iZotope RX 3 – Features for Music Producers: Spectral Repair, Declip, Denoise, Dereverb +

iZotope‘s RX 3 is an Emmy award-winning audio repair tool, well known to broadcast and studio professionals. But RX 3 can be used by music producers, DJs and remixers alike. In this article, Josh Spoon explores some features that can help you with your audio projects.

Spectral Repair

Spectral Repair is a great tool for cleaning up specific bits of unwanted audio. It works on the spectral level–you can see the individual frequencies of sounds to pinpoint what needs to be taken out. I’ve found Spectral Repair to be great for sounds recorded in public.

When recording in an uncontrolled environment, you never know what sounds will be introduced. You may make a great field recording of a bird singing, and when you get back to the studio you notice a car horn honking. In Spectral Repair, you can see the problem sound and, like Photoshop, remove it with selectors like the brush and magic wand tool. The great thing about this tool is that, in addition to removing sounds, it can heal audio drop-outs as well.

Declip

Declip works to rid an audio file of clipping by smoothing out the squaring that happens when a signal clips. This comes in handy when you are working with audio from an internet video or a take of a vocalist where clipping went unnoticed. Declip features adjustable threshold and makeup gain, and offers a Suggest button for those who just want a quick fix. RX 3 Advanced allows you to set independent thresholds for the peaks and valleys of the waveform.

Channel Operations

Izotop-RX3-Channel-Operations

I’ve never used an easier tool for isolating instruments or vocals in a track. The feature Extract Center is great for isolating vocals or instruments of a song for sampling or remixing. There are also a few parameters, such as reduction strength, which can be tweaked to minimize artifacts in the isolated part. The results vary from song to song, and are best when using a high-quality audio file. Channel Operations has three other sections that give control over phase, azimuth, and channel mixing for fixing or manipulating a stereo file to your liking.

Denoise

Denoise is a godsend for bedroom producers who can’t quite get that noise-free studio sound. It can help minimize the noise from fans and electrical equipment you may get when recording in an untreated room at home.

I selected a noisy part of my audio, then clicked Learn. RX 3 analyzed the noise and generated a noise profile to filter out that noise throughout my recording. Denoise offers a great deal of control to keep your recordings musical while filtering out unwanted sounds. You can run a second pass on the leftover noise if the first doesn’t do the trick.

RX 3 Advanced can run Denoise in real-time, and offers a module designed for vocals called Dialogue Denoiser. You can put it on a vocal chain as you are recording and it will continually adjust itself, or if you can add it after you are finished as well.

Deconstruct

Deconstruct has only three sliders, but can dramatically alter the properties of your audio. Use Deconstruct to bring out a guitar’s picking and fret noise, or to bring down the breathiness of a vocal track. Use Deconstruct on voices, reed instruments, and acoustic guitar to add a little bit of character.

Dereverb

Dereverb is another great module for bedroom producers. Let’s say you are working on a project with a friend, and you add some reverb to an acoustic guitar part he recorded. However, the reverb sounds muddy because you’re also hearing the reverb of the room he recorded the guitar in. Dereverb helps remove the room reflections, so you have more guitar and less mud. Given its rich feature set, it can take a bit of tweaking to find the sweet spot, but the Learn button is very helpful to get started. You can diminish the reverb with four separate frequency bands, set the reduction amount, and smooth out the artifacts as well.

I found this helpful in a track I did with a friend over the summer. He recorded a great synth line and gave me the WAV file, but as I started mixing it, I noticed the reverb on the synth made it fall back in the mix. I added Dereverb and removed just enough to make it stand out again.

Etc.

For version 3, iZotope has done an overhaul of many aspects of RX. The latest version has a more appealing look, improved algorithms, and added features like Dialogue Desnoiser, Dereverb, multi-core support, and unlimited undos. RX1 and RX2 users can check out what’s new with RX 3.

Many of the features I’ve mentioned are available for the standard version of RX 3, but some are exclusive to RX 3 Advanced and are well worth the additional cost. I compared the Time & Pitch module to another time stretching program I use, and was happily surprised at the clarity of the drum loop I stretched from 62BPM to 120BPM. RX 3 Advanced also features Insight, a metering suite to help with tracks you master yourself. You can compare the two products to see what fits your needs on the RX 3 comparison page.

Even though I don’t work in post production, I’ve found RX3 to be a valuable addition to my toolbox. I just wish I had gotten it earlier–the samples in some previous projects of mine would have sounded much clearer.

iZotope RX 3 sells for $349. RX 3 Advanced is $1199. A 10-day trial is available. It can be used as a standalone application, or as a plug-in in your audio host. You can also download a free copy of iZotope’s Audio Repair With RX3 eBook here.


Dubspot blogger Josh Spoon is an Ableton Live veteran, blogger, drummer, music producer and live performer. Josh has a residency with the eclectic Los Angeles electronic music collective Space Circus,performing every first Friday of the month, and just released his first concept EP of grooving low-end originals entitled Man on Mars.


Ableton Live Producer Certificate Program

The flagship of our music training, with every Ableton Live course offered at the school. After completing this program, you will leave with a portfolio of original tracks, a remix entered in an active contest, a scored commercial to widen your scope, and the Dubspot Producer’s Certificate in Ableton Live.

What’s Included:

  • Ableton Live Level 1: Beats, Sketches, and Ideas
  • Ableton Live Level 2: Analyze, Deconstruct, Recompose, and Assemble
  • Ableton Live Level 3: Synthesis and Original Sound Creation
  • Ableton Live Level 4: Advanced Sound Creation
  • Ableton Live Level 5: Advanced Effect Processing
  • Ableton Live Level 6: Going Global with your Music

This program is about learning Ableton Live by going through the entire process of being an artist, by developing your own sound through a series of sketches and experimentation. You will also learn the ins and outs of this powerful software through a series of exercises designed to help you master the steps involved in producing your own music. After a level of getting familiar with the tools that Ableton has to offer, you will then develop your sonic ideas into full-length tracks. You will be exposed to a variety of approaches to arrangement and composition, storytelling techniques, ways of creating tension and drama in your music. At the end of the day, it is the sum total of your choices as an artist that define your sound, and levels 2 – 6 will give you the experience of actually completing tracks to add to your portfolio.

Become fluent in the language of sound design with this comprehensive program. This six-level Sound Design program uses Native Instruments’ Komplete as a platform for learning synthesis and sampling techniques. Starting with an introduction to the properties of sound, this comprehensive series of courses covers most common synthesis methods available for music production in the DAW of your choice.

Discovering the right sound is like finding a needle in the digital haystack. Learn the fundamentals to make this easier, and gain the depth of knowledge to make a good sound better. Factory content is great, but everyone has it – your mix needs something special.

What’s Included:

  • Sound Design Level 1: Introduction to Komplete 8
  • Sound Design Level 2: Synthesis with Massive, FM8 and Absynth
  • Sound Design Level 3: Sampling with Kontakt and Battery
  • Sound Design Level 4: Advanced Sound Design
  • Sound Design Level 5: Reaktor Ensembles and Instruments
  • Sound Design Level 6: Reaktor Programming

Upcoming Sound Design start dates

ONLINE COURSES
The week of January 19th, 2014

NYC COURSES
Evening Classes: February 12, 2014; Wednesday and Friday, 6:15pm-9pm
Afternoon Classes: March 25, 2014; Tuesday and Thursday, 3:15pm-6pm

More start dates and information about payment plans can be found here.

If you have questions, please call 877.DUBSPOT or send us a message.

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