6 Best Audio Restoration Plugins & Software 2022

Top 6 Audio Restoration Software & Plugins | integraudio.com

In this post, we will talk further about the best audio restoration plugins & software.

Anyone with experience will tell you that audio recording can be tricky, especially when you don’t have enough prep time. And that’s exactly the case on film sets, podcasts, radio interviews, and vlogs.

You can never tell what could go wrong when live recording. Sometimes, it’s a loose wire that causes crackling while someone’s talking, and, other times, it’s the wind.

Fortunately, modern technology has made many impossible things possible. And among these, audio restoration is one for which we content creators must be thankful. From a humble student filmmaker to the multi-million-dollar studios in Hollywood, these software programs are used everywhere for editing audio.

All you need is high-speed internet like Spectrum to get these software downloaded. The best part is that it is not even that expensive.

Improve your audio quality and rejuvenate damaged takes with these tools:

Top 6 Audio Restoration Software & Plugin Suites 2022

1. iZotope RX 9 Advanced (Bundle of Editor Software & Plugin Suite)

Discontinued, Replaced with RX 10

Many people consider iZotope the industry standard when it comes to audio restoration and some other topics.

RX 9 Advanced is iZtope’s flagship audio restoration bundle that you can use within a DAW/NLE or standalone. It provides the largest number of tools compared to any other suite on this list. These include basics like de-click, de-crackle, de-hum, de-plosive, de-wind, de-reverb, etc.

Similarly, unique features include ambiance match, dialogue isolate, guitar de-noise, spectral recovery, wow & flutter control, dithering, etc. Furthermore, most of them are quite easy to use, although a few may feel overwhelming at times.

Let’s have a look at some of its screenshots. The first one below shows the RX 9 Advanced standalone app:

iZotope RX 9 Advanced - Top 6 Audio Restoration Software & Plugin Suites | integraudio.com

iZotope RX 9 Advanced - Top 6 Audio Restoration Software & Plugin Suites | integraudio.com iZotope RX 9 Advanced - Top 6 Audio Restoration Software & Plugin Suites | integraudio.com

The image above shows all the tools that you receive with RX 9 Advanced. As you can see, the tools are categorized into Repair, Utility, and Measurements (analyzers).

Describing every one of them would make a huge article. So, instead, let’s take a look at some of the most useful tools individually:

iZotope RX 9 Advanced - Top 6 Audio Restoration Software & Plugin Suites | integraudio.com

Spectral De-noise offers quality noise-reduction features that preserve the character of your audio. It also features an adaptive mode, which is suitable for fluctuating noise.

Hence, it’s ideal for anything from music, old recordings, video recordings, etc.

 

iZotope RX 9 Advanced - Top 6 Audio Restoration Software & Plugin Suites | integraudio.com

As the name implies, Voice De-noise is a plugin dedicated to removing noise from vocal recordings. Furthermore, it works in real-time, making the task quick and effective.

Similarly, it has an adaptive mode for dynamic noises and a dialogue or music mode. The music mode is suited for sung vocals.

 

iZotope RX 9 Advanced - Top 6 Audio Restoration Software & Plugin Suites | integraudio.com

The De-hum tool is one of the newest additions in RX 9 Advanced. It lets you instantly remove any hum or electric interference while keeping the audio free from unwanted artifacts.

Furthermore, its Static mode enables you to target hum with a prominent fundamental tone and up to 16 harmonics.

 

iZotope RX 9 Advanced - Top 6 Audio Restoration Software & Plugin Suites | integraudio.com

The De-reverb plugin removes any echoes or reverb from an audio recording. It’s excellent for cleaning up dialogues recorded on set or podcasts from an untreated room.

Furthermore, you can change the reverb profile to adjust the reverb tail lengths on the fly, converting a hall into a small bedroom. Similarly, you can enhance the dry signal to make it stand out better in a mix.

 

iZotope RX 9 Advanced - Top 6 Audio Restoration Software & Plugin Suites | integraudio.com

The De-clip module reduces distortion in recordings by artificially regenerating the damaged signals.

You can adjust the threshold of the peaks and the troughs of the audio signal individually. And De-clip regenerates any signal that passes the thresholds.

