Magix Video Sound Cleaning Lab Review

Improve your video productions with this handy tool

I think it’s fair to say that the video quality output from modern video cameras is excellent, particularly if you have one of the new 4K variety. However, the same cannot be said for the sound quality, which hasn’t changed much in the last five years. Unless you use an external microphone fitted with a wind shield and one that’s also capable of extraneous noise cancellation, the sound you get will in most cases be pretty abysmal. Of course, most video editing systems are capable of rudimentary audio editing to correct that, but this latest product from Magix addresses the problem with tools specifically designed for the job.

In fact, the Video Sound Cleaning Lab goes a lot further than simply fixing the sound quality; it includes facilities for mastering new tracks, importing and combining sound files from different sources or adding a commentary. The interface is clean and typical of Magix products. In fact, if you have one of Magix’s video editors, you’ll find the operation and command structures very similar. You can also import your video projects directly into the program from some of these editors. Here you have the option of importing the complete video file or just the audio portion. In either case, the display shows the audio as a waveform, with an expanded section at the top where you can navigate through the current clip. If you imported the video as well, you’ll see a preview of the currently selected frame in the lowerright corner of the screen.

There are basically four operations to each project: import, cleaning, mastering and export. These are depicted by four large buttons on the left-hand side of the screen, with the centre section showing the appropriate tools, dependent on the operation selected. I suppose in most cases your workflow will be concentrated around the cleaning section, which is quite sophisticated and very comprehensive. Having said that, Magix is aware that not many of us are experts in this field, so  there are auto options for most tasks, and these work very well. If, on the other hand, you want to become more involved, you simply have to click on the small gear icon below each filter, which in turn opens the appropriate options panel for that particular filter. Most of these also have presets to choose from so, for example, the DeNoise presets include city noise, camera noise, rumble, hum, interference and wind. If you want to delve even deeper, you’ll find all these presets are fully customisable.

I tested this out on some video I took with my Sony bridge camera, which produces excellent video, but when I extend the zoom lens you can hear the whirring noise produced by the lens motor. I managed to remove most of it using the De-Noise filter and was surprised to find a filter for my specific camera. In fact, I could have removed it all, but I felt that doing so degraded the sound quality a little. And, to be fair, it was barely perceptible afterwards anyway.

The mastering section allows you to enhance the existing sound with further optimisation, and it offers the facility to add special effects. Then finally you can export the results using the same options for importing, meaning the complete file or just the audio.

Like a lot of the latest products from Magix, the Video Sound Cleaning Lab is also optimised for touchscreens. If you want give it a try, Magix offers a 14-day trial version on its website, and there’s also a video tutorial to get you started. Joe Lavery

A decent app designed to improve your video productions..

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