Video: What's New In iZotope Ozone 8 and Neutron 2

When mixing or mastering a recording, it’s easy to get lost in the aural weeds, especially for novice engineers and producers. Trying to follow the best tips and techniques from textbooks or tutorials can set your focus on a specific trick or two and distract you from larger problems, like your mix not being balanced, muddy low-end, or cymbals that crash a bit too hard.

iZotope, the software firm behind the newly released Neutron 2 mixing plugin and the Ozone 8 mastering suite, have developed a host of analytic and visual tools to help improve mixes and mastered tracks quickly and intuitively.

Broadly speaking, the software listens to your mix and offers immediate suggestions to help balance the different elements, instruments, and frequencies of your recording. Using that as its starting point, iZotope then provides a range of industry-leading modules and tools to finely tailor your tracks.

To explain the possibilities of the Neutron 2 and Ozone 8 software packages, iZotope’s Geoff Manchester recently stopped by the Reverb studio to walk through what’s new and improved — Visual Mixers, Track and Master Assistants, in-app connectivity, and more.

The Neutron 2 is iZotope’s channel strip plugin, which listens to your audio, suggests a custom preset EQ, and then allows you to change the parameters through various modules and visualization apps.

In this first video, Geoff introduces some of the features new to the Neutron 2 Advanced, including a multi-band gate module that can help isolate individual sounds and a Soft Saturation mode that lets you choose different kinds of analog-inspired saturation on any EQ band you select.

Neutron 2’s new Visual Mixer lets you drag and drop any of the elements from your mix onto an x-y axis, panning each element to the left or right speaker, increasing or decreasing the gain, and enlarging or narrowing the stereo width. By creating snapshots, you can easily save and recall versions of your mix.

As the Neutron 2 includes an improved Track Assistant (which analyzes and suggests preset EQs during the mixing stage), the Ozone 8 mastering suite includes a new Mastering Assistant that does the same for the mastering process. The Master Assistant allows you to easily match your EQ and limiter levels to a reference track or a chosen target format (streaming or CD), creating a balanced starting point before finer edits.

Ozone 8’s new Track Referencing uses machine learning to identify verses and choruses within the song and lets you quickly toggle between your source audio and up to 10 reference tracks, while the Spectral Shaper de-essor allows you to target and eliminate harsh frequencies by simply drawing them away.

In his third video, Geoff shows you these features and more, including improvements iZotope made to its already popular Imager and Exciter modules.

The new Tonal Balance Control plugin, which is included in both the Neutron 2 and Ozone 8 packages, gives you an initial reading on the balance of EQ bands in your mix or master, making it easier to achieve a good distribution of low, mid, and high frequencies. You can choose one of three standard Target Curves provided by iZotope or use the plugin to create your own custom curve from any album you love.

Tonal Balance Control links the Ozone 8 suite and all its various EQ and post modules to the Neutron 2 mixing modules — as well as third-party plugins — allowing you to jump back-and-forth between fixing problems in the mix and the master within the same window. Watch Geoff explain how to use this dynamic new tool below.

iZotope Ozone 8 & Neutron 2 Advanced Bundles:

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