Cedar ReTouch has been mentioned several times in these web pages, with good reason. This powerful program consistently amazes operators and clients alike.
It is revolutionary in the way that it presents information about the audio, and in the manipulations it allows. We knew within hours of trying an evaluation copy of this software that we simply had to have it, and we still keep finding new uses for this remarkable tool.
Here’s what the creators Cedar say:
“CEDAR ReTouch is a huge leap forward in sound processing technology. Unlike conventional restoration tools, Retouch allows you to define the temporal and spectral content of the sound you want to remove. This makes it possible to identify noises as varied as coughs, squeaky chairs, page turns, the creak of a piano pedal and even car horns.
Once identified, unwanted sounds are replaced seamlessly with audio that matches the surrounding signal. All other audio remains untouched.”
Cedar ReTouch takes audio restoration to a new level because it can be used to identify and remedy problems which are difficult or impossible to deal with in any other way. Clicks, pops, swish and dropouts can be corrected, and the software is surprisingly good at removing clipping-type distortion.
It is extremely good at eliminating or suppressing a whole host of other distracting noises, such as clicks, creaks, thumps, coughs, page turns. This can be very useful for live recordings, especially if the recording is to be released on CD but it also means that session takes that would have otherwise been rejected for “noises off” can be ReTouched and used in the edit.
In addition, ReTouch can be used in a more creative way, to make spot improvements of ensemble or chord tuning. Whilst we wouldn’t do this routinely, it can help to save an otherwise good take, which in the past might instead have been exchanged for a less interesting but more ‘correct’ take.
In the knowledge of what Cedar ReTouch makes possible in post-production, it is often no longer necessary to have so many re-takes for noises off during a session. That annoying piano stool creak during the final chord (we’ve yet to discover the truly silent piano stool!) need no longer spoil an otherwise excellent take. This in turn means more session time concentrating on music-making.
Again the success or otherwise of these processes is partly down to the operator. ReTouch is not automated at all, and will simply do what it’s told to, good or bad. Like all ‘restoration’ tools, it is imperative to understand and hear the trade-offs involved, in order to achieve the best sounding result. Here at The Classical Recording Company, we have several years of experience using ReTouch in a wide variety of applications, some of which may be unique to us.