iZotope - Ozone 7 - Sound on Sound
Monday, February 1, 2016
IZotope’s Ozone, now on its seventh version, aims to provide the Mac OS or Windows computer-musician with a complete set of mastering tools. Available in Standard and Advanced versions, Ozone 7 can be used either stand-alone or as a DAW plug-in in RTAS, AudioSuite, 64-bit AAX, VST 2, VST 3 and Audio Units formats. In the stand-alone version, Ozone can host third-party VST and AU plug-ins, and can open multiple audio files within a single session. The Advanced version also makes Ozone’s component parts available as a suite of separate plug-ins, and incorporates a number of modules and features that aren’t available in the Standard version.
Most of the new additions in Ozone 7 are available only in the Advanced version. They include Vintage Tape, Vintage EQ, Vintage Compressor and Vintage Limiter modules, plus a Codec Preview feature, new file export format options and an upgrade to the existing Maximiser. In all, Ozone 7 Advanced comprises 10 modules plus the additional Insight, a comprehensive metering plug-in presented in ‘night-vision green’ where you’ll find a 3D spectrogram, a stereo Sound Field, a Loudness History, Spectrum Analyser and level metering plus loudness metering displayed in LUFS.
Each Ozone module comes with its own presets, but there’s also a Preset Manager offering global presets that can draw on any or all of the modules and routing options in combination. The Greg Calbi Mastering Presets for Ozone package is now included as standard. Once a preset has been loaded, settings for the individual modules can still be saved or loaded without losing the setting on the other modules. While I’m not a fan of using presets ‘out of the box’ for mastering — the preset designer has no way of knowing how loud, dynamic, bright or boomy your original track or mix is — looking at how a preset is put together can be very educational.
Ozone’s Undo History allows you to go back if things get messed up, and there’s an A/B comparison function to let you compare two different settings to see which works best. Importantly, you can also engage a constant level function so that when you engage Ozone 7 the subjective level stays the same, allowing you to make meaningful comparisons.
Ozone received a major user-interface overhaul in version 6, which was reviewed in SOS June 2015 (www.soundonsound.com/sos/jun15/articles/ozone6.htm). The new look is generally tidy and approachable, though I found some of the grey-on-black text very difficult to read outside a darkened studio.
As an all-in one mastering package then, Ozone 7 offers all the tools you’re likely to need and it does so without making any of them over-complicated. You still need some expertise to get the best out of it, but if you take the time to check out some of the presets to see what makes them tick, you should get the hang of it very quickly.
Read the full review here
Click here to view Ozone 7