iZotope has launched Ozone 9, which brings their AI Rebalance tech from RX, New Low End Focus, improved Match EQ and more. In this article, we have all the info on Ozone 9, an exclusive demo video which shows what the new features can do and the first in-depth review. Check it out.
Ozone 9 Feature Summary
Master Rebalance: Adjust the levels of vocals and other instruments in a stereo audio file, solve balance issues without needing the original stems.
Low-End Focus: Quickly adjust the contrast and definition of low frequencies and get a hard-hitting master every time, without needing a complex plug-in chain.
Improved Tonal Balance Control: Tonal Balance Control is improved with smoother metering, resizability, new target curves, and inter-plugin communication with Relay and Nectar for quick and easy gain control across the mixing and mastering stages.
Expanded Master Assistant: Choose from a modern or vintage vibe, with loudness targets for CD and streaming. Get a great starting point every time, no matter the style, format, or genre.
Match EQ module: Ozone 9 offers a brand new experience for Match EQ, with a better preset workflow, the ability to match from a reference track, and deeper controls that lets users match parts of the frequency spectrum.
Vintage Modules: A colourful collection of Vintage modules add warmth, grit, and vibe to a creators music, now available as both modules and component plug-ins in Ozone 9 Standard.
Updated User Interface and Experience: Ozone 9 is faster and easier to use, with a modernised resizable interface, fluid metering, and an expanded module chain.
Native Instruments NKS Support: NKS support puts Ozone directly into the creative production process. Easily access controls, presets and DSP from within an NKS supported environment, such as MASCHINE or a KOMPLETE KONTROL keyboard.
Improved Performance: Experience faster performance and smoother workflows improved visualisations and fluid metering.
Component plug-ins: Use any Ozone 9 Advanced module as a separate plug-in in a DAW, meaning users get more than 10 component module plugins.
What iZotope Say About Ozone 9
With Ozone 9, iZotope has built on a seventeen-year legacy in audio mastering. Ozone 9 has been designed to bring balance to music with never-before-seen processing for the low end, new real-time instrument separation, and lightning-fast workflows powered by machine learning.
With features such as its expanded Master Assistant, iZotope is helping creatives to deliver the exact vibe they are looking for - from warm analogue character to transparent loudness for streaming. Ozone 9’s Tonal Balance Control can now talk to more iZotope plug-ins in your session and plug-in performance is improved for faster work, smoother metering, and resizable windows, helping users get rid of any uncertainty on whether music is ready for release.
Master Rebalance gives Ozone 9 users the final say in a mix. Instrument levels can be corrected or changed without needing the original tracks. For example, users can add presence to vocals without affecting the midrange, or eliminate muddy low end by slightly lowering the bass guitar. Weak-sounding drums can be corrected with one small boost that can save hours of EQ surgery.
Check out what we think of Master Rebalance below…
Low End Focus
Low End Focus is the first line of defence against a muddy or blurry low end in a mix. Using Ozone 9’s new processing designed to enhance bass sounds, this feature is designed to bring clarity to a users’ low end and gives a well-defined foundation for each track. Creators can also tame unruly or clashing kick drums and boomy bass guitars without changing overall impact and go in-depth with surgical controls that shape tone and timbre, bringing out the best in the low end - with minimal artifacts - using this industry-first bass shaping tool.
Improved Tonal Balance Control
Ozone 9’s improved Tonal Balance Control has been designed to allow tracks to be adjusted to targets based on thousands of professional masters, drawing on decades of mastering expertise. Now with faster performance and smooth metering, Tonal Balance Control can now provide more ways to communicate with other iZotope plug-ins across a session. Users can call up any instance of Neutron, Nectar, Relay or Ozone, and make per-track adjustments to EQ and gain and accurately fine-tune a mix in any listening environment or genre, while easily addressing balance issues without opening multiple plug-ins.
Expanded Master Assistant
Ozone 9’s improved Master Assistant uses iZotope’s powerful machine learning to create a custom preset in seconds. Watch it in action in our demo video and see for yourself how quick it is. The new Vintage mode provides automatic adjustments for Vintage EQ, Vintage Limiter, and more, to allow users to quickly add the right combination of colour and character. Master Assistant now Intelligently sets loudness to meet CD or streaming targets, enabling users to prepare a solid master for distribution in seconds. Alternatively, users can load a reference track to have Master Assistant match the flavour and intensity of any audio.
