I got Soundforge 8 for a great price (as an educator got the educational edition at a discount) and use it for wave editing, creating samples, making mp3s and yes, taking in a stereo mixdown wave file and processing it. It can be very effective given it's price for any of the above tasks. The main gripe I have with 'mastering' is that the level indicators are not very precise compared to wavelab, there are no pan phase oscilloscope displays (unlike wavelab) and the appearance of the vu meters is more akin to freeware editors like audacity. However, considering that Wavelab costs MUCH more, Soundforge is good value for money. I often use acoustic mirror, wavehammer, dynamics or multi-band dynamics, etc. to good effect. Although it supports VST effects, it doesn't like (or run) the vst effects from cubase, but does run some free vst plugins I downloaded quite well.
I think that for making demo cd-r's or non-critical work, or creating music to be hosted on an internet site as an mp3 etc it is great. If i was serious about selling a product commercially, I would probably pay to have it mastered by a pro mastering house.
I use it to 'master' my own recordings. I prefer to call it 'premastering' as I am not a trained mastering engineer, but I can enhance my mixes made in Cubase SX or Reason with Soundforge. It is a decent program but I have to say that I prefer Wavelab for this purpose although I can't afford Wavelab and my buddy got tired of me bugging him to run my mixes on his PC with wavelab.
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I use SF for so many things, but for mastering I use an app called Ozone by Izotope. The presets are directX plugins that I believe can be used from within SF once installed. I have recorded a number of albums for clients who've sent their music out to be mastered by some real pros, and I have sent my Ozone mastered copies to the mastering engineers to solicit feedback. I've consistently received responses that the Ozone masters are comparable. I'm pretty sold on the product (which you can use within SF). The "RockMaster" settings seems to work most of the time.
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