The iZotope Ozone 4 is a VST-based mastering suite that contains all the effects and plugins necessary for basic, home-studio mastering. It has six different sections, including paragraphic eq, mastering reverb, multi band harmonic exciter, multi band dynamics, loudness maximizer, and multi band stereo imaging. If you've never ventured into mastering before, some of these processes may seem familiar, but others can be a bit complicated. No matter, iZotope comes with plenty of presets for a variety of genres, and they are great starting points for your mastering needs.
I find myself using the loudness maximizer the most, which is the main effect that pushes the volume of the audio track as loud as possible. This is what most people think of when it comes to mastering, although there are other elements as well. But tonally, you can always adjust things in the recording mix, but the loudness maximizer is always the biggest missing piece that turns a recorded piece into a finished one. Many companies offer loudness maximizers, but the key is finding one with a great transparent algorithm, which can maximize the volume and reduce the audible artifacts. iZotope Ozone comes with multiple algorithms for different genres, from smooth to fast responses, and they all sound pretty good, as long as you don't push it too far. You can also use the multi band compressor to help level out the sound, which reduces the pressure on the maximizer/limiter.
When I do quick song releases to show my friends, I usually just run it through the loudness maximizer, just until the limiter starts to kick in slightly, and it gives me a full-volume release that is void of any limiting artifacts, and it is quick and easy to do. That is one of the reasons I really like this software: it's easy to quickly dial in anything.
Overall, I would recommend this product to any home studio that is in need for an in-house mastering solution. Be sure to try it out!
I have been using ozone 4 for a few months now, it’s a great program. Even when I was new to mixing and mastering I could still work this program to its fullest. Its really easy to understand and runs great with my Toshiba laptop. The manual is very easy to understand as well, I downloaded the manual it didn’t come with a hard copy for me.
The preset are great in Ozone 4 and easy to use. The software over all is easy to use for the beginner to the pro. As a beginner always ask for help from someone who knows what there doing and my friend is getting Ozone 4 to teach me how to mix and master with it. This program is very stable, I have never had a crash yet and hope that I never will. I need this program to stay stable for me. I plan on using this for many years to come.
Overall its great!, Ozone 4 can help you with your mastering as well as mixing. There is a demo for Ozone 4 and I say try it before you by it.... It may not be for everyone yet for me it is a great software. I get better with this program the more I use it. The best thing about this tool is the price. You can get this sound (known to every aspiring engineer in the world as "That Sound") by dropping a few grand on hardware, or you can get it for a couple hundred bucks. Yeah, it really is that good. It should be in every project studio's rig. Right off the bat, the presets add body and girth to your mixes. EQ, Compression, Loudness and Maximization are just the beginning!
I even use it as an insert on my synths and vocals.
This VST installed well on both my home and college computers and works brilliantly on both systems. The college computer is a smaller laptop with a single core pentium processor, so it really does work well on slow computers.. I have also used it on an old desktop low end computer (1.8GHZ pentium and 1gb ram) as well as my current (2.5GHZ Core2Quad & 4GB ram) and it runs great on both systems. There is no real major cpu usage from this plugin. There is a lot of presets available if you do not want to spend so much time tinkering with settings or are new to mastering. All of the presets are nicely organised into genres and specifications. This plugin works brilliantly in both of the DAWs I have tested it in (Ableton and FL Studio).
The Izotope Ozone plugin works well in FL Studio with no lag or delay, however in Ableton Live i have to run in administrator mode for it to pick up as an effect plugin. This could be because of Windows 7 64 bit that I use and the plugin not supporting it properly. If not ran in administrator mode, Ableton displays an error saying that it is not a supported VST. The presets that come with it are well made and do give you a real quick way of getting a great sound. The memory usage is also low for a VST of the nature that it is, and it is small for the hard drive even though there are a lot of presets. I have encountered very little problems at all with this software.
A lot of the presets that this plugin comes with are very well made and give a real warmth to the master sound. They are all genre based so you can pick and chose presets based on how you want the overall track to sound. The plugin allows great customization too as you can completely ignore presets and go with your own modules from the plugin. I would recommend this plugin to anybody as it is the only mastering plugin I have ever really encountered that doesn't completely mess up the mix.
Izotope makes good products and install isn't a mess. You are pretty much up and running in a few minutes. Just load up your daw, record and start. It comes ready to use no matter what your skill level. Ozone is really a mastering plugin for individual tracks or your entire mix. It comes with presets for all these applications. All the various effects are laid out sensibly. Ozone has a great many tools to utilize. You have the usual suspects of compressors and eq, but you also get a loudness maximizer and a dynamics processor. They even throw in a harmonic exciter.
I got this to use strictly for mix mastering. I did try it on individual tracks though. The presets, for the most part sound overdone. The use of the dynamics and the harmonics settings can be dangerous if you don't know what you're going. Tracks can get bloated very fast. To the untrained ear, it would appear that this is a great plugin but in reality most of the single track presets are really just overkill.
In a mix setting I liked it better, when used in moderation. Again, you have to take it easy with some of the more exotic functions. You can really choke out a good mix with this plugin if you aren't careful. Generally all I need is eq, compression, and some loudness maximization. The performance is decent. It isn't the lightest plug out there. I eventually got rid of it because I was only using it for one function and it didn't even do that very well. It was hogging cpu at that... I've since moved to using Waves plugs for mastering.
The presets are nice, especially for beginners. I would almost say this is a good learning all in one mastering plugin. After a while though, it starts to sound gimmicky on all but the most meager settings. But for the price, it's not a bad vst at all. If you take the time to learn it, you can get a lot of use. Don't expect it to "improve" your mixes by leaps and bounds. It's meant to be used as supplemental mastering. Not a sonic boob job. Still, I recommend it if you're on a budget.