SoundSoap-3 by Soundness is superb audio noise reduction software that comes in both application and plugin (VST, component, and RTS) form. Upon launching, I was immediately struck by a visually pleasing interface. The next thing I discovered was how straightforward, user-friendly, and intuitive it is to use this software. This is one of the rare audio editing tools that are easy to use, yet powerful. It does everything it claims to do, and it does it really well. There's plenty of control without any of the bloat that is often associated with editing software, i.e., you won't find a ton of unheard of features that make you scratch your head and ask,"What the?" SoundSoap-3 is easier, faster, and way more effective at removing noise than the filters and EQs that I've tried. It's a great product that is a pleasure to use. I no longer cringe when I discover audio noise on my tracks.
Slick, clean GUI.
Also useful with video files.
Hiss and Buzz — SOAPED.
Hum and Rumble — SOAPED.
Clicks and Crackles — SOAPED.
Background noise and unwanted voices — SOAPED.
Next time I record I just might turn up the amps, turn on a fluorescent lights, and crank the A/C just so I can soap them clean before mixing.
Users can throw out the dirty bathwater and keep the baby.
My old sample library will soon be made clean.
I'm a clean freak, and nothing bothers me more than dirty audio tracks. SoundSoap is my mop; it's my broom; it's my sponge; it's my. .. you get the idea! Best of all is the price. It's a super value for what it does and how well it does it. If I only used it on a couple tracks I would feel compensated for my investment. If you are a well-paid pro, working in a top-notch studio, I'm sure there are more powerful options that do more; yet, for everyone else, this probably does what you need for a fraction of the cost and without the headaches. I highly recommend this software to any pros or hobbyist, who is working with recorded audio and needs fast and effective results. Tommy Zai gives SoundSoap-3 two squeaky clean thumbs up. Thank you, Soundness, for developing such a useful, rewarding, and satisfying audio noise reduction software.
VERSION 4 RELEASE USER REVIEW THOUGHTS
Soundness just released a significant update to SoundSoap. Without hesitation I upgraded to the new version v4, and I have no regrets. The latest release adds some cool features. The Loudness Maximizer is sweet — the perceived auto signal is boosted without any added noise, distortion, or other goop. This is very nice. The Declipper is a feature that makes me wonder how I got along without it. I've had countless tracks along the way that suffered from a distorted spike or two. In the past, my options were limited. I either used SoundSoap to remove some of the unwanted stuff and then normalized the peak and lived with that rough segment of audio. Whatever algorithm they are using to declip is top notch (pun intended) and effortlessly corrects nasty spikes. The update/changes list includes several other improvements and fixes that I'm sure I will uncover as I soap up additional dirty tracks. Yet, the Loudness Maximizer and Declipper feature were enough to make me smile and increase my user review rating. Fanstastic! SoundSoap is evolving. I can't wait to see what v5 looks and sounds like!
Update Conclusion: SoundSoap v4 remains user-friendly and will continue to appeal to home studio musicians, and with the new features, seasoned professionals will find it hard to resist.
VERSION 5 RELEASE USER REVIEW THOUGHTS
This latest release boasts some serious new features, most notably Automatic Noise Detection. Users are no longer required to manually scan for the best noise location to build a profile. This can now be accomplished automatically. The A.N.D. is used to find the noise and the users can visually adjust it. The algorithms are top-notch, and my experimentations have led to great results. I was a little apprehensive at first as I apparently have some audio control issues. I usually prefer diving in and doing the work myself, but after a few rounds I gained trust and let SoundSoap do the work for me.
MP3 support has been added, which is very sweet. I have a ton of low-fi audio files that I use for various projects. I no longer have to convert them into .AIF or .WAV for cleaning. I also dig the new metering. I tend to use my eyes when working with audio, and this makes it easier and more fun. The new and improved hum removal goes beyond an add-on feature. It's now a powerful element of the larger whole.
In the end, I went with SoundSoap+, which offers much more control for not much more money. I've heard great things about the Broadband Range control feature. I need to spend more time noodling with it. I also look forward to uncovering the coolness of the other bonus features found in the + version (Downward Expander, Enhanced Enhance, control over the threshold setting used in the Track control, etc.).
Comparisons: I have less experience with the other noise reducers on the market, but I did a great deal of research, demoing, noodling demo versions, and checking-out friends' copies before going with SoundSoap. I chose SoundSoap for the following reasons:
Interface is simple, yet powerful.
Shallow learning curve. I like to work fast and furious without getting bogged down by what's under the hood.
This all began with the developer, BIAS. Their app called Peak was my favorite software of all time. The original SoundSoap was a bit of a cool add-on, but since being taken over by Soundness, it's become a serious force.
Why didn't I buy iZotope RX? Their Spectral Analysis remain a great feature — spectral "replace" function is very cool. Yet, I couldn't afford it, steep learning curve, stability concerns, and some features are more complicated and difficult to use, i.e., the denoiser.
Why didn't I buy Waves Z-Noise? More complicated and requires more fiddling to get results. Unable to scrub away enough noise. X-Click and X-Crackle are easier to use, but they are more specialized.
Why didn't I buy Sony's SpectraLayers? It's a very serious application, and I was not able to quickly dive in and get anywhere. Having a manual for this beast is a must.
Update Conclusion: SoundSoap v5 offers several excellent improvements. In my opinion it's well worth the initial purchase or an upgrade. There is still nothing comparable at this price. The floating soap bubbles on the transport section of the interface still make me smile each time I launch — fun stuff. Tommy Zai continues to highly recommend this upstanding audio app to anyone working with audio files, whether he/she be an amateur or professional.