by Sam Mestman"> We Make Movies (Better): iZotope RX 3 Turns Picture Editors into Audio Editors by Sam Mestman - MovieMaker Magazine
Connect with us

We Make Movies (Better): iZotope RX 3 Turns Picture Editors into Audio Editors
by Sam Mestman

DIY

', 'facebookShare', 'width=626,height=436'); return false;" title="Share on Facebook">
  • Share
  • by Sam Mestman
    -&url=https://www.moviemaker.com/we-make-movies-better-izotope-rx-3-turns-picture-editors-into-audio-editors-by-sam-mestman/', 'twitterShare', 'width=626,height=436'); return false;" title="Tweet This Post">
  • Tweet
  • by Sam Mestman
    https://www.moviemaker.com/we-make-movies-better-izotope-rx-3-turns-picture-editors-into-audio-editors-by-sam-mestman/">
  • by Sam Mestman
    &BODY=I found this article interesting and thought of sharing it with you. Check it out: https://www.moviemaker.com/we-make-movies-better-izotope-rx-3-turns-picture-editors-into-audio-editors-by-sam-mestman/">
  • Comment
  • We Make Movies’ Sam Mestman reviews the iZotope RX 3 for this week’s DIY Monday blog post.

    izotope_rx3_thumb

    Okay, so full disclosure here: I’m not really an audio guy. I’ve watched a couple of tutorials, and I kind of know how to EQ and apply a compressor here and there. I’m consistently amazed by audio professionals—how the good ones know how to dig in and fix something you didn’t really think could be fixed, and how the really good ones know enough to turn around and tell you when something can’t be fixed, whether the client wants to hear it or not.

    Unfortunately, not every project I do allows me to afford a really good sound designer, and a lot of the time I’ve got to go in and mix my own stuff. I usually do it within my NLE (FCP X or FCP 7), and I usually make things worse—until I got my hands on the iZotope RX 3 suite of audio repair tools. I’m now proud to say that I’m officially borderline competent when it comes to audio. It only took me 10 years… and learning how to use a couple plugins.

    560517_10153134115385627_1706919002_n

    The biggest issue I’ve always had as a video editor with audio is figuring out how to get rid of unwanted background noise, especially if you’re cutting between takes and one is noisier than the other. You can’t really fix it with EQ, and the noise reduction tools that come with your NLE tend to make your audio sound really tiny, like someone’s talking in a fishbowl. The noise removal that comes with FCPX always sounds kind of off, no matter what you do. And if you’re still working with FCP7, well, you already know that the built-in audio filters are terrible and that Soundtrack Pro tends to be a lot more complicated than it’s worth, even though you can get pretty good results for certain things. I hear Premiere does a decent job with Audition, but it’s not the easiest process and you’ve got to leave the app to do it. With iZotope RX3, you can do some incredible things right in your NLE, and they’re way better than anything you’ll find in any of the programs mentioned above.

    If you just need to reduce overall background noise, the denoiser that comes with the standard RX3 package ($350) works great. But if you get the advanced package ($1,199), you get access to the Dialogue Denoiser plugin that is just amazing. That single plugin is probably the most useful I’ve ever owned, and is by itself worth more than the $1,200 the entire advanced suite costs. In FCPX, you go into your audio effects, drag the Dialogue Denoiser onto the problem take, and it will automatically pull a bunch of the noise out of your dialogue. Everything somehow still sounds pretty natural. And while the price might be a bit steep (roughly four times what it costs to pay for your edit software), if you’re not an audio genius, it’s worth it—probably a few times over. I’ve been using the plugins for the last few months, and it’s saved quite a few smaller projects that wouldn’t have been salvageable otherwise.

    iZotope_RX_3_Advanced

    Now, while the Denoiser is by far the plugin I use most, there’s some other really useful stuff in there. Dereverb is great for matching microphones or dialogue shot in different locations to make them feel like they’re in the same place. You can make stuff shot in a cathedral sound like it was shot in a smaller room. It helps pull out some of the echo you’ll hear in larger spaces. Declip will smooth out audio that peaked during recording, and Declick and Decrackle will pull out a lot of the clicks and pops you hear in recordings. If you want a quick overview of everything in the suite, and before/afters of what it all does, read it here.

    Also, there’s a stand-alone app that comes with the suite for really detailed work you need to do on a particular file. For example, if you need to manipulate particular audio frequency, you can do this with the Spectral Repair tool in the stand-alone app. While not as fast as dragging a plugin from your NLE, it provides a lot more control, so if you got serious issues with particular files, just import your audio files directly in the RX3 App, go to work, and then send the finished products into your NLE. You can also use the app to export particular sections of your edit for fine tuning once you’re done with the initial mix, which is mostly how I use it.

