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Magix Audio Cleaning Lab 16 deluxe review

Ben Pitt
23 Mar 2010
Magix Audio Cleaning Lab 16 deluxe
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
25
inc VAT

Almost too powerful for the simple task of transferring vinyl to MP3, but this audio editor also has other, more creative uses.

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Software for turning vinyl collections into shiny MP3 files has been around for years, as the number 16 in this package’s title demonstrates. In fact, there’s very little that’s new about this latest version – in terms of features, we struggled to tell the difference between this and version 10. That’s no bad thing, though. Audio Cleaning Lab continues to cope admirably with its allotted tasks of recording audio files, sprucing them up and exporting them to audio CD, MP3 and a range of other formats.

The interface is more inviting than before, with unfussy graphics and an overview waveform to help navigate around large projects. It’s still reliant on multiple pop-up windows, though, which can be untidy. When it comes to cleaning recordings, there are no less than five approaches to choose from: a fully automatic mode, a step-by-step wizard, a preset library, sliders for each process and in-depth editing. This may leave users feeling lost, but at least the simpler techniques are the easiest to locate. A video tutorial appears on first launch to explain the basics, including valuable advice on how to process each track separately rather than treating them all with the same settings.

Once cleaning is complete, a Mastering section improves the quality of recordings. This can easily ruin perfectly good recordings, but it’s more useful for music that hasn’t been professionally produced – in other words, users’ own music – adding punch and sparkle to help recordings compete with commercial releases. The CD-authoring facilities go far beyond the needs of casual users, but they too are perfect for musicians who want to create CDs with more precision over track ID points, fades and overlaps than affordable CD-burning software usually allows.

Audio Cleaning Lab risks making a simple task needlessly complex, but stops just short with an interface that’s reasonably approachable for casual users. It also deserves to be popular among musicians who want an affordable way to quickly prepare finished mixes for public consumption.

Details

Price£25
Detailswww.magix.com/uk
Rating****

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