In Ozone 9, you’ll find a similar layout and design that users of the recent versions of Ozone will recognize immediately. The Equalizer, Maximizer, and Imaging tabs remain, as well as the familiar and much loved Mastering Assistant control. With that being said, old and new users will find this new version is easy to navigate and get better results faster. Let's get into what's new...
iZotope Ozone 9 Features Optimal Operation
The new version of Ozone brings improvements that will allow your mastering process to be more concise and streamlined. Users will notice that the performance of Ozone 9 is more CPU efficient, allowing for faster operation of Ozone, even while running other programs at the same time. For many of us running multiple plugins at once, a smaller CPU footprint will lead to fewer headaches and a quicker mastering operation. The metering from Ozone 9 is now more precise as well, and can be sized for a more focused experience. These subtle improvements will allow users to focus more on the mastering process, and spend less time getting optimal sounds.
One of the best new features that Ozone 9 introduces is the Master Rebalance control. Essentially, this feature allows you to tweak levels of various components in a mix, such as bringing out more of the drums or raising a vocal. This is especially valuable for those tasked with mastering a song that may have a problematic mix and don't the stems of the mix! Master Rebalance can easily help you tighten up the bass of a mix, assist in bringing out the focus of a lead vocal, or make other adjustments to the track from the convenience of the mastering stage.
Low End Focus
Anyone working on mastering tracks can tell you that the low end is one of the toughest aspects to nail. With Ozone 9, Izotope introduces the Low End Focus tool, which allows you to more precisely shape the bass frequencies of a track. This tool is specifically designed to bring clarity to your low end without getting that muddy, overbearing sound that many tracks suffer from. With both a Punchy and Smooth mode, Low End Focus gives you options on how you want to present the bass regions of a track, and how you want them to sit in the mix.
Upgraded Mastering Assistant Controls
Many of us are familiar with the Mastering Assistant function of Ozone. In Ozone 9, it remains a great tool to quickly get a preset for any track you're working on. Whether Mastering Assistant has become a starting point for your track’s settings, or you rely on it as a fast way to master your music, Izotope has tossed in many new features to it in Ozone 9.
The same option to optimize your master for either a streaming platform or a CD exists, but we now have the Vintage suite of tools included in the Mastering Assistant. This gives us a different sonic palette to work with. The Vintage versions of the EQ and Compressor will add more old school vibe and color that some mixes are in need of.
Of course, you still have the option to use the modern versions of these tools in situations that benefit from clear, transparent mastering jobs. With these new options found in the Mastering Assistant, you can continue to use Ozone to get results quickly, but now with more options to enhance the aesthetic of a song.
Enhancements to Imaging, Match EQ, and Tonal Balance Control
In Ozone 9, Izotope has gone ahead and beefed up the functionality of the Imager, the “Match EQ” function, and the powerful “Tonal Balance Control” feature. The Imager allows you to add width and a larger stereo image to your mix, just like it has in versions past. With this update, Izotope has worked to make the imaging more subtle and natural, so that mixes can benefit from a more lively footprint without any noticeable “widening” being added in the master stage.
Match EQ also sees great updates in Ozone 9. Match EQ allows you to use a reference track to shape the EQ behavior in Ozone. Load a reference track into Ozone, and it will work to mimic the EQ characteristics of that track’s master! With the newest version, Izotope has given more control to the user by allowing standalone Match EQ instances, as well as the saving of snapshots to use in the future.
The Tonal Balance Control has been enhanced as well for this new version of Ozone. Using Tonal Balance Control in the past has allowed users to put frequency ranges under the proverbial microscope for a better, more balanced master. In Ozone 9, this control (or standalone plug-in, which is now an option), features the more precise metering that has been applied to all features in Ozone 9, and you may resize the display here, too.
One great advancement to Tonal Balance Control is its ability to target a genre (out of a bank of 13 music types) and allow you to reference your song up against Ozone’s profile of Pop, Rock, Country, and other styles. These tools allow your masters to have the most effective frequency balances for any style of music the user is going for.
With these great new features, a more pleasing display, and strong additions to the existing controls, Izotope has jam-packed the new Ozone 9 with features that set it apart from previous iterations. As always, Ozone 9 is offered in different tiers, allowing users to find the best fit for them based on their needs and their price point.