Waves Clarity VX* promises to save vocals and voice recordings from ambience & noise in real-time
We know AI is all the rage. Only a few weeks after Waves launched the AI driven Waves COSMOS sample manager, the company launches two new sibling plugins promising to make good use of AI. Both plugins provide real-time noise reduction for vocals & voice recordings. Clarity VX* is geared at musicians, producers and pod casters, with Clarity VX Pro* designed for professional media composers and post production specialists who need more tailored settings.
The controls are widely extended, from spectrum analysis to frequency banding:
Neural Networks: Third Neural Network option
Frequency Bands: Four bands
Advanced controls: either reduce vocals, or ambience
Process amount: change processing independent of noise reduction amount
Ambience gateL to control noise reduction when no vocals are present
Restore reflections: restores natural reverberation after noise supression
The technology sounds promising, and the demos look and sound impressive. Not only that. Compared to iZotope RX 9 with its Dialogue Isolate noise reduction, either plug in looks very good value. You will have to spend $1,199 on the full RX9 Advanced to access the Dialogue Isolate feature. Waves Clarity starts at $29.99 !
I was eager to test the plugins myself. Unfortunately I could not get the Waves Clarity plugins to work on my MacBook Pro M1. I tried Logic Pro and there was no sound or just noisy feedback. And in Ableton Live there was no signal and no effect on any audio. I suspected that the plugins are not Apple Silicon M1 compatible, and that turned out to be the case. Once I launched Logic Pro in Rosetta mode, the plugins worked fine.
The quick test I conducted confirmed impressive results. I recorded my voice outside, next to moving traffic. At 50% noise reduction, the traffic noise was much reduced. At 100% it virtually disappeared. The wave forms clearly show how the size was reduced before the voice kicks in, but also in between words.
Waves confirmed to me that it plans to release more plugins using the same noise reduction AI technology, with algorithms tuned to other sources. So I expect other specialist VX plugins to appear later this year, focusing on sources like guitar noise.
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