Test Drive: iZotope Ozone DX Plug-in

The reason iZotope says that Ozone was late to market, was the Paragraphic EQ. Originally the module was to be a parametric EQ, but ease of use lead iZotope to develop a combination parametric and graphic EQ (Paragraphic) overlaid on a real time spectrum analyzer. You have 6 bands to play with, and the “para” part of the Paragraphic equation means that the bands can be positioned precisely on top of a real time spectrum display of your mix. The sound is clean, and if you’re patient, you can get the sound you want. You can take up to 4 snapshots of the spectrum, allowing you to capture and compare the frequencies in 4 different mixes. Also included is a “6 dB Guide.” It’s a line that “… represents the spectrum or high frequency decay found in many commercial recordings…,” so you can compare what you have to something you may be trying to recreate.

The Mastering Reverb is best used for subtle washes of a mix. While you may have better hardware or software reverbs, this one does the job very effectively. It can go from “is it on” to “turn that damn thing off” and best of all it sounds nice. It has a harder edge like a Yamaha or Digitech box rather than the airy Alesis sound that I’m used to. Easy to adapt as you have control of wet and dry levels independent of each other, room size, room width, and hi and lo cut off. You have a reverb only solo switch, and you have a phase meter and vector scope for checking phase.

102-Ozone-Rev

The Loudness Maximizer gives you control of threshold and release time, and the choice of soft limiter or brick wall limiter. This module does what it says. It makes everything LOUD to mimic the current flavor of commercial CDs.

The Multi-band Harmonic Exciter is designed to add sparkle to a mix, similar to a high frequency EQ boost. In Ozone, emulating analog tube saturation does this. Each of the 4 bands has an amount and mix control, with selectable crossover points. Harmonic Exciters were huge in the ‘80s, and like everything else in the ‘80s, were overdone to death. A very little bit is a good thing, and it’s way too easy to use too much.

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