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Sound Devices NoiseAssist
  • Sound Devices is proud to announce the NoiseAssist Noise Suppression Plugin for their 8-Series mixer-recorders. NoiseAssist is an advanced signal processing algorithm that reduces background noises such as traffic, generators, HVAC noise, and more. It features a simple user interface with only one adjustment, the amount of background noise to suppress. The plugin is available now at store.sounddevices.com for an introductory price of $600.

    NoiseAssist automatically and continuously monitors the background noise independently from the desired speech in the signal. There is no need to ‘learn’ the signal, as this is done automatically. NoiseAssist very accurately discriminates between the desired speech signal and background noise through proprietary advanced multi-band frequency, level, and statistical calculations. The background noise and reverberation can then be seamlessly suppressed by a user-selectable dB level without affecting the desired speech signal. This is all done in real time with just 1 ms of latency, thanks to the 8-Series’ high-horsepower FPGA processing.

    Up to two instances of NoiseAssist can run on any combination of isolated channels (excluding 17-32 on Scorpio), bus L, or bus R. NoiseAssist maintains the two independent audio channels’ excellent frequency bandwidth, while effectively suppressing the background noise and reverberation.

    This algorithm is the result of two years of in-house research and development by Staff Engineer Steve Popovich and CEO/President Matt Anderson. Steve holds a BSEE, MSEE, and PhD in EE from UW-Madison and Matt holds a BSEE from University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. Between the two of them, Steve and Matt collectively hold over 20 patents, and have several decades of experience designing audio algorithms and systems.

    The optional NoiseAssist plugin is compatible with all 8-Series mixer-recorders running firmware version 5.00 or higher, which may be downloaded from sounddevices.com/download. Firmware version 5.00 also includes support for the Sonosax SX-LC8+ Control Surface.

    8-Series users may visit https://store.sounddevices.com/product/noiseassist to hear a demo of the plugin and purchase NoiseAssist for their mixer-recorder.

  • 2 Replies sorted by
  • So it seems Sound Devices has shifted to a new strategy, in which they sell us hardware as the gateway drug to then keep on upselling us with new software purchases being offered.

    Many other companies will follow.

    As hardware will be reaching limits in DAC and ADC part, as well as storage.

    But software processing (and DSP) and network capabilities will be changing fast.

    Where will it end, are we going to get charged for 32bits? Charged for ambisonics?

    Leading CPU manufacturers now disable for most common CPU up to 50% perfectly working cores to make marketing segmentation (all Ryzen AMD 4 and 6 core models have perfectly fine cores that are disabled).

    No one complains for this crime for years.

  • At US$600 (for its "introductory price" too!!) this is waaaaaaay overpriced.

    They're setting a record here in charging for a firmware update / plugin / whatchamacallit. (yes, even beating out Aaton by a nose)

    Which I feel is worthwhile highlighting, as it signals a radical change in business strategy by Sound Devices. (although, like I said, perhaps not a total surprise after all, as their MixPre series could've been a clue)

    As in the past you'd buy a recorder (such as say a Sound Devices 688) and over the years of its life cycle, Sound Devices would keep their product relevant and keep the sales up (and also build up a loyal fanbase of their existing customers, who thus serve as great marketing tool to promote the product) by releasing new cool updates / bonuses / accessories to it.

    Other companies would approach it with a different business strategy, for instance Tascam would go with the strategy of slashing the price of its products later on their life cycle. (look at how much cheaper the Tascam HS-P82 was at launch vs at the end when they discontinued it, or at the opposite extreme the Tascam DR60D at launch vs on sale)

    So it seems Sound Devices has shifted to a new strategy, in which they sell us hardware as the gateway drug to then keep on upselling us with new software purchases being offered.

    With hindsight, if I'd known that a Sound Devices 833 is buying into an ecosystem with a series of $600 paid firmware updates, then I'm not sure if an 833 would've made as much sense at all.

    Something to be aware of if anybody is considering buying into Sound Devices, it seems the Sound Devices of the future is no longer the Sound Devices of the past.

    As one other sound mixer said in response to this news: "I just feel like they've opened pandora's box. I'm disappointed"

    Where will it end, are we going to get charged for 32bits? Charged for ambisonics? Charged to unlock all the features with the new SL-2? Did we dodge a bullet that the EQ firmware update wasn't instead a paid plugin?? Etc etc etc.... heck, by the end of its 5 year life cycle are we going to have ended up spending more on firmware upgrades than on the recorder itself????