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SoundSoap Pro vs. Waves Restoration Bundle...?

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Anonymous
May 10, 2005 1:00:26 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Just wondering what your experience has been using either of these
programs/suites of programs. My primary purpose is transferring and
restoring audio from LPs 45s and 78s. Anyone strongly recommend one
application over the other? Problems with either app? Thanks in advance
for your input.

Pete
Anonymous
May 10, 2005 10:59:02 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On Tue, 10 May 2005 00:00:26 -0400, StudioDude wrote
(in article <1115697626.233697.16960@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com>):

> Just wondering what your experience has been using either of these
> programs/suites of programs. My primary purpose is transferring and
> restoring audio from LPs 45s and 78s. Anyone strongly recommend one
> application over the other? Problems with either app? Thanks in advance
> for your input.
>
> Pete
>

Also versus the Sony Oxford RTAS plugins.

Ty Ford

-- Ty Ford's equipment reviews, audio samples, rates and other audiocentric
stuff are at www.tyford.com
Anonymous
May 10, 2005 1:04:08 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

StudioDude <pete@smilingiguana.com> wrote:
>Just wondering what your experience has been using either of these
>programs/suites of programs. My primary purpose is transferring and
>restoring audio from LPs 45s and 78s. Anyone strongly recommend one
>application over the other? Problems with either app? Thanks in advance
>for your input.

I have not tried SoundSoap, but the Waves Bundle is very good for the
price. The decrackler actually works, kind of.
--scott

--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Anonymous
May 10, 2005 2:41:33 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <1115697626.233697.16960@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com> pete@smilingiguana.com writes:

> My primary purpose is transferring and
> restoring audio from LPs 45s and 78s. Anyone strongly recommend one
> application over the other?

Conventional wisdom is to get all of the restoration programs you
can and use a systematic approach to each project. Since no two noise
"streams" are alike, you'll get different results depending on which
program you use. You may find that using two programs sequentially
gives you better results than using just one.

If your goal is to just make CDs out of your records for the sake of
convenience and you're looking for a quick way to get pretty good
results nearly all the time, Soap is probably as good a bet as any.


--
I'm really Mike Rivers - (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
Anonymous
May 11, 2005 12:23:52 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Demo the Waves stuff. I daresay you'll find it up to the job.

Kaiser


"StudioDude" <pete@smilingiguana.com> wrote in message
news:1115697626.233697.16960@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com...
> Just wondering what your experience has been using either of these
> programs/suites of programs. My primary purpose is transferring and
> restoring audio from LPs 45s and 78s. Anyone strongly recommend one
> application over the other? Problems with either app? Thanks in advance
> for your input.
>
> Pete
>
Anonymous
May 11, 2005 2:44:44 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Thanks for all of the posts. I'd love to get both if I could... I've
heard great things about the Waves stuff, of course - just didn't know
if SoundSoap Pro was a real contender for this or not. (I might end up
doing a few transfers for money...)
Anonymous
May 15, 2005 5:08:25 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On May 9, 2005, StudioDude <pete@smilingiguana.com> commented:

> Just wondering what your experience has been using either of these
> programs/suites of programs. My primary purpose is transferring and
> restoring audio from LPs 45s and 78s. Anyone strongly recommend one
> application over the other? Problems with either app?
>--------------------------------snip----------------------------------<

I've used the Waves stuff for a long time, plus Sonic Solutions' NoNoise (the
TDM version is distributed by Digidesign) and Sony Oxford's Restoration
package. (I'm still waiting for the TDM version of SoundSoap, which I think
only just shipped recently.)

Each one has their pros and cons, and none is a slam-dunk winner. I've had
the best luck with using Waves for the constant low-level "surface noise"
from vinyl, then a combination of Sonic's manual de-ticking and then going in
with the pencil tool to manually re-draw large clicks or pops when necessary.

I haven't used the Sony Oxford stuff as much, but I would say these tools
have more adjustments than the other packages I've seen, so they require more
experimentation. None of them work very well in automatic mode, particularly
when dealing with noisy vinyl sources.

Needless to say, cleaning your LPs, 45s, and 78RPM records is an absolutely
critical step. If the record is bone-clean when you start, that alone helps
gets rid of a huge amount of grunge right off the bat.

I also find that you need to use a lot of automation with these packages, so
that you have the ability to turn them on and off (or make adjustments) when
needed. Often, you'll need to de-click or de-rumble only very quiet portions
of the recording. Bypass it the moment the recording gets so loud, the
signal itself covers the noise floor. That will help you avoid any possible
harmonic distortions added by the NR processes.

--MFW
Anonymous
June 4, 2005 2:44:44 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Just an amateur question: Has anyone properly tested the NR plugin that
comes (came?) bundled with Cakewalk's Pyro Plus package? It'll happily
plug into more serious tools...

