New Toys: Steinberg SpectraLayers Pro 6

Steinberg’s SpectraLayers Pro 6 runs as a VST3 or AAX plug-in in both MACs and PCs and any DAW that supports ARA 2 (Audio Random Access). It also operates as a standalone application and integrates very tightly into existing Cubase, Nuendo, HALion or WaveLab workflows.

With SpectraLayers Pro 6 you may edit and modify recorded audio by viewing the time, amplitude, and frequency components of sound—a three-dimensional view of sound for editing that was heretofore impossible. Deconstructing sound by copying portions of the audio to editable layers has completely blown open creative sound design.

You may separate into layers these audio components and then cut/copy/paste them into containers or into other layers. There are 25 real-time editing tools to attenuate or amplify certain frequencies as directly viewed on the display. It was easy to scroll through a vocal track and deal with sibilants and other flaws.

A vocal recorded in a closet had excessive low frequency rumble, so unlike using a high-pass filter, you can attenuate specific amounts at different frequencies of only the offensive moments. Extraneous noises that appeared in the middle of syllables were removed without affecting the vocal sound quality. A similar process is possible for removing or reducing reverb and now Casting and Molding are two brand new processes.

Something like a side chain, Casting causes the frequency content of one instrument to leave a “shadow,” a deficit of those frequencies in another instrument. Molding causes the frequency content of one sound to shape another for amazing vocoder-like effects; you can use a vocal track to “mold” a synth track.

There is a limitation with the current version of ARA 2 that makes using layers more complicated, but by using the standalone version running simultaneously with Nuendo, it is easier to implement Casting, Molding, or to edit layers freely.

SpectraLayers Pro 6 is $399.99 at the Steinberg Online Shop.