It is important to carefully consider at which point of the image optimization process to run NoiseControl. Applying it more than once to the same image is usually not recommended, because noise reduction does not only remove noise but also image details, even when using settings with care.
Increasing the image brightness or changing the white balance can make noise more visible. So it is odten better to apply NoiseControl after these steps to better see the noise that needs to be removed. Thus NoiseControl should be applied after our ColorWasher and LightMachine products.
It is usually a good idea to use NoiseControl after converting an image to black and white, e.g. with B/W Styler. The b&w conversion removed the color noise, so you only need to target luminance noise in NoiseControl. In extreme cases the b&w conversion transforms color noise into luminance noise. Then better apply NoiseControl before the conversion.
Downsizing an image reduces noise, so applying NoiseControl to a downsized image has the advantage that you do not need to apply such a strong noise reduction and the processing is faster. But NoiseControl should be used before an image is upsized. Upsizing increases the size of the noise particles, which makes them more difficult to remove, and it also increases the processing time of NoiseControl.
When using our ContrastMaster product on noisy images or with extreme settings image noise may also become visible. NoiseControl can help in such cases. You may even consider applying NoiseControl before and after using ContrastMaster, but preferably with less intensity.
Sharpening amplifies noise, so removing the noise before an image is sharpened avoids that noise is emphasized. Sharpening the image after removing noise may still make noise more visible. You can avoid that if you use the sharpening feature of NoiseControl, which does not amplify noise, to presharpen the image. Then you either do not need to apply any additional sharpening or you can reduce the intensity of a second sharpening step.
So essentially please apply NoiseControl after white balancing, tonal adjustments, downsizing and black & white conversion, but before local contrast adjustments, sharpening and upsizing. That is after ColorWasher, LightMachine and B/W Styler, but before ContrastMaster and FocalBlade. If that sequence disturbs your workflow, at least remember to apply NoiseControl before sharpening with FocalBlade, which is the most important rule.