What is it?
When we last looked at this bundle it had five plugins and included the ERA-D reverb and noise remover. Since then, ERA-D has alas become a legacy plugin. However, Accusonus has been busy expanding and reworking their offering and the result is ERA 5.
Still available in two packages (Regular and Pro) and via subscription or perpetual licence, it’s the Pro bundle we have on review. This features 13 plugins (you get nine in the regular bundle). Twelve of these are real-time plugins (VST, AU, AAX) and one plugin (Room Tone Match) is specifically for Pro Tools Audiosuite format. Included in the 12 is a new host plugin, Audio Clean Up Assistant.
Some plugins are updates of previous versions (Voice Leveler, Plosive Remover and De-Clipper for example) and some are completely new (Voice AutoEQ, Voice Deepener, Reverb Remover Pro and Noise Remover Pro). Processes now covered are noise reduction, de-essing, de-clipping, plosive removal, reverb removal, levelling and EQ.
Some of the plugins target vocal or speech, and some are better suited to audio post-production than music production uses. A good example is newcomer Room Tone Match, which helps standardise the underlying noise bed across dialogue edits. Even so, there’s still plenty for the music user.
Audio Clean-Up Assistant
Included with both the Pro and Regular bundles, Audio Clean-Up Assistant is a host plugin that allows you to chain up to five single-knob ERA plugins in series. Plugins are selected from the dropdown menu, and you can use more than one of the same plugin if desired.
What you can’t do as yet is use the pro plugins. The assistant has a number of handy features. Firstly, it includes a bunch of multi-plugin presets. These provide quick solutions to typical tasks (eg clipping removal). Next up, grouping all these processes into one scrolling window makes accessing all their controls quicker.
Finally, the assistant includes A/B and global on/off, so you can bypass the whole chain with one button or compare different chain settings. OK, it’s not the fanciest host plugin we’ve seen, and there are no major intelligent aspects either, but it does a good job and can make things easier.
Performance and verdict
Once again, ease of use is very much a priority and plugins will typically use a single knob to set the depth, coupled with just a few additional options. In many cases, there is ‘difference’ monitoring so that you can check precisely what the effect might be doing. There are also some handy context-sensitive tool tips.
The Pro bundle includes three ‘Pro’ versions of plugins already included, Noise Remover, Reverb Remover and De-Esser. Both Reverb and Noise Remover Pro include multiband (up to 6-band) operation, with band-specific depth control as well as handy options such as solo, mute, and band global isolate.
Understandably, this massively enhances flexibility and affords a quite surgical removal of noise or reverb. Reverb Remover Pro also includes processing response time, which we found achieved everything from very swift, quite artificial outcomes to quite laidback results.
De-Esser Pro meanwhile includes variable focus frequency (1kHz to 8kHz) with listen option, as well as de-esser shaping which influences how aggressive the effect is. We really like these options as they’re easy to understand and quick to use.
• iZotope RX 8
Three different bundles that provide industry-leading tools to fix and repair problem audio.
• Wave Arts Master Restoration Suite
For dealing with dirty audio, Master Restoration Suite is one of the best solutions around, and you can get the plug-ins separately if you don´t need them all. The results are great.
ERA 5 includes a couple of EQ-style effects designed for voices – Voice AutoEQ and Voice Deepener. The first analyses the playback signal and applies a gentle EQ curve that you then tweak via the tonal blending triangle.
The corners represent three different EQ points (Air, Body and Clarity). Dragging the cursor and adjusting the overall intensity control achieves quick, powerful EQ changes. Voice Deepener adds lower depth to the voice and does a great job enhancing a vocal to create a richer sound.
ERA 5 Pro Bundle clearly has broad appeal, and although some music users won’t need all the Pro bundle features, if you find yourself regularly fixing up compromised recordings, they’re mighty useful.
Of course, with the subscription option, you could simply sign up for a month when you find you need these particular features. All told, this is a solid update creating a unique bundle of excellent tools.
MusicRadar verdict: ERA 5 Bundle Pro offers an excellent toolkit of easy-to-use processors that are great for music, dialogue and beyond.
The web says
"Content creators who frequently put out podcasts, videos, or music who want to spend more time creating and less time mixing, should definitely consider the Accusonus ERA 5 Bundle.
"If you’re looking for a fast and easy way to polish the sound of your content with good-sounding results, this’ll do the trick and pricing is less than $100 per plugin for the full Pro version."
Pro Tools Expert
- PRICE: $39/month, $299.88/year, $999
- TYPE: Noise-removal audio repair plugin bundle (VST, AU, AAX)
- KEY FEATURES: 13 plugins, including Noise Remover, Reverb Remover, De-Clipper, Plosive Remover, De-Esser, Voice Deepener, Voice Auto-EQ, Voice Leveler, Audio Cleanup Assistant, Room Tone Match, Reverb Remover Pro and Noise Remover Pro
- SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS: MAC OS Versions: 10.12 or later; WINDOWS OS Versions: 10 or later
- CONTACT: Accusonus