Using SoundSoap 2 with BIAS Peak

In this example, we'll be using Peak 5 as a host application, to restore an LP recording which contains various noise types. If the file you are restoring does not contain all the same types of noise, simply omit the steps for noise types not present in your recording.

The first step in reducing noise in digital media is to open the file in Peak, then open the SoundSoap 2 plug-in. The following steps will guide you through your first attempts at noise reduction.

  1. Launch Peak.
  2. Open noisy media file.
  3. Choose "Insert 1>BIAS>BIAS SoundSoap" from the Plug-Ins menu.

    In this example, we're using the VST format plug-in of SoundSoap 2. Peak supports both VST and Audio Units formats plug-ins. To use the Audio Unit format plug-in, simply choose "Insert 1>Audio Units>BIAS>SoundSoap" from Peak's Plug-Ins menu, rather than choosing the VST format version. The following steps are exactly the same in either version of the plug-in.

  4. When the SoundSoap 2 interface appears, make sure Broadband noise reduction is Off.

  5. Play the LP recording from the beginning, and slowly raise the Click & Crackle slider until you no longer hear this type of noise. When you find the ideal setting, try playing various parts of the recording, ensuring that the setting you have chosen will repair clicks/crackles of varying degrees throughout the entire recording.

    If the clicks/crackles vary greatly from song to song, you may want to work on each song separately, processing each with a more precise setting.

    Now, we'll remove the broadband noise from this recording (needle hiss), as well as the 60Hz hum and very low frequency turntable motor rumble...

  6. Click the 60Hz Hum Removal button.

  7. Click the Remove Rumble button.

    The Hum Removal, Remove Rumble, and Preserve Voice features operate independently of the other noise reduction tools (Click & Crackle Slider, Noise Tuner & Noise Reduction knobs, and Learn Noise button), and can be toggled on or off either before or after learning a noise profile, and will not affect the accuracy of the learned noise profile.

  8. Return to the beginning of the recording (before the music or other program material begins). Start playback by pressing the space bar, or by clicking the Play button in Peak's transport window. Then click the Learn Noise button.

  9. After analyzing the audio content for approximately two seconds, SoundSoap 2 will automatically turn on broadband noise reduction.
  10. Listen to the results. To apply/render the current noise reduction settings, choose "Bounce..." from Peak's Plug-Ins menu.

    Congratulations! You've just learned the basics of using SoundSoap 2. To learn more advanced techniques, continue along with the next few steps, and apply SoundSoap 2 when you have completed all the advanced steps.

  11. Start playback of the audio material, and click the Noise Only button - in Noise Only mode, you should hear only the unwanted broadband noise.

  12. If you hear any of the desired audio material, turn the Noise Tuner knob to the left (counter - clockwise), until you hear only the unwanted noise.

  13. Click the On button to return to the regular listening mode.

  14. Turn the Noise Reduction knob all the way to the Left.

  15. Now, slowly turn the Noise Reduction knob to the right (clockwise), until you reach the optimal balance between broadband noise reduction and introducing any unwanted artifacts.

  16. Slowly raise the Enhance slider to help add tonality and boost frequencies that are commonly lost in degraded media sources (if you are working with a recording made from a degraded media source).

  17. When you are satisfied with the results, choose "Bounce..." from Peak's Plug-Ins menu.

    Be sure to disable SoundSoap 2 after "bouncing". If you leave SoundSoap 2 active, you will hear the processed file being played through SoundSoap 2 in realtime, giving the effect of twice the amount of noise reduction. For your convenience, a dialog box is presented after bouncing in Peak, with options to turn plug-ins off, or to leave them active if you need to process additional files.

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