! This post hasn't been updated in over 2 years.
UPDATE: see our iZotope RX7 review!
Ease Of Use
iZotope RX 5
iZotope RX 5 is a large step forward and a go-to audio repair suite!
– Plenty of modules and great attention to artifacts
– Appealing user interface
– Steep learning curve (but if pays off!)
Izotope RX5 is an industry standard software system for treating audio for the issues that can often appear in any recordings for music and sound design.
RX 5 is the newest iteration, and it is available in 3 packages: Audio Editor, advanced, and as a set of separate plugins. My review is based on the Advanced version, but you can compare differences here.
RX 5 is both a standalone and plugin collection of audio repair modules. It’s monster-sized software; essentially a self-contained audio repair system. This is a seriously pro toolset and comes with the requisite learning curve. As ever, Izotope provides a learning section of their website including an ‘RX Audio Cookbook‘ enabling you to get your head around all the facets of RX 5. They also provide an hour long masterclass on Youtube.
RX 5’s strength is working on audio by interacting with it visually. The GUI of the standalone software is almost entirely a visual representation of the audio you load up, viewable as spectra, or as waveform, with a slider to fade between each option, and create the balanced representation you prefer in that moment. To the right-hand side of the GUI is a long list of all the processes that can be accomplished. Clicking will pop out the module, showing the parameters you can work with for that process.
I find huge advantages to using spectrogram visualisation. You can use both your ears and eyes to find troublesome sounds. Hums and buzzes will tend to show up as horizontal lines; clicks as vertical. Noise will show up as speckling. Obviously, you need to use your ears as well, as the lines could be notes, or hits. But it speeds the process up visually pinpointing the exact spot issues arise. Izotope has worked hard at improving the visualisation of the spectra, and there are settings to tweak the spectrogram for various material.