X-oom Music Clean 4
There is a 68 page A5 manual and unless you are an expect in music manipulation you will be well advised to read it. There are other - far simpler - products out there to do the jobs this does but this can do most of them within one package. I myself have a stack of LP's waiting to be transferred to CD's and currently I use three different products to do what Music Clean 4 can do. Mind you they all do their bits easily and without fuss.
Described on the front cover as a 'Digital turntable equalizer' this sounds grand however be aware the only hardware in the box is 3.5mm jack plug with two sockets on the other end for inputting two leads. This is a software only product and you will still need a turntable with sound outlet and a PC with sound input to use it.
Not having seen any previous version of this product I can only tell those who have, what the package states are the 'new features'. Integrated Phono Preamplifier, greatly improved Cleaning Wizard, Declipper with Decrackle option, VST effects and Real Time analysis.
The stated PC requirements are not high but it does say Windows 2000, XP or Vista. As my deck is connected to a Windows ME system it would have required a lot of reorganization to move it so I tried running it under Windows ME and it works fine. I suspect - as with a lot of recent software - they will only support you if you are running one of the systems they specify.
If you have a tape or LP deck with Line out then a standard lead and the adapter supplied should enable you to use the line in socket found on most sound cards/chips. Of course should you have a cable with RCA connectors on one end and a mini jack on the other this works fine.
My record deck uses the bare wire to speakers principle so the RCA connectors were cut off leaving the mini jack on the other end. I remember a couple of horrified readers wrote in when I first mentioned connecting the output directly to the line in saying I would blow the sound card. I mentioned then - and now - start with the volume on your LP deck low to find out the suitable level or of course run it through an amplifier. I am not saying what I do is correct only that it works for me. With Music Clean 4 the new feature can overcome this as it emulates the sound you would expect through your speakers thus making an external amplifier redundant. For anyone who is unsure the first 12 pages of the manual explain it all.
So having installed the software and connected your tape or LP deck run the software and the opening screen asks what do you want to do and gives you four choices. Record from record player, record from tape deck, import an audio file and help me connect my audio equipment.
Recording audio has three stages Import, Restoration and Export. In all these modules you can allow yourself to be baffled by numbers or just spend sometime reading the manual to find out what they mean. From page 22 onwards (audio editing) till the end of the manual a lot of the mystique is taken out of what music engineers do. With reading and trial and error you should end up with quite decent output and along the way remove a lot of ambient noise, hiss and clicks from your treasured LPs.
So assuming you have a CD recorder built into your PC this product can take in your music from LP or tape work on it and then burn it to a CD all without leaving Music Clean 4. Doing my Internet searches could not find it however the blurb says available from PC World or Amazon for £24.99, another direct search of the Amazon site found it at £22.99 from the link below and this price includes free delivery.
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