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iZotope’s RX 11 reviewed: It just keeps getting better and better

iZotope RX remains the best app for audio repair and optimisation
2 minute read
iZotope RX remains the best app for audio repair and optimisation

iZotope’s RX audio editor has been the audio repair and optimisation kit of choice for many years and, with iZotope RX 11, it just keeps getting better.

Since the first version I reviewed (v2), technology has improved up to the point that clever use of several modules combined allow you to create perfect audio from really bad recordings.

RX 11 has new machine learning technology that helps you clean up and repair most audio problems faster and/or better. If the modules used by the Assistant aren’t cutting it, the others are “intelligent” enough to let you complete most repair jobs in minutes, but even with RX 11’s machine learning algorithms, really hard to improve audio requires you to intervene.

I tested RX 11 Advanced with a very difficult audio track containing a dialogue inside a car driving on a cobblestone road. In a clip from a GoPro Hero 5, the dialogue was unintelligible. After removing the rumble by cutting out the lowest frequencies, last year’s RX 10 Advanced’s Dialogue Isolate took half a minute to process one 4-second chunk of the 40-seconds long audio file. RX 11 Advanced took a few seconds to process the same chunk and the results were slightly better. I used the Best (off-line) option and the new multi-band tuning which comes with Advanced only.

RX 11’s Dialogue Isolate module has also become easier to use, adding Dialogue De-reverb and De-noise in the same module, both of which are now also available as part of RX 11 Standard. The brand new highest-quality offline processing mode is now exclusive to Advanced.

In RX 11 Advanced, Dialogue Contour allows you to adjust the character and expressivity of a voice with new levels of control, ensuring that dialogue edits flow seamlessly. It addresses Franken-editing rather well, no matter how many takes you need to stitch together.

All versions of RX 11 incorporate a new Repair Assistant that cleans up tracks faster than previous versions. Repair Assistant is good for polishing dialogue and sung vocals as it makes final tweaks with deeper controls.

There’s a new Spectral Editor ARA plugin, which I used as a secondary method on the dialogue file. This digital signal processing plugin helps to clean your audio without leaving your DAW, including essential tools like Gain, De-Click, and De-Hum. Of note is that it’s currently available for Apple Logic Pro (10.7+) in Rosetta mode. Additional host support is coming in a free update this summer for Avid Pro Tools and PreSonus Studio One.

In the end, I managed to recover the dialogue better with this new Spectral Editor version than with Dialogue Isolate, but it does take more knowledge or practice to do it right.

And if you find that tracks still sound quiet at maximum loudness, both versions of RX 11 will analyse them with the smart Learn function and automatically adjust with Loudness Optimize. Finally, you can now visualise and process your stereo image with a new Mid/Side mode in the RX 11 Standard and Advanced main window.

Since version 2 iZotope RX has been the best app for audio repair and optimisation and it still is, with the Advanced version doing it all.

RX 11 Elements retails for $99; $49 from May 15 to June 13. RX 11 Standard: is $399 USD; $299 USD from May 15 to June 13. RX 11 Advanced costs $1199, but is down to $799 from May 15 to June 13.

Tags: Audio

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