At the 117th AES Convention, BIAS announced SoundSoap 2, the latest upgrade to the company's "one-click" audio cleaning software for Mac OS X and Windows XP. Like the original SoundSoap, SoundSoap 2 provides noise reduction, while still being easy enough for average consumers to use effectively. New for version 2 are Remove Click & Crackle and Enhance features, plus plug-in compatibility with Audio Units and RTAS/AudioSuite host applications. SoundSoap 2 also retains its original ease of use and cost effectiveness, its plug-in compatibility with DirectX and VST host applications, and its $99 MSRP.
Vinyl LP Restoration Made Easy with Click & Crackle Removal
BIAS' SoundSoap Pro -- designed for professional audio and video engineers who need maximum control during the audio restoration process -- includes an advanced click and crackle removal algorithm. SoundSoap 2 has the same algorithm as SoundSoap Pro, but gives the user a greatly simplified, single-slider control. For professional projects plagued by the most serious clicks and crackles, SoundSoap Pro remains the tool of choice. But for musicians, audiophiles, and video enthusiasts who need to remove everyday clicks and crackles, SoundSoap 2 is a perfect, incredibly cost-effective solution.
Simply Powerful "One Click" Audio Restoration
Despite SoundSoap 2's powerful new features, it retains essentially the same fast, clean, and easy-to-use interface made famous by the original SoundSoap. And while other solutions can tend toward complexity, SoundSoap 2's strength is that it depends upon highly advanced digital signal processing to do the "heavy lifting," without forcing users to confront a bevy of confusing controls. For instance, by clicking the Learn Noise button and adjusting just two knobs, even an audio novice can instantly remove most common problems such as hiss, fan noise from air conditioners, and other background noise. As described, a single slider can effectively remove most clicks and crackles. Buttons for Remove Hum (50 and 60Hz) are included, along with a Remove Rumble button to filter out low frequency noise. In addition, a Preserve Voice button helps to pre-filter frequencies outside the range of human speech -- ideal for cleaning up dialogue tracks. Simply put, nothing else can compete with SoundSoap 2's features, performance, ease, and price.
Informative Controls -- Only When You Need Them
During the cleaning process, a Wash Window displays the before and after signal using two colors: Red indicates noise being removed, while blue shows the desired signal being preserved. A handy Noise Only mode allows the user to hear only the broadband signal being removed -- ideal for ensuring that the desired audio remains intact. The Noise Tuner (threshold) and Noise Reduction knobs allow for easy fine-tuning to achieve optimal results. By keeping the complexity where it belongs -- hidden -- and the controls as streamlined as possible, SoundSoap 2 makes it easy for anyone to get great-sounding results, without getting tangled in a maze of confusing controls.
SoundSoap 2 now offers an advanced Enhance feature. Since audio may suffer from lost frequencies before and after the restoration process, professional restoration engineers will often perform a time-consuming, complex procedure of equalization, compression, and further processing to bring the audio "back to life." SoundSoap 2's Enhance feature is designed to do just that. Based on a multi-band compressor and equalization algorithm, the Enhance slider achieves -- in a single parameter control -- what would otherwise take advanced knowledge and a combination of tools to produce. In addition, an integrated limiter works behind the scenes to ensure the audio never clips -- even when boosting theEnhance slider to its maximum position.
Plug-in Edition: Choose Your Host
Another important new feature for SoundSoap 2 is greater plug-in compatibility with a wider range of host programs. While the original SoundSoap was compatible with DirectX and VST host programs, SoundSoap 2 adds support for Audio Units, RTAS, and AudioSuite host programs. Compatibility with Apple's Audio Units plug-in format means that users of Apple GarageBand, SoundTrack, Final Cut Pro, and Logic can all run SoundSoap 2 directly from within those programs. Digidesign Pro Tools users can also now integrate SoundSoap 2 into their workflow as an RTAS/AudioSuite plug-in. Additional compatible host programs include Adobe Premiere/Audition (VST/DirectX), BIAS Peak (Audio Units/VST), Cakewalk Sonar (DirectX/VST), MOTU Digital Performer (Audio Units), Sony Sound Forge (DirectX), Steinberg Cubase/Nuendo/Wavelab (VST), and others.
Stand-alone Edition With Movie Support -- No Host Required
Like the original SoundSoap, SoundSoap 2 also includes a stand-alone application edition, which doesn't require a compatible host application to run. The stand-alone edition offers the same cleaning power as the plug-in edition, and includes Windows Media and QuickTime support, complete with a movie display and accurate audio-to-picture synchronization. The stand-alone edition also features an integrated transport, counter, simple timeline, process in-and-out point control, preset saving/loading of parameters and noise profile, bypass, looping, and an Apply settings button. Drag and drop is supported, as well, for easy file handling. Users looking to clean up audio from a digital video clip will be pleased to know that if their favorite video editing program -- such as Apple s popular iMovie program -- won't directly support audio plug-ins, they can easily rely on the stand-alone edition of SoundSoap 2 for stunning results.
Pricing and Availability
BIAS SoundSoap 2 is will be available in November 2004, at a suggested retail price of just $99 US. Customers who purchased SoundSoap through authorized BIAS resellers or directly from BIAS on or after October 1st, 2004, are entitled to a free upgrade to version 2 at no additional charge by faxing BIAS a request along with a copy of their original dated sales receipt. For customers who purchased SoundSoap before October 1st, 2004, the upgrade to SoundSoap 2 is just $49 US (plus tax, shipping, and VAT where applicable) -- and is available directly from BIAS or through the worldwide network of BIAS distributors. SoundSoap Pro remains available at $599 US list.
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