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iZotope RX 9 is an audio repair suite that's hard to top

By Glenn Chua - on 28 Mar 2022, 8:40pm

iZotope releases RX 9, an updated version of its audio repair suite

Image Source: iZotope

For those unfamiliar, iZotope RX is an editing suite for repairing and editing audio. Introduced in 2007, it's become one of the more well-known editors of its nature, catering to audio engineers, video/podcast editors and music producers of both professional and hobbyist backgrounds, depending on which package you get.

The latest from the audio software company of its RX series of software is RX 9. While it has been out a few months back to replace the RX 8, the company has been running flash sales recently that brings out its proposition better if you're in time to catch these offers. As such, we decided to highlight the important updates that can be found in RX 9 that you might find worthwhile. 


Major additions

Among some of the new features is an improved version of RX’s ‘Dialogue Isolate’ function, which reduces background noise while maintaining speech. The updated version features a new algorithm for preserving dialogue as well as an ambience preservation slider, which iZotope claims can even make heavily-reduced noise sound natural.

Also new in RX 9 is an addition of a ‘Complex’ mode to RX’s ‘Ambience Match’ module. Ambience Match samples noise in the background to match different cuts of audio, similar to room tone. Complex mode adds some granularity through three new parameters which control how the output ambient noise will sound. On paper, the end result should sound more natural than simply looping ambient noise. Complex mode also adds new presets for different settings, like ocean, wind and traffic.

Another new feature is Dynamic De-hum, an addition to the existing De-hum function on RX. The function removes complex background hum and buzzing, and Dynamic mode allows for more precise filtering that adapts to the analysed audio. 

These are the big features, though it should be noted that Dialogue Isolate and Ambience Match are only available for the Advanced version of RX 9. If you're curious how it all sounds when applied, you can take a look at iZotope's demonstration video:

Other additions and target audience 

RX 9 also comes with some new quality-of-life features, all of which are aimed at saving time and improving productivity. The history panel can now be expanded to display up to 30 steps, and ‘Restore Selection’ can roll back changes to a selected portion of a track rather than reverting the entire clip. For users of Apple’s Logic Pro digital audio workstation, there’s now a Spectral Editor plugin, which should reduce having to jump between Logic and RX. 

Overall, when compared to previous RX releases, like RX 8's Spectral Recovery and Guitar De-noise, or RX 7's UI revamp, RX 9 can seem a little bit lacklustre. Native support for Mac M1 chips hasn't been added, and the only new features seem to be additions to existing modules rather than new ones. It doesn't help that iZotope also charges for upgrades, though upgrade prices are considerably lower than buying the software for the first time.

Still, these additions are welcome for those in the process of saving up for RX's full suite. Among those who already have it, editors and mixing engineers might like the Dialogue Isolate and Ambience Match improvements enough to upgrade.

For hobbyist editors and music producers who just want to try out more intermediate audio editing, iZotope still offers its basic RX Elements suite for US$129, though features are limited to a few basic de-noising modules. And for those just starting out in those hobbies who can't justify spending on RX yet, perhaps this can still give you an idea of where to begin expanding your suite of tools.


Pricing and packages

If you're willing to jump right in or have been thinking of pulling the trigger on RX for a while though, the software comes in multiple packages on iZotope's website: Standard for US$399, Advanced for US$1,199. It's also included in iZotope’s RX Post Production Suite 6 for US$1,999, and its Music Production Suite 4.1 for US$399 (usual price US$999) in Standard form.

These are some big numbers, but iZotope also offers a monthly or yearly subscription to its Music Production Suite, called Suite Pro, going for US$19.90/month, or US$199.90 billed annually. Splice, a platform that hosts music and audio-related software for sale, also has a rent-to-own plan for the older RX 8 Standard for US$15.99/month.

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