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Charles Vorontsov
Charles Vorontsov

Ozone 9 Mastering Tips and Tricks: How to Balance, Enhance, and Export Your Tracks with Ozone 9



Top Mastering with Ozone 9 Tutorial




Mastering is the final stage of audio production, where you add the finishing touches to your song, enhance the overall sound, create consistency across the album, and prepare it for distribution. Mastering can make a huge difference in how your music sounds and how it competes with other tracks in the same genre.




TOP Mastering With Ozone 9 TUTORiAL-SYNTHiC4TE



But mastering can also be a complex and intimidating process, especially if you are not an experienced audio engineer or if you don't have access to expensive studio equipment. That's why many artists and producers rely on online mastering services or software to help them achieve professional results.


One of the most popular and powerful mastering software is Ozone 9, developed by iZotope, a leading company in audio technology. Ozone 9 is a comprehensive suite of tools that can help you master any musical genre, style, or format, using artificial intelligence, advanced processing, and intuitive controls.


In this tutorial, we will show you how to master a song from start to finish with Ozone 9, using some of its most innovative features and modules. We will also share some tips and tricks to help you get the most out of Ozone 9 and make your music sound amazing.


What is Ozone 9 and why use it for mastering?




Ozone 9 is the latest version of iZotope's flagship mastering software, released in October 2019. It is designed to help you achieve a professional master with ease, speed, and creativity.


Ozone 9 offers many features and benefits that make it stand out from other mastering software, such as:


Ozone 9 features and benefits





  • AI-powered mastering: Ozone 9 uses artificial intelligence to analyze your track and suggest a starting point for your master, based on your genre, style, or reference track. You can then customize your master according to your preferences and goals.



  • Groundbreaking matching capabilities: Ozone 9 can match the tone, dynamics, and width of any reference track or genre target, using its Master Rebalance and Match EQ modules. This can help you achieve the sound of chart-topping hits or your favorite songs.



  • Balance, right from the start: Ozone 9 features an Assistant View that shows you a tonal balance curve of your track, so you can identify and fix any balance issues. You can also use the Tonal Balance Control plugin (included in Ozone Advanced) to compare your track with thousands of reference tracks across different genres.



  • New modules for low end, clarity, and movement: Ozone 9 introduces three new modules that can help you shape your mix in new ways. The Stabilizer module is an intelligent and adaptive EQ that can dynamically balance your mix and remove harshness or resonance. The Impact module is a multiband transient shaper that can add punch and movement to your mix. The Magnify soft clip is a limiter that can boost loudness without distortion.



  • Improved modules for EQ, compression, and imaging: Ozone 9 also enhances some of its existing modules, such as the Dynamic EQ, the Vintage Compressor, and the Imager. The Dynamic EQ can now automatically adjust its settings based on the input signal, the Vintage Compressor can now emulate different analog models, and the Imager can now recover stereo information in mono with its Recover sides feature.



  • Streamlined workflow and interface: Ozone 9 has a redesigned interface that is more intuitive and user-friendly. You can easily switch between different views and modes, access presets and settings, and drag and drop modules to create your own signal chain. You can also use Ozone 9 as a standalone application or as a plugin in your DAW.



  • Codec preview and export options: Ozone 9 allows you to preview how your master will sound on different streaming platforms and codecs, such as MP3, AAC, or Spotify. You can also export your master in different formats and resolutions, with metadata and dithering options.



Ozone 9 editions and pricing




Ozone 9 comes in three editions: Elements, Standard, and Advanced. Each edition has different features and modules, depending on your needs and budget. Here is a comparison table of the three editions:



Feature/Module


Elements


Standard


Advanced


Price


$129


$249


$499


Master Assistant


Yes


Yes


Yes


Match EQ


No


No


Yes


Master Rebalance


No


No


Yes


Tonal Balance Control (plugin)


No


No


Yes


Nectar Elements (plugin)


No


NoYesVintage Modules (EQ, Compressor, Tape, Limiter)NoNoYesNew Modules (Stabilizer, Impact, Magnify)NoYes (Stabilizer only)Yes (all)Improved Modules (Dynamic EQ, Vintage Compressor, Imager)No (Dynamic EQ only)Yes (all)Yes (all)Spectral Shaper ModuleNoNoYesLoudness Meter ModuleNo (Maximizer only)No (Maximizer only)Yes


Codec Preview and Export Options


Yes


Yes


Yes


Standalone Application and Plugin


Yes


Yes


Yes


Number of Modules Available


4


816 + 2 plugins


You can also try Ozone 9 for free for 10 days, or upgrade from a previous version at a discounted price. You can find more information about Ozone 9 editions and pricing on the iZotope website.


How to master a song from start to finish with Ozone 9




Now that you know what Ozone 9 is and what it can do, let's see how to use it to master a song from start to finish. We will use Ozone 9 Advanced as an example, but you can follow along with any edition, as long as you have the modules we will use.


For this tutorial, we will use a pop song as our track, but you can use any genre or style you want. The goal is to make the track sound balanced, clear, loud, and professional.


