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DELETED iZotope Alloy 2 Essential Mixing Tools (Download)

DELETED iZotope Alloy 2 Essential Mixing Tools (Download)

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Average rating 5 / 5 stars based on 1 customer reviews
1 customer reviews

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DELETED iZotope Alloy 2 Essential Mixing Tools (Download) - Press Reviews

Reviewed by: Music Tech
November 2012
When we reviewed the first version of Alloy, iZotope’s all-in-one mixing channel strip, back in January 2010, we were impressed by its range of features and the way in which it complemented Ozone 4. However, a few years on, the release of the superb Ozone 5 – which has had a substantial overhaul – has significantly raised the bar. Not happy to rest on their laurels, the iZotope team has seen fit to do the same, sprucing up Alloy 2 with improved features and a more streamlined GUI.

For the uninitiated, Alloy 2 is a mixing channel strip plug-in that can be used on individual tracks or group busses and includes an EQ, multiband transient shaper, multiband exciter and stereo widener, two multiband dynamics modules, a de-esser and a limiter. Although these same six modules remain from version 1, each has received a few tweaks under the hood (with the exception of the de-esser, which remains the same). Notable improvements include new brickwall, vintage bell and Baxandall EQ filters, a redesigned and more natural-sounding exciter, completely reworked and easier to use transient shaper, unlinked stereo limiting and more flexible sidechain options for the dynamics modules.

On top of this, the main different is the larger and clearer GUI, which now bears more of a resemblance to Ozone 5 and brings with it some of the excellent metering and visual feedback tools. Gone is the slightly fiddly macro controls system; in its place is a simple overview screen that gives access to the main controls and adapts to show only those modules that are enabled. Other additions include presets for the individual modules and the ability for Alloy 2 to automatically show up as a meter tap with Ozone 5 Advanced Spectrogram.

The most important thing for a plug-in of this type is that it gives good results quickly, and it’s here where Alloy 2 excels. Through years of GUI programming, iZotope has perfected the art of providing sufficient controls to be flexible while keeping things simple enough to feel quick and intuitive. The visual feedback is second to none, with the transient shaper, dynamics, de-esser and limiter all featuring meters that show exactly how each transient hit is affected by the processing. This makes dialing in mix decisions and training your ears a whole lot easier as you can see exactly what’s going on.

The real jewel in the crown, though, is the multiband transient shaper, which enables you to set different transient characteristics in each frequency range, allowing you to tighten the release of snares and hi-hats while adding bulk and sustain to a kick. The dynamics section is also highly flexible, with an individual sidechain system for each band that can accept an external input or signal from the other bands.

The saturation has been greatly improved from the previous version, and it’s now much easier to call up effective sounds. Although it’s not the best we’ve heard, it’s still a decent tool for subtle sound-shaping and fattening sounds. We managed to get a large number of instances running at once in a project, and by tweaking several of the excellent included presets we were quickly able to improve on an old mix.

If you already own Ozone 5 or the previous version of Alloy, you may initially think twice about purchasing Alloy 2. However, iZotope is offering a very reasonable upgrade price and the improvements in workflow and sound are instantly noticeable, While Alloy 2 may not have the exquisite sounds of expensive hardware-emulated software, it is still a high-quality plug-in. What you get is an incredibly focused set of tools with unsurpassed visual feedback. This makes I much easier to make the right mixing decisions and will ultimately give you a better mix.

Verdict: An incredibly refined modern mixing toolbox that’s easy to use, sounds good and has unsurpassed feedback.

Rating: 9/10 and the Music Tech Choice and Value awards
Reviewed by: Computer Music
November 2012
Review extracts...

On paper, Alloy 2 looks like it should be quite a handful, but actually, it makes a very complex setup surprisingly easy to navigate. First, if you're just after a quick processing chain, you can head straight to the library of 200+ global presets, which include the obvious and functional (Picked Electric Bass, Large Drum Room, etc), as well as the more creative (Tape Saturated Vocals, Megadrums, etc).

If you'd rather piece everything together yourself, there are also 60 module-specific presets - we'd certainly welcome more of these. Further operational assistance comes in the form of solo and bypass buttons for individual modules, easy auditioning of global presets, and undo/redo with history.

Verdict

Alloy 2's take on the channel strip concept is futuristic, brilliantly designed and sounds fantastic.

Rating: 9/10 plus the CM Performance and Value awards

Read the full review at musicradar.com
Reviewed by: Future Music
Anniversary Edition, December 2012
Review Extracts…

…even at full price, Alloy 2 is a bargain. As we’ve come to expect from iZotope, the interface is as straightforward and enjoyable to use as it is good looking – although a feature-packed and fairly complicated plug-in, even without the excellent Overview window, it would still be easy to get around. And far from being mere upgrade-baiting gimmicks, features like the new threshold controls/meters and Gain Trace Meters are genuinely useful.

Of course, it’s the sound that really matters, though, and on that score none of Alloy 2’s modules disappoint. Its predecessor already sounded amazing, and with the new EQ types and improved algorithms throughout, v2 is noticeably better and more versatile.

