Relative to - - I know the Nero have some enhancement features but doesn’t know whether to use it or not. Which features should I use? Noise,hiss reduction, stereo widening ?
Avoid monkeying with these features, as you can easily do more damage than good.
If you have Noise (usually meaning Hiss, Clicks, and-or Pops) than the song came off some tape or some vinyl LP record. Such a song is already of limited bandwidth, thus low quality, as it probably does not have anything above 8,000 to 10,000 Hertz. It can take hours (say, 4-8) to properly clean just one song, and when you are done, the song is still a dud as it lacks full frequency bandwith. (When I have to do such cleaning, though I really hate the wasted time & tedious work, I prefer to use Goldwave as it gives me better control. But one can use Steinberg Clean, the Nero waveform features, LP-ripper, or several other cleaning softwares.)
For the record: LP’s are good to maybe 8,000 Hertz and awful lucky to ever reach 10,000 Hertz, but have major low frequency limitations. New “good quality” tape cassettes are only good to 10,000 to 12,000 hertz, though one may get a little more using the Dolby compression schemes, while old cassttes are lucky to even reach 8,000 Hertz . CDs claim a 20,000 Hertz bandwith, but one has to take this with a grain of salt.
Years ago, some Guy on the Internet would clean LP’s and convert them to CDs for those who wanted to save their LPs to CDs. He charged $30 per LP. (LP’s only have about five songs on them per side). He also had some $3000.00 worth of equipment that he used to do the job
Rather than clean a song, it is far easier to go and search the Internet for a better, clean copy than correct what you have. Say use the p2p software WinMX. If you find a clean copy, most likely it came from a CD re-mastered from the original recording and has far better bandwidth than your bad copy.
The major problem with cleaning a song is that you are going to lose some music sound, and all too often the resulting music sounds “flat and lacking” after it has been “cleaned”. This is going to happen no matter what you do. The trick is to make the loss not “readily” detectable by minisculing appling filters for short durations here and there, and this involves a tedious trial-&-error procedure that takes hours. One tries a filter, then listens to the cleaned music, and re-do’s with filter refinements. One has to repeat this at every bad spot in the song. Plan on a half-day to a day per song to do this properly
There are two ways to clean a song, work in the Time Domain or work in the Frequency Domain, and often one does both. (Goldwave does both). Each domain has advantages and disadvantages. Removing tape Hiss can be done simply by applying the standard tape Hiss filter, starting with a mild beginning application. (Goldwave tells you what to use and how to start). But this Hiss filter makes the music “sound dead” in quiet (low volume areas), so one only uses it discretely throughout the song. A much better way to remove tape Hiss is to use a quiet area of the song (say song beginning or end) to generate a tape Hiss noise spectrum in the frequency domain and then subtract this spectrum from the running spectrum of the music. Clicks and Pops are usually miili-second or less duration. One first tries a standard Click-Pop filter, very mildly applied, to remove these annoyances, and usually one does this in small sections of the music less the the resulting music “sound flat”. If that does not work, add more strength to the filter and re-try. All too often, one has to go into the spectrum (frequency domain) and try to cut out the noise spikes. Sometimes a small area of the song is so bad that it just sounds better with that small section cut-out (removed) (Goldwave does this easily)
Stereo widening - - forget it. One never makes CDs using “altered” songs. The songs on the CDs are suppose to be “flat”, meaning no enhancements (other than noise control). One does not add “base” gain to the songs before placing them on CD. One does not add “treble” gain to the song before placing a song on the CD. One does not add “stereo widening” to the song before placing the song on the CD. These enhancements can be done when you play-back the CD. Nearly all home stereo euipment allows you to make these play-back effects. The reason for not embedding these enhancements into the songs placed on the CD is that your taste may change over time or others may listen to the CD and not like your choice of enhancements
BTW, I don’t have Goldwave stock