Here are the steps we will follow:


Step 1: Import your track and choose a mastering setting




The first step is to import your track into Ozone 9. You can do this by opening Ozone 9 as a standalone application and dragging and dropping your track into the interface, or by inserting Ozone 9 as a plugin on the master bus of your DAW.


Once you have imported your track, you need to choose a mastering setting. This is a preset that applies some basic processing to your track, such as EQ, compression, and limiting. You can choose from different settings depending on your genre, style, or mood.


To choose a mastering setting, click on the Settings button on the top left corner of the interface. You will see a list of categories and subcategories, such as Genre, Style, Mood, Delivery Format, etc. You can browse through them and select the one that suits your track best.


For example, for our pop song, we will choose the Genre > Pop > Modern Pop setting. This will apply some gentle EQ, compression, and limiting to our track, with some parameters already adjusted for us.


You can also create your own mastering setting by selecting the Custom option and adding the modules you want. You can drag and drop modules from the left panel to the signal chain on the right panel. You can also reorder or remove modules by dragging them up or down or clicking on the X button.


You can also bypass any module by clicking on its power button. This will allow you to compare your track with and without the module's effect.


Step 2: Use Master Assistant to get a starting point




The next step is to use Master Assistant to get a starting point for your master. Master Assistant is an AI-powered feature that analyzes your track and suggests some settings for your modules based on your genre, style, or reference track.


To use Master Assistant, click on the Master Assistant button on the top right corner of the interface. You will see a window that asks you to choose between three options: Modern, Vintage, or Reference.


The Modern option will use modern-sounding modules and processing to create a loud and clear master. The Vintage option will use vintage-sounding modules and processing to create a warm and analog master. The Reference option will use a reference track of your choice to match its tone, dynamics, and width.


You can also choose between CD Quality or Streaming Quality for your master's loudness target. CD Quality will aim for -14 LUFS (Loudness Units Full Scale), which is the standard for CDs and digital downloads. Streaming Quality will aim for -16 LUFS, which is the standard for most streaming platforms.


For example, for our pop song, we will choose the Modern option and Streaming Quality. This will use modern-sounding modules such as Dynamic EQ, Vintage Compressor, Imager, and Maximizer to create a loud and clear master with a target of -16 LUFS.


After choosing your option and quality, click on the Next button. Master Assistant will start analyzing your track and adjusting the settings for your modules. You will see a progress bar and a message that says "Please wait while Master Assistant works its magic".


When Master Assistant is done, you will see a window that says "Master Assistant has finished". You can click on the Accept button to apply the suggested settings, or click on the Cancel button to go back to your original settings.


You can also click on the Preview button to listen to your track with the suggested settings, and compare it with your original track by clicking on the Bypass button.


For example, for our pop song, Master Assistant suggested the following settings:



  • Dynamic EQ: A high shelf boost at 10 kHz, a low shelf cut at 80 Hz, and a notch cut at 1.5 kHz.



  • Vintage Compressor: A ratio of 2:1, a threshold of -15 dB, an attack of 10 ms, and a release of 100 ms.



  • Imager: A width increase of 20% for the high band (above 6 kHz), and a width decrease of 10% for the low band (below 120 Hz).



  • Maximizer: A threshold of -8 dB, a ceiling of -1 dB, and an IRC IV algorithm with Transient mode.



We will accept these settings and move on to the next step.


Step 3: Adjust the modules and parameters to your taste




The third step is to adjust the modules and parameters to your taste. Master Assistant is a great way to get a starting point for your master, but it is not the final word. You can always tweak the settings to suit your preferences and goals.


To adjust the modules and parameters, you can use the knobs, sliders, buttons, and graphs on each module's interface. You can also use the global controls on the top panel, such as Gain, Bypass, Undo/Redo, etc.


You can also add or remove modules as you wish. You can drag and drop modules from the left panel to the signal chain on the right panel. You can also reorder or remove modules by dragging them up or down or clicking on the X button.


You can also bypass any module by clicking on its power button. This will allow you to compare your track with and without the module's effect.


For example, for our pop song, we will make some adjustments to the settings suggested by Master Assistant:



  • Dynamic EQ: We will lower the high shelf boost from 3 dB to 2 dB, to avoid making the track too bright. We will also lower the notch cut from -6 dB to -4 dB, to preserve some of the midrange presence.



  • Vintage Compressor: We will lower the ratio from 2:1 to 1.5:1, to reduce some of the compression effect. We will also lower the attack from 10 ms to 5 ms, to let some of the transients through.



  • Imager: We will increase the width of the mid band (from 120 Hz to 6 kHz) by 10%, to create some more stereo separation.



  • Maximizer: We will lower the threshold from -8 dB to -10 dB, to reduce some of the limiting effect. We will also change the algorithm from IRC IV to IRC III, to create a more transparent and natural sounding master.



After making these adjustments, we will listen to our track again and compare it with the original track and the Master Assistant's suggestion. We will also check the tonal balance curve on the Assistant View to see if our track is well balanced across the frequency spectrum.


We are happy with the results, so we will move on to the next step.


Step 4: Use reference tracks and match EQ to compare your master




The fourth step is to use reference tracks and match EQ to compare your master with other tracks in the same genre or style. This can help you achieve a more consistent and competitive sound, as well as identify and fix any issues in your master.


