Bass Riff

Does the RX Elements app have the spectrogram display that RX 7 has? I couldn’t tell from their web site.

Thanks! I snagged this deal. I know what I’ll be doing this weekend.

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Is this the one you mean?


I think the deal may end at the end of the month.

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It’s a great deal but I wish the spectral repair tool was part of the bundle. I found it indispensable when I recently had to clean up some dialogue recordings made with lavalier mics. The de-reverb is a pretty handy tool to have as well (but also not included).

I recently got the Pixelmator Photo app which includes some amazing machine learning photo repair functionality in a 5$ app. It would be great if there was something similar for audio at a reasonable price (on iOS).

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I imagine that the aggressive pricing on the Elements bundle will be followed in the future by good deals on upgrades.

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I’ve read some good things about SoundSoap and Acon Digital Restoration Suite. It’s no $5 app, but you can sure save a few hundred, it seems (it looks like the iZotope RX is like $400 for standard, and both of the former appear to each be ~$100). I also read an interesting article from a Python software engineer recently, where he details using a few scripts he wrote for audio cleanup just using the standard PyLib. I will try to find it later, and link it to you. Maybe you could end up saving some scratch that way? It seems to me like a lot of programs are really fancy UI on top of programming no more complex than a lot of the patches I see on this forum, just in slightly altered syntax for the language diff. If you take away the fancy UI, programming becomes a lot more simplistic. As @stschoen pointed out to another user recently, if you can program in Audulus, you can program in any language :slight_smile:

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I can certainly see the value of a tool like RX in the context of a professional sound engineer where its cost is not a major factor, but for a casual user it’s pretty expensive. Like most of iZotopes mixing tools, it’s well reviewed and seems pretty capable. Since its primary purpose is audio repair, I personally don’t have much need, since I’m generally creating new recordings rather than restoring existing ones. Although I haven’t spent much time with Ozone, so far I’m pleased with the results. There seems to be a fair bit of overlap between the various apps in the bundle, and I probably wouldn’t purchase any of them at retail, but it’s a pretty good deal and the money is going to help our fellow musicians.
Since the source for the iZotope apps is not publicly available, it’s pretty hard to determine exactly what the apps are doing under the hood. Most seem to be based on a set of dynamic filters. As I’ve discovered during my Audulus experience, digital filter design is a complex subject. At the end of the day you can only judge the quality of the iZotope products by the results, and I doubt I’ll ever have enough experience with any of them to have much of an opinion.

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I agree that is awesome that you got the bundle of the Element utilities for such a killer deal, and I agree with the sentiment about a full suite of applications for business usage being par for the course. I hope I am not coming off like I’m oversimplifying things and belittling any developers’ work or stating that ALL applications are flash over substance, as that is not my intent, at all. I believe there are many great apps in the enterprise and individual consumer space for which there are currently no substitutions, and are useful enough to be worth their weight in gold.

I was referring to some of the utilities whose source code I have been able to dive in and examine. In those cases, it seems like the bulk of the work goes into designing and maintaining a very beautiful and intuitive UI, and if you take that away, you simplify things exponentially, imho. The takeaway I was hoping to convey is that if you are a well informed professional with a good grasp on what you need to do, and some programming knowledge, you might have the ability to develop a few algorithms and an inelegant but effective UI, or even text based something that is good enough to accomplish what you need it to do.

@stschoen You have been a developer for much longer than I have even known what programming was, so you can be the judge of whether or not I am delusional in my assertions. Is this a fair statement to make, or do you think I might be oversimplifying a bit? I am always interested to get your take on things like this because of the amount of your knowledge and experience that is an order of magnitude larger than my eyes have seen :slight_smile:

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I think you are absolutely correct. In many cases it’s the UI that sells product, so app designers often spend more time and resources on the UI and less on the underlying code. After all you can’t see the code that does the real work, so how does a potential buyer judge a new app. I think it’s often is the result of separating the UI design from the functional part of the app. In fact one of the things that attracted me to Audulus was the sparse UI. No skeuomorphic knobs to be found. When I started, my interface to the computer was punch cards. I was thrilled to have access to a CRT terminal in my third year. The development of the GUI has certainly brought computing to the masses, but I still find myself switching to the command line on occasion. I’m glad we still have one buried in the OS (not iOS unfortunately). A good set of command line tools can accomplish almost anything you can do with a computer. If you have a clear idea of what you want to accomplish and understand the algorithms needed, I see no reason why you couldn’t code something yourself that was the equal of a glitzy commercial product.

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Fwiw, audio cleanup (like de-noising and de-clicking, etc.) are quite tricky to do well even for experienced dsp programmers. Much of which ch can’t be accomplished in Audulus…which makes sense since Audulus is built for doing different sorts of things.

While some apps may be glitzy and not do much, a good audio editing app is a pleasure to use. The sound quality is key, but all things being equal,a good user interface contributes to one’s pleasure in using an app. Of course, what that means varies from person to person.

