A year or so ago I reviewed Audirvana Plus. I found it one of the best music players around. Amarra was just a tiny little bit better, in my opinion. Then came Amarra 3.0, which sounded the same as the previous version, but had more capabilities. Now, Audirvana Plus 2.0.1 has been released, and I am starting to see the light. Audirvana Plus 2 outperforms evrything else and if you’ll give me a couple of minutes, I’ll explain why.
You can create a chroma key in Final Cut Pro X, but the options to make it a perfect key are limited. That’s not the case with Red Giant Software’s Primatte Keyer, the chroma key technology used in major films like Lord of the Rings, The Matrix, Harry Potter, King Kong and Spider-Man, which finally became available for Final Cut Pro X. I took Primatte Keyer 5.1 for a test drive.
Film Grain in Capture One 8 is a simple affair. It’s not comparable to the film grain you can have with DxO FilmPack or Alien Skin Exposure. Far from it. But Phase One has an elaborate explanation on this issue. I asked other film grain developers about their practices and the results you can get and this is what they have to say.
BIAS Desktop Amp Designer is a plug-in for Mac OS X and Windows which allows you to create amp models in a new way. I tried it out with Logic Pro X and multiple track types, including an audio (voice-over) and a software instrument track. What I found was that the plug-in could actually change the sound completely. In other words, you can use it to design the recorded sound to make it a better fit for a movie, besides the obvious use of the plug-in as a regular amp designer.
Its previous version was by no means a slow application, but version 8 of Capture One has been updated with a new processing engine. I got my hands on a fresh copy of Capture One Pro 8 and found several improvements that make it difficult to choose between the latest versions of Capture One Pro and DxO Optics Pro, especially when it comes to noise reduction. I’m still undecided, with a slight preference given to Capture One because of its more neutral demosaicing.
Image noise is detrimental to photographs, but it’s even worse when it occurs in video. Even a bit of noise can ruin your footage. I received Photon Pro, a very inexpensive and simple to use Final Cut Pro X plug-in that claims it removes noise from your footage achieving the same quality as much more expensive “professional” denoising products. That’s a pretty hefty statement, so I decided to compare Photon Pro with the Red Giant Software Denoiser II plug-in in After Effects.
iZotope’s RX 4 Advanced sound repair kit is the most advanced audio repair software available. The new version contains several new modules, among which Clip Gain, Leveler, EQ Match / Ambient Match, Dialogue Denoiser (RX 4) and RX Connect. The RX Connect plug-in that comes with both RX 4 and RX 4 Advanced is a DAW plug-in to either analyse an audio clip or repair it. There’s one plug-in, but two different ways of working. With ProTools, you can select multiple clips and the plug-in itself is selected from the Noise Reduction category in the AudioSuite menu. In other DAWs on the Mac, the plug-in must be loaded as an AU or VST effect. I tested the plug-in with Logic Pro X found out that RX Connect isn’t even needed with this DAW. The integration with Logic Pro goes a lot deeper, as Logic supports External Sample Editors. The Logic Pro Preferences > Audio > Audio File Editor option allows you to create a menu option that sends your clips to RX 4. All you now need to do is select the …
Minifying images for a website or compressing them for an email is a daily returning routine for most people who deal with illustrating any sort of textual content. You can always minify PNGs and JPEGs on the server. This works very well and if you’re managing a WordPress installation, there are a number of fine plug-ins that take the pain out of compressing images to their smallest possible size. But often compressing an image — and especially a JPEG — to its smallest possible size, introduces ugly artefacts. JPEGmini Pro seeks to avoid that.