Review: Hit’n’Mix RipX DeepRemix & DeepAudio
This powerful software lets you edit audio within mixed tracks, but does it live up to its billing as a future audio platform?
Hit’n’Mix RipX DeepAudio and DeepRemix Hero
+ Great learning tool or for pitch extraction
+ Comprehensive correction and repair tools
- Vocal/instrumental removal and isolation is still some way from being perfect
- Getting the best results requires time and effort
- Even with new ARA functionality, DAW integration behind some competitors
A maturing technology that offers a lot, especially if you are willing to put some time into honing the results.
Price DeepRemix £79/$99 | DeepAudio £299/$349
Hit’n’Mix has been around for over 10 years. In that time, its original concept for extracting and manipulating individual musical elements within a full track has developed and matured into its current incarnation as RipX, the successor to Infinity.
READ MORE: How to make a killer edit
RipX comes in three flavours: DeepPlayer, DeepRemix and DeepAudio, all part of a so-called Future Audio Platform.
DeepRemix gives you a basic set of tools for separating audio files into vocal, instrumental, bass and drum stems. It also lets you add your own samples and apply effects. DeepAudio takes this further by adding a more advanced set of tools for manipulating the imported audio, such as manipulating individual harmonics in a sound, removing noise, cloning timbres or editing pitch-bends.
DeepPlayer is free to use and designed to only work with content already processed and saved in the DeepRemix/DeepAudio RipX (.rip format).
On opening any compatible audio or MIDI file, you first need to allow the software time to do its analysis. This ‘ripping’ process requires a little initial user input for specifying whether the audio is a single instrument (voice, bass etc.) or full mix. The latter option offers an adjustable analysis speed slider where longer times improve the quality of subsequent separation. On our test system, processing a 6-minute track took 17 minutes at the highest quality, which fell to 4 minutes on the quickest setting. This means that you will need to set aside a hefty chunk of time if you plan on ripping a large collection of audio tracks.
Once processed, the music appears on the central spectrum-based display. The separated elements are assigned to colour-coded layers, each attributed to an instrument/sound category (much like a set of mix stems). If you feel that software’s detection or separation of elements could be improved, you can select areas of the audio spectrum and add or remove them from the current layer. You can also create new user-defined layers for targeting specific processing.
Muting and soloing layers is easy, too, which is potentially quite powerful. For example, to extract a vocal, you can simply select and solo the vocal layer. Conversely, you can create an instrumental by just muting the vocal layer. Similar techniques apply to bass, drums and the other detected layer elements.
As far as deeper processing goes, the possibilities are many and varied. You can use the software for creative manipulation, audio correction, pitch extraction or analysis with equal aplomb. In creative terms, interacting with audio is akin to using a photo editing programme. Copying, pasting and manipulating the audio spectrum can lead to interesting results even if you possess only a limited knowledge of what you are seeing.
Audio correction, such as retuning vocals, is possible, though perhaps only as a last resort (if you don’t happen to have the original separated elements). This caveat also applies to editing harmonics, cloning vibrato or creating chords from monophonic melody lines. It is even possible (in theory) to replace instruments entirely, and should a particular function be missing, you can extend the software further with its built-in scripting tool.
However, when removing and extracting musical parts, the results are never perfect. This may suffice for mash-up or remix purposes, but don’t expect flawlessly clean acapellas or miraculous drum removal. Processing within the software, while keeping the body of a track in place, provides the best results; the limitations of the extraction process soon become apparent when you remove large amounts of audio.
The ability to create a rough and ready set of stems for tweaking will certainly appeal to many users, but software such as this also has real value in analysing and understanding music and sound.
There’s no doubt that Hit’n’Mix’s DeepAudio software is a very powerful tool, but whether it deserves the mantle of Future Audio Platform, only time will tell. It’s certainly not the only spectrum-based audio editor on the market, with its most obvious competitor being Steinberg’s Spectralayers. Celemony Melodyne and iZotope RX also cross into similar areas, though it has aimed its tech at more specific tasks. In its DeepRemix guise, Hit’n’Mix seems to be focussing on a well-defined user base of remixers and producers, and it’s here that the software seems most able.
DeepAudio offers a lot more, but with a price tag to match. Despite the inroads AI is making in all audio editing cases, the best results only come with plenty of user input, and RipX is no exception.
- RipLink Pro Tools AudioSuite, and VST3/ARA2 with DeepAudio
- Free trial available
- Extract and edit vocals
- AI technology
- Transpose, time-stretch and mix vocal stems
- 10x faster processing than Hit’n’Mix Infinity
- Deep mixing controls
- Pitch To Scale feature adjusts pitch of samples
- UI improvements