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Wednesday, 25 May 2016 17:00

Izotope RX5 Advanced

Written by  David Hurd
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So, there you are in the editing suite, finding out that your footage has serious audio problems, like wind noise, or someone coughed on set in the middle of the best take.

You can fire the director and the audio guy, but your problem still remains. The footage must be fixed, or re-shot. Hopefully, you have Izotope's RX5 Advanced available to you, and you can just relax, and fix the problems.

One of the reasons you will want Izotope RX5 Advanced is for its graphic interface. You see your waveform horizontally in time, and vertically in frequency. The difference with the RX5 Advanced graphic interface is that you also see all of the harmonic content, making it easy to see and repair coughs, honks, clicks, hums, or any other unwanted sounds. You can just mark the tiny area that needs fixing, for a very transparent result.

For this test I’m using Pro Tools 12 as my DAW or Digital Audio Work Station because it’s the standard of the industry, and most studios have it.

There are a lot of very valuable features for fixing audio for video in the new Izotope RX5 Advanced. Let’s start with the Dialog DeNoiser.

Got a noisy audio track? Just import it into RX5 Advanced, select the Dialog DeNoiser, and it processes while it plays back in real-time. With zero latency, there is no delay, just clean audio with no waiting.

Next is the RX Monitor plug-in. By adding an Aux track on your DAW session, you can use the Stand Alone version of RX4, and and listen to it through your DAW system. This keeps you from having to switch back and forth between your Video editor, and your DAW.

In Pro Tools, RX Connect makes it easy to export your sound files so that you can work in the Stand Alone version of RX5 Advanced, then, easily export your processed versions back into your DAW.

There are Hum reducers in most video editing software, but none that are this powerful. RX Hum lets you notch out hum frequencies that may change over time. In Adaptive mode, you can watch it find the hum, then adapt as the frequencies drift, like they do on analog recordings.

When filming outdoors, wind noise can be a huge problem if you don’t use the proper wind screens. With RX5 Advanced, you can quickly eliminate every single plosive from any dialogue track, with total transparency. This can make the difference between having an airable show, or being unemployed.
You can also remove reverb with Izotope RX5 Advanced to get rid a nasty room sound.

Sometimes actors get excited and go from a whisper to yelling. The RX5 Advanced Leveler let’s you smooth any volume inconsistencies for the best sounding take. It uses an automatic clip gain envelope that is optimized for dialogue with intelligent De-breath and De-ess algorithms that automatically detect breaths and esses in a dialogue take, and then apply transparent clip gain adjustments while doing the overall dialogue leveling. But what if your audio guy didn’t catch the the yelling, and it clipped the audio?

To get rid of distortion, you can use Declip, Decrackle, or create a combination of plugins using the new Module Chain feature. Usually distortion is un-fixable, but both Analog and Digital audio can be repaired to some degree. Izotope RX5 Advanced calculates what the waveform would have looked like had it not clipped, and re-creates it. You can even dial in the frequency range, so if you see that the distortion is only occurring between 4K and 6K, you can process only those frequencies, leaving the rest of your waveform unchanged.

RX Clip Gain gives you the same line-with-dots type of interface to adjust your gain manually. If you use FCPX, or Adobe Premiere you will feel very much at home. You can also easily reverse a marked area of audio.
A feature that is more advanced than you usually find in video editing software, is that you can draw a box around just part of the waveform so that the highs play back normally, while the bass plays back in reverse. Very cool for Sound Designers.

In Izotope RX5 Advanced, you can use EQ Match to learn the EQ from one clip, and apply it to another. Think how handy this would be to take the EQ from your Shotgun mic, and apply it to your muddy Lav track. Suddenly, all of your dialog matches perfectly, because sonically, they are the same.

Izotope RX5 Advanced can also speed up ADR workflows. Ambient Match lets you extract the ambience from a dialog track, and use it between spoken lines to add ambience where there was none, or to replace bad ambience. When I first heard Ambient Match remove the background ambient sounds from a dialog track it blew my mind. It was perfectly clean, with no remnants of the dialog.
So now, instead of spending all day manually looping sections of ambience under a scene with ADR and broken-up sentences, you can quickly fill in consistent ambience beds under constructed sentences and ADR lines right from within Pro Tools.

Leveling out audio has always been less than perfect in video editing software. Leveler will let you automatically level dialog tracks to whatever volume you want. It’s very natural, and doesn’t sound compressed. The tracks will sound a lot better when you are finished, and it’s painless to use. So now you have nice, robust audio tracks, but are they still legal for broadcast?

The Loudness module let’s you set the loudness of your whole mix to whatever broadcast specification you need to keep your audio levels legal. If you have ever had a program bounced back to you because your audio was too loud in spots, you will love the Loudness module.

As you can see, taking your audio to the next level requires some serious audio tools, and RX5 Advanced is just what the doctor ordered. To see what RX5 Advanced can do for you, download their free 30 day trial.
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RX5 Advanced was tested on my “Review” system which is:
A Mac Pro 6 core with two D700 cards running Mavericks OSX, 64GB of OWC RAM, secured by a Compu-Lock MacPro Vault. A logickeyboard for DaVinci Resolve, an Apple Color panel,the Black Magic Ultra Studio 4K interface, two High Point Rocketstor 6328 TB RAID controllers connected to four G-SPEED esPro RAID cases, with a Rocketstor 5212 drive bay for inputting video from SSDs, and video output viewed on a Boland 32” broadcast monitor. There is a G-Dock with two SSDs for fast portable storage. For Audio I use a Focusrite Clarett 4Pre Audio interface with Waves and isotope plug-ins, a Komplete Kontrol S25 keyboard, Sennheiser MK8 Studio mic, a Mackie mixer and Genelec studio monitors. Software includes FCPX, Affinity photo, Resolve 12, Sound Forge, and Pro Tools 12.

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