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iZotope RX11 Advanced

Spectral Editing & Audio Repair Software By John Walden
Published July 2024

RX11 brings a number of improvements to both the Dialogue Isolate and Dialogue Contour modules for processing voice‑based audio.RX11 brings a number of improvements to both the Dialogue Isolate and Dialogue Contour modules for processing voice‑based audio.

We check out the latest iteration of what arguably remains the most comprehensive audio repair software available.

Thankfully, spectral editing is not what it used to be! Yes, you can still do those forensic‑level manual edits within the spectral display where that’s what’s required and if you have the skills, but with easy‑to‑use processing tools and some clever machine‑learning algorithms under the hood, products such as iZotope’s RX now allow anyone to access the power of this kind of editing.

RX remains one of the leading products in this field and, some 18 months after Hugh Robjohns assessed RX10 (SOS January 2023), iZotope have now delivered RX11. As before, RX11 is available in three versions, Elements, Standard and Advanced, that at heart are the same app but with more or fewer features for different prices. For full details on those differences, you can check out the comparison chart on iZotope’s website, but the main focus of this review will be the ‘full fat’ Advanced version.

iZotope have presented recent iterations of RX as a ‘toolkit for audio repair’, and that toolkit comprises a collection of processing modules, each designed to streamline a specific editing task, such as noise reduction, de‑clicking, reverb removal, reducing guitar finger squeaks, matching EQ from a source to a target, or stem unmixing/rebalancing. The quality of result can, of course, depend on the nature of the audio being processed, but more often than not RX is capable of dramatically improving poor audio, and even nudging ‘unusable’ audio over the threshold into usable territory. As well as building on the functions of RX10, RX11 integrates further advances in machine‑learning technology and adds some headline ‘new and improved’ features.

Voice Control

RX11 brings a number of new and improved tools for processing audio containing the human voice, and perhaps the most significant is a reworking of the Dialogue Isolate module. With machine learning underlying the processing, this now combines both de‑noise and de‑reverb options into a single, simple‑to‑use module that can be applied in real time (the modest amount of latency is perfectly acceptable for post‑production editing). What’s more, this facility is, for the first time, available in RX Standard (using the real‑time algorithm), while RX Advanced’s version adds a further high‑quality (albeit offline rather than real‑time) option as well customisable multiband processing.

In my tests, Dialogue Isolate did a remarkable job of clearing away the sonic clutter in some old‑school dialogue recordings and, importantly, it did so without compromising the quality of the spoken voice. There are obvious applications in journalism and broadcasting, but I can also easily imagine podcasters using Dialogue Isolate as part of their post‑production workflow for that final bit of clean‑up. That said, if this is all you want a tool to do, there’s plenty of competition, including iZotope’s own VEA and Accentize’s dxRevive (with the latter being particularly impressive).

Available in RX Advanced’s standalone Editor (not as a separate plug‑in), the Dialogue Contour module has also been improved. As well as a reorganisation of the various slider controls, this includes a pitch curve that’s superimposed on the waveform, giving you a very useful visual representation of the rise and fall of ‘expression’ within the dialogue, and as you add/edit pitch‑curve nodes in the spectral display, a second curve shows how your changes affect the pitch curve. The control set also now includes a Variation slider that allows you to either...

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