CyberLink PowerDirector 11 AudioDirector
PowerDirector did already come with a respectable WaveEditor with some useful audio effects and improvement capabilities, which could be accessed from within PowerDirector using the Edit Audio button just above the timeline. AudioDirector, however, can be accessed in the same way and goes a whole lot further. For a start, WaveEditor can't natively edit audio beyond stereo, and will convert 5.1 sound to this format for adjustment. AudioDirector, in contrast, can handle 7.1 multichannel sound in LPCM format, and can also load the audio from MP4, M2TS, and 3GP video files as well as AVIs and MPEG-2. This is a true multi-track audio tool, with support for up to 99 layers of audio, with up to 32-bit 192kHz sampling. The waveforms are represented on a visual timeline with rubber band controls for volume keyframes.
Keyframes can be used with the audio effects, too. There are a host of these available, and this can be extended using third-party VST plugins. However, the audio restoration tools are what singles AudioDirector out most of all. Noise reduction and healing technologies from iZotope are built in, allowing you to take a print of background noise and remove this. Particularly powerful is the spectral view with healing facilities. This allows you to find specific blemishes within your audio, such as a siren in the background, and remove just that, leaving pretty much everything else untouched. There's an automatic harmonic finder, too. This will locate the same noise source at different frequencies and select those for removal as well. This is a very high-end facility, and will initially be relatively hard for a newcomer to understand. But it's an extremely powerful tool, allowing much more professional audio improvement.
Overall, AudioDirector's toolset is uncannily similar to Adobe Audition, which is no bad thing, as Audition is one of the best sound tools in the business. AudioDirector is a powerful audio editing and sound healing application, and available standalone for a reasonable £99.99, if you don't purchase it within the PowerDirector Ultimate or Director Suites. Our only criticism is that it doesn't include any loop-based musical soundtrack creation. Although PowerDirector does include SmartSound QuickTracks, it would have been even more powerful to have this available inside AudioDirector, where greater mixing control will be available.
CyberLink PowerDirector 11 Verdict
CyberLink PowerDirector 11 Director Suite isn’t going to give the top high-end professional video editing platforms stiff competition yet, and maybe CyberLink won't want to take it this far. But it does signify a huge step towards the application being a serious choice for the semi-professional and enthusiast market. It reopens a mid-range that has been neglected for some time, with only Avid Studio targeting the advanced hobbyist and wedding videography sector directly, since Avid Liquid and Corel MediaStudio Pro have lapsed into obsolescence. This is fast becoming a mature and very capable video editing platform, with a smooth workflow and plenty of features, particularly if you opt for one of the top two bundles. These may both be quite a bit more expensive than the consumer competition, but they offer capabilities that none of them currently have.