Todd-AO Absentia DX music gear review

Music Gear Review: Todd-AO Absentia DX

Legendary Hollywood post-production studio Todd-AO has released Absentia DX, a standalone software processor that automatically removes unwanted noises from dialog or vocal tracks without changing the sound of the voice recording.

Absentia DX uses their ABDX algorithm to remove hum and harmonics, wireless mic noise, ticks and pops, and broadband noise from any sound file. Absentia DX processing requires no special expertise as there are no controls or technical parameters to set—it is automatic. Just drop single files or folders of files on the GUI or icon in your dock. Once processed, the new “fixed” files are directly interchangeable with the original files with all metadata retained. I launched Absentia DX and dropped a 35-second vocal track clip from Pro Tools on the Absentia DX icon in the dock—I had to do something about a nasty and constant 60Hz hum. The Hum Remover to the rescue! There are also the Broadband Reducer for removing noise whenever the dialog/voice is absent; and the Tick remover for pops and clicks, it also works ONLY in the gaps between dialog audio.

For hum removal, you can select between Strong or Smooth and I went with Strong. It took just under real time to process the clip off-line on my 2008 Mac Pro but you can do this processing in the background and get on with other work too. The result was amazing! The vocal sounded the same just sans hum.

I found Absentia DX to work flawlessly without having to tweak parameters or make changes per each audio clip. I could drop all the raw vocal or dialog tracks onto its icon and let it work on it throughout the day as I worked on the mix.

ABDX cleans the obvious, eliminates repetitive labor, and frees up time for creative challenges. It works on PC’s and well as MAC OSX 10.8 and above and sells for $49.


BARRY RUDOLPH is a recording engineer/mixer who has worked on over 30 gold and platinum records. He has recorded and/or mixed Lynyrd Skynyrd, Hall & Oates, Pat Benatar, Rod Stewart, the Corrs and more. Barry has his own futuristic music mixing facility and loves teaching audio engineering at Musician’s Institute, Hollywood, CA. He is a lifetime Grammy-voting member of NARAS and a contributing editor for Mix Magazine. barryrudolph.com