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RipX DAW: AI-Powered Stem Separation & Audio Manipulation

The majority of today’s AI music tools seem to be built for non-musicians. One-click song generators let anyone feel involved in the creative process, with or without any musical training. Musicians have been using these next-gen tools for inspiration and audio sampling, but we've seen mounting frustration on social media regarding the lack of deeper musical controls.

London-based music software company Hit’n’Mix has taken a bold step forward in 2023, filling this vacuum with the RipX DAW. It’s the first of its kind to deliver AI music production workflows that run on a local machine instead of a website. Users have access to stem separation, audio-to-midi transcription, and a host of other audio manipulation tools.

RipX DAW Pro interface

The company seems to be enjoying a warm reception from the pro audio community, who appreciate working in a single, standalone app rather than juggling multiple, unrelated websites.

It doesn’t hurt that RipX comes with a free 21 day trial and a relatively low-cost, one-time purchase for those who like it. Producers and DJs who have been paying for a bundle of monthly subscriptions can pare down their expenses without sacrificing on audio quality.

Let’s have a look at some of the software’s unique capabilities and watch a few video tutorials to get familiar with the product. We’ll compare it to other DAWs and MIDI transcription plugins, plus we’ll show you how people are using it with text-to-music apps to improve on audio quality.

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RipX DAW Pro: Advanced stem separation tools

The name RipX can be taken at face value, as the DAW quite literally rips apart existing audio files through high-quality stem separation. We’ve covered services like that before, but none of them held a candle to the feature-rich audio editing interface offered by Hit’n’Mix.

Other entry-level web apps like Splitter offer rudimentary controls, like a volume mixer and song analyzer to detect BPM and key signature. Their tempo finders are often inaccurate and have a hard time distinguishing relative keys, like C major to A minor. Users have to download the stems from their browser and import them manually into a DAW, making for a suboptimal workflow.

These shortcomings have been irritating music producers and in turn, created demand for a more robust workstation that puts everything in one container.

Getting started with RipX is simple. Visit their website and download the free trial, install the application and boot it up. The app includes a nice onboarding flow to familiarize you with the interface.

Begin by loading an audio file in their stem separator. RipX can open MP3, WAV, MIDI, Ogg, and even CD tracks. Processing times depend on a few factors, including the length of the track and the power of your computer. For those who are curious, we’ll review system requirements later in this article.

Once the track has been split apart, a list of instrument layers appears on the left panel. Hover over one of them to reveal options to mute, solo, select and adjust the level. Click on the arrow to the left of the instrument label to reveal additional options for EQ and stereo panning.

Imagine how easy this makes it to create a backing track, simply by muting the vocal layer or any other instrument solos like a lead guitar. A little bit of clean up and audio enhancement should help to balance the mix. But as a whole, we’ve found that RipX does a phenomenal job creating stems without any of the nasty audio artifacts that tend to show up in other tools.

Audio-to-MIDI: Why RipX is superior to Melodyne

As a MIDI generation company, the AudioCipher team has been paying extra close attention to AI tools in our niche. We’ve reviewed other audio-to-midi apps like Samplab 2 and Spotify’s Basic Pitch. Of the two, Samplab’s VST is better than Basic Pitch, but RipX is clearly the pick of the litter.

Hit’n’Mix has moved the goal post further down the field, with MIDI transcription quality that rivals even the most advanced product in the field, Melodyne 5. For years, Celemony's Autotune plugin was the only real option for visualizing and manipulating polyphonic harmonies. Their $699 price point on Melodyne looks insane now, compared to the one-time $99 cost of RipX.

Let’s bring all these claims down to earth a bit. This video tutorial shows how RipX was used to separate stems of a mixed song, modify individual notes in a guitar solo, and even remix the track with new synth or percussion layers. Notice how clean his guitar tone sounds, and the unreal level of control that he has over the manipulation of individual notes.

Where other apps like Samplab 2 use the traditional “block notation” seen in a MIDI piano roll, the RipX interface displays each note as a fully editable sound. Subtle details like pitch bends and vibrato are visible and can be adjusted at will. You can even split, trim, and blend notes together as shown at the 4:28 timestamp in the video tutorial above.

Audio manipulation tools: The effects panel

RipX DAW Pro’s effect panel offers a host of different audio manipulation tools, split up into four main categories; pitch, time-based effects, and sound levels. I’ll touch on each of them briefly here so you have a sense of what to expect. Many of these features are available in other workstations, but the convenience of having them here alongside AI music is a treat.

