Asbjoern Andersen


iZotope has just released RX5, the latest version of their popular solution for repairing and enhancing problematic production audio. With RX5, iZotope introduces a couple of industry-firsts, like their De-plosive and Leveler modules – and something described as a Magic Eraser. All that got me intrigued, so I got in touch with Matt Hines, product manager for Post Production at iZotope, for the story behind RX5.
Oh, and I’ve also got two copies of RX5 to give away – find out how to win them below, too!
 

Hi Matt, congrats on the release of RX5! The last time we spoke, you had just released RX4. What feature did you get the most positive feedback on in that version – and what would you highlight as must-have features for RX4 users considering an upgrade to RX5?

With the launch of RX 4, a few of the flagship highlights included RX Connect, used to integrate RX as an Audio Editor with your DAW/NLE timeline, and in RX 4 Advanced, Ambience Match, used to automatically extract an ambient noise profile that can then be used to fill any gaps or edit points in a scene, in addition to EQ Match, Loudness and the first arrival of the Leveler. Looking at our opt-in analytics, it’s astounding to see how many people rely on RX Connect.

For users upgrading to RX 5, the new Instant Process tool mentioned below is fantastic, as is Module Chain (an effects rack allowing you to load up and fire off as many different RX module processes as you require with a single mouse click, saving the custom chain for reapplication at any time).

Looking at our opt-in analytics, it’s astounding to see how many people rely on RX Connect

There’s also the new Ambience Match AudioSuite plug-in for Pro Tools, the brand new Leveler with de-ess and de-breath technologies, as well as the flagship De-plosive module, a new EQ, and also smaller but significant workflow enhancements like clip-by-clip and handles support for plug-in processing (including RX Connect) in Pro Tools.
 

You’re describing the De-plosive module as an industry-first. How’s it different from what else is out there – and how did you come up with a solution for the plosives issue?

Rather than use traditional equalization and dynamics processing techniques, we use some advanced spectral processing techniques. To quote Alexey Lukin, the DSP Engineer who researched and built the De-plosive algorithm, “De-plosive is more than a low-band limiter. It is more like a de-clicker coupled with spectral repair. This kind of processing is gentler toward useful dialogue and can, in many cases, preserve harmonics of the voice while cleaning thumps between them.”
 
 

The giveaway is now over – winners will be announced soon. Thanks a lot to all of you taking part!

 

You’ve also got a new leveler module in there – how does that work, and what kind of usage scenarios is it designed for?

The Leveler module automatically rides the gain in your file to even out the variations of the signal level. It creates a transparent, non-destructive Clip Gain envelope, without the color or artifacts of a traditional compressor. It’s particularly useful on dialogue tracks, where certain syllables or words may be too loud or too quite, and it also offers the ability to intelligently de-ess and de-breath while performing the overall volume smoothing. Once it’s created the Clip Gain envelope, your dialogue is consistent in volume and may be adjusted in any other more conventional way (EQ, Compression, etc.).
 

The Instant Process tool – aka the magic eraser – also stands out as a very clever feature. Just how does it work?

Instant Process allows any user to paint away any audio problem with one mouse click. With Instant Process enabled, any selection the user makes will be instantly processed by one of five modes (Attenuate, De-click, Fade, Gain, Replace). These modes correspond to whatever the settings in that particular module tab are.

Instant Process allows any user to paint away any audio problem with one mouse click

It’s smart too… if a user’s trying to de-click a very narrow selection of audio, Instant Process will automatically process using Interpolate, which is the best De-click algorithm for those kinds of edits. On the flip side, if a user selects a wider band, it will automatically process using the regular De-click algorithm. All in all, it’s a pretty intuitive, smart workflow enhancer, and it removes one layer of abstraction between the user and the spectrogram, as they can see a sound, and erase it instantly.
 


Popular on A Sound Effect right now - article continues below:

 

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    These insects are more impressive than in real life by their size and the noise made when flying.
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    And why not also use it for bird wings…

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    The movements offered are Idles (loop), Passes by, Swirling Evolutions (loop), Swarms (loop), Abrupt Movements (take flights, attacks, spasms…)

    These evolutions have been created with the help of the Traveler plugin by Tonsturm, and the Sound Particles software by Sound Particles.

    Presets for Sound Particles and Traveler are included in the pack. Many thanks to Tilman Hahn and Nuno Fonseca.

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    These are ambient soundscapes and drones and not sounds from an actual glacier, but they were created while I was looking at one.

    All this in one package. All designed for the specific ability to drag and drop any of the tracks in the package to your soundtrack and it will instantly bring a background mood and life to your creation.

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    The library was mostly recorded on a boat stationed in Woodbridge in the late winter of 2018 with private access to the boatyard, allowing me to record safely over night. I continued the recordings up until late summer, making trips to other areas along the Deben in between. I was also granted permission to record on the privately owned Sutton Hoo side of the Deben, another of Suffolk’s areas of outstanding historical significance and beauty, equally full of life but further away from the rumbling traffic and human life coming from the town.

