2003 Editors Choice: Cool Edit Pro 2.0

2003 EDITORS CHOICE Audio-Editing Software Syntrillium Cool Edit Pro 2.0 (Win; $249) The marketplace for multitrack audio programs has always been a cutthroat

Audio-Editing Software
Cool Edit Pro 2.0
(Win; $249)

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The marketplace for multitrack audio programs has always been acutthroat arena where companies play feature-set leapfrog, trying tostay one step ahead of the competition. With several strong contendersfor this year's award, the voting, as expected, was divided. However,when we took a close look at the cost-benefit ratios offered by theprograms, one product really stood out: Cool Edit Pro 2.0.

For less than $250, Cool Edit Pro 2.0 offers desktop musicians agateway into the world of professional-level multitrack editing. And inspite of its modest price tag, the software wraps its 32-bit processingpower in a polished, user-friendly environment that sports a newhierarchical Organizer section, a new customizable user interface, along list of useful keyboard shortcuts, and multiple undo levels.

With version 2.0, Cool Edit Pro greatly expands its flexibility. Theprogram supports 24-bit, 192 kHz recording on as many as 128 audiotracks with real-time EQ on each track and buses for track grouping.The program fully supports DirectX plug-ins and includes more than 45DSP effects, ranging from the practical (reverb, limiter, noisereduction) to the offbeat ("brainwave synchronizer"). Cool Edit Pro nowsupports more than 20 file formats, including MP3, and the program'sCD-ripping feature and its new CD-burning plug-in let you to take aproject from start to finish.

Other noteworthy additions include the ability to import and playback MIDI files, view and sync to video (AVI) files, and have your mixserve as either a master or slave when working with SMPTE time code.Remixers and loopmeisters will appreciate Cool Edit Pro's extensive newlooping capabilities. The new Cool Edit Loop (CEL) file format storestempo, beat, and key information. Just insert CEL files into yourmultitrack mix, and the program handles the tempo- and key-matching foryou. You can even perform beat slicing and a variety of otherloop-manipulation tricks. Best of all, Syntrillium offers more than2,000 free, downloadable CEL files in 15 different styles.

Cool Edit Pro's list of features and effects is too long to cover inthis short space, but many thoughtful touches, such as the built-inmetronome, add value to the program. In fact, value is the operativeword in this case. Cool Edit Pro 2.0 competes well with the otherpower-hitters in this category, but it does so without completelyflattening your wallet. We think that deserves an award.