Choosing the Best Audio Cleanup/Noise Removal Tool for Premiere Pro with iZotope Plugins.
Audio restoration/cleanup and generally, noise reduction workflows, can be laborious and hard to fine-tune. Especially if you’ve gone through all the right stages of getting your setup on point, yet you’re still not getting the exact audio recording you should be.
This is where audio cleanup and restoration plugins can be an absolute lifesaver and can improve your workflow and efficiency by magnitudes of order. For Editors (specifically using Premiere Pro) the following article could be a game-changer.
After all, we’re here to work smarter, not harder.
It’s for this very reason that you need to know about iZotope RX plugins. Put simply, they just work. Better than that, they work amazingly, and they don’t break the bank!
How do I know what I’m talking about? Head to the DigiProTips Experience and Background page to find out how I’ve built up my knowledge over a career spanning feature film, broadcast TV and digital content production.
So, Who Are iZotope?
Izotope is a software development company that is passionate and obsessive about sound. They create award-winning software, plug-ins, hardware, and mobile apps to help musicians, podcasters, creators, audio engineers, and pretty much anyone with an interest in creating and recording audio, to improve their workflow and get better results.
They produce a range of products/plugins aimed at audio professionals of all levels, that service the whole spectrum of audio production. The area we are most concerned with is post-production, and more specifically audio cleanup and noise removal from recordings in post-production.
That is where the RX iZotope plugins come in.
Audio Cleanup and Noise Removal
When it comes to improving poor audio recordings or trying to remove specific noises and frequencies from audio files we need a tool that is dedicated to that exact purpose.
There are, of course, tools within programs like Adobe Audition, Logic, Pro Tools, etc. However, these programs are not solely dedicated to the task and are used primarily for audio production rather than audio cleanup or noise removal. Moreover, they are not lightweight plugins that can be used with a multitude of other software and they cost a pretty to boot too.
For video editors and videographers who don’t want or need to deep dive into heavyweight programs like those above then a dedicated plugin to tackle audio cleanup, right within their NLE, is a tool well worth having. Fortunately, iZotope RX works with Premiere Pro and you, therefore, don’t even need to leave the software to utilise the powerful tools within RX.
Important Tools Within Audio Cleanup
One of the most important tools within audio noise removal is the ability to isolate and remove specific noises/frequencies/hums/clicks/pops and anything else that is unwanted within a recording. The easiest way to do this is with a spectral display, showing you a heat map of the frequencies within your recording and where certain issues are arising.
Tools within Audition, Logic, and Pro Tools have this ability, but the results can be underwhelming and complicated to fine-tune and get completely right. This is not the case with iZotope RX, the work is done for you and gets it right almost every time.
More on that below.
Hidden But Powerful Extras
Before I get on to the specifics of the different RX offerings it’s worth noting something very powerful within RX, it’s a feature called ‘Music Rebalance’.
Music Rebalance is a fantastic utility for editors (as well a whole host of others) to be able to quickly, and with high precision, isolate individual instruments, vocals, or stems from a track and re-edit, mix or export them a separate files/tracks.
This is an immensely powerful tool when working with stock music tracks that don’t have separate stems for you to download and use. You can now use Music Rebalance to create them for you.
Another great feature for editors who want to get great sounding audio mixes for final delivery but without wanting to learn everything that goes into mastering is the Loudness Control feature in RX.
With a single click, you can ensure that your sound mix is broadcast safe and set to a level perfect for output. This can be used for TV broadcast, social content, podcasts, and pretty much any other destination your media needs to go to.
Which of RX iZotope Plugins is Right For Me?
So, with everything that iZotope RX can do for you, it’s probably worth finding out about the different versions of the software, what they can do and which is right for you and your budget.
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iZotope RX Elements – Introduction to Audio Cleanup
By far the cheapest of the three options RX Elements is an amazing introductory plugin from iZotope that gives editors and audio professionals just getting into the game, the ability to improve and control elements of their recordings with brilliant results.
Because this is the lowest priced RX plugin, it doesn’t contain anywhere near as many of the tools that the Standard version does and only a fraction of the tools that Advanced has within it.
Having said that, it all depends on what you need. The main features to pick out from RX Elements are:
- De-Hum, De-Click & De-Clip
- Repair Assistant
- Voice De-Noise
- Spectogram View
Now, if you are editing in Premiere Pro and have access to the Adobe Creative Cloud Suite, including Adobe Audition, then will be thinking, ‘Hang on, these features are part of these programs already?’.
And you would be right.
However, as I mentioned at the beginning of this post, those programs are not dedicated to those tasks and do not have the software programming and precision built into them like iZotope’s RX systems do. The RX plugins are made precisely for their needs and as such will far outdo any of the above tasks that are part of the Adobe software.
And for a price of $21 (at the time of writing, with $129 off, ending Jan 27th) it is worth the money to find out if I’m right either way.
iZotope RX 8 Standard – Everyday Audio Cleanup & Noise removal
RX 8 Standard is one of the best middle-range audio cleanup software packages out there. Used by thousands of professionals every day it’s hard to overstate how significant this iZotope plugin is.
RX 8 and its predecessors have become synonymous with audio professionals and editors/videographers alike. It is the go-to out of the three due to its simplicity, ease of use, enhanced features, and unbelievable results.
Building on the features that RX Elements has, with RX 8 Standard you get the following added benefits (there are many more than this):
- Music Rebalance
- De-Bleed & De-Reverb
- Breath Control (great for heavy breather on your mics!)
- Loudness Control
- Batch Processor
As far as audio cleanup and audio noise removal go, for mid-tier users, you simply can’t go wrong with this iZotope plugin.
RX 8 Standard retails for around $380. This may seem like a jump from Elements but the normal price of Elements is around half this price and Elements contains far fewer, as powerful, tools as RX 8 Standard does. The price jump between Standard and Advanced is much bigger and for most users, all they need is in this package right here.
Music Rebalance, De-Reverb, and Loudness Control are enough of a reason to buy this for me, they are so powerful and I use them on every project.
iZotope RX 8 Advanced – Professional Level Audio Cleanup & Restoration
RX 8 Advanced is the biggest brother/sister of all the RX offerings and as would be expected from the price tag, the feature list is rather extensive.
You only have to look at this image below to truly understand how powerful this version of the plugin is and how much value it could bring to your workflow.
Now if that mammoth list of features doesn’t excite you, I don’t know what will!
The most impressive of them, in my opinion, are:
- Dialogue Isolate
- Spectoral Recovery (this is some crazy bit of tech!)
- Wow & Flutter
- Ambience Match
- Dialogue De-Reverb
It’s fair to say, if not fairly obvious by now, that these are some in-depth and advanced tools that most editors would not need to delve into.
However, if you are truly seeking audio cleanup and restoration tools that go far and above what is offered inside the video and audio editing software programs then this package won’t be beaten. For audio professionals, this amount of finite control is incredibly powerful.
The price tag is the clincher here. The Advanced version retails for $1,140. If you are a stand-alone editor or audio professional then that’s a serious investment and you’ll need to be sure that you will more than gain that back through time back not wasted on projects trying to restore bad audio.
For recording studios, post-houses, and content studios/publishers who are working with a budget and looking to invest in their workflow then this is the ideal piece of software. The time spent on episodic content alone would be worth this level of investment.
It’s Up To You
At the end of the day, only you can decide which of the RX iZotope plugins is best for you and your budget.
It’s hard to deny that that feature-rich list of tools is nothing short of impressive no matter which version you end up going with.
For tips and tricks on getting audio right on set then check out my guide here: