Manufacturer Profile: iZotope

Making Home Studios Sound Like The Hit Factory

Many DIY musicians find themselves at a loss when it comes to that perfect sheen heard on major label recordings. The secret? iZotope. No other company has pushed the boundaries of digital audio processing or made professional recording so accessible. Their programs are used by artists, broadcasters, and developers to get the highest quality audio with the smallest hassle. iZotope plug-ins can make a home studio sound like the Hit Factory.

Having trouble finding that perfect vocal sound? The Nectar will open a new world of possibilities for you. An intuitive, all-in-one tool for mixing? Drop Alloy onto your track. Mastering? Ozone. Search most studios’ computers and you’ll find several iZotope plug-ins quietly making their mixes shine. Bring the process home and develop a new skill set; iZotope’s website has free guides that will help get you started mastering, dithering, and even creating your own mobile apps. This open spirit has led to collaborations with major artists and companies across the entertainment spectrum. Founded in an MIT dorm room a decade ago, they’ve been committed to combining research and passion into the finest audio products available. Their mission? “Improving the way people create and experience sound by making technology easier to use and more accessible to everyone.”

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REVIEW: Ozone 5 Complete Mastering System – starting at $249

Seven Mastering Tools in One

The Ozone 5 bundles seven mastering tools into one easy-to-use box. The parametric EQ is visually descriptive, showing the overall curve of equalization against a real-time spectral analysis of your mix. The visuals are made even more powerful by a freeze and matching view, letting you compare your frequency spectrum to other songs (a great learning tool). The reverb unit has six fully customizable spaces that combine advanced algorithms to create depth most other digital reverbs lack.

Harmonic excitation and stereo imaging play a large role in giving music the ‘pro’ sound. The exciter creates additional harmonics that can make a mix sparkle; stereo imaging removes frequencies present in both sides of a mix to emphasize the difference between them. Ozone’s selection of exciters modeled after tube or tape saturation sounds warm and musical, separating your lows, mids, and highs to be adjusted and mixed. The stereo imager also splits up the mix into separate frequency bands to be spread as desired, while the built in Vectorscope provides several unique ways of visualizing the stereo image. The Dynamics section divides your mix into four frequency ranges and puts a compressor, limiter, and expander on each one. The control is tight and addictive, at times requiring a step back to remember compression is best used lightly in mastering. Through all the modules, the spectral analysis is visible, showing what your changes do to the overall mix. The undo history is easily accessible and can be used selectively, a huge plus. Taken individually, each part of the Ozone system is impressive in power and simplicity; as a group they make for the finest digital mastering tool available.

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