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     " A little high end for the average joe schmoe in love with his third variant mix of 'Head like a whole.' "

      Title: Sound Forge from Sonic Foundry

      Format: PC Sound Editor/Mixer

      Reviewing Monkey: Dungapult

      The Hype: I would say "Mix your own kickiní music, mp3s, and more" but, frankly, this model is a little high end for the average joe schmoe in love with his third variant mix of "Head like a whole." Instead this will let you do real, high end, master mixing, composing, and ripping.

      What This Monkey Thought...

      Usefulness: Forget the fluff, this is THE sound-editing program. There. Iíve said it. Straight up. Compose a song from scratch loops, mix existing music in virtually any format, or just convert all your bootleg mp3s. To do that, you can use any one of a number of views of the songs, test playbacks, employ an incredible amount of fx, and roll it all together with an easy point, click, and drag interface. It made me, a tone-deaf musical moron, into a master mixer and has given me dozens of hours of pure poop flinginí fun. 5 out of 5

      Compatibility: Sound forge actually has pretty light sys requirements, but given the amount of memory you may use up swapping files around I donít know that I would suggest it for a low end machine. But, getting past that aspect and into the music itself, I have yet to even hear of a format it canít decode. Sweet. 4 out of 5

      Performance: Well, itís designed to "create, record, edit, and refine audio files," and I think from this review so far itís pretty obvious it does that. But whatís really impressive is how easy it makes it to do it. The interface, without question, is frickiní phenomenal! You can dissect the same song 40 different ways and decide what the best point to make your cut is, figure out what wavelength the song is running in (pardon me if thatís not the technical term for itÖBut like I said, Iím a musical moron) and mesh it perfectly with the track youíre splicing in, and do it all with a few clicks and a drag! Itís amazing. 5 out of 5

      Installation and Real System Requirements: It says it runs on any Pentium with a good sound card and 16 Meg of ramÖbut I donít know that Iíd bet my life on it. We tested it on a K6-2 500 and had a few slow downs, memory hogs, and some serious lag timesÖbut nothing we couldnít get past. 3.5 out of 5

      Instructions and Learning Curve: Compared to the normal "War and Peace" type instructions most of these things come with, Sound Forge is a breath of non-poo filled air. The instructions are brief, the layout is spectacular, and it shows you anything you could possibly need to know. My opinion, however, is that instructions are for idiots and so I first tried to plow through it coldÖand still succeeded admirably! 5 out of 5

      The Verdict:

       Granted, this is for a higher end mixer/user (how they let me review it is a miracle of administrative muck-ups), but it is worth its weight in gold bananas. Easy, expansive, and funÖif you need any kind of mixing program go no further. Iíve been using it since the day it landed on my porch for everything from cutting new CD mixes to creating new sound tracks for my stunt team. Kicks ass, it does!

      The Good: The way this program handles musical mixing and editing.

      The Bad: How much it costs ($350).

      The Overall Ugly: Need a good rip; grab thisÖunless youíre some cheap bastard whoís going to be content with "Windows Media Player."

      What it's Worth: Market

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