This is a beautifully useful and utilitarian piece of Macintosh software. It only does one thing, but it does it really well: assemble, sequence and tweak two track mixes into Red Book compliant CDR masters. If you've been using Toast or Jam to burn CDs, you'll want to throw them away after you use WBPro. Graphic editing, or trimming the beginning and ending of each track is a piece of cake as are fade-ins and fade-outs. It's also real easy to cross fade between two songs and to precisely set the index points that your CD player looks for. All of this goes beyond the basics that you'd expect. You have total control over the fade shape for instance, and the new CD Text format is supported. Dithering from 24 to 16 bits is done with the POWr algorithm, the main competitor to Apogee's UV22. The other really nice thing about WBPro is that is supports VST plug-ins and comes with six native plug-ins for mastering: Compressor, five band parametric EQ, Denoiser, multi-band (up to four) compressor, stereo base expander and limiter. I haven't used the denoiser or base expander, but the others sound great and have lots of parameters to tweak with. But of course with VST support, you can go more high-end and use the Waves or Universal Audio plug- ins. Just about any audio file format (SD II, WAV, AIFF, etc.), audiodriverformat(ASIO,EASI,DirectI/O,etc.)and SCSI/Firewire CD burners are supported. And finally, this is very easy to use software; you'll barely, if at all, need the manual. This has made things much easier in my studio, and any studio with a Macintosh should have WBPro.

Tape Op is a bi-monthly magazine devoted to the art of record making.

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