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I guess the fundamental issue is judging the worth of a piece of software. The introduction of the iPhone and the App store has driven software prices about as low as I think is possible. It’s why so many apps now have some kind of advertising bundled. As I’m sure you’re aware, programmers have to eat too. I’m kind of conflicted in this area. As a consumer, I’m happy to see low prices for software, but as a former developer, I worry that prices are so low that it is almost impossible to make a living. I was fortunate in that my work was primarily one-off apps that were business critical so cost wasn’t too much of an issue. Since I was working for Xerox at the time, I didn’t personally see much return, but the company made a bundle from some code that was mostly pretty simple. I was happy to see the rise of open source because I think it’s an excellent way to encourage innovation in computing, but the contributors to open source projects do it for love of the work, not money. My primary DAW until recently, was Reaper which is very reasonably priced for non-commercial use, and is a very flexible and powerful DAW. I still prefer it for straight recording. I switched to Ableton because I liked the clip-based workflow and I found it hard to duplicate in Reaper. Was it worth the huge increase in price? Hard to say, but I’m not unhappy with my purchase. I guess a piece of software is worth what people are willing to pay for it.

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Thanks for the tips – the Acon Acoustica suite looks very interesting. The spectral repair tool is only available in the premium version though, but at $200 that’s still half the price of the iZotope RX7. The Acon suite doesn’t have a de-reverb though, although their de-noiser might do something similar. I’m going to check out the trial version. It’ll be interesting to compare.

It seems to me that programming something like a spectral repair tool is pretty complex, with the UI being an important part of it.

I’m also happy to pay for good software (when I can) – I was just struck by the how well the Pixelmator Photo repair works and was thinking that it would be great to have a similar tool on iOS where one could interact with the waveform/spectrogram with the Apple pencil. (It works beautifully in Ferrite for example.) Photo apps have a way broader market though, so I guess that’s what makes it possible to sell the apps so cheaply, especially on iOS. The audio repair market on the other hand is a mainly professional one and that’s of course what companies like iZotope and Acon are creating their products for. It could be nice to have something in-between though.

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With sidecar coming in macOS Catalina, you may see the iPad used as a secondary interface to some of the high end products. The pencil could be pretty handy for drawing EQ curves etc.

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Nice work on this track. I am partial to the drum samples you used and I also like the changes in instrumentation that happened.

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FWIW, the race to the bottom for music software isn’t all the fault of iOS. Apple dramatically changed what music software cost when it dropped the price of Logic from $999 to $499 and then to $199. If I recall that first drop was around 2004 and it had a big impact right away. At the time, Digital Performer and Logic and the like were around $999. The software that I worked on was $499 at the time. Overnight, our software went from being considered fairly-priced to being over-priced.

All the major players dropped their prices in half. And then Apple dropped the price again several years later.

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But they keep adding functionality for free. It’s truly absurd how Garageband is now very nearly the google docs of DAWs.

I’m not exactly sure why I stopped using Logic and moved to Ableton, other than it had built-in synergies with Max/MSP. It’s a much more confusing DAW to learn and the standard version of Ableton lacks a LOT of the stuff that comes with Logic.

I think the price drops on Logic were part of the same overall strategy on Apple”s part. Their profit comes from selling hardware so less expensive software is in their interest. By bundling their office suite, GarageBand, iMovie etc. they offer a lot of functionality with a base Mac or iPad which partially offsets the higher hardware cost. They abandoned Aperture and it wouldn’t surprise me to see them do the same with Logic and FinalCut. I don’t think they’re as interested in high end software as they once were.

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No disagreement here, however, I think you may have misinterpreted the point of my comments, as I was speaking in a general sense and simply comparing Audulus programming with the ability to apply that to similar tasks in other languages.

The intent was never to use Audulus for anything other than the fun and utility of the sound design we all know and love. I wouldn’t want to try to repurpose this application, as there are more focused libs in other languages that are better suited for the task, and to try to repurpose (imo) would be something like trying to fashion a cheese grater into some sort of a tree trimming device, all the while with a set of gardening shears, branch clippers, and a wood saw in a toolshed 15 yards away from the exercise of working harder, not smarter lol.

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I had a chance to sit and have a listen to your track today as I was driving over to a friend’s place. Great job, that is a really good mix, and a catchy little riff! :smiley:

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A little follow up on the Acoustica Suite – I checked it out and was very happy with the results! In fact I got better results with the DeVerberate plug-in! The interface might not be as ‘beautiful’ as iZotopes’ and there’s no simultaneous view of the waveform and spectrogram, but I generally found it easier to navigate.

I don’t really want to contribute to the sales frenzies, but Acon do have a 30% off sale on through the end of 2 December, which means that one can get DeVerberate and the Premium Suite for half of the price of the similar RX7 Standard package. So, highly recommended if you have a use for those kinds of tools.

Frustrated with my aging MacBook Pro I also discovered that the fabulous FabFiler plugins were available on iOS, and using the Pro·Q 3 Equalizer on my iPad Pro with the Apple Pencil for example, has turned out to be a real joy. The Pro·R Reverb is also incredible if it’s a more ‘realistic’ reverb you’re after. They also have 25% off through the end of today.

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