ReTouching Audio

Cedar ReTouch

Cedar ReTouch and iZotope RX have been mentioned several times in these web pages, with good reason. These powerful programs consistently amaze operators and clients alike.

They are revolutionary in the way that they present information about the audio, and in the manipulations they allow. 

Here’s what the creators of Cedar say:

“CEDAR ReTouch is a huge leap forward in sound processing technology. Unlike conventional restoration tools, Retouch allows you to define the temporal and spectral content of the sound you want to remove. This makes it possible to identify noises as varied as coughs, squeaky chairs, page turns, the creak of a piano pedal and even car horns.

Once identified, unwanted sounds are replaced seamlessly with audio that matches the surrounding signal. All other audio remains untouched.”

These programs take audio restoration to a new level because they can be used to identify and remedy problems which are difficult or impossible to deal with in any other way. Clicks, pops, swish and dropouts can be corrected, and even clipping-type distortion can be removed.

iZotope RX7

They are extremely good at eliminating or suppressing a whole host of other distracting noises, such as clicks, creaks, thumps, coughs, page turns. This can be very useful for live recordings, especially if the recording is to be released on CD but it also means that session takes that would have otherwise been rejected for “noises off” can be ReTouched and used in the edit.

In addition, Cedar ReTouch and iZotope RX can be used in a more creative way, to make spot improvements of ensemble or chord tuning. Whilst we wouldn’t do this routinely, it can help to save an otherwise good take, which in the past might instead have been exchanged for a less interesting but more ‘correct’ take.

In the knowledge of what these programs make possible in post-production, it is often no longer necessary to have so many re-takes for noises off during a session. That annoying piano stool creak during the final chord (we’ve yet to discover the truly silent piano stool!) need no longer spoil an otherwise excellent take. This in turn means more session time concentrating on music-making.

Again the success or otherwise of these processes is partly down to the operator. Neither program is automated, and will simply do what it’s told to, good or bad. Like all ‘restoration’ tools, it is imperative to understand and hear the trade-offs involved, in order to achieve the best sounding result. Here at Classical Media, we have many years of experience using Cedar ReTouch and  iZotope’s RX7 in a wide variety of applications, some of which may be unique to us.