Sonnox in Oxford, England, announces that it is now shipping the Sonnox Fraunhofer Pro-Codec ($495), which is designed to improve the quality of online music. The Sonnox Fraunhofer Pro-Codec results from a collaboration between plug-in developer Sonnox and the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits headquartered in Erlangen-Tennenlohe, Germany, which created the MP3 file format.
The Sonnox Fraunhofer Pro-Codec supports both Mac and Windows, and is compatible with DAWs including Pro Tools, Logic, Cubase, Nuendo, Sequoia and WaveLab.
“Our Sonnox Fraunhofer Pro-Codec marks the first time engineers are able to precisely audition codecs in real time,” says Sonnox Managing Director Rod Densham. “Additionally, the Pro-Codec eliminates the time-consuming cycle of encoding a mix to MP3/AAC, previewing, tweaking and re-rendering. The entire process may now be accomplished on the fly, freeing the engineer to concentrate on producing an optimized mix during the preview process.”
Mix and mastering engineers may now audition up to five codecs in real time within a DAW environment. The Sonnox Fraunhofer Pro-Codec plug-in enables the production of optimized mixes, and provides the option to simultaneously batch encode to multiple formats. It supports all major codecs, including MP3, MP3 Surround, AAC-LC and HE-AAC, and lossless codecs such as MP3 HD and HD-AAC.
Sonnox has also devised a high-resolution FFT display that illustrates the input and output difference signals, and offers a graphical indication of codec-induced noise audibility. Bit-stream level meters clearly display the possibility of decode overloads. A/B auditioning enables engineers to switch seamlessly between codecs, or between input and codec. A blind listening mode (ABX) further supports codec comparisons.