iZo­tope’s RX 3

Animation Magazine - - Visual Effects Tech Reviews -

At least once a year, I like to turn the re­views to­ward au­dio. Real film­mak­ers un­der­stand that sound con­trib­utes to at least half of the story. Fre­quently, in an­i­ma­tion and vis­ual ef­fects, we lose sight, or sound, of that fact. On the au­dio side of things, there are just as many spe­cial­ized tools for tai­lor­ing those sounds as we have for re­fin­ing the vi­su­als. And iZo­tope is a lead­ing com­pany deal­ing with the prob­lems that sound de­sign­ers face. RX 3 and RX 3 Ad­vanced were re­leased this past fall to tackle the is­sue of bad au­dio.

Hav­ing gone through a month of cre­at­ing videos in less than con­trolled en­vi­ron­ments, I can’t even ex­press how crit­i­cal re­mov­ing noise from di­a­logue is. The Di­a­logue Denoiser mod­ule dy­nam­i­cally an­a­lyzes and then re­moves noise from the di­a­logue. But with noise gone, you still may have reverb prob­lems be­cause of the acous­tic prop­er­ties of the room. Sim­ply put, this is an echo of the voice as it bounces around, and it’s nearly im­pos­si­ble to get out. But, RX 3’s Dere­verb tech­nol­ogy re­moves those an­noy­ing bits. Be­cause it’s elim­i­nat­ing the room (essen­tially), it also smoothes out prob­lems you run into when you have to record di­a­logue in dif­fer­ent set­tings and try to make it sound the same.

Other is­sues in di­a­logue record­ing are clicks and pops stemming from ana­log to dig­i­tal trans­fers or sim­ply tech­nol­ogy prob­lems, which of­ten hap­pen at iso­lated fre­quen­cies. RX 3’s Declick can be ad­justed to take care of those pesky pops and in­tu­itively blend out the pieces it re­moves. In fact, that ap­proach can also be used to se­lect and paint out in the Spec­tral Anal­y­sis view of the au­dio. Many of you Adobe Au­di­tion users will rec­og­nize the method­ol­ogy. But, as pow­er­ful as Au­di­tion is, I found RX 3 cleaner in its pro­ce­dural re­pair sys­tems and a bit more stream­lined.

Another huge au­dio prob­lem is clip­ping—which oc­curs when your record­ing is too loud and the sig­nal is lit­er­ally clipped...above a cer­tain level? No mas. There is no sig­nal. RX 3 an­a­lyzes the sig­nal through De­clip and at­tempts to re­build the miss­ing data, con­vert­ing a com­pletely un­us­able clip into some­thing clean and pris­tine (al­beit slightly syn­thetic to au­dio­philes).

And th­ese ex­am­ples are merely the heavy lift­ing tools. You as the au­dio engi­neer have your ham­mer and screw­drivers in the form of EQs, Gain, Chan­nel Op­er­a­tions and Time and Pitch op­er­a­tions. This is all tech­nol­ogy that hap­pened to win a 2013 Engineering Emmy for iZo­tope. If it’s good enough to im­press the Academy, I sus­pect that it’s good enough for your sound needs. Price: $349; Ad­vanced: $1,199 Web­site: izo­tope.com

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