> I find it is possible (and there is a trend) to over-use the noise reduction, but, when applied
> well, it is excellent.
VERY true about over-use. To my own ears, tick/pop removal can be very effective to a certain
degree, especially with fidelity-challenged formats like 78's and transcription discs, but even then
must be used with care and careful listening to before and after sound quality. As for hiss/noise
reduction, this is the most over-used tool in the box. Use it more than a tiny bit with anything
approaching high fidelity material and it sucks and air and life out of the top end, first
noticeable as loss of space around treble-heavy instruments or loss of room tone/reverb. The next
degree of over-application is turning tape hiss into digi-swishies. You'd think this would never
occur but it happens all the time. All I can think is the mastering "engineers" in these cases don't
listen while they hit computer keys or are so hearing-damaged they can't hear digi-swishies (which
sound somewhat like FM inter-station interference but worse). Graham Newton has shared some old
radio transcription transfers he's cleaned up and they are free of artifacts. For something like old
radio or spoken-word recordings, especially if you apply treble attenuation before NR filtering, you
can take out a large amount of background noise and make it more audible without artifacts, but
there seems to be a line that all digi-filters can cross that makes it worse.
As with all good audio work, it's up to human ears and human judgement when applying technology. Yet
another argument against vast robotic processes.
-- Tom Fine