Author Topic: iZotope audio clean-up software 75% off- Last day today?/"RX Elements"  (Read 1832 times)

kimhill

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Greta mentioned iZotope software earlier, and I went to the iZotope web site out of curiosity and took a look at RX Elements, which is supposed to include an industry standard tool for removing clicks & hum. Last time I looked, it was USD $129. Today, it was $29. So, over 75% off.

My reaction was of course skeptical, because of all the "last chance" deals you see constantly on the web, but after looking at the site & ordering, it at least looks like this deadline is real.

Not sure which US time zone the ordering takes place in, but assuming the deadline is legit, there would be only a few hours left - of May 4, 2021. If they're in the US eastern time zone/EDT, this would expire at 04:00 UTC May 5. Maybe they're farther west.

Regardless of the deadline question, the price is $100 less than last time I checked, so I guess it's news in any case.

https://www.izotope.com/en/shop/rx-8-elements.html

« Last Edit: May 05, 2021, 05:40:00 AM by kimhill »

kimhill

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Here's the RX Elements feature list:
  • Repair Assistant
  • De-hum
  • De-click
  • De-clip
  • Voice De-noise
  • Spectrogram View
Does anyone have suggestions for using this? I just installed it…
« Last Edit: May 05, 2021, 01:30:58 AM by kimhill »

Retronic

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For vinyl I generally just use the de click.  The drip down on the left should be set to periodic clicks (or something like that).   I generally set the slider to the right pretty low: 3-ish but have done it at 7 or something depending on how bad the LP is.
Hit Render and then save as new file.  Results can be amazing. 

ericmivalstoothbrush

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I’ve been using iZotope RX for several years and it’s a great program. When used in moderation the de-click feature is just as good as ClickRepair. I suggest starting with the presets that are available (in this case the ”vinyl record” preset) but lower the sensitivity to around 2 (or even lower, depending on the material). You can hear what iZotope is removing by checking the ”output clicks only” box. The removed material really should be intermittent and not rhythmic. If it’s the latter you’re probably overdoing it and are removing parts of the music, most often transients from drum hits or guitar strums.

Personally I always remove the clicks manually by looking in spectral view and select each individual click. This takes ages so I wouldn’t recommend it if you’re in a hurry. On the other hand you make sure you’re not removing any musical information!

The de-hum feature is good but it’s really only a temporary solution and a quick fix. If you’re having trouble with hum you should first check the grounding on your turntable. Also, using the de-hum feature can give audible artifacts such as ringing so that’s another reason to solve the problem at source.

At $29 it’s really a no-brainer!
« Last Edit: May 05, 2021, 08:35:32 AM by ericmivalstoothbrush »

Greta

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https://librarymusicthemes.net/index.php?topic=7005.msg50149#new

Here I posted a de-clicked album, asking for some advice. I got no response.
My need would be to know how to adjust the settings on the de-click module, to make a good job.
My intention would be to remove just the major clicks when I find some.

What algorithm, sensitivity, frequency skew, click widening?
What's the vinyl preset? I don't find one.


This should help, but it's complicated for me.

http://downloads.izotope.com/docs/rx6/21-de-click/index.html
« Last Edit: May 05, 2021, 08:54:17 AM by Greta »
G.

ericmivalstoothbrush

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https://librarymusicthemes.net/index.php?topic=7005.msg50149#new

Here I posted a de-clicked album, asking for some advice. I got no response.
My need would be to know how to adjust the settings on the de-click module, to make a good job.
My intention would be to remove just the major clicks when I find some.

What algorithm, sensitivity, frequency skew, click widening?
What's the vinyl preset? I don't find one.

This should help, but it's complicated for me.

http://downloads.izotope.com/docs/rx6/21-de-click/index.html

I'm sorry you got no response to your question! In my defence I haven't been here in months, so I never saw the tread.  :P

I've posted quite a few "restored" versions of albums generously shared by others here, but people doesn't seem that interested in them. Perhaps they prefer the "full" vinyl experience with clicks and pops?

