Before I went to lawschool, I used to to pay the bills playing my saxophone. At the time, I was pretty knowledgeable about recording technology. Now if you fast forward 20 years, I’ve been reduced to a complete novice. An eager learner perhaps, but still a novice. Up until very recently I did all of my audio recording on my mac using Soundtrack. Don’t get me wrong. Soundtrack is a brilliant bit of code. But it is also very expensive and for most applications, extraordinary overkill on the level of smashing a walnut with a pile driver.
With this in mind, I’ve been playing with Amadeus Pro. This program really is a breath of fresh air for someone like me who generally only needs a simple audio recording and editing program. Behind the simple interface, however, Amadeus has some powerful editing tools, but I’m getting ahead of myself.
The interface in Amadeus Pro is simple. You’ve got a waveform and a timeline with a few self explanatory buttons like “Record” and “Stop”. It also has buttons to add, remove, or split tracks. It took me longer to plug my microphone in than it did to figure out how to start recording in Amadeus Pro.
Once you’ve made your recording, Amadeus provides a waveform that you can select and manipulate. This is the part where the simple interface conceals quite a bit of power. Selecting a portion of the recording I can apply several different filters that let me do things like removing pops and hisses. I can also normalize, change pitch, apply stereo effects, fade, and several other helpful filters.
You can also insert markers to your recordering either manually or automatically. The markers can then be used to split the recording into separate audio files. I can envision a really nice workflow where you would record your vinyl into Amadeus Pro and then have Amadeus remove those pops and hisses and then split the album into separate tracks before export. I, unfortunately, got rid of my vinyl records long before these new fangled toys came about so I wasn’t able to put it in practice.
Amadeus Pro reads and writes AAC, AIFF, Apple Lossless, MP3, MPEG 4, WAV and just about every audio file type I could ever imagine plus a few I’ve never heard of. Does anyone use the Ogg Vorbis file format? It sounds to me like something you might feed a hobbit but it is actually an open source replacement for MP3. Regardless, Amadeus can read and write it.
Amadeus Pro also does batch processing. One of my music recordings bounced a series of AIF files out of logic onto my desktop. I wanted to quickly get them into a smaller size format and I simply dropped the lot of them in Amadeus’ batch processor. You can do a lot more than just change formatting in it too. You can also apply some filters and tag the files.
There is also a tab called “Analyze” that gives a variety of audio spectrum tools. Essentially, these tools give you a visual representation of the sound. If you are skilled at using them, they can be really helpful.
Amadeus Pro is a powerful yet simple recording application with enough muscle under the hood to take care of most recording needs. It seems that the usual price for admission for recording applications is about $100. Amadeus Pro only costs $40. I was unable to find anything else with this rich of a feature set at the same price point. You can download it from the developer at Hairersoft.com.