Pop and Click Removal

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JamesS

Pop and Click Removal

Post by JamesS » Fri Mar 31, 2006 2:22 pm

I ran across Acoustica's software while looking for a good CD label maker. So far that product and the CD/MP3 burner are doing great. I love the intuitive interfaces and available options.

Then I discovered SIA. I've been using Groove Mechanic since early 1999 and hoped to find a more up to date and easier to use product. I tried cleaning up some old vinyl record tracks this morning comparing both applications. I found that SIA did a decent job on reducing the background crackle on the disk but very little to eliminate the louder pops. Groove Mechanic, on the other hand, did a good job of eliminating both large amplitude and low amplitude pops, clicks and crackle.

The point here is not to complain about SIA (especially since I haven't registered it), but with the great interface, I'm hoping Acoustica's product will improve to the level of the competition and beyond. Checking the old message board, I don't see any indication in the past about four months of anticipated improvements.

To be brutal, Grove Mechanic works pretty well, but not perfectly, while SIA's results are in my view pretty minimal. The interface thumbs up clearly goes to SIA, but I don't listen to the interface on burned tracks. Groove Mechanic does not burn disks and that potentially adds additional cost, although I suspect most of us have a number of disk burners.

So the question is, can we expect to see really significant improvements to the vinyl to digital pop and click noise reduction in SIA in the not too distant future? I like the other Acoustica products so well, that I had great hope for SIA. At this point, it's level of performance is unfortunately unacceptable.

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Acoustica Eric
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Post by Acoustica Eric » Fri Mar 31, 2006 10:13 pm

Hi, thanks for the in depth review of SIA. Are you sure you have the latest version? It includes a significantly better noise/pop/crack reduction system than previous verions.
If you DO have the newest version, ha you tried adjusting the amount of pop/crack/noise reduction by clicking the customize button next to the cleaning effects drop down list?
Personally, I have yet to witness a better noise removal function within a software product.

JamesS

Post by JamesS » Mon Apr 03, 2006 6:08 am

Thanks for the reply Eric. Yes, I'm using the latest versions.

I went back and redid my test. I must have been doing something wrong the first time through because I did get much better results this time. The click reduction was set on 100% and did a good job of cleaning up the file. Lower settings also seemed to work about as well.

But Groove Mechanic still does a better job. In my sample, SIA reduced the pops to an acceptable level, but Groove Mechanic made them inaudible. I've been doing this long enough to know that doesn't always happen. Even with GM, I've had to go in and manually delete pops and clicks many times.

I'm going to upgrade my evaluation of SIA to good but not best in noise reduction. But it clearly does get a best rating in terms of ease of use. GM is a bit tortuous to use, although practice makes it understandable.

I'll be looking forward to the next release.

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Post by Acoustica Greg » Mon Apr 03, 2006 10:51 am

Make sure you really do havethe latest version, which is 1.1 build 18 as of this writing.

JamesS

Post by JamesS » Mon Apr 03, 2006 12:03 pm

Greg, that's the one I'm using.

In between the other things I'm doing today, I threw an old Kingston Trio album on the turntable. This came from a collection that had not been taken care of as well as I had taken care of my vinyls. Tried cleaning it up with both GM and SIA. Both programs did OK in splitting up the recording into its six tracks, but I give the edge to SIA for killing the dead space between the tracks. GM did a better (but still wrong) job of splitting an odd album I have of 1960's Vietnam Air Force talk vinyls. But that's a funky project. Track determination is much quicker in SIA.

To tell you the truth, I'd have to rate GM and SIA about the same in sound quality on the Kingston Trio project. GM may be very slightly better, but SIA is so close that you pretty much have to do a side-by-side comparison. Both programs miss a few low attack problems, but the results are acceptable.

Where SIA shines is in ease of use. In GM, you record the tracks, analyze for clicks, then fix the problems. The analyzation and repair took 2:26 for one side. In SIA, the process is pretty much instantaneous. But GM saves the file as it goes, while SIA takes time on the output writing. Still, the edge clearly goes to SIA.

GM still has a very slight advantage in quality of cleanup, but the clunky interface is a big negative. That's probably still how I would go for cleaning a critical vinyl, but for general use, I'd recommend SIA. Much of the determination of how to clean the disk depends on exactly what the problems are on that record. I still don't know what I did wrong in my original assessment of SIA.

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Re: click & pop removal

Post by admin » Tue Apr 04, 2006 8:43 am

When using Acoustica Spin It Again for LP to CD conversion, make sure to select a meta preset with "Vinyl" in it, such as "Vinyl Declick & Decrackle".

Also, you can adjust the levels and make your own presets, including external VST & DirectX effects...just click "Customize". Then load in "Acoustica Advanced Click & Pop". Experiment with the settings and save your own preset.

Best Regards,

-Joseph

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