 

iZotope RX 9 Advanced - Top 6 Audio Restoration Software & Plugin Suites | integraudio.com

Whether it’s because of vintage pickups, high gain, or just poor electronics, many guitarists face annoying noise that prevents the desired tone and is unpleasant to listen to.

So, iZotope’s Guitar De-noise module helps attenuate unwanted hiss and electrical interference specifically for guitars. Furthermore, it features squeak and pick-control to help you manage fret noise, string slides, picking noise, etc. 

 

iZotope RX 9 Advanced - Top 6 Audio Restoration Software & Plugin Suites | integraudio.com

De-ess reduces sibilance from vocal recordings. Sibilance is the high-frequency sound that often gets accentuated by microphones when we say “s,” “f,” “sh,” “ch,” “chh,” etc. And unlike many other de-essing plugins, iZotope’s plugin features a spectral mode, which ensures the rest of the voice is unaffected by the processing.

 

iZotope RX 9 Advanced - Top 6 Audio Restoration Software & Plugin Suites | integraudio.com

Breath Control helps you reduce annoying inhale/exhale sounds in voice recordings. They are most imminent in hiking vlogs or singing performances.

 

iZotope RX 9 Advanced - Top 6 Audio Restoration Software & Plugin Suites | integraudio.com

Reduce lip-smacking and clicking sounds using Mouth De-click. 

 

iZotope RX 9 Advanced - Top 6 Audio Restoration Software & Plugin Suites | integraudio.com

Unlike the previous plugin, the De-click module is excellent for removing various clicking sounds from vinyl record clicks to electrical sparks. Furthermore, it can reduce phone interference, cutlery noise, etc.

 

iZotope RX 9 Advanced - Top 6 Audio Restoration Software & Plugin Suites | integraudio.com

Crackles are often present in vinyl records or tapes. So, De-crackle can help you reduce such continuous crackling sounds without altering the music/voice.

 

iZotope RX 9 Advanced - Top 6 Audio Restoration Software & Plugin Suites | integraudio.com

Remove thumping or pops caused by sudden air blasts on the mic or bumping the mic. De-plosive is an emergency alternative to the pop filter.

Key Features:

  • Instant
    The modules in RX 9 provide extremely fast results individually. However, using them together in the standalone app makes it even easier. You can save and load the chain of effects for quick switching. Furthermore, you can use the batch processor to process multiple files simultaneously in numerous file formats and bit depths.
  • Repair Assistant
    RX 9 features an intelligent repair tool that can automatically detect your audio problems. Then, it will provide different processing suggestions that you can use as your starting points. If you find one that you like, you can try different processing intensities and render the file.
  • Sound Design
    In addition to repairing audio, you can also use RX 9 for sound designing. For example, Variable Time and Variable Pitch allow you to alter the tempo/speed and pitch without causing extreme artifacts. Similarly, if your recordings or samples don’t have enough spectral data (due to file compression), you can easily use Spectral Repair to reconstruct the frequency information.
  • Rebalance
    The Music Rebalance module can intelligently isolate various elements of a song. So, you can separate the vocals, increase the volume of the instruments, lower the bass, etc., from two-track audio. Getting an acapella from your favorite song, anyone? It’s a must-have for every remix artist!
  • Information
    The Loudness Control tool displays comprehensive level readings, including true peak, integrated LUFS, short-term LUFS, momentary LUFS, and loudness range average (LRA). Furthermore, you can set the target to a specific level manually, or use presets built for conforming your audio to various standards.
What’s New in iZotope RX 9: Powerful Audio Repair for Post Production

Compatibility:

iZotope RX 9 Advanced is available for Windows 10 or higher and macOS 10.14.6 or higher, both 64-bit only. It comes in VST 2/3, AU, and AAX formats.

Summary:

There are far too many features in RX 9 Advanced to cover it in a short review like this. So, I suggest downloading its trial and trying it out for a few days.

RX 9 Advanced is an indispensable suite of plugins if you work in audio post-production professionally, despite its steep price. It offers complete audio reparation, spectral editing, and measurement tools difficult to find anywhere else.

2. Crumplepop Audio Suite (For Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro X)

More Info & Price (Trial Available)

Crumplepop Audio Suite is an outstanding audio restoration plugin collection for video editors.

This suite is a powerful array of plugins that will help you repair damaged or problematic audio files right from within your preferred NLE/video editor. Each of them is straightforward and works well in real-time.

