We’re always aiming for the best quality when recording, but occasional accidents and mistakes are bound to happen, not to mention that when mixing or mastering we’re bound to receive a problematic take or song at some point. In addition, in the fraught and deadline-heavy world of audio post-production, problematic audio is almost an expectation of a sound editor or re-recording mixer due to tight time constraints and limited production budgets. Fortunately, there are some insanely capable pieces of software out there able to deal with all sorts of damaged material, some of which were almost unthinkable just a decade ago - we've rounded up the ten most popular audio repair and restoration tools on Gearspace.com - in alphabetical order:

Accusonus ERA 6 Bundle PRO

What it is: AAX/AU/VST plug-ins for Mac or Windows
What it offers: De-esser, de-plosive, noise and reverb reduction
In summary: It's affordable and it showcases the excellent proprietary NR algorithms from Accusonus. There’s also a 'standard' version that drops the price, but sacrifices the ERA-D plug-in (noise and reverb reduction). Possibly just fine though if you are just editing studio vocal takes rather than field-recorded movie dialogue!

Acon Digital Restoration Suite 2

What it is: AAX/AU/VST Plug-Ins for Mac or Windows
What it offers: de-clip, de-click, hum and noise reduction
In summary: At just $99 the Acon Digital Restoration Suite is arguably the best option out there if you need to do comprehensive audio restoration on a tight budget without compromising the end result.

Antares SoundSoap+ 5

What it is: AAX/AU/VST plug-in and standalone app for Mac or Windows
What it offers: De-click, de-clip, de-hum, de-noise, de-rumble, downward expander, enhancer, dynamic range control, voice preserver and batch processing on the app.
In summary: Now sold & supported under the Antares marque, SoundSoap is an audio repair veteran, highly regarded for its ease of use and efficiency. Available in four different versions, each with a distinct set of features and price tag so there's a version for everyone.

Cedar Audio Studio Complete

What it is: AAX/AU/VST plug-ins for Mac or Windows
What it offers: de-buzz, de-click, de-clip, de-crackle, de-hiss, de-noise, de-hum, limiting, spectral editing and tools for vinyl restoration.
In summary: Now named “Studio”, the CEDAR set of tools were pioneers in this field, with a strong reputation for being one of the strongest solutions for repairing and improving audio quality. Available in four different versions, containing from two to eleven processors to accommodate most individual needs and pockets.

iZotope RX 9 Advanced

What it is: AAX/AU/VST plug-ins and software editor for Mac or Windows
What it offers: De-click, de-clip, de-crackle, de-hiss, de-hum, dialogue de-noise, spectral de-noise, reverb reduction, mouth artefact removal, pitch shift with intonation control, limiting, EQ, music rebalance, spectral editing and batch processing on the editor.
In summary: The undisputed champion when it comes to dealing with spoiled audio - if it can’t be salvaged by RX then it might just be beyond saving! Now arriving in its seventh iteration, RX now offers multi-track operation and a new music-oriented tool called 'Music Rebalance' that makes a bold claim of being able to "re-mix final mixes". RX comes in three versions (Advanced, Standard and Elements) and is also bundled with other iZotope software in the Post Production Suite 3.

Klevgrand Brusfri

What it is: iOS app and AAX/AU/VST plug-in for Mac or Windows
What it offers: Noise reduction
In summary: Certainly one of the best options if you’re looking for a noise reduction tool that is both effortless to use and very affordable. It's also available as an app for iPhones and iPads so you can now cope with those noisy podcasts.

Oeksound Soothe

What it is: AAX/AU/VST plug-in for Mac or Windows
What it offers: Resonance suppression
In summary: Not a repair tool per se, but a plug-in that does exactly what it says on the tin. Soothe is designed to solve tricky problems happening around the mid-to-high frequency range, such as sibilance, fingerboard noise, overly-aggressive cymbals and anything else that might hurt our precious ears.

Sonnox Restore Collection

What it is: AAX/AU/VST plug-ins for Mac or Windows
What it offers: De-click/crackle, de-buzz, de-pop and noise reduction
In summary: A set of three highly advanced and intuitive plug-ins made by the experts at Sonnox that are set to take the bad stuff out while preserving the important stuff! Each plug-in is also available individually, but this bundle provides meaningful savings when compared to buying them 'a la carte' - it will provide excellent coverage against many different audio misfortunes.

Waves Restoration Bundle

What it is: AAX/AU/VST plug-ins for Mac or Windows
What it offers: Noise, hum, hiss and crackle reduction
In summary: An affordable package with five powerful plug-ins to tackle the 'meat & potatoes' of audio restoration. Also compatible with Waves SoundGrid dedicated DSP server for real time monitoring with super low latency.

Zynaptiq REPAIR Bundle

What it is: iOS app and AAX/AU/VST plug-in for Mac or Windows
What it offers: Codec artifact removal, reverb reduction and tonal rebalance.
In summary: Comprised of three plug-ins (that are straight out of science fiction), this bundle can deal with problems such as excessive reverb, poor equalization, comb-filtering and even attenuate problems stemmed from low-resolution codecs. Although the bundle offers a significantly discounted price compared to buying individually, it still remains relatively expensive, but the super advanced nature of these tools means it will be well worth the outlay if you need some top-shelf correction.

That's the list - we sincerely hope that your audio is always safe from harm, but in case a disaster strikes you now know where to look!

For more on audio repair and restoration software visit our Music Computers area, and if you’re working with film/TV/video don’t forget to stop by our Post Production forum.