply to all of you studio owners out there. It will bring ROI earlier then any other audio package I know, considering the low price you pay for all this power. For all these good qualities, we at AudioMac give PowerBundle without hesitating the highest score possible: a
10.

Other plugin news.

Prosoniq renewed their major plugin line (Dynasone, Ambisone, Roomulator and Voxciter) to version 1.8, for both Mac and Windows (where it will run under any VST-based hosting software). We already reviewed earlier versions and can assure you that the good quality we found then still is there. Prosoniq renewed the interface, which looks more 3D like. I give you two screenshots to get an impression: Ambisone and Dynasone.





Technically speaking these plugins have not changed so much: some bug fixes were done, and -as said- the overall look and feel was renewed. The updates are free to registered users and can be downloaded at Prosoniq's website, see below. Please note: these plugins are sold separately, and are not party of the PowerBundle.

More info.

We do not give pricing information on reviewed products. More specific info on Prosoniq products can be found at
http://www.prosoniq.com.

Online reviews of Prosoniq VST plugins can be found in the
review index.

Credits.

Testing of version 2.5 was performed by Peter J. Bloemendaal at BloWe Studio and Roel Toering at Stable Studio.


All reviews in AudioMac.net are written by Peter J. Bloemendaal. All rights reserved.

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18.12.01