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DC Eight now available – see end of review for details
There’s nothing more annoying than hiss, hum, clicks and crackles in an audio recording. We uses DC Five to clean up our tracks…
Product: DC Five
Manufacturer: Enhanced Audio
Price: $199 Download: $159
Web: Enhanced Audio
Noise is the bane of the musician’s life. It can creep into even the most careful recording, and if you’ve ever tried to transfer tape or vinyl to CD you’ll know how insidious noise can be. It comes in many guises – clicks, pops, crackles, low-pitched hum and background noise – and removing each type requires a different process. DC Five is the latest evolution of a program designed specifically to do this, previously called DC Art or Diamond Cut Audio Restoration Tools. It contains more ways of eliminating noise than the mute button on your TV remote.
You can use it in two modes. In Classic mode the screen is divided in two with the source file in the upper half. You run filters on this in real time and when you’re happy with the result, you process the file. This creates a new file in the lower part of the screen which you can save and make the new source file for further processing. It’s easier than it sounds.
Fast mode has only one display. When you apply a filter to the file, the process appears in a Fast Edit History box and you can jump to any previous edit simply by clicking on it. This is very, er, fast. If you like working with Undo and Redo functions, this is the mode for you.
To remove clicks and pops there are Impulse Noise Filters which filter out scratches and crackles. There are dozens of presets to get you started suitable for a range of situations from transferring 78s and 45s to removing radio static. You can hear the effect of changing the parameters in real time as you adjust them, so you can balance the removal of the noise with any side-effects on the audio. Rumble can be removed with the high pass filter and background noise with the Continuous Noise Filter.
The Continuous Noise Filter is one of the most powerful filters in the program. It samples a section of audio containing only noise, and creates a filter to remove the noise from the rest of the audio. The filter curves are set automatically but can be adjusted manually, too.
Rather than apply one filter at a time to the audio, you can use the MultiFilter. This clever feature lets you create a customised set of functions by linking any of the filters or processes together in a chain. You can even add several identical functions with different settings.
DC Five has many other specialist filters including a Harmonic Reject Filter (otherwise known as a comb or multiple notch filter) for attenuating periodic noises that contain harmonics such as hum and buzz. There are also Median and Averaging filters that read a certain number of samples, find the median or average value and pass that to the destination file. They offer alternative useful ways to remove hiss and crackle. There’s a Brick Wall filter with a hellish steep slope, and Graphic and Parametric EQs.
And that’s not all…
As well as the plethora of noise removal and reduction functions, DC Five has tons of other features – effects such as reverb and dynamics processing, file conversion, a speed changer (with or without pitch shift), time stretching, a waveform generator, audio measurement functions and batch file processing. It can be used to enhance audio and includes tools for preparing audio for burning to CD. It’s a veritable cornucopia of audio processes.
The program comes with a ‘proper’ printed manual – all 380 pages of it! – but don’t be put off. It’s well written, humorous, it contains step-by-step tutorials, and it’s jam packed full of indispensable information about noise and how to get rid of it. The information and tips alone are almost worth the entry price.
DC Five has more cleaning power than Fairy Liquid and you don’t need rubber gloves to use it. It tackles the most persistent of noises and it will leave the audio better off for the experience. Quite simply, if you need to clean audio, you need DC Five.
Several EZ Cleaning functions
No Mac version
DC Five is the premier audio restoration and clean-up software bar none! Buy it and clean up.
Minimum system requirements
PC: Pentium II, 300MHz, 128Mb RAM, Windows 98SE/Me/2000/XP
Over 25 noise reduction tools
Supports Wave, Aiff and MP3 files
Fast edit mode
MultiFilter for customised processing
Over 800 presets
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Diamond Cut is now up to Version Eight with more features than you can shake a cracked vinyl record at! We haven’t checked it out yet, but here’s an update on DC Six. It has all the features of DC Five plus several significant enhacements including the following:
- EZ Clean. One click noise reduction.
- CD Ripping. Convert your audio CDs to Wave files or MP3 files.
- Speed To Burn. Turbo-charged filter algorithms are 20-80% faster.
- Direct X Support. Use plug-ins within the DC 6 operating system.
- Auto Leveling. Give a batch of files the same level.
- Adaptive Filtering Added To Continuous Noise Filter. An intelligent filter that adapts to the changing nature of the noise in your file.
- CD Database Integration. Connects to the Internet CD Database and assigns names to your tracks before you rip them.
- No Time Limits. The wave file format has a 2 gigabyte limit. DC Six uses a workaround to overcome this.
- AVI Audio Support. Extract audio from an AVI file.
- Multi-Codec Sensor Support. Import and export to any Codec that’s installed on your machine.
- FAT BASS. Builds up weak bass lines.
- 20-Band Graphic EQ added.
- Echo Effect added. Contains two independent delay lines.