So, you can use them on individual audio clips and adjust the settings while listening to the changes in real-time.

Crumplepop Audio Suite comes with six plugins dedicated to the most common video recording or podcasts problems. They use “Advanced AI” to identify and address the issue intelligently.

Essentially, they target the noise or whatever the issue is and leave the voice alone. Furthermore, each of them lets you adjust the amount of its effect on the low, mid, and high frequencies using three knobs. This feature is useful to reduce artifacts in the processed audio.

Crumplepop Audio Suite - Top 6 Audio Restoration Software & Plugin Suites | integraudio.com

Key Features:

  • EchoRemover 2
    Reverb is an effect that occurs when you’re in an enclosed space and the sound echoes on the walls. And it’s difficult to remove without a dedicated plugin. So, the EchoRemover plugin identifies echoes or reverbs in audio recordings automatically and removes them with a simple turn of a dial.
  • AudioDenoise 2
    This plugin is dedicated to removing hisses, electric hums, and other consistent sounds like an AC or fan running in a room. It features a sample button that “listens” to the noise you’d like to remove. Of course, make sure you use the sample button over a part where only the noise is audible. Then, turn up the Strength knob to remove the noise.
  • WindRemover AI
    As the name suggests, WindRemover AI removes wind noise from your audio. It’s ideal for the people who record audio outdoors often. Similarly, you can use it on recordings on film sets made by lapel mics, which are prone to wind noises because they lack windshields.
  • Levelmatic
    It’s impossible to have perfect recordings consistently. People move towards or away from the mic all the time. So, leveling your audio recordings in post-production is crucial. However, it is a tedious task when done by hand using automation curves. Using a compressor or a limiter can be complicated, and the result may not sound as natural as before.
    Hence, Levelmatic simplifies the process by offering a single knob to automatically control your audio volume. It’s similar to a compressor, but it has high attack/release settings and prioritizes keeping the audio natural and free of pumping effect or saturation.
  • RustleRemover AI
    Using a lapel mic is common in most video recordings. However, it comes with a serious issue: rustling sounds caused by friction against the speaker’s clothes, which is unavoidable for film actors. So, RustleRemover AI intelligently detects the rustles and removes them in real-time, leaving the voices untouched.
  • PopRemover AI
    Pops or plosives are sounds that occur when blasts of air hit the microphone while you’re speaking
    . You can hear them when saying words starting with “p” and “b,” especially if you don’t use a pop filter. And most podcasts seldom use a pop filter. So, PopRemover AI identifies and removes plosives automatically.
CrumplePop AudioSuite for Final Cut Pro, Premiere Pro, Audition and Davinci Resolve

Compatibility:

Crumplepop Audio Suite is available for macOS 10.15 or later 64-bit. It comes in AU format supported by Final Cut Pro, Adobe Premiere Pro, Adobe Audition, DaVinci Resolve, Logic Pro, Garageband, etc.

Summary:

This suite of audio restoration plugins is clearly dedicated to filmmakers and video editors. The included plugins are useful for the most common issues, some of which are rarely addressed by other similar programs.

Furthermore, each plugin keeps the process minimal and fast. So, they are handy when working on time-sensitive tasks like film editing or podcast editing.


Related Readings:

4 Ways To Remove Noise From Your Recordings (+ How To Prevent It)

Top 12 Plugin Bundles For Musicians 2022

Noise gate vs. Noise reduction: Differences & When To Use Each


3. Accusonus ERA Bundle (Plugin Bundle)

More Info & Price (Trial Available)

The ERA Bundle is yet another suite of audio restoration plugins that provides a simple and fast workflow.

Accusonus, a Greek company, has been developing smart, artificial intelligence-powered audio plugins since 2013. Their ERA Bundle features plugins with smart codes that detect problems in your audio recordings and correct them automatically.

Furthermore, the plugins are straightforward, with many of them featuring merely one knob to apply the correction.

However, ERA Bundle is a subscription bundle that comes in three packages: Standard, Pro, and Suite. The Standard edition features eleven plugins: Mouth De-Clicker, De-Breath, Noise Remover, Reverb Remover, Voice AutoEQ, Voice Leveler, Voice Deepener, Audio CleanUp Assistant, De-Esser, Plosive Remover, and De-Clipper.