I've been experimenting with it just out of curiosity. The NR stage does
seem to work tolerably well on the spoken-word stuff I've run through
it. I'm haven't tried the click/pop reduction feature (mostly aimed at
reducing record surface noise), and as far as I can tell the "reduce
clipping" feature doesn't do much beyond reducing the volume (though I
may not have figure out how to tweak it effectively yet).

The feature I most miss is one that SoundSoap offers: The ability to
reverse the filtering and hear just what it's removing, which is a good
way to quickly check that you aren't being overly agressive -- if you
hear any program coming though the noise channel, you need to reset. I
seem to remember that earlier versions of this toy did claim to offer
that feature, but it seems to be missing from the one in my package. I
suppose I could try an invert-and-add thing in Sonar, but I strongly
suspect that getting the phases and amplitudes lined up well enough to
get valid results would be more work than it's worth.

Anyway: it seems to work and I haven't noticed strong artifacts yet
though there seems to be just a bit of breathing/fluttering when volumes
drop suddenly. I'm sure the better packages are worth what they cost,
but this one's Probably Better Than Nothing and Was On The Disk Anyway.

If anyone with better equipment has tried it and can compare it to the
"real" tools, I'd be interested in hearing comments on what I should
listen for to notice it's flaws... and/or any tips on how to tune these
tools for as-good-as-it-gets results.
Anonymous
June 4, 2005 1:13:13 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On Fri, 03 Jun 2005 22:44:44 -0400, Joe Kesselman
<keshlam-nospam@comcast.net> wrote:

>Just an amateur question: Has anyone properly tested the NR plugin that
>comes (came?) bundled with Cakewalk's Pyro Plus package? It'll happily
>plug into more serious tools...
Which one is it?
>I've been experimenting with it just out of curiosity. The NR stage does
>seem to work tolerably well on the spoken-word stuff I've run through
>it. I'm haven't tried the click/pop reduction feature (mostly aimed at
>reducing record surface noise), and as far as I can tell the "reduce
>clipping" feature doesn't do much beyond reducing the volume (though I
>may not have figure out how to tweak it effectively yet).
>
>The feature I most miss is one that SoundSoap offers: The ability to
>reverse the filtering and hear just what it's removing, which is a good
>way to quickly check that you aren't being overly agressive -- if you
>hear any program coming though the noise channel, you need to reset. I
>seem to remember that earlier versions of this toy did claim to offer
>that feature, but it seems to be missing from the one in my package. I
>suppose I could try an invert-and-add thing in Sonar, but I strongly
>suspect that getting the phases and amplitudes lined up well enough to
>get valid results would be more work than it's worth.

Some denoiser tools will introduce, by design, a sample shift,
sometimes a huge one, thousands of samples. Such results can't be
inverted and mixed in. I think SoundSoap is one of that kind. An other
quite fine (= subtle enough) dehisser, Voxengo Redunoise, has also the
shift. But some others don't, ie. either they are sample accurate or
the shift is not perceivable and their results can be used for
inverting.

>Anyway: it seems to work and I haven't noticed strong artifacts yet
>though there seems to be just a bit of breathing/fluttering when volumes
>drop suddenly. I'm sure the better packages are worth what they cost,
>but this one's Probably Better Than Nothing and Was On The Disk Anyway.

Any artifacts means you've gone too far already. With these tools, you
should listen to changed top ends and changed quietest signals such as
room acoustics, reverb tails etc. They should not sound numb or
swallowed (ie. too numb; they will sound numb to an extent). It would
be the best if you save the file you're working at renamed and open
the original, arrange horizontaly and do quick a/b tests for
comparison. If you are still uncertain as to how far you've gone, than
tilting the top end spectrum may reveal otherwise hard to notice
changes.

>If anyone with better equipment has tried it and can compare it to the
>"real" tools, I'd be interested in hearing comments on what I should
>listen for to notice it's flaws... and/or any tips on how to tune these
>tools for as-good-as-it-gets results.

Edi Zubovic, Crikvenica, Croatia
Anonymous
June 4, 2005 11:22:46 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Thanks for the feedback, Edi.

> Which one is it?

Well, it's labelled as "Cakewalk Audio Restoration". It's a Direct-X
plug-in, which I wasn't aware of when I first started using Pyro. I know
nothing about what engine it's using behind the UI.

The controls are on about the same order of complexity as Soundsoap's
basic mode -- ie, a train/run switch, and sliders for "reduction" and
"sensitivity". The user's clues boil down to "try adjusting with
reduction until you like it; then, if you want, try adjusting
sensitivity. Overdoing either may remove some of the music." (I don't
blame them for not trying to explain this to non-techs, but _I'd_ like a
better understanding of what those parameters actually translate to...)

And there's a checkbox for click removal -- again with "just fiddle with
it and see if it helps" instructions -- and a Remove Clipping option
which is probably intended to be a corner-rounder but which so for seems
to be non-usable.

