iZotope RX is not the only game in town (Alternatives list)

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If you’re annoyed with the stalled innovation process in iZotope product line (obvious during the last 2 years) you might have already found many mixing and mastering alternatives. Still it’s likely that you might be relying on the audio/dialogue restoration software RX. After the release of the latest money grab called RX 10 Advanced I assembled a long list of all features that are found in this software with and possible alternatives the Internet has knowledge of in order to find other software to substitute RX Advanced and avoid future upgrades to iZotope/Soundwide/Francisco Partners products. I hope that sharing this list might be helpful to some of you as well.


RX10 Advanced Features & Substitutes
(No Soundwide, No Waves Audio, No unsupported plugins)

Most substitutes aren’t stand-alone applications and need a DAW or audio editor as a VST/AU/AAX plugin host to be able to work.

Noise Reduction:

Breath Control | None so far. Using noise gate might help.

De-bleed - Leakage of one signal into other | Steinberg SpectraLayers, Wilkinson Audio DeBleeder

De-click - Clicks, pops, digital impulse noise | Acon Digital Restoration Suite, Sonnox Oxford DeClicker, Steinberg SpectraLayers, Steinberg WaveLab RestoreRig

Mouth De-click - Clicks and lip smacks | Oeksound Spiff

De-clip - Digital and analog clipping artifacts | Acon Digital Restoration Suite, Steinberg SpectraLayers

De-crackle - Continuous background crackle | Sonnox Oxford DeClicker, Steinberg WaveLab RestoreRig

De-ess - Reduce sibilance of S, F, X, SH, soft C. | Celemony Melodyne, DMGAudio Essence, Fabfilter Pro-DS, Sonnox Oxford SuprEsser, HOFA IQ-Series DeEsser, Oeksound soothe2, Softube Weiss Deess, SSL DeEss, Steinberg SpectraLayers, Steinberg WaveLab DeEsser

De-hum – Reduce hum, wireless ring, interference | Acon Digital Restoration Suite, Sonnox Oxford DeBuzzer, Steinberg SpectraLayers

Guitar De-noise | Acon Digital Restoration Suite, Sonnox Oxford DeNoise, Steinberg SpectraLayers, Steinberg WaveLab RestoreRig

Spectral De-noise - Noise reduction (AI) | Acon Digital Restoration Suite, Sonnox Oxford DeNoise, Steinberg SpectraLayers, Steinberg WaveLab RestoreRig

Voice De-noise | Acon Digital Restoration Suite, Sonnox Oxford DeNoise, Steinberg SpectraLayers, Steinberg WaveLab RestoreRig

De-plosive - Plosive pops and microphone bumps | Using pop shields, Acon Digital Restriction Suite

De-reverb | Accentize DeRoom, Acon Digital DeVerberate, Sonible proximity:EQ+, Steinberg SpectraLayers, Zynaptiq Unveil

Dialogue De-reverb | Accentize DeRoom, Acon Digital DeVerberate, Sonible proximity:EQ+, Steinberg SpectraLayers, Zynaptiq Unveil

De-rustle - Microphone rubbing | Acon Digital Restoration Suite

De-wind | Acon Digital Restoration Suite

Dialogue Post:

Ambience Match - Match noise floor. | Steinberg SpectraLayers

Dialogue Contour - Pitch correction designed to change inflection of words. | Antares Auto-Tune Pro, Celemony Melodyne, Soundtoys Little AlterBoy, Steinberg Cubase VariAudio, Steinberg SpectraLayers, Synchro Arts Revoice Pro

Dialogue De-reverb | Accentize DeRoom, Acon Digital DeVerberate, Sonible proximity:EQ+, Steinberg SpectraLayers, Zynaptiq Unveil

Dialogue Isolate - Isolate dialog from background noise with highly variable characters. | Acon Digital Extract:Dialogue

Leveler - Level the dialogue volume, keeping breathes and sibilance lower. (AI) | None so far. Some combination of noise gate and de-esser should be used.