Generally, the Standard edition is plenty for most people, but you’re welcome to check out the other editions. I should note that the ERA Bundle isn’t merely a restoration suite.

Plugins like Voice Deepener, AutoEQ, and Leveler help you take average audio recordings to excellent and pleasant in less than a minute. So, this bundle is truly indispensable if you work with voiceovers and other vocal recordings often.

accusonus ERA Bundle - Top 6 Audio Restoration Software & Plugin Suites | integraudio.com

Key Features:

  • Powerful
    The plugins in this bundle cover almost every topic in voice recording and editing. Lip crackles, plosives, and proximity are some of the common issues that you can easily solve with Mouth De-Clicker, Plosive Remover, and Voice Leveler. Similarly, the De-Breath plugin is handy for editing singing performances or audio recordings done outdoors, where the speaker is walking/hiking. Likewise, give your recordings a professional touch with VoiceEQ, which improves the characters of your voice. A little bit of Voice Deepener adds the missing oomph from voice recordings.
  • Simple
    The ERA Bundle provides you with the simplest parameters that even a beginner could learn instantly. And since most people working on films or podcasts have pressing deadlines, this suite of plugins can be life-saving. Furthermore, since the plugins work in real-time, you can change the settings and listen to the changes live.
  • Helpful
    While most have only one knob for you to adjust, a few of the plugins include some extra features that can help improve your workflow. For example, the Audio Clean-Up Assistant can “listen” to your audio and suggest a starting point to improve the audio. This feature is excellent for people who aren’t yet experienced. Similarly, De-Breath allows you to temporarily listen to the breath sound only, which is awesome to ensure you aren’t accidentally removing the voice itself.

Compatibility:

The ERA Bundle is available for Windows 10 or higher and macOS 10.14.6 or higher, both 64-bit only. It comes in VST 2/3, AU, and AAX formats.

Summary:

The ERA Bundle provides a lightning-quick and painless solution to any audio problem, making it ideal for film mixing engineers, video editors, and podcasters, not to mention singers and music producers.

Plugins like Vocal AutoEQ and Deepener produce professional-sounding audio out of uninspiring recordings with merely a twist of a knob. Similarly, the Clean-Up Assistant provides ideas to get started rapidly. Overall, if you work with audio recording often, I highly recommend demoing this bundle.

4. Acon Digital Restoration Suite 2 (Plugin Bundle)

More Info & Price (Trial Available)

Acon Digital’s products provide the perfect combination of flexibility and affordability, and this bundle is no different.

The Restoration Suite 2 offers four excellent audio restoration plugins providing much more control than many others available on the market.

Still, the plugins are straightforward, and you should be able to learn them even without reading the user guides.

Furthermore, most of these plugins allow you to listen to the noise soloed. So, targeting only the problematic part of your recording becomes easy and fast.

The slightly higher number of parameters in these plugins is due to two reasons. First, some plugins offer manual control alongside an intelligent automatic mode (like many other plugins we’ve discussed).

Similarly, others provide more than one feature in a single plugin, which makes it more like multiple plugins in one.

Acon Digital Restoration Suite 2 - Top 6 Audio Restoration Software & Plugin Suites | integraudio.com

Key Features:

