iZotope Ozone 9 is known as one of the best audio mastering software for music producers and mix engineers. This is an unbiased iZotope Ozone 9 review that will give you a better perception of this award-winning audio mastering software.
As you know, not all products are suitable for all types of persons. The same rule is applied to recording studios.
Despite its an award-winning mastering suite, maybe it’s not perfect for you. From your budget to hardware requirements, there could be several reasons behind this.
Hence this review…
After reading this, you will be able to decide whether its a perfect choice for “you” or not.
First of all…
Parent Company: iZotope
Product Name: Ozone 9 (Advanced, Standard and Elements)
Price: Advanced $499; Standard $249; Elements $129
Pro and Cons of iZotope Ozone 9
However, iZotope Ozone 9 is said to be the best digital music mastering suite, as this is an unbiased review, it’s my duty to show you the pros and cons of it. So in this section, you’ll read the pros and cons of iZotope Ozone 9.
- Master Rebalance Feature (Powered by AI technology) – This AI-powered feature automatically solves balance issues of vocals and other instruments in a stereo mastering audio file.
- Vintage Warmth – All of us are struggling to get that vintage warmth which we had been getting in analog equipment. The dedicated vintage modules provided within iZotope Ozone 9 can match the sweetness of vintage mastering machines.
- Low-End Focus – Most of us trap into the “low-end suffocation”. We can’t figure out how to balance the instrument at low frequencies. Thanks to iZotope Ozone 9, now we can easily balance the low ends without bothering about clipping.
- And my favorite (Match EQ) – Several times in my audio recording career I was stuck at when listening to my favorite track and want to copy the same frequency balancing in my own tracks. Match EQ that comes within iZotope Ozone 9 copy the entire frequency balance and makes it available to apply on our own tracks.
- To get all the benefits you have to invest $499 as elements and standard versions don’t have all the features.
- So, its a BIT COSTLY for budget producers.
- Needs a few extra computer resources which I think most of us have in our home studios.
Key Features of iZotope Ozone 9
First let us see the features this legendary mastering plugin provides.
- Master Rebalance Feature: Master rebalance allows us to solve balance issues of vocals and other instruments in a stereo mastering audio file. You can adjust the levels of vocals and other instruments without the help of original stems.
- Match EQ module: This is the feature I really like. Match EQ module allows you to copy the EQ dynamics direct from the reference track to your project track. That means you can get the same frequency spectrum that your favorite track has. Just import the reference track, load Match EQ, and copy the frequency spectrum.
- Low-End Focus: iZotope Ozone 9 is best for those who want clear low-end sound. We all struggle in low ends as these frequencies are really hard to manage. We don’t have a wide frequency range to play in low ends. Ozone 9 helps you get the punchy low ends without needing a complex plug-in chain.
- Machine Learning: The new AI-powered assistive audio tools will give you an instant starting point Master Rebalance which is a part of Ozone’s AI machine learning algorithm, lets you correct instrument levels before starting your master.
- Tonal Balance Control: By using “Tonal Balance Control plug-in” you can locate and fix frequencies in your mix that may be out of balance at the time of mixing. As a result, your audio can sound great in any listening environment. You can use Broad or Fine view modes to identify problems whether large and small, as well as a solo the frequencies to hear which instruments are contributing the most in the overall balance of track.
- Vintage Modules: iZotope Ozone 9 is a great combination of modern or vintage vibe. You’ll get a good collection of Vintage modules, that add warmth, grit, and vibe to your music. Vintage effects are available as both modules and component plug-ins.
- Supports Native Instruments NKS: Now native instrument directly supports Ozone via NKS feature. You can easily access controls, presets, and DSP within an NKS supported equipment and software, such as MASCHINE or a KOMPLETE KONTROL keyboard.
- Standalone and Component Plugin Mode: iZotope Ozone supports both component plugin and standalone mode. That means you can use it within your DAW or directly as a standalone mastering suite.
