Hit’n’Mix add recording features to RipX with the new DeepCreate module.
Hit’n’Mix made quite a stir when they rebranded their Infinity software as RipX. Sam Inglis reviewed the initial two RipX modules — DeepRemix and DeepCreate — in the September 2021 issue of SOS and was very impressed by the quality of DeepRemix’s stem separation process, while DeepAudio provided audio repair/editing tools and an intriguing harmonic editing environment. RipX is sold as a tiered product; at the lowest price point is DeepRemix, while the more expensive DeepAudio tier includes the DeepRemix module. However, the subject of this review is a third module Hit’n’Mix have now added to the RipX ecosystem; DeepCreate. In terms of pricing, this provides an additional tier sitting between the two earlier options.
With stem unmixing and audio repair/editing/restoration, DeepRemix and DeepAudio are undoubtedly of interest to musicians, music producers or audio editors, but they could perhaps be considered niche tools for niche tasks. However, Hit’n’Mix have a somewhat broader target in their sights with DeepCreate as the module enables the recording of both audio and MIDI sources. So, is DeepCreate taking RipX in the direction of a DAW? Well, yes... but also no... Let’s explore.
Rip It Up
In RipX terminology, a Rip acts as a project‑level container. Within a Rip, as well as a ‘master’ layer encompassing all the content, each individual sound element — whether a stem from the unmixing process or new content recorded directly into RipX — is held as an individual layer, RipX’s equivalent of an audio or MIDI track in a conventional DAW. There is one significant difference, however: RipX’s layers do not contain conventional audio clips or MIDI sequences but use a proprietary format to capture the nature of a sound. Import and export of a range of familiar audio and MIDI formats is fully supported, though; this propriety format is for internal use only.
It’s the visual representation of this proprietary format that dominates the central portion of RipX’s UI, where the changing pitch/frequency content of each layer is displayed using something akin to Melodyne’s ‘note blobs’, while unpitched elements (formants within vocals, for example) are shown at the base of the of the panel. Usefully, the content for each layer — pitched and unpitched — is colour‑coded, making it easy to identify specific sounds within your project. In addition, if you select a specific layer, its note blobs become highlighted within the display. Content based upon audio or MIDI sources is represented in a similar visual fashion and, interestingly, there is little or no separation of the tool sets used for their editing.
Organised around this central display — and with a layout customisable by the user — are a series of panels, each dedicated to specific functionality. These include both a Rip and a Layer panel. The former provides a list of Rips available (you can group a series of Rips into a list), while the latter shows the layers contained within the currently selected/opened Rip. You can have up to three Rips open at any one time, making it easy to copy content from one Rip to another.
The other panels include an Interactive Help panel (very useful for new users) and existing DeepRemix or DeepAudio panels whose functionality now also has a role in DeepCreate. For example, the Pitch panel and Presets panel already allowed you to apply pitch and effects processing respectively to layers within a ‘ripped’ (unmixed) audio file. These are processing options that can now also be applied to layers you have recorded yourself via DeepCreate.
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