Last updated: December 2007
Sound Forge, version 8, with Noise Reduction 2.0 is still available with a “street” price around $170 (in December 2007 from amazon.com). Do a Google search a take the lowest price. It’s “boxed” software so you the get the same thing from any vendor and you can register it with Sony no matter who you buy it from. (Sound Forge requires Windows 2000®, XP® or VISTA®.)
I started on sdemo1 with Express FX Audio Restoration using the default presets. The results were not very good as it left some clicks, pops and surface hiss. Click and Crackle Removal (which is part of Noise Reduction 2.0) did an excellent job on the clicks and pops (using the original sdemo1 as the source) but left a bit of surface hiss. So I ran Wave Corrector on the result file (with the source file set as “tape”). This took out the rest of the hiss giving a very clean result.
Since I wrote the above, I have used one or more of the Noise Reduction plug-ins to good advantage on a number of restorations. There is one “sore point” however, which I consider a “bug” that I have reported to Sony. One NR plug-in finds and tags clipped peaks and let’s you automatically “unclip” them. This works fine but it doesn’t remove the tags. So you can end up with a file that may contain thousands of tags. The file plays OK but it will not open in programs such as Audio Audition 1.5 and the Cool Edits. I still think this is a “bug” and should be fixed but apparently Sony does not agree.
Version 9 is now available but I haven’t made an upgrade. (Upgrade price is $130 from amazon.com in December 2007.) From what I have read, there doesn’t seem to be enough new features to make it worth while. The Noise Reduction plug-ins are still version 2.0 and these, in my opinion, are the most useful features for music restoration.
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