Audio Cleaning Lab MX - makes some sounds sound better

5/9/2012 5:19:48 PM

Michael Fereday makes some sounds sound better.

Audio Cleaning Lab from Magix is a product that has been designed to provide an all-in-one solution for digitising and restoring the user’s music collection whether it is stored on vinyl or tape. Although now up to version 18, Magix seems more interested in identifying this product by its MX reference rather than its version number. MX, incidentally, stands for Media X-change.

Description: The opening menu

The opening menu

If you stick to the default settings or standard Windows conventions with the installation routine, then you should have no problems. However, when I attempted to change the destination drive from the default C: to my preferred option of D: by manually changing the drive letter in the path box rather than use the Browse feature, it caused the installation to shut down. While hardly a fatal fault, it was rather annoying.

As part of the first-time run, you will need to enter the product’s 30-character serial number and will have the opportunity to register your copy online. Options, from an opening menu, will be available to carry out tasks such as restore vinyl sound, clean tape sound, optimise voice and ebook recordings plus edit an already existing digital audio file by adding some special effects. There’s also an option to view a tutorial video, which is well worth the effort.

One point to be aware of with this product is that some tasks will require you to supply leads to link your computer to whatever source is supplying the audio (record deck or tape unit). This approach is at odds with Magix’s usual policy of supplying leads with other products designed to transfer audio from vinyl and/or tape.

The lack of leads apart, Audio Cleaning Lab is well capable of handling the import of content. Once loaded, the audio content will be displayed as a Waveform. Buttons are available to carry out cleaning. mastering and export tasks. You can use VCR-type controls to play, record and move in either direction through a track. An analyser feature provides visual assistance by displaying useful implements such as a peek meter, oscilloscope, phase correlator or spectroscope.

While you can opt to get your hands dirty with your adjustments, the Audio Cleaning Lab’s preferred method of working is through the use of wizards and presets. This latest version of the software features more than 60 new presets, which brings the overall total to more then 300 offerings. You also have access to wizard-led tools that are known by names such as DeClicker, DeCrackler, DeClipper, DeNoiser and DeHisser – sounds a bit like a pop group of many years ago.

For those, such as myself, who have built up a large collection of audio cassettes packed with their favourite music, one new feature is almost worth the cost on its own. This feature is entitled Turbo Tape and it allows you to record tape cassettes at double speed. Another new feature that might appeal is the ability to apply reverb or echo to a whole track in a quick and easy manner. One slight drawback to the product is that certain audio formats will require activating and, in a few cases, (MPEG-2, MP3 surround and AAC export), a fee will be required.

Description: De whatever

De whatever


Price: $60

Manufacturer: Magix


Required spec: 1GHz processor, 512MB RAM, 500MB HD, 16-bit sound card, graphics card resolution 1024 x 768, Windows XP or later

Micro mart

Quality: 9

Cost: 8

Overall: 9


An excellent product, leads and codec fees apart, which does what it promises

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