"IF THE RECORD WILL TRACK YOU CAN FIX IT. Virtually unplayable records with more noise than music will clean up without artifacts. You're in control with user adjustable filters, etc. Great Program."
Five Star User Rating
Pros: If you can get your record to your harddrive this program will fix just about any problem. Virtually unplayable records with more noise than music will clean up without artifacts. You're in control with user adjustable filters, etc. Great Program.
Cons: Nothing. I have 7000 LPs, some beat up thrift store purchases, and everything I've thrown at this program has been stunningly transformed into usable, great sounding CDs. Don't expect to not have to think, though. Think, listen: you'll get it right.
Summary: I have owned a number of Dart products. The first one, with customizable filters was great. DartXP was useful, but disappointing, as I cheaped out and bought the low price version with no customizable complex filter builders. I had a hard time getting files without annoying artifacts. DARTPRO 24, though, has been an absolute joy to work with. An old Remington record, crappy to begin with, that had become virtually unlistenable turned into a bright, clean online post of a historically important recording. You can find it at Vinyl Fatigue Blog to see if you like it. Remember, in the first movement there was more noise than music on the record; I seriously doubted I would be able to get it right. But I did and became a Dartpro 24 convert in the process. A bit of noise is left behind, but virtually nothing. The decrackle function is the most efficient tool I have come across, removing most of the noise you will need taken out at its default setting. Add a slight (very small is usually my gain setting) dehiss, and a high pass with a floor of 60 if you experience rumble, and most files are done. Severely damaged records, like the one mentioned above, take more work. If one is wiling to explore what the program will do and to test different settings on different filters there is virtually nothing that cannot be fixed. As with anything worthwhile, the program rewards careful work: there is no substitute to testing portions of the file to evaluate the effectiveness of the filters you intend to use. And on a very difficult file, several steps, all carefully tested, may be necessary. The reward is that a record you thought was good only for destroying styluses or occupying a trash can, will yield not just an acceptable, but a truly good sound file that is a joy to listen to.
I have not come close to using everything available in this program, but here are some of the functions worth considering. The Decrackle filter, as I mentioned above, is remarkably efficient. I use dehiss judiciously as it can begin to dull the upper registers if applied too aggressively. But on difficult files, with lots of hiss, I have upped the settings to no terrible effect. If the sound becomes too dull it is sometimes possible to recapture its brightness with careful re-equalization. The High Pass filter, used with very low cutoff of 60 or 80 hz can effectively minimize annoying rumble. The Denoise function can be a godsend in difficult files where very evident and bothersome residual noise is left after using the filters above. One takes a noiseprint of the offending passage (or uses a previous noiseprint that is similar) so you can match the targeted sound to be removed to the specific file. The noiseprint in this edition of Dartpro is much improved over previous versions I have used, and the user-defined precision with which it can be applied can produce amazing results that do not compromise the musical integrity of the recording.
In very badly damaged records, one must sometimes choose between over processing, which will deaden the sound, and leaving a bit of residual noise behind. With Dartpro 24 the necessity for that kind decision is less common than in DartXP, but it does occur now and again. I grew up listening to LP records, so if I have to leave a bit of the original playback noise in to preserve the music, I will do it. Usually it is hardly noticeable.
One can make a mono file stereo, but unless stereo affects, like the available phase inversion, are going to be applied, it just duplicates the same information into two channels, increasing file size for no reason, since mono is just that: feeding the same information into all channels.
One can arrange and combine several files into one large file, which can be useful in applying the same filters to several discrete tracks. Then the program can be made to divide it automatically again.
To anyone owning a previous Dartpro product, getting Dartpro 24 at the discounted price is a no-brainer. There is not much it will not handle. To those considering purchasing the program at full price, and joining Dart for the first time, consider this: Upgrades to new versions are always offered at generous discounts to owners of previous Dart versions, and for the money, you will not find very much out there that will do what this program can.
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