Multiple Speaker Detection | None so far

Spectral Recovery - Restore frequencies above 4k removed during streaming. (AI) | Acon Digital Acoustica Vitalize

Text Navigation | None so far

Audio Post:

Azimuth - Repair stereo imbalances and phase issues due to improper head/tape alignment. | Sonalksis StereoTools, Steinberg WaveLab Pan Normalizer

Center Extract - Preserves or removes center channel. | Leapwing Audio CenterOne, Nugen Audio Halo Upmix

Deconstruct - Adjust independent levels of tone and noise. De-noise highly time-variable noises like residual vinyl noise. | None so far

Dither | Fabfilter Pro-L 2, Goodhertz Good Dither, MAAT LINpro, MAAT LINsurround, PSP X-Dither, Steinberg WaveLab

Equalizer - 6 bands | Any digital EQ might be a good replacement

EQ Match - Match EQ profiles of two selections. (AI) | Steinberg SpectraLayers

Find Similar - Repair similar events. (AI) | Steinberg SpectraLayers

Fade | AirWindows PurestFade, DMGAudio TrackControl, Sonalksis FreeG, Steinberg WaveLab

Gain | AirWindows PurestGain, Blue Cat’s Gain Suite, DMGAudio TrackControl

Interpolate - Repair individual audio clicks, below 4000 samples in length replacing the whole selection with the replacement signal. | None so far

Loudness Control - Loudness standard targets | Nugen Audio LM Correct 2

Mixing - Control L/R signal and balance level. | Sonalksis StereoTools, Steinberg WaveLab

Music Rebalance - Gain adjustment of vocals, bass, percussion, other instruments. | Facebook Research Demucs, Steinberg SpectraLayers

Normalize - Set Target Peak Level | Nugen Audio LM Correct 2

Phase - Rotate signal phase. | DMGAudio EQuilibrium, MeldaProduction MAutoAlign, SSL Native X-Phase

Resample - Sample Rate Conversion | foobar2000, Sonic Illusions FinalCD, SoX, Weiss Engineering Saracon

Signal Generator - Silence, tones and noise. | MeldaProduction MOscillator, Steinberg Cubase TestGenerator

Spectral Repair - Identify and address problem frequencies and unwanted sounds. (AI) | Steinberg SpectraLayers

Variable Pitch - Adjust pitch preserving the time and length. | Celemony Melodyne, Steinberg SpectraLayers

Variable Time - Adjust the time stretch without altering the pitch. | Celemony Melodyne, Steinberg SpectraLayers

Wow & Flutter - Correct pitch modulations on old tapes. | Celemony Capstan

Visualization:

Spectrogram | Acon Digital Acoustica, DMGAudio TrackMeter, Nugen Audio Visualizer, Steinberg Cubase SuperVision, Steinberg SpectraLayers, Steinberg WaveLab, Toneboosters Spectrogram

Other: (not sure if they need a specific substitute)

Repair Assistant - AI functionality by iZotope

RX Connect - Plugin to send files from DAW to RX.

RX Monitor - Plugin acting as instrument in DAW/NLE that plays audio from RX through the driver being used by the host.

Selection Feathering

Spectral Editor - Integrates Spectral Repair, Spectrogram and other tools in Logic Pro.

Text Navigatione

Feel free to add corrections and other alternatives to the same thread :)
Last edited by equisonus on Sat Mar 04, 2023 3:43 am, edited 13 times in total.
Monitors: HS7 / Mixing: Cubase Pro 13 / Mastering: WaveLab Pro 11.2 / Sound Design: Live 12 Suite

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Great post, you have done a lot of work. Thanks a lot.

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Thank you as well for taking the time to read it.
Monitors: HS7 / Mixing: Cubase Pro 13 / Mastering: WaveLab Pro 11.2 / Sound Design: Live 12 Suite

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Spectralayers has selection feathering (I think)
One advantage RX has is in the convenience of a single package containingg most of what one wants for repair work and editing
Also I find RX is visually clearer than Spectralayers - I wish I knew equivalent display settings for Spectralayers to those I use in RX

one of the reasons RX is not innovating is that the feature set is fairly mature as far as underlying technologies are concerned - with all tech innovation slows down as the tech matures.

