Released in the Autumn last year, iZotope’s Neutron plug-in is like having a virtual assistant that can listen to your audio, identify instruments, and offer tailored starting points for creating powerful mixes with focus and clarity while leaving all the creative control to you.
Whilst initially met with some skepticism, (after all, surely such software will just have a one-size-fits-all approach to mixing, which would show its limitations rather quickly?), these suspicions were rapidly turned on their head as users began to not only appreciate the high level of intelligence demonstrated by the plug-in but the extent of control it still offered.
Judging by the reviews received in recent months, it appears the audio production press agree. Here’s a quick roundup of what they had to say about iZotope’s newest game-changing software…
“What appeals to me about Neutron as a package is the sheer sound-sculpting power of its core processing. Whenever I felt dissatisfied with the fundamental character of a track while mixing with this plug-in, a quick surf through the preset library immediately presented me with a bunch of radically different timbral possibilities to play with, and I was usually able to find something more subjectively engaging pretty swiftly — a process helped enormously by those all-pervasive wet/dry mix controls. Moreover, the flexibility with which Neutron allows you to snipe fiendishly complex mixing gremlins is commendable. Neutron´s audio processing impresses both creatively and technically, delivering solid value for money and CPU cycles.” – Sound on Sound
“This is honestly the most excited we’ve been about an iZotope product for a long time. Neutron is a well thought out, well crafted, professional piece of software that’s not just a tool for beginners.
Cleverly, they’ve not just made it so you switch it on and it suddenly sounds loads better. It’s actually quite subtle so it won’t ruin your mix. You also have total control to change whatever it suggests, but to be honest, Neutron is a pretty clever assistant.
It constantly picked out resonances that we probably would have located and ducked ourselves (or possibly not, if we’d missed them). We went into this review a little sceptical, as we’ve seen ‘make it better button’ plug-ins before, but the beauty of iZotope Neutron is that it lets you see exactly what’s going on behind the curtain.
If you’re starting out in mixing and want a bit of a helping hand, then this is a fantastic tool that can help point you in the right direction”. – Music Tech
“Although Track Assistant and Masking Meter are obviously Neutron´s loudest selling points, equally (if not more) crucial to it’s success is the quality of the processors themselves, which, as you´d expect from the developers of Ozone and Alloy, is absolutely superb.” – Computer Music
“Anyone who spends any time mixing should check out Neutron—not only do you get a host of iZotope’s best processors (some with the company’s latest algorithms), but the intelligent mix features are definitely worth exploring—whatever level your mixing skills.” – AskAudio
“Overall this is a truly unique and very powerful plugin – easy to dismiss at first as a gimmick – this technology could be the start of something groundbreaking, especially for the live world.” – Resolution Magazine
“I’m hugely impressed. Provided you do as iZotope recommend and treat the results of Track Assistant as a jumping off point rather than a finished solution, there’s an awful lot of control here. In fact, even if you’re looking for a mixing suite of effects yet wouldn’t countenance the idea of a plug-in making settings suggestions for you, I’d still look twice at Neutron.
Its modules are full of well-considered and comprehensive parameters, and there’s no doubting the quality of its Masking Meter’s analysis. It should appeal to producers, mix engineers and post-production facilities alike. There’s plenty here to make your mixes sound a whole lot better.” – Resident Advisor
“The new Track Assistant feature is a very clever time-saving tool. It analyzes audio, identifies the instrument and sets up EQ and Dynamics settings accordingly. The Track Assistant has a handful of presets so that the behaviour of the process can be either toned down or made more aggressive.” – ProToolsExpert