Boom 2

Make more of your Mac’s speak­ers

Mac Format - - CONTENTS -

£10.99 Devel­oper Global De­light, glob­alde­light.com

Re­quires OS X 10.10 or higher

The speak­ers built into the vast ma­jor­ity of com­put­ers sac­ri­fice a lot, by way of vol­ume and fi­delity, to fit in­side the in­creas­ingly slim cas­ings of mod­ern ma­chines. Ap­ple does re­mark­ably well with its MacBook Pro speak­ers, and the 15-inch model in par­tic­u­lar sounds bet­ter than you would ex­pect, by be­ing able to have slightly larger speak­ers. As more peo­ple lis­ten to mu­sic, ra­dio, film and use Skype with­out plug­ging in ex­ter­nal speak­ers, how­ever, the lim­i­ta­tions of built-in au­dio hard­ware be­come clear. On smaller mod­els, it’s par­tic­u­larly pro­nounced.

Boom!

Boom 2 is an ap­pli­ca­tion that in­ter­cepts your sys­tem au­dio and mod­i­fies it, ei­ther based on its own best guess or your set­tings, to squeeze more gain and clar­ity out. The idea is that you can make films, mu­sic or con­ver­sa­tions louder, clearer and more crisp with­out ex­ter­nal speak­ers. Add ex­ter­nal speak­ers and the ap­pli­ca­tion adapts it­self to those any­way.

Since you can’t drive your Mac’s in­ter­nal au­dio hard­ware fur­ther than its phys­i­cal lim­its, Boom 2 uses au­dio pro­cess­ing to achieve its aims: the same kind of pro­ces­sors mu­si­cians might use in Logic or Garage Band, only here they are mostly hid­den from view. There’s a vol­ume slider that shows the nor­mal max­i­mum vol­ume and then the amount by which you can boost it, and an equaliser sec­tion com­plete with pre­sets for dif­fer­ent kinds of mu­sic or dif­fer­ent uses. Each band can be man­u­ally ad­justed and you can save your own pre­sets. There are also ef­fects, which in­clude the abil­ity to add am­bi­ence or fi­delity.

Boom 2 works in real time but also lets you process batches of files us­ing the cur­rent boost set­tings. You can use var­i­ous au­dio and video file for­mats and it works by analysing

You can make films, mu­sic or con­ver­sa­tions louder, clearer and more crisp with­out ex­ter­nal speak­ers

and pro­cess­ing the au­dio in the files then re-sav­ing them out.

Mix­ing it up

The ap­pli­ca­tion does ex­actly what it claims and is ca­pa­ble of squeez­ing more vol­ume out of your Mac’s speak­ers than you could oth­er­wise man­age. The equaliser sec­tion also lets you fine tune any film, mu­sic or ra­dio stream to get, for ex­am­ple, bet­ter bass or clearer vo­cals.

Whether you’d want to per­ma­nently re-process films and mu­sic us­ing the con­ver­sion op­tion is up to you. Some­one has mixed that mu­sic or sound­track, so per­ma­nently chang­ing it will mess with that mix. The op­tion is per­haps use­ful for old record­ings you have digi­tised as it pro­vides you with the same set of tools you’d get in an au­dio wave pro­ces­sor, al­beit with more ba­sic yet friendly con­trols. Hollin Jones

A good way to boost and fine tune your Mac’s au­dio out­put for mu­sic, films and con­ver­sa­tions.

Easy to use

Can work au­to­mat­i­cally

Man­ual con­trol of EQ if pre­ferred

Re-pro­cess­ing may be un­wise

Set your own vol­ume and equal­i­sa­tion for your Mac’s au­dio out­put.

Con­vert mu­sic or film sound­tracks by drag­ging them into the app.

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