With Ozone 7 due for release very soon, we thought it was a great opportunity to have a chat with iZotope Product Manager Izzy Maxwell all about the critically acclaimed mastering software, the new features and how they will make a difference to users’ workflows…
Hi Izzy, following the release of Ozone 6 last year, what was the most frequently requested feature/capability from your user base and can it be found in Ozone 7?
Much of the feedback we received after the release of Ozone 6 expressed a desire for more new DSP. Ozone 6 was a major improvement in terms of both user interface and workflow, but I certainly understand our customers wanting more processing power.
To address this with Ozone 7, we’ve added 4 brand new vintage-themed modules, an innovative new IRC limiting mode, brought the Dynamic EQ to both the standard and advanced versions, and added the ability to export and real-time preview popular codec formats such as MP3 and AAC.
One of the most prominent new highlights of Ozone 7 is the inclusion of vintage modules (Tape, EQ, Compressor and Limiter) – what were the reasons for introducing these?
After interviewing dozens of mastering engineers, from hobbyists to professionals,
there seemed to be a clear desire for vintage processing.
They used terms like “warmth” or “analog character” to describe the sound they were trying to achieve. Ozone has historically been a modern, surgical tool, I felt there was room to add a little retro color to the palette. By developing new DSP focused on providing analog character, we’ve opened the door for more creative sonic options, especially when the new processing is used in combination with Ozone’s existing modules.
Can you tell us about the new Maximizer with IRC IV and the technology behind it?
The new IRC IV technology is very exciting! It started with a discussion about
multiband limiting, its pros and cons, and how we could do it better. The Maximizer in Ozone was already very good, and we challenged ourselves to come up with a solid improvement.
The result is a new limiter algorithm which incorporates some of our dynamic EQ technology, utilizing intelligent spectral shaping to gently attenuate the frequencies contributing the most to peak program levels. This allows for even greater limiting without pumping or distorting, resulting in a loud, clear master.
Other new features include Codex Preview and the Export Format facility – what benefits do these features bring to the user?
Codec Preview allows users to hear, in real-time directly from the plug-in or standalone version of Ozone, what their audio will sound likeafter lossy audio encoding has taken place. This gives them the opportunity to compensate for this data loss without leaving their DAW.
For example, when converting to a low bit rate MP3, you may want to brighten your audio slightly, to counteract the loss of high frequency data. And with new Export Formats, users can create MP3 and AAC files directly from the Ozone 7 standalone application.
What other new features can be found in Ozone 7?
In addition to the Vintage Modules, IRC IV, Codec Preview and Export, we’ve
added the Dynamic EQ that previously was only in Ozone Advanced to both versions of Ozone 7 .
The Dynamic EQ also has 2 more dynamic nodes, for a total of 6, and we’ve optimized the performance to use less CPU. We’re also adding in some fresh new presets,
as well as bringing back some old favorites from earlier versions of Ozone.
For those of our customers who chose not to upgrade from Ozone 5 to 6 last year – what are the key benefits for upgrading this time?
Ozone 5 users will enjoy all of the workflow improvements and beautifully
redesigned user interface of Ozone 6, as well as the Dynamic EQ and standalone application for easy mastering outside of your DAW. Other improvements from 5 to 7 include Adaptive Release mode in the Dynamics module (which scales release time based on the crest factor of the incoming signal), an easily customizable module based signal chain, and two new Exciter modes: Triode and Dual Triode.
And likewise for customers who bought Ozone 6?
Ozone 6 users upgrading to Ozone 7 will get the Vintage Limiter, the improved
Dynamic EQ, IRC IV in the Maximizer, and Codec Export from the standalone app. Upgraders to Ozone 7 Advanced will get all that, plus the three other vintage modules (Vintage Tape, Vintage EQ, and Vintage Compressor), Codec Preview, and component versions of every module for individual use.
The price of the Advanced version of Ozone has dropped significantly
bringing it much closer to the Standard version price – what were iZotope’s reasons for this?
Looking at the current state of the music industry and the competitive landscape,
we decided it was time to adjust our pricing to align with our target customers. We know the majority of musicians and engineers have a limited budget for audio gear, and we wanted to make sure our products were affordable.
Our re-thinking the pricing of Ozone Advanced also involved wanting to position
the Music Production Bundle as an appealing upgrade. We believe that if we could make the collection of all our music production products more affordable folks would be able to better experience all the benefits of our products working together when mixing
and mastering music. I wanted to bring Ozone 7 Advanced to a more reasonable price. At $499 (£339) (promo price of $449 at release) I feel I have achieved my goal.
Right now you can buy Ozone 6 for less AND get a free upgrade to Ozone 7 when it’s released in early November. Click here to find out more