Bias SoundSoap 2.1 Review

We’re a good few years into the music download revolution iTunes started. We no longer clunk and click our way through the creation of mix tapes – we drag and drop instead. But what of our old collections? Our crackly vinyl and hiss-filled tapes? You can digitise them of course – record them to your Mac using Open Source sound editor Audacity (audacity.sourceforge.net) – but the white noise and rumble of those archaic formats is much harder to forgive through a pair of earbuds.

SoundSoap 2, recently updated for Intel based Macs, could be the missing link in this workflow. Load a sound file into it, click the big ‘Learn Noise’ button in the middle of the slick interface and click ‘Play’. SoundSoap samples the noisy silence at the beginning of any audio file, whether it’s a digitised Abba single or the soundtrack to your holiday video, and extracts it from the rest of the file. With a few adjustments here and there, you’re left with nothing but clean audio. There are buttons to remove noise from electrical loop hum and a slider that reduces clicks and pops too. Apply the clean audio to the track and save it.

We’ve used several other plug-ins and applications that claim to do the same job, but none come close to the SoundSoap’s results. Other tools can leave phasing or digital glitches, making songs sound like they were performed by a Dalek. SoundSoap would probably do the same if pushed too far, but we found that it removed both specific and broadband noise so effectively that there was simply no reason to do so.

OUR VERDICT

SoundSoap comes from the same stable as venerable sound editor Peak, available in advanced Pro and LE versions. SoundSoap has a more advanced Pro version too, but the simple, but powerful tools offered by the vanilla edition reviewed here make it a real gem..

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