Can you be more specific as to what requirements you have for this program? Does it need to keep track of cues, or is working with the sound files themselves OK? Do you need to be able to mix multiple effects on the computer? Do you need fadeouts to be automated? Do you need to control other equipment, or be controlled by other equipment? All of these factors will affect what programs will best suit your needs.
Q-Manager is a great program. It is a lot easier to learn then Stage Research's SFX and it has a free version, it doesn't support as much as its full version but it works and it is a good program.
It can be gotten here: http://www.hammerandtong.com/
Hopefully the demo version of Q-Manager should be enough for you because I don't know of any good SFX programs cheaper than that that are for theatre use. Do atleast download the demo of Q-Manager and check it out. That's what we used to use until we upgraded to SR's SFX.
It claims to be industry standard of software, though when dealing with sfx I don't know how broad industry standard really is. There are so many different ways to playback sound effects that no one has really agreed on what's the best way. Heck, people haven't even agreed on what the best way is to store and run sound effects i.e. flash cards and what not. Some people are against the use of programs run via a laptop or desktop computer and prefer the use of special playback devices.
So sure, it's industry standard, but it's industry standard software, and I don't know of too many higher end theatres that run their sound effects via a traditional computer. And for those that do, there are debates over weather or not sound effects should be run off something so unstable.
I couldn't really say. Though I don't think there are other programs with that name, they may just be referring to the fact they have an sfx program. So I suppose just ask for clarification if you're in doubt. However, it is possible that it has come to be widely known by that name, but I really couldn't say for sure. Also, it most likely depends on what area one lives in, items sometimes adopt different names depending on the people.
I use Audacity for all of my wave editing. It may not be as great as Sound Forge or Audition, but it gets the job done. I've been able to do some really nice seamless loops with the program. Plus all of the music that I will ever reproduce over a sound system is normalized in the program to smooth out the waveforms. It does a dramatic enhancement on the sound quality in the end.
I have worked in a theadre with sr sfx but we do not want to pay alot or money for a program, also out TD made it clear that any program we use MUST be legal. Thanks for all the halp and i will try out all the programs