    I’ll also take a quick second to mention here that these plugins work in Logic X and Pro Tools as well. In fact, these plugins were designed for sound designers, musicians and audio engineers—it just so happens that video editors like me find them useful too.

    And here’s another unexpected benefit I’ve found to using iZotope: Because I’m no longer really scared to mix my own audio anymore, I’ve found my EQ and Compression skills have become much better as a result. The fact that I know I have a few plugins that solve the majority of my audio problems has made me look at audio work in a whole new light. I used to feel like I was just a video editor, and all I needed to worry about was picture and smoothing out my levels for a temp mix. When it came to the hard stuff, I would make it clear to clients that it wasn’t my problem, and they needed to hire a professional. But I’ve finally hit the point where I’m no longer embarrassed by my temp mixes, and for a lot of my projects, it’s no longer a big deal to finish right within my NLE. And when I do hire a sound designer, they’ve got to bring their A-game now—because you never want to get out-mixed by the picture editor. MM

    For more info about iZotope RX3, including their 10-day free trial, visit their site: http://www.izotope.com/products/audio/rx/

    To subscribe to MovieMaker Magazine, click here.

    Continue Reading
    Advertisement
    Click to comment

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    More in DIY

  • Articles

    DIY Monday: WeVideo Brings Cloud Editing to the Masses

    By

    The Youtube era has undoubtedly ushered in a new generation of storytellers. Timothy Rhys explores the...

  • DIY

    DIY Monday: A Guide to Social Media Movie Promotion, Part One

    By

    Everyone knows a good marketing campaign needs a social media component, but are you really using...

  • Articles

    How to Crowdfund, Really: An Actionable Timeline

    By

    Emily Best, founder and CEO of Seed&Spark, explains why crowdfunding is more about the crowd than...

  • DIY

    We Make Movies (Better): How I Learned to build an Avid Editing bay for under $1,500

    By

    MovieMaker is reintroducing the We Makes Movies (Better) blog from our friends over at We Make...

  • DIY

    Working with a Music Supervisor: We Asked Liz Gallacher of Velvet Ears for Advice

    By

    While I am all for learning the art of filmmaking on the job, there are instances...

  • Articles - Moviemaking

    Screenwriting 101: Script Criteria Checklist

    By

    As you probably know, finishing (or finding) a script is only the beginning of any moviemaker’s...

  • Articles

    Trailblazer Tuesday: Nominate Companies for MovieMaker’s 2013 Indie-Friendly Business List!
    by MovieMaker Editors

    By

    For this week’s Trailblazer Tuesday we’re changing things up! MovieMaker wants to know your favorite trailblazing,...

  • Articles - Cinematography

    Wisdom: Sol Negrin on Teaching Cinematography

    By

    Veteran cinematographer Sol Negrin, ASC understands the challenges of bringing cinematography from the set to the...

  • Cinematography

    DIY Moviemaker: How to Build Sliders and Jibs

    By

    How to build sliders and jibs: building two moviemaker must-haves in one easy project. When MovieMaker’s...

  • Articles

    DIY Monday: Film Financing 101
    by Rory Owen Delaney

    By

    Today it’s Film Financing 101 at MovieMaker. As part of our continuing DIY Monday series, we...

  • Articles

    MovieMaker Editor’s Weekend Pick: Storm Surfers 3D
    by Rory Owen Delaney

    By

    Storm Surfers 3D delivers big wave-riding experience for moviegoers!  This week’s MovieMaker Editor’s Weekend Pick is...

  • Articles

    DIY Marketing Monday, Episode One: Finding a Hook
    by Sheri Candler

    By

    Our new monthly DIY Monday feature is a column on distribution and marketing fundamentals by Sheri...

  • Articles

    Revenue Record: Yekra Crushes with Online Doc

    By

    Like everyone else trying to forecast the economic landscape of independent film, over here at the MovieMaker offices,...

  • Articles

    Tech Reviews: FCPX Plugins and App Roundup

    By

    A relatively large 3rd party ecosystem has sprung up around Final Cut Pro X (FCPX). Here...

  • Articles

    Enter “On Location: The Los Angeles Video Project” for a chance at winning over $50,000 in Prizes
    by Rory Owen Delaney

    By

    ATTENTION! Create and enter a film in “On Location: The Los Angeles Video Project” and have...

  • Latest

    Moviemaking

    To Top