System Requirements of iZotope Ozone 9
- Mac: OS X 10.11 El Capitain–macOS 10.15 Catalina
- PC: Win 7 64-bit (Latest Service Packs)–Win 10
- AAX, VST 2, VST 3, AU, NKS (All formats are 64-bit only)
Logic Pro X, Ableton Live 9–10, Pro Tools 12.8-2019, Sound Forge Pro 13, Sound Forge Mac 3, Reason 10, Audition CC 2019, Premiere Pro CC 2019, Studio One 4, REAPER 5, , MASCHINE 2, Komplete Kontrol, Bitwig Studio 3, FL Studio 20, Cubase 9–10, Nuendo 10, Wavelab 9
Features That I Like in iZotope Ozone 9
Since 2003 when I have joined the digital music production community, I was waiting for a dedicated mastering suite that could give results like a professional mastering studio.
Finally, we have a great mastering suite…iZotope Ozone 9. And the best thing is it comes under every home producer’s budget (Package starting from $199).
Here are the features that “I really like” in this.
Reference Track Match EQ
The first-ever feature I like in iZotope Ozone 9 is the match equalizer. Before this mastering suite, matching the frequency spectrum of the reference track which had mastered a fully professional mastering studio full of analog hardware was really tough.
I couldn’t reach so closer to the reference track’s frequency spectrum before Ozone. But after using the reference match feature of this amazing mastering suite, now I can copy the same frequency spectrum from the reference track.
And all the things can be done by clicking one only one button on the reference match equalizer.
The process is so simple. Just open the Referencing panel by clicking “Reference”, load the reference song, enable reference playback with the power button, select the area of the song you want to capture. Now switch back to the Match EQ module, and click the “Capture” button.
Save the setting as Match EQ preset.
Now import your track into the worksheet of Ozone and apply the equalizer settings to your track.
You can read this user guide from iZotope, or watch the video to see the live example.
Master Rebalance Feature
Another thing that I like in iZotope Ozone mastering software is its master rebalance feature.
It is a new feature that is included in the Ozone 9 version. It’s an AI-powered feature that allows you to change the volume of vocals, drums, or bass in a mixed audio file.
That means if I don’t have the stem files or don’t want to manipulate the stem, I can use this feature to adjust the vocals, rhythm, and melodies.
This feature saves me lots of time if I have mixing mistakes in my bounced track. I can just change the gain and dynamics in the single audio files.
Whether you want to give a small boost to your vocals without affecting the midrange dynamics or want to correct the drums without entering the stems, It will do those things with a single click.
If you want to know more about rebalance feature, you can refer to this article or watch the video below.
Value for Money
Unlike other mastering software where you do not have a choice as per your budget, iZotope provides a wide choice for their Ozone mastering suite users.
There are 3 editions of iZotope Ozone 9 are available for purchase.
- Ozone Elements – $129
- iZotope Ozone 9 Standard – $249
- Ozone 9 Advanced – $499
You can choose one of those which suites your pocket.
However, apart from Ozone Advanced, the other 2 editions have not many features that will inspire you to buy them. You’ll not get features like Master to rebalance, Low-end focus, and Tonal balance control features with elements and standard.
So, if you want to rock your mastering skills then be ready to spend $499 on iZotope Ozone 9 Advanced. I know its a bit costly for beginners, but if you want better results then I would always recommend the advanced version.
Do I need This
As an experienced mix engineer, I really need this amazing mastering suite in my studio. When it comes to digital audio mastering, it gives me much better results than ever.
As well as, it saves me a lot of time with its AI-powered assistive audio tools and Match EQ features. I can also do my mastering on the go with my iPad.
Moreover, I get all the benefits of hardware mastering with just spending $499.
When it comes to comparison with other plugins, there are only 2 of them who can give a close competition to Ozone 9 Advanced.
Fabfilter Mastering Bundle
Fabfilter has a bundle of mastering plugins ie; Fabfilter Mastering bundle, which includes 4 plugins especially built for mastering.
You can read more about the Fabfilter mastering bundle in my Fabfliter Vs iZotope Ozone comparison article.
IK Multimedia T-Racks Audio Mastering Suite
T-Racks is a standalone mastering suite from IK multimedia which first introduced in 1999. From then it has evaluated several times and the version today we see is one of the finest digital audio mastering software in the world.
However, I don’t like its complicated GUI, it all depends on you how you can benefit from it. It’s probably the closest competitor of iZotope Ozone 9.