    It includes the sounds of curlews, oystercatchers, redshanks, geese, swans, ducks and various other wading bird calls, as well as general ambience recordings of the area at high tide and low tide and all hours of the day. The night calls that echo over the expanse of the river at low tide are particularly evocative.

    The library was recorded entirely in 24bit/96k with a double Mid/Side rig consisting of Sennheiser MKH60/30 and 8040 mics, encoded to 5.1 Wav. A stereo option is also available at a lower price. As a bonus there is a collection of bird call spot FX taken from the recordings with noise reduction applied, for those who may need to add individual wading bird calls to their ambience.

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    This sound library was recorded with professional gear including the Sound Devices 702t, Rycote ORTF, and a pair of Sennheiser MKH 8040’s creating high quality roomtones of 96k / 24 bit.

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Need specific sound effects? Try a search below:
 

What are some of the other tweaks and improvements you’ve made that people may not notice off the bat?

There’s always a ton of improvements that don’t get as much love. In RX 5, the Corrective EQ is a complete overhaul of the EQ module, both visually and sonically speaking, and we’ve also added a Signal Generator module, useful for scientifically accurate test tones and production tones, along with the ability to search Markers and Regions (useful for long files and huge edits), some faster statistics calculations, retina support and more.
 

With RX being as ubiquitous as it is in the audio industry, do you see a risk of people overusing it – ie. skimping on the recording quality earlier in the production chain and then relying on RX to fix it?

Unfortunately, yes. We’ll always advocate for obtaining the cleanest, best sounding recording possible at the time of recording. However, there are times where the producer or director will rely heavily on the skills of the audio post production team and the tools they use, with that infamous phrase “let’s fix it in post”.

At the end of the day, the audio team is stuck with the audio they receive, particularly if there’s no time for ADR.

The most we can do is make our tools as transparent as possible, and educate our users on best practices, but at the end of the day, the audio team is stuck with the audio they receive, particularly if there’s no time for ADR.
 

Overall, when you look at the audio post production landscape in general, what trends are you noticing? And what excites you the most?

One of the more positive trends I see is that the adoption of loudness standards over the past 5 years has really begun to result in much more creative, dynamic mixes, because there’s no longer any advantage to competitively cranking up the levels. Though mixing for the various loudness standards, and the network specific deliver specs can still be a headache, these days a lot of the conversation is less about the pain points and more about “how can we be more creative while meeting the standard?”.

I’ve met many audio engineers who take great pride in their work, and feel that the pendulum has swung too far towards efficiency in the quality/efficiency compromise in the content creation process.

One of the less positive trends I’m seeing, and this is nothing new, is the increasing push for more content in less time, inevitably resulting in lower quality content being produced. This sucks for the audio teams who have oppressively tight deadlines, and I’ve met many audio engineers who take great pride in their work, and feel that the pendulum has swung too far towards efficiency in the quality/efficiency compromise in the content creation process. Certainly, it’s possible to deliver high quality in a short amount of time, but people aren’t always given the freedom to do so. This is something I wrote about here.

A big thanks to Matt Hines for the insights on RX5! If you’re looking to get yourself a copy of RX5, you’ll find both the regular and Advanced versions right here.
 

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  • Roomtones & Ext. Ambiences House Tones Play Track 57+ sounds included, 114 mins total $40

    House Tones by Badlands Sound features 57 two minute seamless loopable roomtones totaling of almost two hours of different room tones found in a home including Bathrooms, Basements, Bedrooms, Closets, Garages, Home Offices, Laundry Rooms, Kitchens, Living Rooms, Showers, and Utility Room.

    This sound library was recorded with professional gear including the Sound Devices 702t, Rycote ORTF, and a pair of Sennheiser MKH 8040’s creating high quality roomtones of 96k / 24 bit.

    If you are looking for house or apartment room tones then this library is for you. All files in this product have great file names and metadata with descriptive words with no number lists.

    Add to cart
  • Industrial Factory Tones Play Track 17+ sounds included $15

    Factory Tones by Badlands Sound features 17 two minute seamless loopable roomtones, making these a breeze to work with – perfect for your projects.

    I was able to capture all these sounds with no one there so these are just factory room tones that are steady with very little movement or noises from the outside world. All sounds are available to hear in the products audio demo.

    This sound library was recorded with professional gear including the Sound Devices 702t, Rycote ORTF, and a pair of Sennheiser MKH 8040’s creating high quality roomtones of 96k / 24 bit.

    If you are looking for factory room tones or looking for bigger tones and beds to fill the scene then this library is for you. All files in this product have great file names and metadata.

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    Pro Sound Collection is the highest quality and most affordable sound library you will find. The ultimate collection of 8076 ready to use sound effects!!!

