CrumplePop, a Minneapolis-based maker of popular FxFactory video editing plug-ins, is branching out in a new direction. After creating AudioDenoise and EchoRemover, a pair of powerful yet deceptively simple plug-ins that clean up bad audio, the company has launched a new licensing program that will let manufacturers of every potential stripe use the modular audio fix technology inside those plug-ins in their own products and devices. The audio technology, which continues to be available inside $99 standalone software plug-ins for both Apple Final Cut Pro X and Adobe Premiere Pro, was originally developed by CrumplePop for video editors who need quick and easy ways to remove background noise, hiss, room echo and reverb from their content.
"When we created those Audio Denoise and EchoRemover, they were part of a conscious change we'd made here to make tools that are more solid, problem-solving utilities for editors," CrumplePop founder Gabe Cheifetz tells StudioDaily. "We've shipped a lot of different kinds of plug-ins over the years but increasingly, our customers wanted fast ways to fix their routine problems and make everything better immediately. We quickly zeroed in on audio because it's become so common that editors have to work with footage with lousy audio."
Cheifetz says professional editors across all sorts of projects and budgets were those CrumplePop first targeted. "These days, as an editor, you just don't know whether you're going to get footage that actually had a sound recordist working on it," he says. "We see more and more jobs that don't even budget for that, so there's a very high chance the sound was basically an afterthought to the video and was not recorded properly. One user of EchoRemover recently told us, 'This is going to change how I edit because it can recover projects that really might not have been usable in the first place.'"
Through the licensing program, CrumplePop hopes to reach an even wider set of users. "When we looked at this audio technology, which we've spent the last year developing, we realized it could work for a lot of other applications outside of traditional video plug-ins," he says. "There are just so many problems with audio for video that still aren't being addressed well and we wanted to change that by offering the technology to vendors to enhance their products, whether a screencaster or video tutorial tool for non-videographers or even a mobile device. Cell phones and tablets are being used with increasing regularity to gather media for public viewing. That led us to figure out how to open this up and take our basic yet very strong core technology and partner with other developers who are outside of our little film/video niche and might be doing things we could never imagine."
Cheifetz says the company plans to roll out additional utility-focused plug-ins, which will also join the licensing program, in the coming months. One of the first to license the audio technology is Audiofile Engineering, makers of high-end audio applications for audio pros, "a notoriously tough crowd to please in the quest for quality," he says. "This company makes metering and batch processing tools used by the Sydney Opera House, for example, and they told us they were struggling to find good options that they could build into their applications for audio restoration. We're excited to start with them because these guys are the best of the best and we're thrilled that the technology meets and exceeds their bar for quality."
Both a shooter and editor by training, Cheifetz founded CrumplePop in 2009 and for five years exclusively developed FxFactory plug-ins for Apple Final Cut Pro. That changed in 2015 when, responding to customer demand, the company began shipping all of its plug-ins with both Final Cut and Premiere Pro support. One year later, CrumplePop customers continue to use a fairly even mix of both Final Cut and Premiere plug-ins, says Cheifetz. "I can say it's probably easier to peg our Premiere customers these days, however, because they tend to be the ones who edit for a living 9 to 5. A good segment of those guys moved over to Premiere in the past year and we wanted to make sure we support them."
Cheifetz has created two brief demo videos that explain and show how well—and how fast—the two audio plug-ins work.
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