  • DeNoise 2
    The DeNoise 2 plugin can reduce a variety of noises, including mic hiss, wind noise, buzz, and camera mechanics. It provides two types of noise reduction modes: adaptive and noise profile. Here, the adaptive mode automatically identifies the noise and removes it effectively. Conversely, the noise profile mode allows you to sample the noise and reduce similar sounding noise throughout the audio clip. Activating the Dynamic Profile switch in this mode makes the plugin perform better with rapidly-changing noises like the wind.
    DeNoise 2 provides a frequency emphasis section, where you’ll find a spectrum analyzer. And you can add the following filters: high/low shelving filters with variable slopes from 3 to 96 dB/octave and peak filters. This feature is awesome for targeting a specific part of the frequency spectrum, leaving the rest alone.
  • DeHum 2
    Electronic equipment with poor grounding causes annoying hums and buzzes. You can remove these using DeHum 2, which specializes in tonal noises, which also include motor sounds, horns, squeaks, etc. And since such noises can have more than one harmonic, DeHum 2 can remove up to ninety-six harmonics of noise!
    You can click on the Scan button to let the plugin automatically find the humming sound. And if it isn’t accurate enough for you, you can dial in the required frequency manually. Moreover, the task is straightforward, thanks to the built-in spectrum analyzer. Similarly, the Adaptive mode actively updates its algorithm to address fluctuating pitch of the noise (like the humming of a moving car).
  • DeClick 2
    Remove clicks, pops, and thumps with DeClick 2. These noises include various types like vinyl crackles, microphone movements, lip-smacking, plosives (“p” and “b”), hand movements, etc. You can adjust the following parameters manually: sensitivity of the noise, crackle length, click length, and plosive’s cut-off frequency. The latter allows you to reduce high-frequency attenuation when addressing plosives and thumps, keeping the audio from sounding thin.
  • DeClip 2
    As the name suggests, DeClip 2 repairs audio clips with distorted recordings by reconstructing peaks with an advanced algorithm. It shows the process using a histogram, where you can see the audio’s positive and negative signal levels. Think of the positive and negative signals as the peaks and troughs of a waveform.
    Next, you can adjust the threshold of the plugin, which determines where the distortion begins. This feature is handy when dealing with analog recordings, where saturation may start well before the signal level reaches a 0 dB peak. Once the threshold is set, the plugin substitutes the signals above the threshold with an estimated regeneration. Furthermore, if your audio happens to have DC offset, you can adjust the positive and negative signal threshold individually.
Acon Digital Restoration Suite 2 Review

Compatibility:

Acon Digital Restoration Suite 2 is available for Windows 7 or higher 32-bit and 64-bit and macOS 10.9 or higher 64-bit only. It comes in VST 2/3, AU, and AAX formats.

Summary:

The Restoration Suite 2 is a comprehensive set of tools that effectively solve many types of audio issues. Furthermore, compared to other similar products, these plugins offer much more control, which should delight seasoned editors. I also like how the plugins provide multiple types of functions.

For example, the DeNoise plugin can remove just about any type of atonal noise, whereas the DeClick can reduce thumps, clicks, crackles, etc. It helps keep the effect chain minimal. Likewise, if you need a reverb/echo remover, which isn’t a part of this suite, you can purchase DeVerberate here.

5. Sonnox Restore Bundle (Plugin Bundle)

More Info & Price or (Get Trial Here)

Discover three plugins dedicated to repairing and improving problematic audio recordings by Sonnox.

You’ll find DeNoiser, DeBuzzer, and DeClicker in the Sonnox Restore Bundle. Each is specialized for various common issues encountered with audio. Furthermore, you will probably find them familiar if you’ve used Acon Digital’s products, thanks to the similar design.

Each of the three plugins offers a “Listen – Difference” switch allowing you to listen to the noise/issue detected. Similarly, you can change the amount of gain reduction it does when any noise/issue is detected. Lastly, since the plugins work in real-time, you can make changes to your settings on the fly.

Sonnox Restore Bundle - Top 6 Audio Restoration Software & Plugin Suites | integraudio.com

Key Features:

  • DeNoiser
    This plugin eliminates hissing noise from microphones and other electronics involved in the recording. It has three noise detection modes: auto, manual, and freeze. First, the auto mode enables automatic updating of the noise profile and its level based on the input. Conversely, the manual mode forces the noise profile to become flat. Then, you can customize the profile using various controls like Color (low-frequency), Air (high-frequency), and frequency bias. And finally, the freeze mode lets you sample noise from your recording and remove it from the entire clip.
    DeNoiser also features a graph area that shows a frequency spectrum analyzer. You can adjust the frequency bias using a node-based EQ in this section. Furthermore, a high-pass filter helps keep the plugin from producing artifacts in your voice.
  • DeBuzzer
    The name makes this plugin’s purpose apparent—to remove buzz. However, it can also remove hums, whistles, whining, squeaks, etc. The plugin features two sections: detection and removal. The detection section covers how the plugin identifies the humming noise, allowing you to take over and identify the noise manually or let the plugin handle it. Furthermore, when working manually, you can use the plugin’s frequency spectrum graph to find consistent peaks, a tell-tale sign of hums.
    Next, you can select either comb filtration or parametric equalizing in the removal section. I suggest using comb filtration for complex sounds, whereas simple sine waves or noises with merely two or three harmonics may benefit from parametric EQing. Similarly, if the noise fluctuates in pitch, comb filtering is the only way.
  • DeClicker
    DeClicker is a straightforward plugin for removing various types of short noises. These include plosives, lips smacking, thumps, vinyl crackles, electric sparks, hand movements, etc. Hence, you’ll find three main sections handling different lengths of noise: DePop (10ms), DeClick (3ms), and DeCrackle (0.4ms). Each section provides a threshold and sensitivity control. Furthermore, a graph above each section displays the noise floor and the “excitation profile” of the detected noise. The peaks in this graph show the noises identified by the plugin. If you notice unwanted detection, try lowering the sensitivity.

