The Sonnox Fraunhofer Pro-Codec Plug-In allows you to critically audition and encode to multiple formats in real time within a DAW environment, so now you can produce compensated mixes optimized for online distribution!
Sonnox Fraunhofer Pro-Codec Plug-In Details
The Sonnox Fraunhofer Pro-Codec Plug-In is designed for the real-time auditioning, encoding and decoding of audio signals using Fraunhofer codecs.
In the past it has not been possible to critically audition and then encode multiple formats in real time within a host DAW environment. The revolutionary Sonnox Fraunhofer Pro-Codec now makes this possible, and includes extensive monitoring tools and built-in encoding/decoding features.
Using this plug-in mix engineers may produce mixes optimized towards specific target codecs, thereby ensuring maximum fidelity. Similarly, Mastering engineers may audition in the final format and produce compensated masters for final encoding and distribution.
The primary purpose of the Sonnox Fraunhofer Pro-Codec is to provide a way of monitoring your host session material using the highly regarded Fraunhofer encoders, without the need for offline processing. By auditioning and comparing codecs online, it allows you to make executive decisions on the best codecs to use, and when all is complete, then write the encoded audio to disk.
Also contained within the plug-in is a fully featured offline encode window. You can compress Wav or Aiff files for offline batch processing with the codecs and settings of your choice.
When you need to import an encoded file into your project, but the host does not recognize the file format, the plug-in also has an offline decode section. This eliminates the need for any proprietary applications to be used when importing encoded material into your session.
By default the ONLINE mode is active, and the centre panel of the GUI contains a large FFT display, showing the spectral content of the input signal in yellow and the DIFF signal in red (the difference between the input and output signals).
Beneath the FFT window the CODEC LIST contains five rows that allow the selection of up to five codecs simultaneously. The associated MON buttons allow monitoring of the selected codec. The ARM buttons allow selection for online recording to an encoded file.
To the right of the codec list are three tabbed windows; shown here is the BITSTREAM LEVEL / TRIM window. There is also a COMPRESSION tab that gives an indication of the data compression for the selected codecs, and an A-B tab that allows A-B and A-B-X auditioning.
Selecting a Codec
To select a codec for auditioning, click on any available slot in the CODEC LIST. This will bring up the CODEC & SETTINGS edit window, enabling control over codec parameters specific to the selected codec.
To remove any of the codecs in the list, click the 'x' in the top right hand corner of the list element.
When you start playback through the host, by default you will hear the encoded audio (providing the MASTER IN is selected).
To audition one of the other selected codecs, click on the MON button for any active codec in the list.
Data Compression Factor
All of the available codecs compress an audio data bitstream. Different codecs compress using different algorithms, and will compress to very different degrees.
HE-AAC is optimized for the best quality at very low bit-rates, and will produce very small files (potentially around one hundredth of the input file size). Lossless encoders, in contrast, are not so effective at compressing data and will produce files that are around half the size of the input. The familiar mp3 codecs produce compression factors of typically around 12.
Selecting the COMP tab gives a visual indication of the compression ratios pertinent to the selected codecs.
Remember that using perceptual coding is always a trade-off between more accurate reproduction of the original on one side, against a higher compression ratio and smaller files on the other side.
Multiple files can be selected for simultaneous encoding, by ARM'ing the codec and dropping into RECORD.
Record duration and exact data compression ratios are displayed.
Using the OFFLINE ENCODE tab, select BROWSE and navigate to a desired file. You can also drag and drop the file onto the user interface of the plug-in.
Write enable each codec in the list by selecting its button on the left hand side. Once armed, the ARM button will start to flash.
Each list element shows its respective output name and file location..
Once ready, clicking ENCODE will batch process all write enabled codecs.
Only one source file can be processed at a time, but it can be written to multiple output files as a batch job with different codec settings.
The Sonnox Fraunhofer Pro-Codec can also decode compressed files for import into the host sequencer (or for general purpose decoding). To do this, use the OFFLINE DECODE tab.
Click the BROWSE button and navigate to a compatible encoded file. You can also drag and drop the file onto the user interface of the plug-in.
Output files can be either .WAV or .AIF, and have a bit depth of either 16 or 24 bits.
To decode the selected file, select DECODE. You will see a progress bar displaying the status of the decode process.
Sonnox Fraunhofer Pro-Codec Plug-In Features
- Supported Codecs:
- mp3, mp3 Surround, AAC-LC, HE-AAC, and HE-AAC v2
- mp3-HD and HD-AAC (Lossless Codecs)
- Ability to select up to five codecs for simultaneous export, in real time, to encoded files
- Comprehensive auditioning with glitchless switching
- Ability to audition the difference between input signal and codec output
- AB auditioning in real time between codecs, or between codec and input signal
- ABX mode for blind statistical testing
- Graphical displays include:
- High resolution display of the Input signal and Diff signal.
- Indication of the audibility of audio removed by the encoding process
- Bitstream levels and ability to compensate for overloads
- Indication of filesize or datastream compression
- Phase metering
- Off-line encoding and decoding
- Compatible with many digital audio workstation applications on both MAC and PC, such as:
- Pro Tools
- Cubase, Nuendo
Sonnox Fraunhofer Pro-Codec Plug-In Specifications
- Pro Tools HD, Pro Tools (RTAS), Audio Units, VST
- Mac Intel OSX 10.5 or later / Windows XP or Windows 7