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fairlyclose wrote: Sun Sep 11, 2022 12:01 pm one of the reasons RX is not innovating is that the feature set is fairly mature as far as underlying technologies are concerned - with all tech innovation slows down as the tech matures.
Actually I don’t think this is the case. Noise reduction is one of - if not THE - main example of a place in audio where innovation is still both required and ongoing. Part of the disappointment in RX9 and RX10 is all the features it hasn’t included - to give one example, Acon Acoustica now has de-bird. I could list a dozen similar features that audio post is crying out for while iZotope faff around with useless crap like the text to speech feature that doesn’t work.

Not only has the pace of innovation slowed to a crawl, refinement has also been jettisoned. RX9’s Dialog Isolate introduced problems in the dialog detection algorithm, performing worse than RX8 and not corrected in RX10. The main NR algorithms are pretty good, but overall not as good as Waves Clarity, especially in real time use - and they haven’t been tweaked for years. Music Rebalance can be miraculous on some material, but is poor on others (and bettered by competitors).

I’ve never had to look elsewhere until now. But this excellent-looking list from Marina will prove highly useful. Perhaps a new section, Marina, for features that others offer not in RX at all? I suspect that section will grow in the coming months and years.
http://www.guyrowland.co.uk
http://www.sound-on-screen.com
W11, Ryzen 7900, 64gb RAM, RME Babyface, 1050ti, PT 2024 Ultimate, Cubase Pro 13
Macbook Air M2 OSX 10.15

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noiseboyuk wrote: Sun Sep 11, 2022 1:33 pm
fairlyclose wrote: Sun Sep 11, 2022 12:01 pm one of the reasons RX is not innovating is that the feature set is fairly mature as far as underlying technologies are concerned - with all tech innovation slows down as the tech matures.
Actually I don’t think this is the case. Noise reduction is one of - if not THE - main example of a place in audio where innovation is still both required and ongoing. Part of the disappointment in RX9 and RX10 is all the features it hasn’t included - to give one example, Acon Acoustica now has de-bird. I could list a dozen similar features that audio post is crying out for while iZotope faff around with useless crap like the text to speech feature that doesn’t work.

Not only has the pace of innovation slowed to a crawl, refinement has also been jettisoned. RX9’s Dialog Isolate introduced problems in the dialog detection algorithm, performing worse than RX8 and not corrected in RX10. The main NR algorithms are pretty good, but overall not as good as Waves Clarity, especially in real time use - and they haven’t been tweaked for years. Music Rebalance can be miraculous on some material, but is poor on others (and bettered by competitors).
I’ve never had to look elsewhere until now. But this excellent-looking list from Marina will prove highly useful. Perhaps a new section, Marina, for features that others offer not in RX at all? I suspect that section will grow in the coming months and years.
Interesting perspective, thanks. BOOM have a de-bird package as well. I have not tried the Waves Clarity, it gets pitched at vocals so I thought it was probably a bit specialised for me.
RX being a one stop shop is important to me tho - i dont really want to have a package of lots of different products to switch between
re algorithm development - commercial work seems to lag behind the academic world which is where I am most familiar. What I see in the commercial sector are variations on basic ideas from quite along while a go eg approaches to source separation which we were using in neuroscience long ago so for me those methods are quite mature. Similarly for signal detection eg birds - where they are probably using some sort of machine learning. Refinement is happening all the time of course.

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Thank you for this list, I have tools to do many of these things already, but it is good to know about some products in order to do different tasks.

How is acon acoustica? It seems the best option between all of those plugins for audio processing and fixing..

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noiseboyuk wrote: Sun Sep 11, 2022 1:33 pm I’ve never had to look elsewhere until now. But this excellent-looking list from Marina will prove highly useful. Perhaps a new section, Marina, for features that others offer not in RX at all? I suspect that section will grow in the coming months and years.
Thank you for your kind words. I see there are functions available in other products that are absent and probably will never appear in RX. I would be very happy to see the thread grow, so feel free to add any such information to it.
Monitors: HS7 / Mixing: Cubase Pro 13 / Mastering: WaveLab Pro 11.2 / Sound Design: Live 12 Suite

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Brusfri is a surprisingly good NR application https://klevgrand.com/products/brusfri

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Thanks, OP!