Upgraded EQ Match
Ozone 9 brings the tone and vibe of favourite artists to a track with the upgraded EQ Match. Match to any reference track with over 8000 separate bands to give the most precise snapshot possible. New region parameters now give more control over the end result by letting users choose what parts of the audio to match. They can also capture a reference from a track in a session, or a reference file loaded into Ozone 9 and save favourite results as presets for easy access.
iZotope Product Manager Dan Gonzalez told us…
“In Ozone 9, we focused heavily on delivering experiences that no one has ever seen to the world of mixing and mastering while enhancing the innovations that version 8 introduced two years ago. With tools and workflows powered by source separation, spectral processing, inter-plugin communication and machine learning we aim to give our users confidence and inspiration at every stage of their mix and master with one suite of plugins. We can’t wait for everyone to try it out - it truly is the future of mastering.”
What We Think About Ozone 9 From iZotope
Put simply, it doesn’t disappoint. The new Master Rebalance is one of a few new modules, and it's very impressive. As you hopefully heard in our exclusive first look video, the results are surprisingly effective. Don’t expect that this module can remove large chunks from a mix such as removing a vocal, it’s far better than plug-ins that promise this kind of application. The magic of Master Rebalance is in slight adjustments. Either focus or push back drum, bass or vocal components in a mix, useful if you are about to master someone else’s mix and don’t have the stems at hand.
Next, let's talk about the new Vintage Mode in the Master Assistant. It's a welcomed addition. For me, the Assistant in previous versions did feel at times a little basic and clean sounding. With Ozone 9, that’s no longer the case now. With this extra mode, it's like having two virtual mastering assistants at hand. One that waves the flag for clean digital sound masters, the other that suggests the crunch and character of analogue is the way to go. Which is better? Only your mixes and judgement should decide.
Module Limit Gone
Gone is the limit on how many modules can be loaded into Ozone. Users in previous versions had to make do with six modules which could be frustrating. If you feel the need, you can make use of every module in Ozone, but to be honest, you may find it overkill to be mastering this way. Also, with too many modules Ozone 9 may push your computer’s resources over the edge. In my view, Ozone has always been a bit of hog when it comes to CPU, Ozone 9 is no different, even with the work iZotope has done on in making Ozone 9 more efficient. If you intend to use several instances in a session, be aware that you may need a powerful computer.
Still As Intuitive As Ever
Besides all the new features, modules and improvements, Ozone 9 maintains an incredibly intuitive suite of tools for everything mastering. Metering is precise, the workflow is simple, and the design of the UI is nice and bland, and that’s not a criticism. This kind of user interface is great for encouraging us to use our ears over our eyes. You won't find any fancy skeuomorphism graphics overlaying the analogue modules and the more digital style tools such as EQs and dynamics are presented very well and detailed and made for use on a computer with a mouse and keyboard.
Every module can now be loaded in Ozone. The module limit has been removed to enable this.
Music Rebalance is the best of the new module bunch.
Match EQ is a very useful tool to use if you struggle to work with EQ when mastering a collection of songs together for playlists and albums.
Match EQ performance sounds intermittent when adjusting the amount settings during playback. This can be forgiven as the process has plotted and is then moving 8,000 EQ bands.
iZotope Ozone 9 Feature Comparison
Here is a complete breakdown of which feature is in which version of Ozone 9 to help you choose which version is the right one for you
Pricing And New Bundles
iZotope Introduce Music Production Suite 3
With the release, iZotope also introduced Music Production Suite 3, giving access to over thirty industry-standard plug-ins that interact across the session and provide time-saving assistive features, innovative new workflows, and cutting-edge visual analysis tools. It features the brand new Ozone 9, along with iZotope’s most musical stereo reverbs R4 and NIMBUS. Users will also take advantage of educational content with a one-year Groove3’s All-Access Pass.
Tonal Balance Bundle
iZotope’s Tonal Balance Bundle, which includes Neutron 3 now also includes Nectar, Ozone 9, and brings mixing and mastering into one interconnected workflow that will help creators achieve a professional, polished sound.
Pricing Including Upgrades And Crossgrades
iZotope Ozone 9 Available On Rent-To-Own Plan From Splice
Ozone 9 Standard - $19.99 per month over 25 months - you pay $249.75
Ozone 9 Advanced - $29.99 per month over 25 months - - you pay $499.75
Splice Now Offering Rent-to-Own Upgrades
For the first time ever, Splice is offering Rent-to-Own upgrades which enable customers currently on a Rent-to-Own plan for previous versions of Ozone and Neutron or the O8N2 bundle to upgrade to the latest versions of these tools and continue to pay the same monthly price they were already paying, just for an extended timeline, to pay up the difference.
iZotope Ozone 9 System Requirements
Mac: OS X 10.11 (El Capitan) - macOS 10.14 (Mojave)
PC: Windows 7 (64-bit) (Latest Service Packs) - Windows 10
Ableton Live 9–10
Digital Performer 9
FL Studio 12
Logic Pro X
Pro Tools 10–12
Studio One 3–4