What’s new in the latest version of iZotope’s market‑leading audio restoration app?
Christmas comes but once a year and, almost as reliably, so does iZotope’s annual update to their ever‑more‑impressive audio repair software, RX. The latest incarnation, RX10, is available in the usual three versions: Elements, for those with fairly basic audio restoration needs; Advanced, aimed at demanding professional audio post‑production users; and Standard, for those with slightly less challenging requirements. RX9 presets can be imported and used in RX10, of course, and the software has been updated with native support of Apple M1 processors.
Previous RX users will feel right at home with RX10, as very little has changed on the home screen and the vast majority of modules and features are unchanged from RX9. However, as we’ve come to expect, RX10 introduces several new features (seven in all), with one available to all three RX variants, four more for the Standard version, and two exclusively for the Advanced package. I’ll document these below.
The Repair Assistant, already present in RX8 and RX9, has been updated for all versions. This analyses the material and, using machine learning, identifies a variety of common ‘faults’ (clipping, clicks, hum, and noise), and then offers a set of processing module suggestions intended to rectify them. Clearly, this facility is aimed primarily at the less experienced user, but that hasn’t stopped the previous versions from often providing a good starting point — even for RX gurus.
In previous versions of RX, the Repair Assistant has been fast and pleasingly effective in most typical cases, but in RX10 it has been rebuilt completely, from the ground up. It features an all‑new user interface, as well as a radically new machine‑learning analyser function. Once launched, the first job is to select the type of audio material from the centre‑top box, with options for voice, music, percussion, or sound effects (the previous incarnation offered only dialogue, music and ‘other’). Doing this enables RX to preselect relevant module options.
With the appropriate audio type selected, a Learn button starts the analysis. It is no doubt more advanced but, sadly, is achingly slower than the previous version. On my current Windows machine, a 45‑minute podcast track took less than 30s to analyse in RX9, but well over 20 minutes in RX10. The computer obviously plays a part in this time, as a colleague using one of the better‑specified M1 MacBook Pros completed a similar task (a 45‑minute dialogue track) in 10 minutes, but it’s significantly slower than the older version. It’s also worth noting that the plug‑in version of Repair Assistant analyses the audio in real time, rather than through a Learn pass of the whole file or a partial selection. Once the offline analysis is complete the Repair Assistant panel offers a wider range of processing modules, including de‑clip, de‑click, de‑noise, de‑reverb and de‑ess (for voice mode, or de‑harsh for the others). It also includes de‑hum, apparently, but I couldn’t find any control options for that — perhaps my sample track was hum‑free! Each module has an on/off button, a listening (solo) button, and a single ‘amount’ control in the form of a circle with up/down arrows and a coloured ‘fill’ level. The bottom‑centre de‑noise module enjoys an oversized amount circle dominating the centre of the panel, which I initially found confusing and distracting. All of these amount displays change colour depending on the selected audio mode (blue for voice, cyan for music, green for percussion, purple for...
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