> Some denoiser tools will introduce, by design, a sample shift,
> sometimes a huge one, thousands of samples. Such results can't be
> inverted and mixed in.

At least, not unless you know how many samples that shift is by and can
juggle it back or delay the original... but, yeah, that's why I figured
it might not be worth attempting. Soundsoap does (or at least did) have
a built-in operation which allows monitoring "just the noise";
Cakewalk's tool, as I said, unfortunately doesn't.

> Any artifacts means you've gone too far already. With these tools, you
> should listen to changed top ends and changed quietest signals such as
> room acoustics, reverb tails etc. They should not sound numb or
> swallowed (ie. too numb; they will sound numb to an extent).

That works for me. Many thanks for the sanity-check!
Anonymous
June 5, 2005 2:09:35 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On Sat, 04 Jun 2005 19:22:46 -0400, Joe Kesselman
<keshlam-nospam@comcast.net> wrote:

>Thanks for the feedback, Edi.
>
>> Which one is it?
>
>Well, it's labelled as "Cakewalk Audio Restoration". It's a Direct-X
>plug-in, which I wasn't aware of when I first started using Pyro. I know
>nothing about what engine it's using behind the UI.
-- It seems to me that Cakewalk -- that is, its makers Twelve Tone --
often bundle with, or sell a known product. Many of denoising software
is made the similar way and have similar controls. Mostly, they
require a noise print, which is either made manually by picking a
portion without useful modulation (at tapes and records, where there
are pauses and lead-ins, it's easy -- but picking a quiet portion
amidst a recording, one must be very aware what's useful and what
isn't). Then there are controls for setting the desired frequency area
and the amount of reduction. Yes, many of them have a "noise only"
switch for checking. Some have additional commands related to FFT
windowing, smoothing, overlapping, re-equalization etc. A very few
tools aren't FFT but are splitting the bands the other way.

>The controls are on about the same order of complexity as Soundsoap's
>basic mode -- ie, a train/run switch, and sliders for "reduction" and
>"sensitivity". The user's clues boil down to "try adjusting with
>reduction until you like it; then, if you want, try adjusting
>sensitivity. Overdoing either may remove some of the music." (I don't
>blame them for not trying to explain this to non-techs, but _I'd_ like a
>better understanding of what those parameters actually translate to...)

Basically, the signal is split into many bands and each band is then
compressed to values set from the noise-print information or manually.
This induces comb filtering and is really an eerie thing. So the prime
concern is for me, not "how much I am removing the noise" but rather
"how far I will allow for the whole material to be comb-filtered". It
is impotant to me that, after learning in practice the merits and
culprits of these tools, I don't sigh for some extremely expensive
tools (as allegedly "better" because so expensive) but I rather check
to what extent I can go in noise removal by the tools and if there
were alternate solutions if possible. The most prized tools are your
own skills here and results aren't spectacular but yes, better. If you
have a mint 78 RPM record, cleaned well and played back properly
(geometry, the proper speed, equalization curves and stylus!), it is
easy to make a pleasant result. With totally greyed out records, you
are in fact doing a salvage work as far as it goes and the result is
as is. This is the point, not the "magic" of the hardware and
software. A propely digitized material is 70% work done.

>And there's a checkbox for click removal -- again with "just fiddle with
>it and see if it helps" instructions -- and a Remove Clipping option
>which is probably intended to be a corner-rounder but which so for seems
>to be non-usable.
Well, "Remove Clipping" is a last defense ditch for a clipped
recording. If the clipping is (very) mild, it could be remedied. But
the "declipper" should not only round up but compress too.
>> Some denoiser tools will introduce, by design, a sample shift,
>> sometimes a huge one, thousands of samples. Such results can't be
>> inverted and mixed in.
>
>At least, not unless you know how many samples that shift is by and can
>juggle it back or delay the original... but, yeah, that's why I figured
>it might not be worth attempting. Soundsoap does (or at least did) have
>a built-in operation which allows monitoring "just the noise";
>Cakewalk's tool, as I said, unfortunately doesn't.
The author of Voxengo tools (otherwise a very fine set!) is aware of
the sample shift and he informs you about the amount of it in readme
files. Then he has made a separate plug-in for bringing the shift
back.
http://www.voxengo.com/ -- I think it's the URL.

If you know the amount of shift induced by a plug-in, you can also
download a free plugin from
http://www.analogx.com/
called the "Sample Slide". Check the other plug-ins too; they are good
and they are free to download.
>> Any artifacts means you've gone too far already. With these tools, you
>> should listen to changed top ends and changed quietest signals such as
>> room acoustics, reverb tails etc. They should not sound numb or
>> swallowed (ie. too numb; they will sound numb to an extent).
>
>That works for me. Many thanks for the sanity-check!

You're welcome and good luck in restoring!

Edi Zubovic, Crikvenica, Croatia
!