How Ozone Shaped the Sound of Jaden Smith’s 'SYRE: The Electric Album'

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Each week we’re spotlighting a newly-released song or album from one of our favorite artists and sharing a behind-the-scenes look at how they used an iZotope product on it.

This week we spoke with James Chul Rim, mix engineer for Jaden Smith’s album SYRE: The Electric Album (released July 12 via MSFTSMusic and Roc Nation).

“I’ve been a heavy user of Ozone since version five. As my mixing skills grew over the years, Ozone has grown with me. Every new version has given me new, useful tools and a smoother workflow. Now that I’m on Ozone 8, it touches almost every track and stays on my master bus.

“For my work on SYRE: The Electric Album, there were a lot of challenges in the mixing process. All the songs have many layers of guitar and vocals that are heavily affected with pedals and plug-ins, creating lots of subtle distortions. Add to that lots of reverb and suddenly we’re in an ocean of frequencies.

“After making standard EQ adjustments, the Ozone Dynamic EQ helps me tame the harsh/muddy frequencies that spike through. To do this manually by automating a standard EQ would be way too tedious.

“On the lead vocals I use an instance of Ozone with EQ, Dynamic EQ, Vintage Compressor, and Maximizer. I shape the vocal, shave off some dB at a fast setting, and add some extra pop to put it up front.

“The very last part of my master bus is Ozone with an Imager, Exciter, and EQ. I narrow the low end and widen the highs to enhance the spaciousness, something very important for these songs where sounds are placed in the periphery, hard panned and pushed to the background. It’s really meant to be experienced in the headphones where you’ll hear all these elements dancing around your head. With the Exciter, I’m just adding a subtle shine on top and a subtractive EQ pass is the final polish. When I bypass this off and on it really makes the song jump out of the speakers.”

—James Chul Rim, Mix Engineer

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