iZotope RX 5 Review – A Large Step Forward For The Go-To Audio Repair Suite

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Visual repair
Spectral repair is the heart of RX 5; all the other modules stem from here. Being able to open up the sound visually, and see elements that you want to take out from the audio is so satisfying to do. With Spectral Repair you can literally rub out the sound, or fill in gaps with relevant sound. When using the area select tools, you can shift-click to select several areas to process at once. You can take information from surrounding areas, and Izotope will intelligently find similar audio, or patterns of sound, and use this to replace affected audio. There’s a partials parameter that ensures that all the harmonics are dealt with intelligently, as well as the base frequency. The Deconstruct module analyses the audio, and separates out the tonal and the noise content. Each element can then be adjusted separately, to take out the tone or the noise. It’s very simple, with just two faders, but the computing that’s going on beneath the surface is incredible. And the results show. I could see some really creative uses for this musically – getting a guitar fading in from the surrounding noise, for example.

Instant Satisfaction: the instant process window is at the bottom of the main window. As you come to deal with audio in the spectra, instant repair uses 5 common parameters (attenuate, de-click, fade, gain and replace) using the settings of the specific module, and will instantly apply them to the area you select, without having to open the extra window. This speeds up the process immensely and is great in combination with general module use. If there’s only one segment that’s causing problems – one click in the audio, for example, it’s a lot quicker to use instant process than open a module.

Splice Rent-to-Own

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Ambience match – this plugin is definitely for audio post: trying to find room tone that matches the dialogue, and making it sound seamless is one of the pet peeves of the post industry. Having a module, and even a plugin, that can just seamlessly match room tone between dialogue edits is such a massive timesaver. I liked that if you can’t find any raw noise source to train the module with, you can just use dialogue, and it intelligently disregards the tonal content of the voice, and still applies the ambient noise surrounding it. Very impressive!

Splice Sounds

The rest of the modules are more utilitarian, offering dithering, time and pitch, loudness, corrective EQ, channel mixing (phase, azimuth controlling levels of each channel etc) external plugin access (you can add any VST plugin into the module) sample rate change, and batch processing. These are all very boring sounding, but can prove essential occasionally when editing audio.

Chaining it up
Module chaining is a new addition to the software. If you’re processing audio on multiple files using several modules at a time, this module chain enables you to load up all the modules in (switchable) order, and save a preset of the chain with all the parameters included. You can batch process audio with one click, instead of loading up the modules separately each time. Huge time saver if you’re working with a lot of separate audio files that need the exact same treatment.