11. SoundSoap Application

SoundSoap is also available as a standalone application, which makes it easy and quick to apply SoundSoap to media files without requiring a separate plug-in host application.  You will find the standalone application in your Applications folder on the Mac or Programs/Start Menu on Windows.  

Using the SoundSoap application is designed to be simple.  Open the video or audio files in SoundSoap, adjust the settings while playing back the media file, and then Save or Share once you are satisfied with the results.  You can also record audio files using the SoundSoap application, and then apply cleaning.

Below is a description of the windows, features, and menu commands available in the SoundSoap standalone application.

Menu Commands

File Menu

Open - Use this command to open a media file.  If the Analyze Media setting is turned on, SoundSoap analyzes the media file to find the best location to learn noise. SoundSoap then automatically learns noise at this location rather than using a default, flat noise profile.

Close - Use this command to close any currently open media file.

Save- Use this command to save the currently open media file with SoundSoap's settings.  SoundSoap will display progress indicators while it is working to apply your SoundSoap settings to the media file. Please be patient as media files are large and can take some time to process.  

If you are working with a video media file, it is important to note that SoundSoap does not re-encode the video when you save.  This preserves the video quality to be the same as the original source media file: only the audio is replaced in the media file.  Note some media file formats do not support all video codec formats, so be aware of what formats are supported when saving to a different type of media file.

On the Mac, you can select from several different output formats including QuickTime, MPEG-4, M4V, M4A, Core Audio, AIFF, MP3*, FLAC, and WAVE.  On Windows, you can select from several different output formats including FLV, AVI, M4V, OGG, MP3, FLAC, and WAVE.  These formats are described below:

QuickTime (.mov) - this format is Apple’s default format for high quality video files.

MPEG-4 (.mp4) - this is a high quality compressed video format.  MPEG-4 Part 14 or MP4 is a digital multimedia format most commonly used to store video and audio, but can also be used to store other data such as subtitles and still images. Like most modern container formats, it allows streaming over the Internet.

M4V (.m4v) - this is a high quality compressed video format equivalent to MPEG-4 commonly used for protected media content

M4A (.m4a) - this is an audio-only format using Apple’s Lossless compression, which provides CD-quality audio at reduced file sizes.

Core Audio (.caf) - this is an uncompressed audio-only format supported by many media applications on the Mac. The Core Audio Format is a container for storing audio, developed by Apple Inc..  It is compatible with Mac OS X 10.4 and higher; Mac OS X 10.3 needs QuickTime 7 to be installed.  Core Audio Format is designed to overcome limitations of older digital audio formats, including AIFF and WAV. Just like the QuickTime .mov container, a .caf container can contain many different audio formats, metadata tracks, and much more data. Not limited to a 4 GB file size like older digital audio formats, a single .caf file can theoretically save hundreds of years of recorded audio due to its use of 64-bit file offsets.

AIFF (.aif) - this is an uncompressed audio-only format commonly supported on Mac.  SoundSoap saves AIFF files in 24-bit resolution.

WAVE (.wav) - this is an uncompressed audio-only format commonly supported on both Mac and Windows.  On the Mac, WAVE files are saved in 24-bit resolution.

FLV (.f4v) - FLV is a file format used by Adobe Flash Player and Adobe AIR to store and deliver synchronized audio and video streams over the Internet. There are two different FLV formats, F4V for H.264-based content and open FLV for other supported codecs (see below).  Flash Video is commonly found on Mac and Windows and used for internet content.

FLV264 (.f4v) - same as above, but using the H.264 standard

AVI (.avi) - Audio Video Interleaved (also Audio Video Interleave), known by its initials AVI, is a multimedia container format introduced by Microsoft in November 1992 as part of its Video for Windows software.  AVI files can contain both audio and video data in a file container that allows synchronous audio-with-video playback.  Note AVI has many limitations, so be sure the video codec you are using is supported by AVI (for example, AVC does not work in AVI files).

OGG (.ogg) - A popular open media format found primarily on Windows.  Ogg is a free, open container format maintained by the Xiph.Org Foundation. The creators of the Ogg format state that it is unrestricted by software patents and is designed to provide for efficient streaming and manipulation of high quality digital multimedia.

MP3 (.mp3)* - MPEG-1 audio layer 3.  MP3 is the common audio format for consumer audio streaming and storage and the standard for the transfer and playback of music on most digital audio players.  Note in order to save MP3 files from SoundSoap, you will need to install the LAME MP3 encoder on your machine (download for Mac or Windows).

FLAC (.flac) - FLAC stands for Free Lossless Audio Codec, and it is an audio compression format like MP3, but while MP3 uses a "lossy" compression, which basically discard audio information that humans can't hear, FLAC uses a lossless compression, which will not change the quality of the compressed audio.

Save As - Use this command to save a copy of the currently open media file with SoundSoap’s settings.

Batch File Processor - Use this command to apply SoundSoap to more than one file automatically.  See description below.

Reset - Use this command to reset all SoundSoap controls and the noise profile to their default settings.

Load Preset - Use this command to load a preset of SoundSoap control settings.

