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Remastering old recordings and guitar editing

Review: iZotope RX8 Advanced - Extract Vocals easy

Published 7:37 am on Thursday 12th November 2020 by Beat Magazine

Despite the increased range of functions, RX8 Advanced (Checkout RX8 in the Thomann shop) is still designed to be very beginner-friendly. The audio material to be edited can be dragged and dropped into the user interface and the sophisticated „Repair Assist“ takes you by the hand and guides you through the jungle of different tools.

Here‘s the big advantage of the iZotope software: You can remove noise and crackling with just a few mouse clicks and don‘t have to worry about what‘s going on under the hood. For professionals and more sophisticated tasks, however, the RX package also provides access to almost all relevant parameters and virtually grows with the job. One good example is the De-Hum tool for removing unwanted humming noises. The new version contains more independent frequency bands, among other things, but is easier to use due to the revised user interface.

iZotope RX8 can be used both standalone and in the DAW. For the latter, RX8 offers several individual plug-ins that allow you to edit audio without leaving your DAW.

Optimized Processing

First Highlight: RX8 allows horizontal scrolling in the spectrogram view. This may sound unspectacular at first, but it makes your work much easier in practice if you can navigate left and right through the view with your mouse or trackpad. The improved batch processor also makes your work much easier if you want to edit a lot of audio files together with the same tools. You can now also view the metadata in the audio files, link several editing modules and choose between different export options. The new Loudness control is very useful for bringing audio files to the right volume for broadcast and film or your favorite streaming platform.

Improved Remastering

The Remastering section has also been greatly enhanced, especially with regard to polishing up old audio files. With Wow&Flutter you can easily compensate for pitch fluctuations caused by uneven playback speed in cassettes, tapes and vinyl recordings. Wow corrects changes in pitch over a longer period of time, whereas Flutter concentrates on short, close-running fluctuations. This works very well in practice and is also useful for giving old tracks a more even tempo for BPM synchronization for the DJ set.

Spectral Recovery is at least as interesting for refreshing old recordings or those converted to MP3 or other band- width-limited formats. With the help of Artificial Intelligence, it tries to restore the range above 4 kHz as true to the original as possible. In practical tests, this too worked without complications and with impressive results.

Create Stems

If you want to create individual stems from complete tracks for remixing, you can access an improved version of Music Rebalance and split an audio file back into its individual tracks. This works sometimes better, sometimes worse, depending on the source material. In the test, however, we were able to create convincing karaoke or acapella versions by extracting the vocals and isolating drums and other instruments as well.

Editing Guitars

A completely new addition is the Guitar De-Noise tool, which was developed specifically for the post-processing of guitar recordings. This tool not only removes unwanted noise such as the humming of the amp, but also suppresses string noises when you grip the guitar or correct overly hard hits. In the test, a garage recording that was a little too punky was easily transformed into a bone-dry Rammstein riff, which made subsequent effects processing and integration into the track much easier.

Verdict

RX8 Adanced (Checkout in the Thomann Shop) is the Swiss Army Knife for all audio restoration and repair tasks. Its target group is primarily professionals in the fields of post-production, mastering, broadcasting, podcasting and video editing; it‘s also suitable for audio restoration and repair. Its ease of use also makes this collection of audio tools interesting for hobby musicians and producers who want to refresh individual tracks or mixed tracks in an easy-to-use way - the smaller versions of RX8 are also sufficient to get started.


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