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Waves Z Noise and Soundtrack Pro

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Alex Wolfe
Waves Z Noise and Soundtrack Pro
on Apr 16, 2011 at 9:22:53 pm

Hello Sound Brother and Sisters,

I am trying to clean up some documentary dialogue tracks with a variety of noise problems ranging from white noise/hiss due to low levels and rain in background to buzz from sodium vapor (I think) lights. This is complicated by some use of auto gain on the camera in one instance. I have tried to use the Noise reduction effects in Soundtrack Pro but despite extensive tweeking I am getting lots of glass noise artifacts. I am considering dropping 400 large on Waves Z noise but I am not sure it would work and I am not sure it is compatible with Soundtrack Pro. Waves is vague (just realized "wave" is "vague" in French!) about this on the site but I did find a note about Final Cut not working with certain Waves plugins installed, required an elaborate work around. I am a field guy just starting to work with Soundtrack Pro so your suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Maybe you know how to eliminate the glass artifacts and can save me some money.

All the best,

Alex Wolfe


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Theodore Miesner
Re: Waves Z Noise and Soundtrack Pro
on Apr 17, 2011 at 1:17:46 am

Hey Alex,

First off sorry to hear about the noise problems, always a real bummer. Secondly Waves Z noise should be compatible to the best of my knowledge with soundtrack pro, but I'm not sure how much it will do (it will definitely be better than the built in stuff, but I'm not sure if it will be worth the 3-400 dollars). Waves Z sound can work with some complex noise, like computer hum, but rain is a really really complex source that most likely won't be able to be taken out very well, though it will do well on your other sources. Sorry if that wasn't too much help.

Theo


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Ty Ford
Re: Waves Z Noise and Soundtrack Pro
on Apr 17, 2011 at 1:03:27 pm

Hello Alex and welcome to the Cow Audio Forum.

That a lot of money. I don't have Waves, so I can't really comment, but sometimes finding the right settings takes time. Then again, sometimes there's just not a lot you can do.

Have you considered: http://www.izotope.com/products/audio/rx/

Regards,

Ty Ford

Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide





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Jean-Christophe Boulay
Re: Waves Z Noise and Soundtrack Pro
on Apr 18, 2011 at 4:01:21 pm

Hi Alex,

Z-Noise is a good tool, but I doubt it's the solution to your noise problems. Z-Noise is meant for removal of full-range, constant noise. It works exactly like the noise reduction tool in STP does, with a learn function. It will treat your white noise problems pretty well but will struggle with more frequency-specific and less consistant noises such as hum, AC noise, street noise and rain. Those scenarios are where the other types of noise reduction tools come in handy. In Waves-land, those are W43, inspired by the Dolby CAT43, and WNS, Waves' take on the Cedar approach. This being Waves, both are available only as part of the really serious bundles. All "affordable" noise reduction tools will be comparable to what you already have in STP.

I don't think Z-Noise would be a wise investment in your situation. You wouldn't be gaining much compared to the tool you already have at your disposal, which is pretty powerful already. To get a real edge over what you have would mean a mighty investment in a more complete DAW.

As for Waves and STP, Waves say it's possible to get it to work, but Waves plugins work best WaveShell-aware hosts, which STP is not. If you only have to use one plugin per WaveShell at a time, it will work fine. If you want to use more than one plugin hosted in the same WaveShell, you may have trouble. Then again, maybe not.

I find noise reduction should be left alone until the sound mix. It's no good denoising loads of audio that won't make it to the final cut and the sound mixer should have the tools and, most important, overall perspective of how much noise he can get away with in the final mix, so he has less chance of introducing artifacts by going too far. Denoising out of context in useless.

IHTH,

JC Boulay
Technical Director
Audio Z
Montreal, Canada
http://www.audioz.com


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Alex Wolfe
Re: Waves Z Noise and Soundtrack Pro
on Apr 18, 2011 at 8:17:35 pm

Thank you all for your helpful and detailed responses. I appreciate what you say, Jean-Christophe, about waiting until the final mix. Unfortunately, in this case I am the final mix. I am considering the Izotope NR, but I will demo it first.

Nobody touched on the question of glass noise artifacts and how to reduce them. I suppose it is just a question of not over-driving the denoiser. Any comments on this?

à tantôt,

Alex


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Jean-Christophe Boulay
Re: Waves Z Noise and Soundtrack Pro
on Apr 19, 2011 at 1:27:43 pm

Hi again,

Indeed, I should've suggested you look at iZotope's range. iZotope RX2 costs less than Waves Z-Noise and can help you cure much more problems. That would be a much wiser investment in your situation, IMO.

The glassy artifacts you're hearing are the result of going too far with a full-range noise reducer. It's a fine balancing act of noise and artifacts. That's why I advocate setting up the rest of the mix first and then, once the background is set, you have a better idea of how much you can get away with. Sometimes, the artifacts will be masked so you should push it, sometimes the noise will be masked so you should hold back. If your denoised sound will be all naked and hanging out there, I'd probably go for subtlety. The ear is more used to noise than metallic artifacts popping up out of nowhere. At that point, it's about choosing the lesser evil, as it often is with noise reduction.

IHTH,

JC Boulay
Technical Director
Audio Z
Montreal, Canada
http://www.audioz.com


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