Anyway, I'm still using an older version (iZotope RX 6 Advanced) so things might look a bit different in your software. The "vinyl record" preset in my program is as follows:

Algorithm: multi-band (random clicks)
Sensitivity: 5,0
Frequency skew: 0,0
Click widening [ms]: 0,0

As I mentioned above, a sensitivity setting of 5,0 is quite aggressive and will most likely remove musical information like fast attack transients of drum hits, etc. Once again, the "Output clicks only" option is your friend! I always do a quick check with it after changing the settings to make sure I don't remove any musical information.

As I see it, there are three ways to go about de-clicking a track/an album:

1. Just use the preset and let the software do all of the work. This will however often result in inferior sound with musical information being removed.
2. Lower the sensitivity setting to something like 1,5 and then remove any remaining clicks manually. Time consuming.
3. Do it all manually, click by click. This will definitely give you the best result but will take hours and is extremely time consuming.

Again, the sensitivity setting is highly dependent of the type of music you're working with. Let's say you're de-clicking an album of l-o-o-o-o-o-ng, drawn-out string or organ drones, like an ambient album. In those cases a higher sensitivity setting isn't a problem as there are very few transients. On the other hand, setting the sensitivity level too low might result in the removal of the high frequency information of the click but not the low frequency information, meaning parts of the click will remain in the form of a "thump".

Algorithm should always be set on "multi-band (random clicks)", as this is the type of clicks you hear on vinyl records.

Frequency skew might be helpful in certain cases when you for example have a large number of lower frequency clicks combined with lots of detailed high frequency musical information (or vice versa) and you need to reduce the risk of audible artifacts/removing actual musical content in the high end (or vice versa). You can also use the lasso or brush selection tool if you want to remove clicks with surgical precision in spectrogram view.

I very seldom change the click widening and always keep it at 0,0. Click widening is really for manually de-clicking very loud/large clicks that are hard to remove the normal way.

I listened to your de-clicked version of The Zimbelius Group. Now, I haven't heard the original version but it sounds like the quality of the record was pretty poor to begin with as there are quite a lot of clicks and groove noise left. Personally I don't think I'd even try to de-click an album in this condition unless it's something really, really rare that's hard to come by.

Below is a screen shot of track 5 ("Desert"):



In cases such as these, it's probably a good idea to manually de-click and also do each channel independently. Left channel is the guitar. I've highlighted the first chord but not the attack of the chord and put in a really high sensitivity setting of "7". This shouldn't be a problem since there are no transients in the selected area. A sensitivity setting as high as "7" on the corresponding material in the right channel wouldn't work, as this channel consists of fast conga drum hits with many pronounced transients. So as you see, the manual approach to de-clicking is really time consuming!

This became a long and rambling post. I hope I made some sense and wrote something that is actually helpful!

Each person has their own preferred method of de-clicking so the best way is simply to experiment yourself and go from there. I'm still learning (and hopefully improving!).  :)

kimhill

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At $29 [iZotope RX Elements is] really a no-brainer!

Unfortunately, I was right about the iZotope deal deadline — RX Elements is back up to USD $129 today; at least from my US location. Glad I discovered it in the nick of time. Having taken a look at the software though, it's clear that there's a learning curve. I can imagine being set down in front of Photoshop as a new user.

Some great comments here that it will take me a bit to get to. Thanks!
« Last Edit: May 05, 2021, 10:42:34 PM by kimhill »

Greta

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Thank you very much eric, very useful post for me.
At the end, I think I will leave all as it is.
I will use iZotope only for normalizing tracks volumes when I need to.
Thanks again.
G.

kimhill

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Now that I have a "spectrogram" view - in iZotope RX Elements – how can you look at that & see whether the source is genuinely lossless?

ericmivalstoothbrush

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Now that I have a "spectrogram" view - in iZotope RX Elements – how can you look at that & see whether the source is genuinely lossless?

