The IZotope RX8 Music Rebalance software is IZotope’s latest offering. They have been the world leaders in audio treatment software for a number of years and make products which are used by production houses, music, T.V and film producers. Tools for removing background hiss, mastering and retuning are all in their repertoire of packages which are refined and updated on a regular bases.
RX8 is the newest in their line of audio treatment software and we’re gonna be focusing on the ‘Music Rebalance’ feature which separates the audio into individual stem parts and makes it perfect for remixing when you don’t have access to the original stems.
It’s important to remember that this is intended as a software option for the studio and isn’t really meant for live performance. It’s also worth mentioning that there is other software available to DJs for stem separation when performing live. DJ pro and virtual dj both have apps which have a stem separation mode and we’ll be taking a look at both of those soon.
The IZotope RX8 Music Rebalance software on its own is around £280 or just over $300 but there is another option if you just want to try it out for a few months or you want to buy it but don’t have the cash right now.
Rent To Buy
Splice run a rent to buy service on a number of different software packages so you can pick this up for around £15 a month and then as soon as the software is paid off you own it.
At present isotope are offering integration on all the major DAWs but my experience of using RX8 with Ableton was disappointing. All of the editing has to be done in RX8 so the re-routing of the audio sampler inside Ableton seems a bit pointless. It just seems easier to use both software independently and export from RX8 and then import into Ableton. I’m sure this is something that they will work on for future versions. (If you have had a different experience integrating RX8 with Logic Audio or Pro Tools or any other DAW for that matter then please let us know.)
Before we jump into IZotope RX8 Music Rebalance, its probably a good idea to get some context on separating audio into stems. Currently, its very much a work in progress and as each year passes the technology seems to be getting better and better. Therefore its worth bearing in mind that although this software is pretty impressive, its still not perfect and some of the results will be a bit hit n miss. Whether we’re able to get to a place where we can separate individual elements of a track perfectly, time will tell, but things are moving along nicely.
Step-By-Step guide for using ‘Music Bebalance’
- Fire-up RX8 and drag the track you want to separate into the main window. Then head over to the music rebalance option at the bottom right hand side of the main window.
- Once selected, the feature will show a table with the four main elements of the main audio stem and sliders below them. Vocal, Bass, Percussion and Other will be your four options for separation.
Click on the main wave file to select the part you would like to audition from. Then click preview to play. This will play back the audio depending on the parameter settings of your four track elements. Experiment with different combinations of instrument to see which offer the best results.
- Its also worth playing around with the quality and separation settings bellow the rebalance table to see what works best. This will have a big impact on your CPU as RX8 is quite a processor heavy pice of software.
- Once you are ready to bounce down your stems you can render individual parts or press separate to isolate and bounce all four parts onto your desktop.
RX7 7 was a big step forward in stem separation and while RX8 seems to show improvements with the audio quality and accuracy particularly in the vocal and bass parts, there are still noticeable issues with some of the stems.
However, the exciting part about IZotope RX8 Music Rebalance is that it is starting to produce audio stems that are useable on studio projects. This is particularly exciting if you are a remixer or DJ who doesn’t have access to the individual stems they need.