I’m in to audio on my Mac. Not just GarageBand audio. SoundTrack Pro audio. Logic Express audio. And, any kind of Mac utility that helps me improve audio quality.
The audio effects that come in Final Cut Studio and the various Logic flavors are great. So are some of the more elegant stand alone tools to process audio files. I’m old school. That means I’m into equalizers in a big way. And the Mac has plenty of tools.
Refurbishing Audio The Mac Way
Most speakers have an audio frequency range from around 20Hz to 20,000Hz, even though we usually can’t hear sounds at the lower and upper range.
Most voices fall into the 1kHz to 3kHz range.
On the other hand, musical instruments can cover the whole range, from one end to the other.
Good Mac audio tools allow audiophiles to alter those frequencies, thereby improving the sound. A graphic equalizer breaks down the 20Hz to 20,000Hz range and lets us shape the sound frequencies more easily, adding to or subtracting from different frequencies, all in an attempt to improve the original sound.
If you’re into equalization, you’ll like AudioRefurb (click the image for a larger, pop up view).
Not only do you get 31 bands of equalization in a wide spectrum, you also get a bunch of very easy to use audio effects and filters which can be applied to your original audio. Each audio filter has additional controls which go beyond the equalizer spectrum tools.
Add distortion, change audio delay, drop in reverb, or select from a variety of presets. All these options allow you to take a mediocre audio file, and enhance it by modifying various frequencies, or changing the dynamic range using various effects and filters.
AudioReburd displays the audio tracks in the top window, and the effects, filters, and equalizer with options, in the window below. The red button means Export, not record. Changes to the original file are non-destructive, and a reset button gets you back to the original.
AudioRefurb works on most popular audio files including MP3, AAC (think of it as MP4), AIFF, WAVE, even CAF files.
Audio files can be exported to a new file format, copied to iTunes or your iPod, or dropped into other Mac audio apps for even more processing. Logic Express comes with more tools but a $200 price tag.
At one tenth the price, AudioRefurb works well for audiophiles on a tight budget.