Article about SoundPool's DeNoiser program for the Atari Falcon. Published in Atari Magasinet #3/4, 1998 (swedish magazine). Translated into english by the author.
Noise - the musicians enemy number one
How many times have you wished for an easy way to remove the noise from your recordings, to make them sound a little more like a final production - enabling you to show the result without being ashamed for the bad sound quality?
OK, maybe a little extreme, but most of you probably recognize yourselves to some extent. Surely you've glanced at the PC-programs and envied the PC users since there always seem to be available solutions on that platform (which you don't actually want to change to)... Now the solution is available to Falcon users too!
SoundPool have released a new program, which uses the DSP. DeNoiser is the exciting name and the aim is to remove - or at least reduce - noise from the recordings. To keep the interest for the Falcon at a high level, they've announced even more DSP-programs in the near future (for example a DeClicker and a Morph EQ to start with), so stop considering to change platform. Things still happen in the music area for the Falcon - so you don't actually have to change to something else.
As usual for programs from SoundPool, there's one version for and one without FPU at no extra cost. File formats that can be handled by the program are AIF, AVR and WAV. Drag-and-drop works nicely (that is, you can drag an audio file from the Desktop or a file and drop it on the program file, and it's started automagically).
Hard to use?
If it's so advanced that it can remove noise from a recording, surely it's terribly hard to use? No! In opposite to many other german programs, it's actually extremely easy to use. You simply load the file you're going to process, find an area that should have been totally quiet (for example just before or after the actual song starts or stops), mark this area with the mouse and press "Calc estimate".
Now, a curve is displayed in the analysis window (sometimes with a short delay, which is indicated with a diagram on the screen). The curve describes what will be removed in the process and it can be noise or mains hum or whatever. The recording will simply be reduced by what's displayed in the window.
After this, you can listen to the result and set the amount of reduction by moving a fader on the screen. You can also compare before/after with a bypass-switch.
That's all folks! Now you've done what you have to do (at least if you're going to record the result on a DAT or similar). If you want to create a new file on the hard disk with the new, noise-reduced result, you just choose "Play and Record". Then you'll have to give the new file a name, then the song is processed and you won't want to use the old noisy recording again.
The analyser result can be displayed in three different modes; Terz, Logarithmic or Linear. The difference is only in the graphic presentation, so there's no difference in the resulting sound quality.
How does it work?
The DSP works to the limit and sometimes you can hear some distortion while dragging the amount-fader when processing a 48kHz-file. When you let go of the fader, these problems naturally disappear, so the resulting audio file will suffer no consequences from this. When processing a 44.1kHz file, this problem is'nt present at all, since the DSP has enough time left to handle it.
My final words about this wonderful program is that it's actually a very pleasant surprise. It simply does what it should and doesn't harm the musical content in the processed files (or mostly not), but it simply removes noise. I have an old rack-mounted DeNoiser (one of the first ones released to the market) in my studio and the program influences the musical content even less than this rack-unit - a little frightening since I've always thought that the rack-unit influences very little... The program eats noise and not much else. I can recommend it to anyone who wants a cleaner sound on the master recordings.
DeNoiser costs SEK1520 for the moment and is distributed in Sweden by Holmerup Musik & Data.
Live well - and with a little less noise!