Indeed, the Transient Shaper is possibly the best of its kind that I’ve yet heard in software. The Dynamics and EQ modules are no less impressive, delivering superb signal control and quality (the Dynamics modules’ ‘crosschaining’ function, enabling each band in multiband mode to key the sidechains of the other bands, is noteworthy, as is the EQ’s ALT-Solo mode, where holding down the Alt key and clicking in the EQ display solos a narrow band around that frequency), and such a broad spectrum of sonic flavouring that either could easily become go-to processors, even it you never used the rest of the plug-in.

All in all , then, Alloy 2 is a convenient, efficient, well-equipped and great-sounding mixing toolbox that no producer of any kind of music could fail to fall in love with. And at this price, it’s an absolute steal.

Verdict: Another fab plug-in from iZotope, Alloy 2 is a musical life-changer that you shouldn’t be without.
Reviewed by: Sound on Sound
December 2012
Review extracts…

As I’ve just mentioned, I was coming to Alloy as a new user, so I don’t know how much difference the redesigned interface has made in terms of usability, but I found it refreshingly simple to use for such a powerful tool, and my impression is that anyone who has a passing acquaintance with what a compressor or EQ does should pick it up fairly quickly. The controls are clearly laid out, and metering and visual feedback are excellent – I particularly like the scrolling waveform views that show you when gain-reduction is being applied.

In general, I think the question of whether Alloy 2 is for you depends on how much you buy into the ‘one plug-in for everything’ philosophy. On the plus side this means no mucking about opening and closing endless plug-in windows, it means you only have to learn one GUI, and perhaps have fewer gain-staging issues as your signal is passed from one processor to the next. On the down side, I wonder whether it brings the temptation to use more processing that a source really needs.

[…]

When used with care, though, I can’t fault the results that Alloy 2 delivers. The two crucial processors for most purposes are the EQ and Dynamics, and both are extremely versatile in terms of functionality and sound. Whether you need transparent level control and surgical precision, or something fluffy and vintage, you’ll find it here. The Exciter is, likewise, probably the most flexible I’ve ever encountered, and the other modules all work very well too. The redesigned interface packs a lot of information and controls in without ever feeling intimidating or cramped, and I’ sire that Alloy 2 will win lots of friends among those looking for an affordable, powerful and friendly set of mixing tools.
Reviewed by: Sound on Sound
December 2012
Review extracts...

I was coming to Alloy as a new user, so I don’t know how much difference the redesigned interface has made in terms of usability, but I found it refreshingly simple to use for such a powerful tool, and my impression is that anyone who has a passing acquaintance with what a compressor or EQ does should pick it up fairly quickly. The controls are clearly laid out, and metering and visual feedback are excellent — I particularly like the scrolling waveform views that show you when gain-reduction is being applied.

[...]

When used with care, though, I can’t fault the results that Alloy 2 delivers. The two crucial processors for most purposes are the EQ and Dynamics, and both are extremely versatile in terms of functionality and sound. Whether you need transparent level control and surgical precision, or something fluffy and vintage, you’ll find it here. The Exciter is, likewise, probably the most flexible I’ve ever encountered, and the other modules all work very well too. The redesigned interface packs a lot of information and controls in without ever feeling intimidating or cramped, and I’m sure that Alloy 2 will win lots of friends among those looking for an affordable, powerful and friendly set of mixing tools.
Reviewed by: Audio Media
February 2013
Review extracts...
The user interface has been completely re-vamped from Alloy 1, and is very easy to navigate from the first try. The first thing that struck me was the size of the plug-in window. It is much larger that most, and considering iZotope expects you to be able to do anything you need from this single plug-in, it looks great and works well. There are select buttons for each module with individual bypass switches continuously to hand along the bottom of the window for easy navigation and A/B comparisons. An overview panel gives you a great view of the whole signal process you have created, with only important controls such as compressor thresholds on show.

[…]
Whether you’re a professional who wants a quick fix or a quick start, or you’re experimenting at home with mixing techniques, there are over 250 presets that sound great and are organized well into groups such as Bass, Drums, Guitar etc. Presets can also be applied globally across the whole plug-in, or for each individual module.

[…]

Diving straight into the modules, I started with the Transient shaper, which in my opinion is one of the best I’ve heard. The major advantage over other transient shapers is being able to work in multi-band mode. For example, you can easily tighten up a drum track or make it more lo-fi with almost separate control over the hi-hat, snare, and kick. Before any other processing, I could significantly alter the sound of my drums with this module alone.

[…]

Conclusion
iZotope set out to create a complete channel strip solution as an all-in-one plug-in with Alloy 1, and this second release has brought it right up to date with a modern style of mixing. Combining some great tools and a perfect blend between clean digital audio, and the excellent simulation of analogue equipment, Alloy 2 is defining what the industry has been working towards in terms of sonic results, even on iPod headphones! If used in the correct hands, it is sure to achieve great results, but it’s not necessarily for producers wanting to create groundbreaking new synth sounds. However, at a very reasonable price, I believe Alloy 2 has set itself a new standard for its place in any studio, be it a large commercial facility or home PC.

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