Here are a few screenshots of various lossless and lossy files:

The original, lossless version:



The compressed, lossy 128 kbps mp3 version:



A 320 kbps mp3 version, higher quality but still lossy and compressed:



And here's a close-up of that 320 kbps mp3 file:



The thing to look out for is lack of information in the upper frequencies. As you see on the lossless version, there's information all the way up to 20 kHz (and above). Compare this with the 128 kbps mp3 version and the information drops off around 16 kHz and the top has a "jagged" appearance. The 320 kbps mp3 file is of higher quality and has information further up in the higher frequencies, but it's still missing information. Looking at the close-up of the 320 kbps mp3 file, you'll see various gaps in the spectrogram. These are all tell-tale signs of lossy compression.

I hope this is of any help!  :)


kimhill

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I hope this is of any help!  :)

It was for sure- thanks!

I think I've already found one fake FLAC- not sure where I got it though. What originally got my attention was the sound, though. At the end, during the fade out, I heard a sort of hollow, echo-y sound I associate with bad MP3s. The rest of it sounded fine, though. Tricky stuff…

kimhill

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Also, with respect to cleaning up tracks with this kind of software (iZotope in my case)… I tried my first clean-up, and it worked perfectly for my purpose. There were a couple nasty clicks in the fade-out of a track, and I selected A SHORT PIECE of the fade – just where the clicks were. iZotope removed the clicks perfectly, and of course, that small segment (less than 1 sec.) was the only part of the track that was changed.

Also- at least with iZotope, you can preview just the part of the audio that was silenced. Listening carefully, I heard nothing at all but the clicks, confirming that no significant audio was removed. The distracting clicks in the fade-out were gone, and it sounded perfect.

Anyway, I know there's concern about putting entire tracks through the de-click software grinder, in hopes of improving something, which I agree is a mistake. But used carefully, iZotope fixed my track easily, and in a crucial way, improving the listening experience.

ericmivalstoothbrush

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I hope this is of any help!  :)

It was for sure- thanks!

I think I've already found one fake FLAC- not sure where I got it though. What originally got my attention was the sound, though. At the end, during the fade out, I heard a sort of hollow, echo-y sound I associate with bad MP3s. The rest of it sounded fine, though. Tricky stuff…

I forgot one screenshot  :o:



A recording can sometimes have the upper frequencies rolled off. The reason might be because of how the music was originally recorded, mixed or mastered. Sometimes these recordings can give the appearance of a lossy source as the upper frequencies are "missing". A "trick" I sometimes use is to select an area in the upper frequencies and crank up the gain real loud. If it is indeed lossless there should still be some information up there (as in the example above). If it is lossy, there is nothing but silence, i.e. a black area.

ericmivalstoothbrush

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Also, with respect to cleaning up tracks with this kind of software (iZotope in my case)… I tried my first clean-up, and it worked perfectly for my purpose. There were a couple nasty clicks in the fade-out of a track, and I selected A SHORT PIECE of the fade – just where the clicks were. iZotope removed the clicks perfectly, and of course, that small segment (less than 1 sec.) was the only part of the track that was changed.

Also- at least with iZotope, you can preview just the part of the audio that was silenced. Listening carefully, I heard nothing at all but the clicks, confirming that no significant audio was removed. The distracting clicks in the fade-out were gone, and it sounded perfect.

Anyway, I know there's concern about putting entire tracks through the de-click software grinder, in hopes of improving something, which I agree is a mistake. But used carefully, iZotope fixed my track easily, and in a crucial way, improving the listening experience.

Agreed on all points – used with proper care iZotope is an excellent way of improving the listening experience! Personally, if it's a fade I'm often a bit more aggressive with my de-clicking settings. I normally set it at something like 9 or 10 as it will also reduce the turntable rumble and general groove wear quite a bit.

kimhill

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Agreed on all points – used with proper care iZotope is an excellent way of improving the listening experience! Personally, if it's a fade I'm often a bit more aggressive with my de-clicking settings. I normally set it at something like 9 or 10 as it will also reduce the turntable rumble and general groove wear quite a bit.

Fades really reveal imperfections, and that can take you out of the listening experience. That's a good point about being more permissive about settings generally- within the fade.