iZotope's RX has been revered as the industry leader in audio repair and post production software for over a decade. Taking into account its proven pedigree, one might wonder:
“If I already own the most powerful audio post production suite on the market, why do I need Dialogue Match?”
It’s a valid question—no one wants to feel like they’re buying something that won’t actually add value to their workflow. The truth is that Dialogue Match is unlike any product we’ve ever released, and no less revolutionary than RX in its own right. We’ve written this article to help clarify where and why both RX and Dialogue Match deserve a permanent spot in your audio post production toolbox.
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We’ve all heard that necessity is the mother of invention, and that certainly holds true for Dialogue Match. We developed Dialogue Match in an effort to rethink the entire post production community’s approach to editing dialogue. Working in close collaboration with Exponential Audio founder and renowned reverb expert Michael Carnes, we’ve created a product with the ability to analyze a dialogue audio file, obtain a sonic profile comprised of its reverb, EQ, and ambience data, then directly apply that profile to another piece of dialogue. The result is that you can now make one audio file sound as if it was captured in the same space and under the same physical conditions as another.
Okay, but why does that matter? Dialogue cohesiveness is essential to making sure the audience is never taken out of the scene due to technical variables or rough editing. Before Dialogue Match, achieving environmental consistency for dialogue—often hundreds of audio files per project recorded in different spaces with different equipment—was a nightmare for editors. It required meticulous equalization, reverb design, and ambience matching, and even then the editor could only get so close to the feel of the original recording.
Enter Dialogue Match, which leverages industry-first reverb matching technology in conjunction with our machine learning-powered EQ and ambience matching algorithms, as well as Exponential Audio’s impeccable natural reverb engine to duplicate the sonic space of one recording for immediate use on another. What once took hours of a dialogue editor’s time is now finished in minutes (or even seconds!) with greater precision and authenticity than would have otherwise been possible. In short, Dialogue Match helps dialogue editors get more work done, better and faster than ever before.
The most dramatic difference between Dialogue Match and RX is the nature of the work each product is intended to perform. Whereas RX offers numerous audio repair and sweetening modules for a more versatile, cover-all approach to post production, Dialogue Match was designed to introduce an all-new streamlined workflow specific to dialogue editing. As powerful and flexible as RX is, we realized that achieving consistency for dialogue audio would require a completely new type of editing tool. We developed Dialogue Match to reduce the time spent on this one aspect of the audio post production process and let RX handle any audio repair processing you need.
While there’s definitely inherent value in RX’s shotgun-meets-Swiss-Army-Knife capabilities, certain technical processes demand a more focused toolset. This was the intent behind Dialogue Match. Through thorough market research and direct outreach to professional dialogue editors, it became clear to us that the industry needed a surgical tool that would optimize efficiency in the most time-consuming portion of audio post production: matching dialogue recordings to one another. Even though it focuses on just one part of a post engineer’s workload, it does its job spectacularly and saves you hours of tedious manual editing in the process.
An actor can deliver a powerful, emotional performance that delights the director, only for the post engineer to discover that the production audio is plagued with environmental noise, electrical interference, or any number of audio ailments that render the material unusable. And that’s where RX comes in. The standalone RX Audio Editor application grants you access to the most powerful audio repair tools on the planet, saving even the most damaged audio files from the dreaded trash can.
For example, Dialogue Isolate is one the most useful RX modules when it comes to dialogue editing. Listen below as Dialogue Isolate removes troublesome background noise from a recorded interview, leaving behind only the vocal content the listener is intended to hear.
Dialogue Isolate Before
Dialogue Isolate After
Another common problem with on-set audio capture is the distracting sound of clothing rubbing against an actor’s clip-on lavalier mic, which results in problematic low-end interference. Luckily, RX includes a De-rustle module specifically designed to solve this issue. Listen below to hear De-rustle in action.
Mic Rustle Before
Mic Rustle After
To hear other RX audio examples, click here.
As we’ve heard, RX is a great tool for cleaning up your raw dialogue audio and removing troublesome content prior to the final mixing process. Once you have clean, high-quality dialogue recordings, use Dialogue Match to produce audio continuity across the entire scene. This is essential to keep your audience in the moment, and Dialogue Match is perfectly suited to accomplishing this in a number of scenarios:
Matching lav and boom mic dialogue
Dialogue captured from a lav mic is often more focused and intelligible than boom mic recordings, but it can lack the spatial feel of the environment in which the performance was recorded. This makes for sterile, inauthentic audio, no matter how passionate the actor’s performance may be. Listen below as Dialogue Match applies the ambience of a boom track to the lav recording to add a sense of dimension without compromising on the lav track’s clarity.
Matching ADR to production audio
Another common continuity pitfall occurs when it becomes necessary to re-record an actor’s lines in ADR. Since ADR is performed in an acoustically-treated recording studio, the difference between the studio-recorded dialogue and the production audio can be striking and distracting to your audience—a cardinal sin in post production. Never fear, however, as Dialogue Match is more than up to the challenge of matching your ADR material to the environment of your on-set recordings. Click below to hear for yourself!
Original boom location audio
ADR to boom before
ADR to boom after
Click here for more Dialogue Match examples.
RX and Dialogue Match each have their own unique utility that, when joined together, help make each more useful, powerful tools in your workflow. As you’ve just read and heard, RX is the perfect choice for cleaning up and polishing your dialogue files before you use Dialogue Match to make sure they fit in your scene like a perfectly tailored suit.
Anyone who does any type of dialogue post production work will absolutely benefit from both RX and Dialogue Match. With these two groundbreaking tools at your disposal, you’ll be ready to take on any post production work and to get it done in record time.