Wave hello to Steinberg's WaveLab 9: new interface, mastering plugins and more

The audio editing juggernaut that is Steinberg's WaveLab continues to progress, with version 9 updates for both the Pro and Elements versions now available. With a new look and feel, these add a new bundle of mastering plugins, an SoX-based resampler and a range of workflow enhancements.

New for WaveLab 9 is an overhauled single-window interface, which features ribbon tabs and a multi-monitor-friendly window docking system. The Master Section, meanwhile, now gives you 12 (Pro) or five (Elements) insert slots, along with flexible channel processing and new metering/monitoring, plus M/S support.

As for those mastering plugins, they go by the combined name of MasterRig. There are six multiband modules in WaveLab Pro 9 - mager, Limiter, Dynamic EQ, Compressor, EQ and Saturator (the latter four support mid/side processing per band) - while in Elements 9 the MasterRig comprises the EQ, Compressor, Limiter, Saturator and Imager modules.

Other new features are designed to ease the setting up and project management processes, while the Exchange feature links WaveLab 9 to Cubase (and soon Nuendo). The Pro version, meanwhile, also benefits from the Multiband Expander and Multiband Envelope Shaper, envelope-based automation for clip-based send effects, surround rendering for MP3 and AAC formats, extended multi-rendering capability and a customisable file naming scheme.


Steinberg is clearly proud of its new baby, with Senior Marketing Manager Timo Wildenhain saying: "This new WaveLab version is the most comprehensive update in more than 20 years of product history and sets a completely new standard for mastering and broadcasting. The new user interface is among the most forward-thinking layouts available today and faster to learn and to operate than any previous version of WaveLab.

"We've also heavily invested in MasterRig, the most complete, high-quality plugin suite we've ever crafted. Existing Cubase users will also value the new WaveLab Exchange feature, a direct connection with Cubase that allows you to create your personal mix and mastering workflow."

WaveLab Pro 9 and Elements 9 are available now priced at €579 and €100 respectively, and upgrades from previous versions are also available. Check out the Steinberg website for all the details.

Key features of WaveLab Pro 9

  • World's leading audio editing and mastering solution with up to 384 kHz sample rate support
  • Revolutionary new user interface with innovative windows docking system
  • New master section with 12 effect slots plus extended monitoring and processing functions
  • Fully M/S compatible: comprehensive M/S audio editing, processing and monitoring
  • MasterRig high-end mastering plug-in suite including 6 modules, 8 instances and full M/S support
  • Advanced EBU R128-compliant loudness metering, including a loudness graph, loudness meta normalizing and true peak support
  • High-quality SoX-based Resampler, Multiband Expander and Multiband Envelope Shaper
  • WaveLab Project Manager and customizable naming scheme
  • Direct exchange of audio files with Cubase and Nuendo

Key features of WaveLab Elements 9

  • Audio editing and mastering software, tailored to hobby musicians, podcasters, journalists and home studio owners
  • Revolutionary new user interface and innovative windows docking system
  • New master section with 5 effect slots
  • MasterRig mastering plug-in including 5 plug-in modules: EQ, Compressor, Limiter, Saturator and Imager
  • High-quality SoX-based Resampler, plug-in management and organization for simplified overview of all plug-ins used within the project
  • Enhanced editing workflow with volume clip handles and auto-replay option
  • CD burning engine and metadata support for multiple formats
  • Direct exchange of audio files with Cubase and Nuendo
Ben Rogerson

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it.