by Dave Oliwa
If you're not looking forward to the future, excited about the prospects of what technology can do for you in the studio, you're probably headed for retirement or thinking about another line of work-—if not, you had better be! For the rest of us, however, the future looks very bright, as the computer industry improves the performance of every nook and cranny inside, and outside, the box that will bring the new millennium into the studio with one hell of a bang. A very capable, quick bang. I could babble on for hours about one of my favorite subjects: what's on the drawing boards or actually in development right now that will make everything in your production room look like the workshop of the Wright brothers in just the next couple of years, even if you've got some "pretty hot stuff" right now-—computer advancements being one of the few things that are a blessing, and a curse, at the same time.
As we step into tomorrow, the viability of PC computing (versus the Mac) for audio applications will increase dramatically. There's not going to be another endless discussion here about Mac vs. PCs and which one is "better" (my first computer was a "pre-floppy" Apple with a cassette machine attached; I just happen to be a "PC person" now), but there is a concern about Apple Inc. itself surviving into the next century. It may sound as though I am just another naysayer, but really, I'm not. Many large companies, albeit quietly, have decided not to purchase, or include, anything from Mac in their future computing plans (a moment of silence, please).
If the relatively near-future of computers is PC-based (there are other, almost unbelievable things about to happen to computing, in general), then the need for PC software necessary to make/edit/process/lockup multiple-track audio, and for that matter audio-for-video, is a reality that cannot be escaped. There are already a few software choices on the market, in varying degrees of complexity, cost, and performance.
But, something new is about to be released.
It's called Cool Edit Pro. And, in a word, it is, well, cool. It's so new, only the beta version is available at the moment, but Syntrillium Software is planning on releasing the "Golden Master" sometime this month. Cool Edit Pro is a 32-bit, multiple-track recorder/editor/effects processor software for the PC with everything imaginable included. It's the grown-up version of the incredibly popular, 2-track Cool Edit shareware program. This will also mark the first time the Radio and Production Test Drive is reviewing a beta product that has not yet been released.