Digitization of analog audio has become common practice among music lovers. Because many of our favorite recordings haven’t made it to the CD domain, some of us decided to migrate them to digital ourselves. MAGIX Audio Cleaning Lab is an affordable and highly intuitive solution to digitize our analog recordings, remove all artifacts and background noises, and save them using the audio codec that better fit our needs.
“Easy to use” is probably the term that better defines MAGIX Audio Cleaning Lab. You will surely find more professional audio restoring tools out there, but very few of them are capable of making average users feel like professional audio technicians. Packed up with clean-up and mastering profiles that you can activate with just one click, it offers ample room for personal tweaking for more savvy users.
You can load any number of existing digitized files, rip tracks from a CD, and/or do your own analog-to-digital transfers using the program’s recording capabilities. You will find specific settings for vinyl records, cassette tapes, and speech recordings, which you can apply “as is” or tweak to fit your preferences. You can import as many tracks as you wish and have them all displayed as waveforms on the top side of the program’s interface with or without a spectral view of their contents.
Removing noise and all kind of artifacts from your old analog recordings is what this app was designed for, and here is where it really shines. You will find useful and efficient presets for various types of recordings, armed with specific tools to remove clicks and pops, record player rumbling, tape hiss, reduce clipping, improve speech clarity, and many more, up to nearly 300 profiles to clean up and enhance your recordings. Pro-like audio mastering can also be achieved either using the presets provided or by designing your own, with specific sections for your vinyl and cassette, speech, and mobile device recordings. Besides, you’ll find tools to optimize the overall sound, optimize its dynamics, equalize it, etc. The possibilities are endless, and because all changes can be easily undone, you can try different presets and settings again and again without modifying the original recordings.
The results are mostly impressive. The presets provided, even though of a “general purpose” nature, will greatly improve your recordings without further tweaking on your side. As it happens with all audio restoration tools, however, the results are usually a mixed bag. There are many factors at play when tidying up analog recordings – the quality of the original, the amount of noise we want to remove, the amount of original audio we are ready to sacrifice in the process, etc., and going through a “trial and error” process usually yields better results than when we leave it all in the hands of a preset profile.
Be it as it may, once you’ve cleaned all your new digital tracks, you can take advantage of the program’s ID3 tag editor to add some meaningful metadata to your music. Then, you can save and archive your digitized music as WAV, AIFF, or FLAC files, or compress them as MP3, Ogg, AAC, or WMA audio files. MAGIX Audio Cleaning Lab is not yet another audio editor, and that is why you may miss most of the filters and audio effects that usually come with standard editing tools. This is a tool to digitize and restore your audio, not to add funny effects to it.