To use reference tracks and match EQ, you need to use the Reference module, which is located on the bottom left corner of the interface. The Reference module allows you to import up to 10 reference tracks, and switch between them and your track with a single click.


You can also use the Match EQ feature, which analyzes the frequency spectrum of your reference track and applies an EQ curve to your track to match it. You can adjust the amount and smoothing of the match EQ, as well as solo or bypass it.


For example, for our pop song, we will use two reference tracks: one is a popular pop song from the same genre and style, and the other is a song from our own album that we want to match. We will import them into the Reference module by clicking on the Import button and browsing our files.


We will then listen to each reference track and compare it with our track. We will pay attention to the tonal balance, dynamics, width, and loudness of each track. We will also use the Match EQ feature to see how it affects our track.


We will notice that our reference tracks have a slightly more pronounced low end and a slightly less bright high end than our track. We will also notice that our reference tracks have a slightly higher loudness than our track.


We will decide to make some minor adjustments to our master based on these observations:



  • We will increase the low shelf boost on the Dynamic EQ from 2 dB to 3 dB, to add some more warmth and weight to our track.



  • We will decrease the high shelf boost on the Dynamic EQ from 2 dB to 1 dB, to reduce some of the brightness and harshness of our track.



  • We will increase the threshold on the Maximizer from -10 dB to -9 dB, to increase the loudness of our track by 1 dB.



After making these adjustments, we will listen to our track again and compare it with the reference tracks. We will also check the tonal balance curve on the Assistant View to see if our track is still well balanced across the frequency spectrum.


We are satisfied with the results, so we will move on to the next step. Step 5: Export your master and check for loudness and codec issues




The final step is to export your master and check for loudness and codec issues. This will ensure that your master is ready for distribution and that it sounds good on different platforms and devices.


To export your master, you need to use the Export module, which is located on the bottom right corner of the interface. The Export module allows you to choose the format, resolution, metadata, and dithering options for your master.


You can also use the Codec Preview feature, which lets you hear how your master will sound on different streaming platforms and codecs, such as MP3, AAC, or Spotify. You can adjust the bitrate and quality settings, as well as solo or bypass the codec effect.


For example, for our pop song, we will export our master in WAV format, 16-bit resolution, 44.1 kHz sample rate, with metadata and dithering enabled. We will also use the Codec Preview feature to listen to how our master will sound on Spotify, MP3 320 kbps, and MP3 128 kbps.


We will notice that our master sounds good on Spotify and MP3 320 kbps, but it loses some clarity and punch on MP3 128 kbps. We will decide to keep our master as it is, since most streaming platforms and listeners use higher quality codecs than MP3 128 kbps.


To export our master, we will click on the Export button on the Export module. We will see a window that asks us to choose a destination folder and a file name for our master. We will choose a folder and a name, and click on the Save button.


Ozone 9 will start exporting our master and show us a progress bar and a message that says "Exporting your audio". When Ozone 9 is done exporting our master, we will see a window that says "Export complete". We can click on the Open Folder button to open the folder where our master is saved, or click on the Done button to close the window.


We have successfully mastered our pop song with Ozone 9!


Tips and tricks for mastering with Ozone 9




Before we conclude this tutorial, we want to share some tips and tricks for mastering with Ozone 9 that can help you improve your skills and creativity.


Tip 1: Use the Stabilizer module to balance your mix




The Stabilizer module is one of the new modules introduced in Ozone 9. It is an intelligent and adaptive EQ that can dynamically balance your mix and remove harshness or resonance.


The Stabilizer module works by analyzing your track and applying a series of filters that adjust their frequency and gain depending on the input signal. You can control the amount of stabilization with the Strength knob, and the sensitivity of the filters with the Reactivity knob.


You can also choose between three modes: Smooth, Balanced, or Aggressive. Smooth mode applies gentle filtering that preserves the natural character of your track. Balanced mode applies moderate filtering that enhances the clarity and balance of your track. Aggressive mode applies strong filtering that removes any unwanted peaks or dips in your track.


You can use the Stabilizer module to fix any balance issues in your mix, such as too much or too little bass, midrange, or treble. You can also use it to smooth out any harsh or resonant frequencies that might cause fatigue or discomfort to your listeners. Tip 2: Use the Impact module to add punch and movement




The Impact module is another new module introduced in Ozone 9. It is a multiband transient shaper that can add punch and movement to your mix.


The Impact module works by splitting your track into three frequency bands: low, mid, and high. You can adjust the crossover points and solo or mute each band. You can also control the attack and sustain of each band with the Attack and Sustain knobs.


The Attack knob adjusts the level of the initial transient of each band, which affects how sharp or soft your track sounds. The Sustain knob adjusts the level of the tail of each band, which affects how long or short your track sounds.


You can use the Impact module to enhance the dynamics and groove of your mix, such as adding more punch to the drums, more clarity to the vocals, or more movement to the synths. You can also use it to create contrast and excitement between different sections of your track, such as making the chorus more powerful than the verse.


Tip 3: Use the Mag


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