If you’re of a certain age, you’ll no doubt have a collection of vinyl albums and singles gathering dust in a box somewhere. Sure, you can buy replacements on CD or even download digital versions. With Audio Cleaning Lab 12 you can use this software to not only capture them digitally but also clean them up.
The box comes with everything you’ll need, so along with the software program itself, there is an adapter and a set of leads you connect to your record player and then hook up to your PC. The interface is clear and easy to get to grips with and breaks the process down in to three easy steps: import, edit and finally export.
Once you’ve captured your recording, you can import it into the program and you can start to clean up the overall sound quality. This is everything from the scratches and warp of the vinyl itself as well as the hum associated with stereo players. Using the software takes a little time and patience, as there are five sliders that allow you to change the overall sound quality.
If you haven’t got time, or simply don’t have the ear for cleaning the recording yourself, there is always the 1-Click option, which at the push of a button looks for the most typical levels of distortion and cleans them out for you. This works reasonably well, but we found that with a little patience, using the sliders yourself produced better results.
Once you’ve got a cleaned-up version of your music, you can pass it through the mastering suite, Magix Energizer, that is a set of tools designed to add a fresher sound to your recording. This can add a warmer sound or more bass to the recording but you need to use it sparingly, as you’ll find the finished results can alter the overall balance dramatically – especially if you burn the file off to CD and play on a normal stereo.
Of the new features is universal recording, which allows anything that passes through your soundcard to be captured. That needn’t just mean your old vinyl, as it could quite easily be a DAB broadcast to streamed music from a website or MySpace page.
Simply press the record button and it will start recording. Naturally, there are copyright issues here but as long as it is for personal use, there shouldn’t be any problems. If you record live music, you can even use one of the new filters to help identify applause and cut it down to a more manageable length.
The average person won’t have much need for Audio Cleaning Lab 12 Deluxe and while it isn’t a professional package it offers a wide range of tools for cleaning up old music sources.