Acoustica Premium 7
• Easy to understand task wizards
• Simple built-in editing and restore features
• Ability to install third-party DirectX plug-ins
• Cluttered interface
• Less editing flexibility/functionality in the standard version when compared to similarly priced competitors
Despite the reduction in effects options and advanced editing features, Acoustica 7 is a simple to use, Windows compatible, audio editor. It's the perfect choice for the casual home user that simply wants to digitize their record collection without the steep learning curve often associated with audio editing software.
Before installing Acoustica, you will be asked to check your version of DirectX (9 or higher is required). Acon Media does include an update link directly on their download page. The set-up is quick and painless - within a few clicks, you will be up and running.
When compared to our gold winner, WavePad, there is a noticeable reduction in editing options. Having said that, the program does offer all the basic/intermediate functions that the average audiophile would require, such as equalizing, dynamic processing, reverb and flanger, as well as the ability to time stretch. The built-in audio correction features for distorted recordings also works a treat and is able to remove crackle, clicks, hissing, clipping and even restores missing high frequency sounds.
Acoustica supports both timer as well as input level triggered recording and the software is compatible with most Windows audio devices. Finished files can be saved as WAV, WMA, OGG, or MP3 format and are therefore compatible with most personal audio devices such as an iPod, MP3 player or PSP.
The software includes a dynamic processor with graphical input, pitch transpose and a harmonizer that supports up to four voices. Acoustica also supports unlimited undo and redo functions – very handy for the indecisive.
Ease of use
The software is simple and well thought out for the audiophile. Though Acoustica's interface might appear slightly more intimidating for a novice at first glance, once stuck in you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how easy most tasks are to execute.
The program launches with the option to either create a file from your sound card, work on an existing file or to use the cleaning wizard – a feature that anyone with an extensive vinyl collection will appreciate.
The one very small annoyance we found during testing occurred when you select ‘open file’. Rather than going to your default music folder (something both WavePad and Music Maker do), it opens your Windows System 32 folder. Perhaps Acon Media might consider changing this in future versions?
Help & support
Acon Digital Media provide two support options for Acoustica, a ‘user forum’ and free email technical support for registered users. The software also comes with an extensive built-in help file. However, they do not provide any telephone support.
On the whole, Acoustica 7 is a great choice for entry level digital music creators who want a simple to use solution for their editing needs. It offers some more robust features as well that will see you through to an intermediate level and the quick restore functions make digitizing music collections a breeze. However, more advanced users might find our gold award winner, WavePad, to be better value for money.
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