Audio sweetening is not my thing but I keep getting small side jobs that need it, but there is no budget to send the project to a DAW. So I thought it could be a good investment. It's $149* and Charlie Austin (aka Plysat) listed it in his "
FCP X – “Pro” Essential Companions
", so I wanted to get more user information about real world usage, how it works and how to get the most of it.
I use it quite frequently and think this plugin does a decent job. I am by no means an audio expert but for my use (mostly removing unwanted background noise from interviews and giving some extra sauce to the voice) it's simple, elegant, stable and sufficient. I am surprised we do not hear more about it.
Thanks guys, I hope more people can comment on this.
I searched for some demos on youtube, but couldn't find much.
Nice point of view, Greg, but buying Logic is not an option. The price difference is not much, but it's a whole new beast I'll have to learn and audio sweetening in not my thing (that's why I'm not even considering izotope RX4). If I can mix and clean it in FPCX I'll be just fine.
Specifically how well does it integrate with FCPX?
I am looking for something to clean a ton of dirty audio. Normally Audacity does the trick, but I usually use it for a small number of files - but there are just too many for this project, so if I can get it done directly inside FCPX I would be happier instead of exporting, cleaning, reimporting and synchronising.
The problem is an a/c rattle and hum. The inbuilt FCPX audio cleaner is not able to cope - removing the noise makes everyone sound like a Wall-E attempting to speak underwater...
Even Soundsoap exhibits 'Underwater Wall-E artifacts ( I love that description ) if the noise is too bad. There is another alternative from Crumplepop called Audiodenoise - cheaper than Soundsoap and tailored specifically to cleaning up spoken word ( interviews/dialogue recorded on location etc ). Like Soundsoap it does a pretty good job if the background noise isn't too extreme.
I actually have all three options - FCPX built in, Soundsoap, and Audio Denoise along with the option in Soundtrack Pro and honestly, when the noise is really bad they are all disappointing. When the background noise is not so extreme they can all do a reasonably good job. There doesn't yet seem to be a magic bullet for this yet. Soundsoap has the best feature set in terms of control and probably the best noise print analysis algorithm thingy. Audio Denoise does a good all around job with the least fuss and FCPX inbuilt is free, is effective in less demanding situations and is free so no complaints.
There is some discussion about AudioDenoise on these forums somewhere.
FWIW, I have SoundSoap (now version 5 is the available now) and it integrates as seamlessly as any other audio plugin available in FCPX's effects tab. It's certainly an improvement and more capable than FCPX built-in noise reduction and I've had great results. That said, it's all in the tweaking as you adjust the parameters - as it is in most things.
I've had trouble with it, I don't think it's much better than the built-in noise reduction. But that's just me. I only just started using the new version. Haven't touched it in a couple of years. But I'm having trouble getting it to clean up anything.
Update: I've been using it (version 4) and I'm very happy. Very easy to use, integrates seamlessly with FCPX like any other plugin and I can notice the results right away. Now I'm using it for all those amateur recordings that need some love (mostly removing room background noise or enhance low level audio).
Same here, I second canelson. I'm a happy user of Sound Soap. It might not be as sophisticated as Izotope for sure but for my everyday stuff it is sweet. Easy to use, good integration with FCPX. I'm happy I bought it.
I've tried the demo of version 4 but was not very satisfied with it. It appeared that for anything but the simplest of background noise that remained consistent it would not deliver decent results. I haven't tried the new version so maybe it's much improved. Judicious use of EQ seemed to work just as well. Does V5 seem to be much better than V4?
It clearly offers more variables than the built-in Background Noise Reducer in FCPX (which is just a slider).
That said while the results were only slightly better than the FCPX one, Soundsoap was better able to isolate the specific noise that was causing the problem and was better able to lower this when someone was not speaking. But trying to remove this when a person speaks results in the same results as the FCPX tool.
Also I found that Soundsoap reduces the overall db, so when I raise them up again, the background noise seems to worsen again.
So I'm not sure about it now. I was hoping it would be a lifesaver, but I think the audio I have is just too bad. I will try with some less terrible audio files. I think that the extra control would be helpful under some circumstances, but clearly not in extreme ones.
If you are interested in experimenting some more IZotope offers a trial of their FCPX plug-in bundle that incorporate some noise/click clean-up tools that are a subset of their full audio products. The full versions are terrific and powerful audio tools that work as stand-alone apps or inside a number of DAWs and NLEs - but they are pricey. The FCPX plugin bundle comprises four effect modules that work inside FCPX and is $99. You can download a free trial here:
Thanks for posting the Izotope link. I forgot about this but did receive an email from them a couple weeks back. This looks to be a great deal. I used the full advanced version as a trial some time ago and it is amazing, but I never purchased it beyond the trial. It provided much more than I felt that I would regularly use. But this plugin pack seems to be the way to go for routine audio cleanup.
I'd be interested in hearing about your experience if you decide to test the plugin bundle out. One of the plugins is Dialogue De-noise so maybe that's a particularly useful one. However, it's been my experience that most of the time "background noise" falls into the spectral noise category and it looks like only the full IZotope audio package handles noise like that. But, as you say, the IZotope Advanced audio tools are terrific - just expensive.
I'll be sure to post some feedback. My intent is to have this for reasonable audio fixes. I don't expect it to work miracles but hoping it proves to be a better fix for issues beyond what the standard filters and EQ adjustments can provide. We have some clips that were never used because of some excessive background noise, so I'll test this out with them.
The DeNoise plug in seems to be doing a pretty good job in auto mode, but I haven't been able to test it properly as FCPX is crashing since it was installed. Hovering the mouse over the plug in on the effects browser causes it to crash immediately the first time, after reopening it works if you immediately grab the plug in and drop it on a clip without hovering over it.
Also had another crash where it said an operation was preventing FCPX from saving.