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    Human Vocalizations $25
    Magic and Spell Sounds $25
    Punch and Combat Sounds $29
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    Sci-Fi Sounds and Sci-Fi Weapons $25
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    Troll Monster Vocalizations $10

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Explore the full, unique collection here

Latest sound effects libraries:
 
  • Red Libraries teamed up with the sound designers Frederic Devanlay and Thibault Csukonyi to create the new “Mutant Insects” collection

    The library gathers a wide range of oversized wings for equally-oversized designed flying insects, along with an extremely rich toolbox. It allows you to quickly and easily create every flying creatures and mutants you have in mind, but also sweeten or emphasize details with natural layers for real-life documentaries, games or feature films.

    These insects are more impressive than in real life by their size and the noise made when flying.
    So we called them “MUTANT Insects”.
    And why not also use it for bird wings…

    8 different species are featured : Fly, Hornet, Grasshopper, Beetle, Moth, Gnat, Rhino Beetle, Dragonfly.

    The movements offered are Idles (loop), Passes by, Swirling Evolutions (loop), Swarms (loop), Abrupt Movements (take flights, attacks, spasms…)

    These evolutions have been created with the help of the Traveler plugin by Tonsturm, and the Sound Particles software by Sound Particles.

    Presets for Sound Particles and Traveler are included in the pack. Many thanks to Tilman Hahn and Nuno Fonseca.

    The toolbox will allow to imagine your own mutants or to just simply create real insects, With natural layers such as hummings or different appearances to made wing strokes.

    40 %
    OFF
  • Drones & Moods Glacier Ambience Play Track 27 sounds included, 130 mins total $30 $20

    Glacier Ambience is a pack of ambient drones created especially for the purpose of being used anywhere.

    If your voice-over needs life, your video needs a mood, your sound design ambience needs a lift, and more.
    These are ambient soundscapes and drones and not sounds from an actual glacier, but they were created while I was looking at one.

    All this in one package. All designed for the specific ability to drag and drop any of the tracks in the package to your soundtrack and it will instantly bring a background mood and life to your creation.

    All the sounds in here have been created while I was living in Iceland – with drones, glaciers, ambient life, nature and northern lights in mind.

    33 %
    OFF
  • River Estuary is a series of recordings centred around the River Deben estuary in Suffolk, an area famous for its natural beauty and wildlife. It is a treasure trove of sounds that capture the ambience of this serene environment, with a focus on the wading bird calls that give the estuary its unique sonic character.

    The library was mostly recorded on a boat stationed in Woodbridge in the late winter of 2018 with private access to the boatyard, allowing me to record safely over night. I continued the recordings up until late summer, making trips to other areas along the Deben in between. I was also granted permission to record on the privately owned Sutton Hoo side of the Deben, another of Suffolk’s areas of outstanding historical significance and beauty, equally full of life but further away from the rumbling traffic and human life coming from the town.

    It includes the sounds of curlews, oystercatchers, redshanks, geese, swans, ducks and various other wading bird calls, as well as general ambience recordings of the area at high tide and low tide and all hours of the day. The night calls that echo over the expanse of the river at low tide are particularly evocative.

    The library was recorded entirely in 24bit/96k with a double Mid/Side rig consisting of Sennheiser MKH60/30 and 8040 mics, encoded to 5.1 Wav. A stereo option is also available at a lower price. As a bonus there is a collection of bird call spot FX taken from the recordings with noise reduction applied, for those who may need to add individual wading bird calls to their ambience.

    20 %
    OFF
    Ends 1550962800
  • Industrial Factory Tones Play Track 17+ sounds included $15

    Factory Tones by Badlands Sound features 17 two minute seamless loopable roomtones, making these a breeze to work with – perfect for your projects.

    I was able to capture all these sounds with no one there so these are just factory room tones that are steady with very little movement or noises from the outside world. All sounds are available to hear in the products audio demo.

    This sound library was recorded with professional gear including the Sound Devices 702t, Rycote ORTF, and a pair of Sennheiser MKH 8040’s creating high quality roomtones of 96k / 24 bit.

    If you are looking for factory room tones or looking for bigger tones and beds to fill the scene then this library is for you. All files in this product have great file names and metadata.

  • Roomtones & Ext. Ambiences House Tones Play Track 57+ sounds included, 114 mins total $40

    House Tones by Badlands Sound features 57 two minute seamless loopable roomtones totaling of almost two hours of different room tones found in a home including Bathrooms, Basements, Bedrooms, Closets, Garages, Home Offices, Laundry Rooms, Kitchens, Living Rooms, Showers, and Utility Room.

    This sound library was recorded with professional gear including the Sound Devices 702t, Rycote ORTF, and a pair of Sennheiser MKH 8040’s creating high quality roomtones of 96k / 24 bit.

    If you are looking for house or apartment room tones then this library is for you. All files in this product have great file names and metadata with descriptive words with no number lists.

 
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