Several noise reduction plugins have been released in the past few weeks, and today, we're looking at Cedar's VoicEx. This is an easy to use two knob plugin: one for voice and the other for background noise gain.
To evaluate its capabilities, I revisited clips from my previous examples. The first clip is a challenging one due to a laptop fan that continuously changes speeds. With RX, the fan's varying pitch is problematic, leading me to use "Dialogue Isolate," which can be overpowering. But with Cedar Audio VoicEx, while it doesn't entirely eliminate the noise, it considerably reduces its presence, especially during fan speed changes. It even corrects some of the clipping in the clip without introducing much gating. There's a slight ringing at the start and end of words, but it's unlikely to irk most listeners.
Comparing VoicEx to Goyo, I observed more gating in Goyo, but without the ringing that VoicEx adds. However, VoicEx feels more seamless. As for dxRevive, it tends to let noise through and sounds excessively processed.
Another challenge I faced in past recordings was microphone rustle caused by earbuds or hair brushing against the mic. This rustle is distracting, and while RX's De-rustle module has struggled with it, VoicEx excels, eliminating it entirely. Both Goyo and dxRevive failed to address this issue.
Checking VoicEx's impact on the voice, I looked for any dullness or EQ adjustments. Many noise reduction tools roll off the high end, but I didn't observe this with VoicEx, which provided transparent noise reduction.
On the topic of reverb, VoicEx outperforms Goyo by efficiently handling early reflections. VoicEx preserves a slight reverb, masking those early reflections, while Goyo eliminates most reverb but leaves behind some early reflections. When testing on clean recordings, VoicEx retained the voice's natural quality, even at maximum settings, without introducing that common high-end reduction. It sounds live and organic, unlike Adobe Enhanced Speech, which feels sterile.
In direct comparison, dxRevive feels overly processed, especially at high settings. VoicEx, even when pushed to its limits, remains artifact-free.
I believe Cedar Audio’s VoicEx could potentially replace many of RX's functions in a single plugin for podcast editors. It avoids the excessive processing of dxRevive and the artifacts seen in Acon Digital's DeVerberate 3 at high settings. Its closest competitor might be Supertone's Voice Enhance (formerly Goyo). Still, with challenges like the varying laptop fan noise and heavy reverb, VoicEx appears more proficient and transparent, albeit by a narrow margin.
Now, the crux of the matter: Is VoicEx worth its $1200 price? For the majority of applications, Goyo might be sufficient. However, for high-end productions that require impeccable quality, VoicEx is invaluable.
How do you feel about a $1200 plugin that can nearly replicate everything RX offers? It's worth noting that VoicEx falls short in extreme mouth noise reduction, which means I'd still rely on RX for that specific task.
I hope you found this review insightful.
If you're looking for more videos about noise reduction tools used in podcast editing, check out this playlist on our YouTube channel. https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLK_nVkhpZOe4znguQH0lqINwIW4Gl8ixEhttps://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLK_nVkhpZOe4znguQH0lqINwIW4Gl8ixEhttps://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLK_nVkhpZOe4znguQH0lqINwIW4Gl8ixEhttps://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLK_nVkhpZOe4znguQH0lqINwIW4Gl8ixE