RipX pitch controls

Pitch controls: Just like Melodyne’s autotune feature, users can highlight and snap a collection of notes to the nearest semitone or note in a scale. So if a project’s unpitched vocals sound a bit out of tune, it’s not necessary to manually drag notes up and down one at a time to fix them.

That being said, users do also have the option to finely edit individual pitches. Advanced options include flattening vibrato into a consistent tone without sacrificing the performance. You can also do the inverse, applying vibrato and slides to notes that lack the expressivity you wanted.

Time effects

Time controls: Legacy DAWs don’t allow users to quantize a mixed audio track. The feature was reserved for MIDI notes on a piano roll, but that’s no longer the case. Users can act directly upon their audio files and snap them to the nearest beat. An audio clip can chosen and stretched to fill a defined number of bars, so that it loops seamlessly on itself. Other sound design essentials like reverb and delay can be found in this panel.

RipX level controls

Audio levels: Here you’ll find many of the familiar resources for adjusting volume, stereo panning, low and high pass filters, gates, and applying compression. A few sections below on the right panel, you’ll find another collection of effects labeled Repair. These presets will filter out background and foreground noises, reduce ambient humming, and even out random changes in a sound's amplitude.

Using RipX to improve on AI music quality

Combining the RipX DAW with AI music generation software may be the single most popular use cases on social media. This is probably due in part to the massive wave of interest in AI tools and the fact that several RipX features are powered by artificial intelligence. That being said, there are some very real and unmet needs emerging from this new wave of AI music generation apps.

One-click song generators are not particularly helpful for most musicians. It takes a trained ear and a skilled performer to recreate an existing audio recording. Even with all of that talent, the task still requires a certain amount of time and effort. Stem separation, note transcription, and clean up tools like a de-esser are essential for people experimenting in this space.

This first demo features a track generated by the AI text-to-song app Suno AI. Notice how this user chopped an AI vocal melody mid-note, pitch shifted the second half up within the scale, and then applied a slide effect to transition between them.

Later, they duplicate a soprano note from one of the chords in their progression and moved it up by a third to create some extended harmony. A little reverb is added at the end of the video to tie it all together.

This second video offers an even deeper tutorial from a pro audio engineer at Lanewood Studios. Around the 14 minute time stamp, he shares an AI song that he generated with Stable Audio.

He begins isolating and mixing each track while explaining his thoughts about what needs improvement. We heard a noticeable difference around the 21 minute mark, when he shared the before-and-after comparison of these two tracks.

After you finish cleaning up an existing track, you also have the option add new instrument layers. There's a free collection of loops available on the right panel, but if you want to record your own track simply connect a MIDI controller or audio source via the DAW's Input options (located on the left panel). Like any other workstation, you can playback the project audio while recording new tracks.

System requirements

AI music and audio models are notoriously resource-heavy, meaning they consume a lot of CPU + RAM. These hardware limitations are one of the main reasons that other AI companies have been hosting their services on websites. Powerful cloud-based servers help companies to deliver fast and consistent rendering times across any device.

However, home systems have been catching up quickly, and fast results can now be obtained on Apple Macs with M1/2/3 chips, and Windows machines with Nvidia GPUs. As of January 2024, you’ll need to meet the following requirements to use RipX DAW Pro:

  • MacOS: 10.12+ (2011 & later models, including M1/M2)

  • Windows: 7/8/10/11 (64-bit)

  • Minimum: 2 Core 2.5GHz CPU, 8 GB RAM, 20 GB Free Disc Space

  • Recommended: 4+ Core CPU / Apple Silicon M1/M2, 16+ GB RAM, 20 GB Free Disc Space

  • Ideal: NVIDIA GeForce with 16 GB RAM and NVIDIA CUDA Toolkit 11.0 installed

8GB of RAM is generally considered enough to browse the internet, but not sufficient to run large projects without crashing. Apple's latest 14-inch M3 MacBook Pro has only 8GB of unified memory. Customers have to pay an extra $200 to get 16GB and $400 to get 24GB.

At the end of the day, most music production software runs best on a computer with 16+ GB of memory. RipX is no different from other DAWs like FL Studio, Ableton Live, Logic Pro, Cubase, or Studio One in this regard.

Founded in 2009, Hit’n’Mix has been delivering music production software for years. It’s great to see a company like this spread its wings and find a competitive edge over some of the other household brand names.

If you’re interested in tracing their path backwards in time, their earlier releases like Hit’n’Mix Infinity or read their history of audio separation, beginning in 2001. I encourage you to check out some of their other products like RipX Deepaudio, RipX Deepremix, and Deepcreate as well.

You can visit the company’s website to learn more and get started with a free 21-day trial:


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