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Roland R-Mix Review

Sean W. Jul 18, 2012 0
4 out of 5 Rating

Roland’s R-Mix software is an audio program that is designed to isolate individual elements within a stereo audio mix for processing. The program is said to give users the ability to isolate a guitar track and remove it from a song, make karaoke versions of just about any song or even remove the beat from a song for remixing.

The main part of the R-Mix software is the Harmonic Placement window. This window is the representation of the music program full with pan information, EQ information, amplitude, frequency and more. The bottom area is where the waveforms are viewed. There are also controls for adding effects like reverb and delays to a mix, noise removal tools, pitch controls and tempo controls. The pitch and tempo controls use Roland’s Variphrase technology currently used in a variety of their professional products. Transport controls and audio metering is visible in the middle of the screen.

The harmonic window works like this.  Left to right is the stereo field of the audio, the top of the box are high frequencies and the bottom of the box are low frequencies. While playing audio, the color seen in the window represents the loudness. The red box called the “frame” controls the part of the audio signal being affected.  It can be dragged around to different parts of the audio program the box and resized with the cursor allowing instant audible results.  On the right side, there is an “outside level” slider that will adjust the volume of the audio outside the box and an “inside level” slider is on the left side.  The box can be changed to an oval to affect the audio differently which works better in some situations.

Roland RMix Software

The audio processing works better when removing an element of the song rather than isolating a single element.  When isolating elements, artifacts will be heard but can be minimized by some adjustments to the frame.  The volume of what’s in the frame can be adjusted independently than what’s outside the frame.  The ability to adjust the panning leads to some creative results like the ability to isolate a vocal and put it in left side only and put the rest of the music on the right.  I find this entire process and its capabilities work extremely well.

Songs with sparse instrumentation work better for isolating individual instruments better than most bigger modern, more compressed mixes.  I found that on modern songs with full compressed instrumentation, it’s difficult to near impossible to isolate a single element without some bleed over from other instruments.  The best example of this is lead vocals and snares that are panned center, you isolate one, you’ll most likely get the other.  On more open sounding mixes, the R-Mix shines and does an excellent job.

Effects can be added to the material found within the frame easily by selecting an effect and moving a slider.  The effect options include three delays, three reverbs and a pair of compressors.  There is also noise reduction which can be used to remove unwanted hiss, hum or A/C noise that may be in your material.  The VariPhrase Pitch and Tempo controls the entire file and work well.

Roland RMix Software 2

The track window displays the audio file on a timeline.  You’ll find features here to set markers, set  fades and loop points. Also available are tools for finding the tempo of a song using guide markers.  These tempo tools are crude and only work in whole numbers.  Two tracks are available and they can be used to fade a pair of songs together for a mash-up or to record a personal guitar track after you removed the original guitar track from the source material.  The overall navigation of the lower track area is clunky when compared to most DAWs or stereo audio editing programs.

R-Mix only supports .wav file format but it can freely import and export any .wav file.  The program also has a fixed visual resolution on both OS X and Windows computers.  It usually will fill up most of a screen with no option to enlarge it to full screen.

The R-Mix software does a great job at isolating and processing the audio effected.  Well recorded material yields better results and, though not perfect, the results on less than ideal music also sounds good.  The effects blend in with the source material well, even with the one slider controls.  R-Mixes capability to double as a audio noise removing tools is great for saving some older recordings and the pitch and tempo adjustments work well.  The track area, simple navigation and the save/load screens are very clunky  and could use a few more shortcuts. Overall, R-Mix  is a great software that can help anyone who wants to change prerecorded music in some way.