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How to Edit Vocals in iZotope RX 6

Transcript
RX 6 features ground breaking tools and enhancements to solve vocal production problems, like harsh sibilance, plosives, mouth clicks, even noisy breath sounds that show up in between vocal passages.

I have a vocal sample here with a few issues of its own, and the first thing that I’m hearing is sibilance, which is high frequency harshness, like words with the letter “s” in them.

For example, I want you to listen for sibilant harshness when I play back this sample by paying close attention to the words, “sunrise,” “anticipant,” and “sway.”

[vocals]

I’m going to use the brand new Spectral De-Ess module to attenuate those ess sounds, and now I’m going to preview the module’s results to make sure that those ess sounds are being properly attenuated.

[vocals, de-essed]

I’m pretty happy with that, so I’ll press process. So here is before we did any de-essing with the spectral de-esser.

[vocals, no de-essing]

And here is after.

[vocals, after de-essing]

Now, the next thing I’m hearing is a plosive. Plosives are bursts of low frequency energy, typically when a vocalist uses words with the letter “b” or “p” in them.

I’m going to play back this moment right here, and let’s see if you can detect a plosive that I’m talking about. So listen for a burst of low end energy right around this mark. Have a listen.

[vocals]

It’s right when he uses the word, “anticipant.” So I’m going to use the De-Plosive module to solve this problem. I’ll call up another preset. Now, what I’ll do is press preview to see if the module is really taking care of that problem.

[vocals, after processing]

The plosive appears to have caused the preamp to clip, bringing out upper harmonics. So we can clear this up by further raising the frequency limit as I have here. If I double click it, it will go back to 200. So I’m going to raise it, and I’m doing this because this will allow the De-Plosive module to interpolate those frequencies that might have been disturbed when things clipped.

So I’ll press preview once more.

[vocals]

I’m pretty happy with that. So what I’ll do is I’ll make a very narrow selection here and press process.

So here’s after.

[vocals after processing]

And here’s before.

[vocals before processing]

Once more, after we used De-Plosive.

[vocals after processing]

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Pretty happy with that. So the next thing I’m hearing is a breath sound. Now, breath sounds can sometimes stick out in a vocal, and while breath sounds are important to the emotion of a song, we don’t want them to be distracting for the listener.

A great tool, and brand new to RX 6 is the breath control module, and what we can do is click on this output breaths only box and listen back to make sure that the module is only hearing, and eventually attenuating the breath sounds, and not important tonal information like vocals or anything like that.

So I’ll press preview, and let’s see if you can hear the breath sound that I’m referring to.

[vocals, then breaths]

So it’s right there. So I’ll uncheck this box and then press process. We definitely saw a decrease in gain at that breath, so let’s have a listen back. So here is after we used breath control.

[vocals, after processing]

And here’s before.

[vocals before processing]

So as you can hear, it’s naturally attenuated that breath, and not gotten rid of it altogether, because that would be a bit kind of funny to the listener if that breath disappeared. It’s about maintaining the soul and the integrity of the performance.

So we can hear it, but it’s not that audible.

[vocals, after processing]

Now, the final thing that I’m hearing are some subtle mouth sounds. Typically, if the performer is dehydrated and maybe too close to the microphone, the mic will pick up some lip smacks and clicks. I have a pretty good example right here at around the four second mark that’s definitely audible enough that it might distract the listener from the performance. So have a listen, it’s right around the four second mark.

[vocals]

So one thing I’ll do is call up the brand new Mouth De-Click module, and again, I’ll click this output clicks only box, and if you didn’t hear the mouth click before, I think you’ll probably hear it this time. So I’ll preview only the click that we’re hearing in the selection that I’ve made. Listen carefully.

[vocals, only clicks]

So that’s definitely audible to me. So now I’ll uncheck this box and press process. So here is after we used Mouth De-Click to attenuate those clicking sounds in the background.

[vocals, after processing]

Here’s before.

[vocals before processing]

And now, let’s do a big before and after. So before, we did de-essing before we did that de-plosive work, before we attenuated the breath sound, and then before we attenuated the mouth click. So here’s before we did all of that work.

[vocals before all processing]

And here’s after.

[vocals after all processing]

For more in depth tutorials on RX 6 and free downloadable test files that you can use at home, visit izotope.com/RX.

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