IZo­tope RX 7

The most com­pre­hen­sive au­dio restora­tion pack­age is at it again – James Rus­sell reaches for the su­perla­tives

Future Music - - CONTENTS -

Ev­ery year, Mas­sachusetts’ iZo­tope bring out another ver­sion of RX, and the ques­tion arises: “What more could I pos­si­bly want from this au­dio and mu­sic repair and restora­tion tool­kit?” Ev­ery year, though, more fea­tures we didn’t think we needed are added, quickly be­com­ing quite in­dis­pens­able.

The toolset for 2018/19 sees iZo­tope con­tinue to use ma­chine learn­ing to cre­ate their new­est repair al­go­rithms, ad­ding the lit­er­ally su­per­hu­man Di­a­logue De-Re­verb and Mu­sic Re­bal­ance to the sys­tem. Else­where, the pro­gram ma­tures by ad­ding mul­ti­track edit­ing (up to Dolby At­mos 7.1.2), new pitch and time pro­ces­sors, and a Repair As­sis­tant to di­ag­nose prob­lems and of­fer so­lu­tions.

The head­line fea­ture is cer­tain: Mu­sic Re­bal­ance humbly takes the form of a sin­gle mod­ule along­side RX’s oth­ers, but the power lurk­ing be­low is mind­blow­ing. I’m call­ing it here and now: iZo­tope have achieved the Holy Grail of mu­sic pro­duc­tion, un­mix­ing stems from a full stereo mix.

The point of Mu­sic Re­bal­ance is just that: to make mi­nor ad­just­ments to the lev­els of four el­e­ments, Voice, Bass, Per­cus­sion and ‘Other’, hon­ing in on each with a Sen­si­tiv­ity dial along the way. Given a qual­ity stereo file, you could, say, bring the drums up, take the edge off the guitars, and so on.

These mi­nor tweaks give very, very good results, but nat­u­rally, your first in­cli­na­tion will be to go the whole hog and iso­late some acap­pel­las from your favourite tracks. The results here are prac­ti­cally mag­i­cal, strip­ping out most of the vo­cals from a com­plex mix. There are arte­facts, which is for­giv­able, but results are gen­er­ally in­sane.

Note, though, that this mod­ule is fore­most a prob­lem-solver. While it can do hith­erto un­think­able things, this fact just shows Mu­sic Re­bal­ance’s per­fec­tion in the hum­bler task of relev­el­ling el­e­ments in a sin­gle file.

RX 7’s Repair As­sis­tant pro­vides au­to­matic de­tec­tion of prob­lems in Di­a­logue, Mu­sic or ‘Other’ au­dio, pro­vid­ing you with three Mod­ule Chain setup op­tions, with three pro­cess­ing strengths each. This makes it quicker to dial in a brief clean-up, but for more heav­ily soiled au­dio, the strong­est op­tions don’t go far enough. In fact, nei­ther do the in­cluded pro­ces­sors in Repair As­sis­tant, which of­fers only Clip­ping, Click, Hum and Noise de­tec­tion and re­duc­tion. Surely RX’s De-plo­sive, De-rus­tle, De-re­verb and De-ess con­trols, among oth­ers, should have found a home here from the start.

Di­a­logue Con­tour and Vari­able Time ex­pand RX’s pitch and time reper­toire, with vo­cal in­flec­tion changes and tim­ing ma­nip­u­la­tion for se­lected ar­eas. Results are fair but not the most read­ily at­tain­able, per­haps since Di­a­logue Con­tour has you de­vi­at­ing a straight line from zero, not de­ter­min­ing an ex­ist­ing pitch pro­file to ma­nip­u­late.

Di­a­logue De-re­verb gives a bet­ter solution to the all-pur­pose de-re­verb mod­ule; it im­proves on its pre­de­ces­sor in ease of use and qual­ity, but more in ‘De-room­ing’ than ‘De-re­verb­ing’.

All in all, RX 7 is an im­pres­sive up­date, es­sen­tial for new­com­ers who need clean-up soft­ware, and a no-brainer up­grade for those with much older ver­sions.

CON­TACT KEY FEA­TURESWHO: iZo­tope Inc WEB: www.izo­tope.com Mu­sic Re­bal­ance, re-lev­els stems in stereo au­dio; Di­a­logue De-re­verb, vo­cal-only solution to re­verb re­moval; Di­a­logue Con­tour, ad­just speech pitch in­to­na­tion; Vari­able Time, speed ma­nip­u­la­tion; Repair As­sis­tant, pro­vides fix sug­ges­tions; Mul­ti­chan­nel edit­ing up to Dolby At­mos 7.1.2

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