Izotope RX 10 Sales- Worth it?
To know me is to know that voice actors over processing their sound is the bane of my existence. I appreciate that certain genres of voice work call for it (audio books, corporate narration, other jobs that expect finished audio). Izotope is one my favorite companies because they make tools that only a decade or so ago were like miracles- and they just keep getting better! Their RX product offerings have shifted quite a bit over the past year, and they're currently running some solid Cyber Monday deals. But are they worth it? In previous classes for RX, I've taught what is useful and what is not- and how best to use them. If you're reading this on Cyber Monday 2022- that class is discounted dramatically to $25!
So who is RX Elements 10 for? I think the fact that they're showing a Blue Yeti mic on the packaging offers a clue. It's a bundle of easy to use plugins targeted to content creators that aren't necessarily audio engineers. Currently at $99, RX Elements offers the following modules and plugins:
But wait! Previous versions of Elements used to go on sale for just $29!! Yup- but they didn't offer the same power included here. In addition to a re-thought repair assistant with a more intuitive interface, they've included De-reverb. This puts it more in line with what RX Standard used to be. But do you need it? Probably not.
I can't emphasize enough how much I DON'T want you to process your auditions for commercial work. Some agents have implored me to ask actors to stop with the processing. I've previously written about what a mistake it is to pay for setups or stacks. But if you're in a position where you need to- RX Elements can help. The modules you'll likely get benefit from are Voice De-noise- handy for removing steady and light sound problems, like a distant air conditioner or other consistent room tone. Push it too hard and you'll sound awful. Get it right, and it's a life saver. You also might use De-Click to help with mouth noise. Your mouth noise isn't as bad as you think, and you're always better off staying hydrated and keeping apples on hand to fix it BEFORE hitting record. De-Click is basically identical to the Mouth De-Click module offered in RX Standard- so don't feel like you're missing out!
The rest of what is offered in RX 10 Elements is likely overkill. If you're getting a hum, you've got a bigger problem... a bad cable, a broken mic. The De-hum tool is great for fixing guitar noise and other music recording issues. You'll probably never use it for VO. De-Clip is cool for tweaking distorted moments... but I've never had luck on voice recordings. It's great for fixing a clipped drum or bass track, but not going to offer much of a cure if you recorded a voiceover take that clipped.
De-reverb is amazing! I use it constantly on location audio files when I mix commercials. If YOU need it for voice work, you've got a much bigger problem. Literally. Reverb occurs in large spaces that haven't been treated properly. If you have it in your voice recordings- get yourself a proper booth!
In fairness, I haven't upgraded to RX 10 yet. I only recently bought RX 9 Advanced, having previously owned RX 8, 7, 6, 5... you get the idea. I have never had much success with previous repair assistants. I see they've radically changed the interface, and I can only hope the improvements help it actually function better for voice recording.
The bottom line: If you've already got RX 7, 8 or 9 Elements and have fixed your booth properly, you likely don't need this upgrade. $99 for this bundle is a great deal- but considering light noise removal is probably your biggest problem (passing ACX, etc), you might be better off using another de-noiser if you weren't lucky enough to score RX Elements for $29 last year. And again- if you need help learning these tools, consider a replay of my RX Elements class.