Available for download, iZotope Ozone 8 Standard is software designed for mastering music, providing many modules for the task. The software builds upon the offerings of previous iterations with visual improvements, tweaks to algorithms under the hood, a handy Master Assistant control, and much more. Aside from workflow improvements, the creative elements of mastering continue to be pushed front and center in this version, allowing you to create masters of your music in an intuitive, user-friendly manner.
A major feature is the new Master Assistant that walks you through the process. For example, when you select this task, the assistant asks you, "What are you going for?" And you are offered a choice of targets: Streaming—for online platforms as such as Spotify and iTunes Radio; CD—for louder masters optimized for the compact disc; and References—which allow you to target a specific example of your own selection and match it for tonal consistency and levels.
After the algorithm listens to a portion of your song, intelligent settings for equalization, compression, loudness, and dynamic EQ are dialed in. These aren’t cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all presets—instead, you’ll notice subtler implementations, such as EQ shelves applied only when needed, or dynamic equalization to reduce artifacts in the limiting stage. If the algorithm decides your mix doesn’t need compression to achieve your desired target, none is applied.
Another useful tool is intelligent track referencing, which allows you to import up to ten reference tracks and compare your master against them equally. This gives you the ability to create markers within the reference to use as looping points. A gain slider lets you level-match your master with the reference track right inside the plug-in. Such features render many third-party referencing plug-ins redundant as they are incorporated within Ozone 8 itself. They are also useful for creating cohesive albums. You can master one track to taste, and then use that track as a master for level and frequency comparison.
Changes have been made to Ozone’s popular IRC IV algorithm in the Maximizer module to promote low-latency implementation and improve the low-end response to the limiter. This results in smoother limiting with fewer artifacts. Within the maximizer is a Stereo Independence section with separate sliders for transients and sustain so you can tweak how the maximizer reacts to stereo information in a more precise manner. Global, interdependent steps make Ozone part of an ecosystem. Using Tonal Balance Control, you are provided with interplugin communication to bridge the EQ across the Ozone 8 Equalizer and Post Equilizer modules, and Neuron 2 EQ modules.
Usable both as a standalone application and as a plug-in with a supported host, this software is compatible with Windows and Mac platforms. It can operate in AAX, RTAS, VST 2, VST 3, and AudioUnit formats.
Key Features at a Glance
- Create intelligent presets for your masters
- Tailor masters for various destinations (Streaming, CD, Track Referencing)
- Intelligent track segmentation—Ozone 8 automatically places markers where it thinks different sections occur, and you can adjust these as you see fit
- Import up to 10 reference tracks
- Reference gain slide
- Waveform view
- Overlay reference spectrum for quick frequency comparison between your master and the reference track
- Stereo independence sliders added for transients and sustain
- Intelligent threshold-learn function added
- Threshold and ceiling link now available
- IRC IV now available in low-latency mode
- IRC IV responds to low-end in a smoother manner and with fewer artifacts
- IRC I, II, and III included
- Link-band functionality added
- Stereoize mode for widening monaural information
- Antiphase prevention
- Integrated vectorscope and correlation meter
- Stereo-width spectrum view
- Surgical mode
- Baxandall, proportional Q, band shelf, and high- / low-shelf filter shapes
- Mid/Side mode
- Match EQ for matching and approximating reference material
- Additional post-equalizer module
- Mid/side mode
- Auto-scale mode
- Independent, per-band exciter modes—use tape on low-end and retro on high-mids, for example
- Bands now linkable
- Triode and dual-triode modes
- Retro, tape, warm, and tube modes
- Learn mode for crossover points
- Adaptive release mode for smoother compression without pumping and breathing
- Mid/side mode
- Custom presets
- Standalone application with sample-rate conversion technology
- Multiband modes
- I/O section
- Audition panel
- Undo history
- Seamless bypass mode
- Customizable signal chain
- Third-party plug-in hosting