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iZotope RX 3 vs. Adobe Audition, Part 2: Noise and Reverb/Echo Reduction

In this final round between audio editing champs iZotope RX 3 and Adobe Audition CC, we compare the two audio editors in noise reduction and reverb/echo reduction.

I ran multiple test cases in Audition and RX3. The primary difference was that RX3 did a noticeably better job removing noise from speech. That is, when the background noise was the only noise present on the waveform, both tools did a fine job. But when the noise was integrated into the speech itself, RX3 proved better at removing that noise.

You can hear this in two samples. The first was provided by World Trade Press, consulting client, from their A to Zebra Language product.

World Trade Press

Briefly, the A to Zebra Language product includes over 6,500 vocabulary terms and 5,500 verb conjugations in five languages. Processing these files is a huge chore, and I was hired to help streamline the encoding and noise reduction workflows. A faint noise had appeared in the audio files during shooting; it wouldn’t have been a problem for most videos, but since many users of the product listen via headphones, World Trade Press wanted the audio as pristine as possible.

I produced files using Audition CC and iZotope. You’ll probably need headphones to hear the difference, but if you wear headphones, you’ll notice that the background whine in the speaker’s voice in the Audition file, but not the iZotope file.

Videoguys Tutorial

The second file is from a video tutorial that I shot for the NewTek Tricaster TC40. My office is pretty quiet, but to record the tutorial, I had to have two computers running; the TC40 itself, and the computer capturing the screencam. That created a noticeable whine.

If you play the Audition file, again with headphones, you’ll notice that the whine remains in the speech, which is particularly noticeable when I finish a word or sentence, and the noise remains for a split second. iZotope did a much better job removing the noise from the speech as well as the otherwise silent areas.

In concluding this section, I should say that I consider myself competent when using noise reduction with Audition, but certainly not an expert. Audition has lots of controls like Spectral Decay, Transition Width, and Precision Factor available, which I experimented with but didn’t perform regression analysis in an attempt to improve the results. I can’t absolutely say that iZotope is “better” at noise reduction than Audition, but I can say that iZotope allowed me to produce a superior result faster and easier, which for most users is the same thing as better.

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