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Six Colors

by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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By Jason Snell

iZotope RX finally adds Apple silicon support

I use iZotope’s RX audio utilities constantly. They clean up background noise, remove buzzing and humming, and even remove the reverberations from echoey rooms. There was even that one time when someone played three hours of D&D with a sump pump beeping in the background every 30 seconds, and I used iZotope’s tools to isolate that frequency and eliminate the beeping entirely. It’s pretty great stuff.

What’s not so great has been the company’s slowness to embrace Apple silicon. While Rosetta has made the iZotope RX Audio Editor app usable on my M1 MacBook Air, it’s hard to use CPU-intensive audio utilities without feeling frustrated that they’re not living up to their potential because they’re being translated from Intel code.

iZotope finally released its Apple silicon upgrade—it’s RX 9 9.3.0, so if you’re using a previous version of iZotope RX you’ll be forced to buy an upgrade—and yes, of course, everything is faster. A lot faster:

In my brief tests, the native version of the Spectral Denoise tool I use to remove background noises took 60 percent of the time it did in Rosetta mode. The extremely processor-intensive Dialogue Dereverb tool, which uses fancy math to subtract room echo, executed in 75 percent of the time it took in Rosetta.

This has, of course, also made it more painful to compare my $999 M1 MacBook Air to my beloved $5000 (in 2017 dollars) iMac Pro. Yes, it’s four years old, but it’s quite a thing to watch as Apple’s bargain laptop absolutely crushes my iMac Pro at removing reverb and almost matches it at removing noise.

This means that, for my purposes, my MacBook Air is officially a more powerful tool than my iMac Pro. The next-generation big iMac can not come soon enough.

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