Compatibility:

Sonnox Restore Bundle is available for Windows 7 or higher and macOS 10.8 or higher, both 64-bit only. It comes in VST 2/3, AU, and AAX formats.

Summary:

The best thing about this bundle is the flexibility. Every plugin provides some level of control instead of claiming to be fully automatic, which doesn’t always deliver desired results.

Furthermore, the DeClicker lets you intuitively exclude certain detected issues if you are sure they are “wanted” audio. To do so, create a box over the unwanted detection in the plugin’s graph view.

Similarly, other features in each plugin help you get excellent results without tweaking or automating the parameters tediously. Overall, it’s an excellent suite of tools, and despite its expensive pricing, you might find it’s the ideal choice for you.

6. Waves Restoration Bundle (Plugin Bundle)

More Info & Price (Trial Available)

This bundle of plugins is Waves Audio’s offering for bringing damaged or badly recorded audio back to life.

The Restoration Bundle by Waves provides five audio repairing plugins, two of which are dedicated to removing noise. And like most Waves plugins, these are highly intuitive and deliver excellent results at a surprisingly low price. Most of them provide merely two or three parameters for you to control, ensuring ease and quick rewards.

Let’s take a look at the various plugins available in a little more detail:

Waves Restoration Bundle - Top 6 Audio Restoration Software & Plugin Suites | integraudio.com

Key Features:

  • Noise Removal
    The bundle provides two plugins for removing noise: Z-Noise and X-Noise. Of these two, Z-Noise is a little more advanced. So, you’ll probably only prefer X-Noise if you need something simple and quick. Either way, they provide a Learn mode that “listens” or samples the noise in your audio to build a noise profile, which is then used for noise reduction. Furthermore, Z-Noise offers an Extract mode that lets you create a noise profile from an audio clip that doesn’t have isolated noise. This feature is handy when you don’t have a noise sample ready.
    Similarly, Z-Noise’s Adaptive mode helps you eliminate noises with fluctuating volume. And you can. Overall, Z-Noise is excellent for all types of noise like hisses, grounding hum, computer noise, etc., whereas X-Noise is minimal and great for general hissing or air conditioner noises.
  • Hum Removal
    Waves Audio provides the X-Hum plugin for removing any type of electrical humming noises. Furthermore, this plugin reduces rumbles, DC offset, and other tonal noises. It uses a high-pass filter with a 12 or 24 dB/octave slope to remove rumbles and DC offset. And the filter frequency cut-off ranges from 4 Hz to 100 Hz.
    Likewise, it uses a type of comb filter (a series of notch filters) that can address up to eight harmonics to remove hum. Additionally, you can link the volume of all the filters, only odd/even ones, and relative to each other. However, it doesn’t automatically detect fluctuating pitches, meaning you have to increase the resonance to reduce fluctuating hums.
  • Crackle Removal
    You can find crackles more often in old vinyl audio than modern recordings. So, the Waves X-Crackle plugin will probably come into use more if you work with old audio recordings. It uses an advanced algorithm to ensure your audio sustains the least amount of damage while processing it. And it provides a threshold and reduction amount fader to customize the effect.
  • Clicks Removal
    As with the previous plugin, the X-Click plugin is also dedicated to removing clicks and pops from old vinyl recordings. However, you can use this plugin to remove lip-smacking and similar sounds. It offers two controls, including threshold and shape. And the shape parameter controls the time window of the plugin—a lower value removes shorter clicks and vice versa. Note that a higher value in either of these controls could result in unwanted artifacts.

Compatibility:

Waves Restoration Bundle is available for Windows 10 or higher and macOS 10.14.6 or higher, both 64-bit only. It comes in VST 2/3, AU, and AAX formats.

