iZotope’s RX 4 is Like Photoshop For Audio
“I can’t imagine doing my job without RX.” – Cameron Frankley, Sound Design (Terminator III, The Hangover Part III, The Lego Movie)
iZotope – A name synonymous with audio engineering software has pulled yet another masterpiece out of the oven! The Emmy award-winning RX series has been a critical tool to music producers, radio broadcasters and film audio engineers. Check out this introductory article to get more familiarized with the features!
Electricity and (poor) engineering are two of the main culprits behind unwanted noise in audio, along with mother nature and inconsiderate bystanders. No one is safe, not even those recording internally or using pre-made audio samples. Pops from improper bass sampling and clipping distortion are very common to EDM producers (especially in recent years) and not everyone likes how they sound. A few clicks and they’re gone! I work in Pro Tools 8 M-Powered, and RX’s ability to be used in Audio Suite (RTAS) has been a major time saver!
Before the technical information, what you need to know is that this is an iZotope product, meaning you don’t have to be a professional in a $100,000 studio to use it. This was true for Ozone, Alloy and Nectar. If (for some reason) the control layout isn’t intuitive enough to pick up, their presets are well thought out and always worth a shot. This goes for every tool in this toolbox!
Since the beginning…
Primary options include Denoiser and Spectral Repair, which take out any unwanted noises “from barking dogs and breath noises to string squeaks, fret noise, and missed/wrong notes.” The Declicker renders your audio sparkling clean of clicks, thumps or discontinuities. Hum Removal and Declipper get rid of distortions and Spectral Repair gives you a broader reach when selecting unwanted artifacts. You also have EQ, Gain and Channel Operations.
RX 2 added the Deconstruct module and artistic selection tools such as the lasso, paint brush and magic wand. However, the more in-depth (but still important) tools were reserved for the advanced version.
RX 3 was a huge step forward for the series. Features from RX 2 Advanced were made basic and given more options like Plug-in Hosting, Dither and Resampling. Dereverb and Dialogue Denoiser were introduced in RX 3 Advanced. The Denoiser got smoothing and dynamics options and the Declipper now featured unchaining to individually de-clip each channel. Also, RX 3 was the first to bundle Insight (advanced metering program) and allow you to open multiple files at once and bundle Insight.
So what’s the big deal about RX 4?
All of the features RX 3 veterans love, along with added tools for the most control over your audio, you can get with one program! Unfortunately, you do have to spring for the Advanced version to get the most out of it.
Leveler and Loudness modules (Advanced) have been added to compress and boost the volume to various industry standards (which are offered as presets). This is a vital tool if you want air-time on any professional medium.
EQ and Ambience Match (Advanced) will learn and copy the settings of another audio file and apply it. Once you teach it settings you can then dictate how much of the synthesis is mixed in. This option is truly next-level because it allows someone to match the EQ or background noise levels of any pre-existing audio file, effectively making learning EQ’s unnecessary to get the right sound.
RX Connect even allows you to “round-trip” between itself and your audio workstation to expedite creative workflow and make your time work for you!
So is it worth it? Yes! The tools make the cost well worth it if you know how sound engineering works. Fine-tuning audio files with precision isn’t a hobby for just anyone but it’s not like you need a degree in audio engineering to start messing around.
RX 4 is not only every repair tool from the previous versions, it’s every repair tool you could want! Learn more about iZotope’s RX 4 by visiting here.