The Last Minute Christmas Present: Ozone 6 or Go For…
The new Ozone is out. iZotope updated their all-in-one mastering suite, which brings you new features, a new interface and an updated feel. Check out how you can satisfy your masterings needs with the new Ozone 6.
Compared to Ozone 5, to me version 6 has a far better look. The GUI is done in a slight grey and blue. The components can be found in the lower section of the plugin and by clicking on the empty field, you can choose which of them you want to use. They can be put in any order for a customized signal flow, but make sure that the maximizer is always the last one in the chain.
There are some new features in the modules. First, there is no more reverb plugin. According to iZotope it was used not very often in the mastering engineers’ chain. Second, a new component was added: Dynamic EQ. It acts like a typical graphical equalizer with a nice addition: a threshold. You can use this whenever there are a few peaks and frequencies which only appear sporadically throughout a production. This is a nice way to manipulate a final mix without overcooking one and undercooking other frequencies.
By clicking the “ear” button below the meter section at the right, you can compare your made settings with the original file. Ozone automatically adjusts the input with the output level when you click on bypass, so you can judge your settings without being cheated by loudness differences. To me this is a very useful feature and in the past it was of the functions I liked the most when f.e. using the FG-X Slate limiter. This shows me that iZotope is a fluid and great company, which can adjust to market conditions very fast. Well Done!
Multiband modules now have the learn function: Ozone analyzes the frequency spectrum and places crossover points which best suit the material. This makes it easy to set useful bands and manipulate them. For example, I like the Imager: I mono the lower frequencies and widen-up the higher ones. This tames phase problems and makes your mix bigger. And if you use this technique in composing, it will create space for your VO.
The preset section is now sorted in a different way than it was in Ozone 5. There are various presets in three categories: light, balanced and heavy. Presets are still saved in .xml format, so it’s still possible to use your carefully designed Ozone 5 presets. 🙂
Ozone 6 can now be used in standalone mode. This makes it easy to compare different mixes and match their sound, because various tracks can be loaded in one session. Just switch between them to hear the differences without opening various sessions. This is supported by the history section, which lets you easily switch and compare between different settings. You can also do simple fades and cut the start and end point. A big advantage in standalone mode is that you can load third party plugins into your mastering chain! So, if you ever thought that you would love to use your favorite plugin in Ozone – now it’s possible.
If you have used Ozone 5 a lot in the past, it will take some time to get used to Ozone 6. For example, I noted that somehow the the levels are displayed differently than in Ozone 5. It seems that they’re displayed in a different resolution, so if you’re into the Ozone 5 meters, it can happen quickly that you’re louder than you thought. But all in all it’s now easier to get around.
When you switch between different tracks in standalone mode and have a third party plugin involved, it keeps opening every time you switch. But I’m sure that they will fix this in further updates. Another point is that iZotope does not support Windows Vista and XP, though this is not a problem for me personally. Also note that bypassing single modules does not effect the CPU power. It’s only lowered when you remove the modules from the chain. However, I was damn impressed with the CPU power of the standalone version! I had up to 14 tracks in one session, each processed with at least 5 modules and everything ran silky smooth. Nice!
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Ozone 6 is more than a visual update. It’s a workflow update, which helps your creativity, and help you get the sound you imagined. I will use it in my future productions for sure! It’s well worth checking out the 10day trial.
And now pump up some mixes!