Save Preset - Use this command to save a preset of SoundSoap control settings, separate from the media file

Buy - Use this command to purchase a SoundSoap license if your copy of SoundSoap is not activated.

Activate - Use this command to enter your activation code if you purchased SoundSoap and received an activation code from the store.

* = MP3 encoding not available in Mac App Store edition of SoundSoap.

Media Menu

Play/Pause - Use this command to start the media file playing, or to pause the media file if it is already playing.

Rewind To Start - This option rewinds the media file to the beginning.

Backward - Use this command to rewind the media playback position by 3 seconds

Forward - Use this command to advance the media playback position by 3 seconds.

Loop On/Off - Use this command to turn looping of the media file on or off. When looping is turned on, SoundSoap will continue playing the media file from the beginning each time playback reaches the end. When looping is turned off, SoundSoap will stop play the media from once it reaches the end.

Media Player - This option puts the Media Window into Player mode, where you can play and process media files.

Media Recorder - This option puts the Media Window into Record mode, where you can record audio files directly into SoundSoap.


Media Window


SoundSoap's Media Window allows you to control the playback or recording of media files, and navigate the media playback locator and adjust the noise profile location. Media files can be video or audio files. You can drag and drop a media file into the Media Window from the Explorer or Finder, or open an file using the Open… command in the File menu.


Audio Waveform Display



The media window displays a graphic waveform display of the audio signal and a green line indicating the play position, and an orange line indicating the noise profile location.  Press the Video button on the Player Controls to switch between the video and the audio waveform display.  You can click on the waveform display to change the play position.  

Click and drag the orange line to adjust the noise profile location.  When you adjust the noise profile location, SoundSoap will automatically learns noise for 1/4 second at the specified location.  If a noise profile has not been set for the media file, no orange line appears.  Press the "Learn" button on the SoundSoap window to create a noise profile.


Player Controls



The Media Player controls appear when you have selected the Media Player in SoundSoap's Media menu.

Power - when this button is turned off, all SoundSoap processing is bypassed, allowing easy A/B comparisons with your original media file.

Locator - use this slider to set the playback position of the media file

Movie - use this button to toggle between a display of the media file's video content and an audio waveform display.

Play/Pause - use this button to play the media or pause it

Rewind - use this button to move the media backwards by 3 seconds

Fast Forward - use this button to move the media forward 3 seconds

Share - (Mac Only) the Share button is used to render SoundSoap's audio settings onto a copy of the media file, or share it over popular services like Facebook.


Recorder



The Media Recorder controls appear when you have selected the Media Recorder in SoundSoap's Media menu.

SoundSoap offers built-in recording capabilities so you can quickly record audio files directly within the application. Recordings are saved to your computer’s hard drive and are limited in duration only by the available disk space.  On the Mac, recordings are stored in your Documents folder.

If you are using a third-party recording input device, make sure the device is turned on and connected to your computer and that you have installed the required drivers for the device. You may also need to configure your recording device in the Sound control panel or System Prefs for your computer before attempting to use it with SoundSoap.

Input Source - This menu displays a list of recording input sources available to record. Select the recording source you want to record from using this menu.

Channels - Use this menu to select between one channel (mono) and two channel (stereo) recording.

Sample Rate - Use this menu to select the audio sample rate you wish to record at. The sample rate represents how often the audio source is “sampled” per second. CD quality is 44.1kHz. Higher sample rate recordings use more disk space.

Bit Depth - Use this menu to select the bit-depth you wish to record at. The bit depth represents the level of precision used to record the audio source. Higher bit-depths have higher quality, and use more disk space. CD quality uses 16-bits.

Settings - Use this button to access more advanced recording settings.

Record - Press this button to start recording. The button will turn red and recording will start. Press the button again when you are done recording.


Batch File Processor

This feature is not available in SoundSoap Solo.

SoundSoap includes a Batch File Processor that will apply SoundSoap to multiple files at once, automating the process of applying SoundSoap to as many files as you need it to.

1. Before using the Batch File Processor, configure SoundSoap with the noise reduction/enhancement settings you wish to apply by opening a media file and adjusting the SoundSoap controls.  Alternatively you can load a preset with your settings.

2. Then, choose the Batch File Processor command from the File menu and select the folder/directory containing the files you wish to process.  

3. SoundSoap will then ask you for an output directory to save copies of the files/folders contained in the previous step (2) with SoundSoap applied.  

4. SoundSoap will then start processing the files contained in step 2.  After it has completed processing, SoundSoap will put up a message confirming that processing has completed.  To cancel processing, press and hold the Escape (ESC) key on your keyboard until SoundSoap alerts you that it has stopped the Batch File Processing.

The Batch File Processor will recreate the directory/folder structure of any files and directories/folders contained in the input directory in the output folder.  If SoundSoap encounters any unsupported file types during Batch File Processing, it will skip over these files.


It is also important to turn off the Analyze Media setting if you want SoundSoap to use the same noise profile for broadband noise reduction on each file processed by the Batch File Processor.  If you want SoundSoap to try to locate the noise in each file processed by the Batch File Processor, made sure Analyze Media is turned on.  To change the on/off setting for Analyze Media, click the SoundSoap logo in the SoundSoap window.


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