Here's a few more that come to mind...

De-reverb - SPL De-Verb Plus
https://www.plugin-alliance.com/en/prod ... _plus.html

Audacity has some tools, and they list some alternatives
https://manual.audacityteam.org/man/tut ... iques.html
https://wiki.audacityteam.org/wiki/Audio_Restoration

Acon Digital also has a Restoration Suite (DeNoise, DeHum, DeClick, DeClip)
https://acondigital.com/products/restoration-suite

Waves has quite a few
https://www.waves.com/plugins/noise-red ... estoration

Magix has the Sound Forge line of products
https://www.magix.com/us/music-editing/sound-forge/

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fairlyclose wrote: Sun Sep 11, 2022 2:44 pmi dont really want to have a package of lots of different products to switch between
Yeah, me too. I do feel badly let down by iZotope, they became the industry leaders for a reason. RX was the great one-stop-shop. Now they've coasted for far too long, and their other products follow the same trend. When you've lost Pro Tools Expert, you know you're in trouble.

The miracles that Noise Reduction has brought us instantly become expected. You couldn't work in audio post without RX, producers and directors expected it. I'll never forget one producer asking me to take down the background in a single mono mic pickup barely 4 weeks after Dialogue Isolate first hit the market. He'd heard it done once somewhere, then expected it everywhere. Fortunately I had it...

One of the silly useless technologies in RX10 - audio to text - could be far more useful in a number of ways if they'd developed it properly. Being able to separate two voices - wow, that would be handy if it were reliable. Make changes to all of one voice, not the other. Even better, work with, say, 4 mics and then remove the bleed from the other mics in each. Or more broadly feed any source into RX and remove its ambient component in a file - PA spill, drum spill etc. All of these would be instantly and greedily gobbled up by the industry.
http://www.guyrowland.co.uk
http://www.sound-on-screen.com
W11, Ryzen 7900, 64gb RAM, RME Babyface, 1050ti, PT 2024 Ultimate, Cubase Pro 13
Macbook Air M2 OSX 10.15

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noiseboyuk wrote: Mon Sep 12, 2022 12:06 am
fairlyclose wrote: Sun Sep 11, 2022 2:44 pmi dont really want to have a package of lots of different products to switch between
Yeah, me too. I do feel badly let down by iZotope, they became the industry leaders for a reason. RX was the great one-stop-shop. Now they've coasted for far too long, and their other products follow the same trend. When you've lost Pro Tools Expert, you know you're in trouble.

The miracles that Noise Reduction has brought us instantly become expected. You couldn't work in audio post without RX, producers and directors expected it. I'll never forget one producer asking me to take down the background in a single mono mic pickup barely 4 weeks after Dialogue Isolate first hit the market. He'd heard it done once somewhere, then expected it everywhere. Fortunately I had it...

One of the silly useless technologies in RX10 - audio to text - could be far more useful in a number of ways if they'd developed it properly. Being able to separate two voices - wow, that would be handy if it were reliable. Make changes to all of one voice, not the other. Even better, work with, say, 4 mics and then remove the bleed from the other mics in each. Or more broadly feed any source into RX and remove its ambient component in a file - PA spill, drum spill etc. All of these would be instantly and greedily gobbled up by the industry.
You would be way more core than me so if they aren't appealing to people like you then they are silly. Certainly they must have the established team who could do all of the stuff that someone like hit'n'mix seem to be doing

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noiseboyuk wrote: Sun Sep 11, 2022 1:33 pmI could list a dozen similar features that audio post is crying out for
Oh and another useful feature this time for musical use - a dropout fixer. Just had to do this manually, it's a tedious and very imperfect chore. Anything out there that does this?
http://www.guyrowland.co.uk
http://www.sound-on-screen.com
W11, Ryzen 7900, 64gb RAM, RME Babyface, 1050ti, PT 2024 Ultimate, Cubase Pro 13
Macbook Air M2 OSX 10.15

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do you know of a good alternative for the ozone low end focus?

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