Summary:

The Waves Restoration Bundle is a fairly comprehensive collection of plugins suited for repairing damaged audio. However, it’s apparent that the bundle is a better fit for salvaging damaged vinyl records and tapes.

Furthermore, it doesn’t provide many automatic features that you find on other similar products. So, I wouldn’t recommend it if you are a video editor, podcaster, or film/TV sound designer looking for something to aid with voice editing. Still, you can try out each plugin individually if you want to see if any of them could be a fit for you.

Bonus: Single Plugins

1. Zynaptiq UNFILTER (Plugin)

More Info & Price (Trial Available)

Zynaptic Unfilter is the ultimate solution to remove any filtering or equalization effect from audio.

On the surface, this plugin may not seem as big a deal as reviews might make it sound. However, Unfilter is truly a marvelous piece of technology once you consider its uses. A simple example is removing comb filtering effects from multiple mics blending.

Similarly, you can use it to emulate the environment of one audio over another audio, perhaps recorded in an ADR studio. Or increase the filtering effect and make an audio source sound farther than it was while recording.

Unfilter is also indispensable in music production. You can use it to remove annoying resonances from an acoustic space or instrument’s body. Likewise, you can use it to accentuate the spectral character of an instrument or voice to make it pop out of a busy mix.

Furthermore, other use cases include improving dialog intelligibility, reducing coloration from guitar amps, telephones, megaphones, etc., and separating speech from background noises

Zynaptiq UNFILTER - Top 6 Audio Restoration Software & Plugin Suites | integraudio.com

Key Features:

  • Convenient
    Zynaptic describes the underlying technology as “rocket science,” and I can’t help but agree. This simple-looking plugin analyzes your audio, estimates what filtering must have happened to it, and somehow undoes it! Essentially, it creates an estimated impulse response of the filtering and applies a de-convolution effect to remove it. All of that happens under the hood, leaving you with a straightforward user interface.
  • Graphic Editor
    The top of the user interface features a graphic display and editor that displays a frequency spectrum analyzer. It shows the input, output, and the filter curve. Furthermore, you can use this section as a free-form, node-based EQ to either add bias to the plugin’s un-filtering effect or as a general EQ. And the node editor lets you create straight lines, steps, curves, or peaks based on the curve type you’ve selected.
  • Dynamic
    The plugin intelligently recognizes filter changes. And you can adjust how fast the plugin detects changes using the AVG fader. It determines the time constant or time window of Unfilter’s detection system. Furthermore, the DCY fader changes the rate at which the filter “forgets” the filter changes. Essentially, AVG is the attack, and DCY is the release if you equate the plugin to a compressor.
  • Intensity & More
    The Intensity parameter controls the amount of un-filtering or filters emphasis. Turn it up to remove the filter effect, and turn it down to emphasize the filter effect. Similarly, the Resolution parameter changes the plugin’s behavior, where lower values affect only resonances/EQ, and higher values affect harmonics or roll-offs.
    The Smoothing parameter smoothens the un-filtering process, resulting in fewer artifacts. And Weighting applies the Fletcher-Munson curve to the processing. As you know, the Fletcher-Munson curve depicts human hearing. So, using it helps make the un-filtering effect sound more natural and retain low frequencies.
    Finally, the plugin also features a seven-band graphic EQ for general equalization after processing your audio.

Compatibility:

Zynaptiq Unfilter is available for Windows 7 or higher and macOS 10.12 or higher, both 32-bit and 64-bit. It comes in VST 2/3, AU, AAX, and RTAS formats.

Summary:

Unfilter is a real-time audio processor that removes previously-applied filters or resonances from acoustic spaces/resonators. Once you toggle its Learn function, it can detect and address complex filtrations like comb filters or equalizers.

Of course, if you want to avoid any changes to the detection, turn the Learn button off. Furthermore, other features in this plugin include saving the detection as an impulse file and loading it in another instance of Unfilter. It lets you apply the sound of one audio file to another.

2. accentize DeRoom Pro (Plugin)

More Info & Price (Trial Available)

DeRoom Pro is a minimal but highly effective reverb-removing plugin.

The plugin uses machine learning to intelligently detect and remove echoes or reverb from your audio recordings. It’s the perfect choice when you need to remove unwanted room resonance from poorly recorded audio clips or location recordings.

