We are often asked if Song Surgeon is better than product X, Y, or Z. When we reply and say that Song Surgeon is better, some people are rightfully skeptical of our objectivity. I can understand that. So we decided to start a series side-by-side comparisons of Song Surgeon to Riffmaster Pro to allow people to see what we see and allow people to make this judgment themselves.
There are two main areas of difference between Riffmaster Pro and Song Surgeon. The first is the quality of the audio after key and/or tempo change. The second is a difference in features. We will examine both.
For purposes of this audio quality comparison we used organ music. Its wide range of harmonics makes it the most difficult type of music to manipulate when changing key or tempo, and that makes it ideal to test music for audio key and tempo change purposes.
In a side-by-side comparison, we changed the tempo of a piece of organ music by 20%. In other words, the playback speed was set to 80% of the original. We played back identical segments of the same music to make the comparison easy. You can listen to the results below.
In the second set of comparisons, we change the key of the same segment of organ music used in the tempo comparison (above) by 15 cents - that is to say 15/100ths of 1/2 step. Here again you can hear the original, the Song Surgeon audio and the Riffmaster audio
I think you will agree that there is a clear difference between the Song Surgeon and Riffmaster Pro audio. The audio changed in SS is flawless and distortion free. The audio from RMP has a very noticeable wobble.
Now we realize that most people are not interested in organ music, but the point is that with Song Surgeon's flawless audio reproduction you need not be concerned about the quality of the audio on playback, regardless of the instrument type or the amount of change in tempo or key. With Riffmaster you do.
The nearby video on this page examines the differences in features between the RMP and SS. To make this easier, we have also compiled a features table for the two products, so you can easily see the differences. Also note, and this is important, the comparison is with ONLY Song Surgeon Standard, NOT Pro.
Let's start by looking at this comparison table. At first glance, you can see that SS Standard has many more features (in addition to the better sound quality). Allow me to single out and focus on a couple of things in this table.
The first is on the looping functionality. While both programs allow you to create musical loops, Song Surgeon allows you to customize these loops. This means that every loop can play back at a different tempo, key, and EQ setting. In addition, each looping area can have a different delay and loop count if desired.
|Features||Song Surgeon Standard||Riffmaster Pro|
|Multiple Loop Creation||Yes||Yes|
|Loop Count Setting||Yes||No|
|Loop key Settings||Yes||No|
|Loop Tempo Settings||Yes||No|
|Loop Speed Trainer||Yes||No|
|Jump to Loops||Yes||No|
|Polyphonic Sound HQ Algorithms||Yes||No|
|Wave Graph Zooming||Yes||No|
|Tempo Preset Customization||Yes||No|
|Export Duplication Feature||Yes||No|
|Open Video Files (as audio)||Yes||No|
|Wave Graph||2 channels||1 channel|
|MP3 Conversion||Mp3 Codec||LAME|
|Export Formats||Many||Only Wav, Mp3|
|9 band EQ||Yes||Yes|
|Notes||In Pro version||Yes|
The second thing is that with Song Surgeon, you can zoom in on the wav data file. This is important because if you are fine tuning the placement of markers, beginning and ending loop points, or an Edit selection area, you sometimes need to use both your eyes and your ears. Song Surgeon provides this visual component that RMP does not.
Thirdly, SS will open many of the common video file formats and STRIP the audio from them for you to use. RMP cannot open video files.
Lastly, Song Surgeon allows you to export in many different file formats, including Mac compatible, iPhone, and iPad formats. Riffmaster limits you to just wav and mp3, and even there your MP3 settings are limited to two.
This page provides only a brief sketch of the differences between the two products, and remember this comparison is only against our Standard product, not the high end Pro. However, there is sufficient information here for you to easily see the marked differences between these two products.
Song Surgeon provides a 4-hour fully functional working demo. Four hours may seem like a lot of time, but we caution you to close the program when not using it to preserve this time. We also suggest that you watch the training videos found on the website before using the program, as these will help you get up to speed quickly with the operations of this very useful software. You can download the DEMO version by clicking here.