Mix­ing/ Mas­ter­ing Ef­fect of the Year

Computer Music - - Reviews / Cm Awards 2018 - Web izotope.com For­mat Mac/PC

iZotope’s self-con­tained in-the-box mas­ter­ing so­lu­tion rolls into its eighth full ver­sion, and, it must be said, we’re in­creas­ingly amazed at how they man­age to keep on find­ing new mar­quee fea­tures to add to its list.

This time round, the fo­cus is on work­flow and func­tion­al­ity, rather than ar­chi­tec­tural ex­pan­sion and new pro­cess­ing mod­ules. Hav­ing said that, the one new de­vice that has been added, Spec­tral Shaper, is re­ally a doozie, of­fer­ing fre­quency-con­scious re­moval of high­end harsh­ness with­out af­fect­ing other sounds in the same area.

The big­gest story, though, is the ad­di­tion of the ma­chine learn­ing-driven Mas­ter As­sis­tant – an ob­vi­ous par­al­lel to sta­ble­mate Neu­tron’s Track As­sis­tant. This gives Ozone 8 the abil­ity to set up a pre­set for you, based on in­ter­nal com­par­i­son of your track with ten genre-based spec­tral curves. It re­ally works, too, as­sum­ing that it’s ap­proached with re­al­is­tic ex­pec­ta­tions in mind – ie, that the re­sult is a start­ing point, not a fi­nal con­fig­u­ra­tion.

Also de­signed to make your mas­ter­ing life eas­ier, Track Ref­er­enc­ing lets you eas­ily A/B your mix to up to ten ref­er­ence tracks, with ma­chine learn­ing again em­ployed in or­der to de­tect verses, cho­ruses, etc, and place mark­ers around them.

The in­cluded Tonal Bal­ance Con­trol plugin is an­other cool in­clu­sion, en­abling spec­tral com­par­i­son of your track to three tar­get curves gen­er­ated through anal­y­sis of thou­sands of com­mer­cial masters, and com­bined ac­cess to all Ozone 8 and Neu­tron 2 EQs that are run­ning in the pro­ject.

Along­side that lot, a raft of lesser fea­tures – in­clud­ing a sexy graph­i­cal over­haul and per­band sat­u­ra­tion al­go­rithm se­lec­tion for the Ex­citer mod­ule – add to the big stuff, to make this by far the best Ozone yet.

If you’re at all in­ter­ested in mas­ter­ing your own tracks, iZotope’s amaz­ing suite is quite sim­ply the best soft­ware you could pos­si­bly have by your side to do it.

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