Furthermore, all the parameters are estimated automatically under the hood, saving you time and effort. Let’s have a look at what makes DeRoom Pro special:

accentize DeRoom Pro - Top 6 Audio Restoration Software & Plugin Suites | integraudio.com

Key Features:

  • Speech Restoration
    Thanks to its intricate algorithms, DeRoom Pro actively preserves the quality of speeches while processing the audio. This feature makes it stand out among other de-reverb effects that merely reduce the tails of any sound. Furthermore, DeRoom Pro can improve the intelligibility of a near-dry audio recording as well as almost washed-out audio.
  • Convenient
    The plugin automatically identifies the room size and length of the reverb. So, the result is almost always on point. Of course, if you’d rather select a room model manually, you can deactivate the automatic feature. Furthermore, its low latency mode allows you to use the plugin for live applications.
  • Spectral Focus
    You’ll find this feature at the top of the user interface. It changes the plugin into a three-band mode, where you can adjust the parameters for each band individually. Furthermore, you can customize the cross-over of the bands giving you full control over how the effect behaves over the frequency spectrum.
DeRoom Pro - Intelligent Reverb Removal for Post Production

Compatibility:

DeRoom Pro is available for Windows 7 or higher and macOS 10.12 or higher, both 64-bit only. It comes in VST 3, AU, and AAX formats.

Summary:

DeRoom Pro is an excellent de-reverbing plugin with a minimalistic set of controls. Although, it features a slightly more advanced three-band mode, which might be useful for more experienced users.

Furthermore, its speech restoration feature makes it ideal for film editors, podcasters, and sound designers. It can make location recordings useful, saving you from dubbing everything despite a high-quality recording on set.

What Is The Purpose Of Audio Restoration?

Audio restoration provides you with a way to salvage damaged or badly-recorded audio. It helps save time, effort, and, often, money. So, such tools are essential in location recording, sound designing for films, and interviewing, where recording would be laborious or impossible.

How Does Audio Restoration Work?

Audio restoration involves specific processes for different issues. Spectral filtering is the most common technique many audio restoration programs use to remove noise, pops, sibilance, reverb, etc. Similarly, other methods include modifying harmonics, formant-shifting, duplicating adjacent waveforms, etc.

Can Distorted Audio Be Fixed?

Some programs help you repair distorted or clipped audio by regenerating the lost data using an intricate algorithm. Two of these programs include Izotope RX and Acon Digital DeClip. However, these usually perform well with mild clipping only. So, you cannot repair heavily distorted audio using any method.

Note that it’s always a good idea to prevent audio distortion and clipping, no matter how mild, while recording. Hence, avoid using too much input gain, outboard dynamics plugins in the input signal, warming preamps, etc. Similarly, learn about your mic’s optimal distances for recording different input levels and maintain them while recording.

Related Readings:

Noise gate vs. Noise reduction: Difference & When To Use Each?

4 Ways To Remove Noise From Your Recordings (+ How To Prevent It)

Conclusion

As you can see, there are many types of audio restoration plugins available nowadays. Some are suited for a specific purpose, whereas others are suited for another. So, the best way to select one is to recognize what you need first.

For example, if you are looking for plugins to repair your old tape collection, Waves Restoration Bundle may be the ideal choice that comes at a reasonable budget.

Conversely, if you are a filmmaker/sound designer and need something that provides results fast, I recommend the accusonus ERA Bundle. Similarly, if you want something that offers more control over the process, the Acon Digital Restoration Suite 2 is excellent.

And if you want a full-featured, comprehensive collection that can handle anything you throw at it, nothing beats iZotope RX 9 Advanced. However, it is overkill for the average podcaster, without a doubt. Furthermore, restoration plugins don’t always have the same level of success.

For example, let’s say you had a comparatively great result with Acon Digital Restoration Suite 2. That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s better or worse than the others because it may not work as well as, say, Sonnox Restore Bundle. So, depending on the type of use, you may get different results.

That said, the differences are often negligible. So, I suggest demoing the ones you find promising over a few of your recordings. And if you like the results of one over the rest, you couldn’t possibly go wrong. With that, we reach the end of this article. I hope I could share some useful information, and I’ll see you with another piece very soon!

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