Tips & Tutorials | November 15, 2016
At the core of Ozone 7 Elements are the powerful signal processors built into Ozone 7 that are used by professional mastering engineers, producers, and musicians everyday. The 70+ presets in Ozone 7 Elements have each been meticulously designed to replicate the signal chains of award-winning mastering engineers, helping you bring their years of experience and sonic expertise into your music. Let’s take a listen to a few of these presets, look at the individual module settings inside of Ozone 7, and discuss the processing techniques that make them sound the way they do.
The “Punchy and Clear” preset in Ozone 7 Elements runs three of the modules from Ozone 7 in series. First, the Equalizer module makes a pointed boost right around 100 Hz, followed by a cut around 300 Hz. This brings out the impact of a kick drum or bass, while also cutting some of the “mud” that can build up in the lower-midrange. There is also a gentle roll-off below 30 Hz to remove any excessive subharmonic energy that would otherwise use up headroom and reduce the overall level of the track.
This is followed by a Dynamic Equalizer gently sculpting the high-end, but only when the signals in this area fall below a certain threshold.
These tonal adjustments are followed up by the Maximizer running the classic IRC I mode to boost the overall level while catching any peaks in the signal.
For this song by Adara (mastered using Ozone 7 Elements), we adjusted the Maximizer threshold to suit the style of the music with just a modest amount of limiting, and also intensified the EQ curve by raising the amount control to 25%, which scales all the gain controls accordingly. This means there will be a little bit more of that boost around 100 Hz and cut at 300 Hz, bringing out the “punch.” It almost sounds as if we’ve added dynamics to the track by doing this, while also bring up the overall level.
The Ozone 7 Elements preset “Brighten Overall Mix” is made up of four modules from Ozone 7. With the Equalizer, that same 30 Hz Baxandall shelving filter is applied to conserve headroom, and a very modest boost is applied between 2-3 kHz to help with vocal clarity.
The Dynamic Equalizer applies a generous lift with a high Baxandall shelf, and also a boost around 500 Hz to help showcase the tonality of the background vocals and toms.
Much of the sensation of the mix being “brightened” actually comes from the Multiband Imager. It’s set to reduce the stereo width below 140 Hz, a classic gesture that is often used when mastering vinyl records. Above 1.9 kHz, the imager gradually expands the stereo width, bringing an immersive, enveloping quality to cymbals and spatial effects.
Finally, the Maximizer is set to IRC IV, our frequency dependent spectral shaping limiter, so the attenuation is applied only in the frequency areas where peaks occur, providing transparent limiting while preserving the tonal balance of your track.
Using this preset on this song by The Rare Occasions, we adjusted the maximizer threshold to suit the style of the music with just a modest amount of limiting, and also intensified the EQ curve by raising the amount control to 76%, which scales the gain controls in the analog EQ accordingly, accentuating the boost around 2 kHz, and the reduction below 30 Hz.
This preset come from the set of signature presets developed with award-winning mastering engineer Greg Calbi. He uses Ozone 7 on a daily basis, and these are the same presets he has designed for his own projects.
“Midrange & Bass Detail” combines two equalizers: one ahead of the Dynamics section applying a subtle roll-off below 40 Hz, and another (displayed below) after the Dynamics and Imager modules to add weight to the kick drum and bass, without causing pumping. Adjustments to the EQ Amount macro control in Ozone 7 Elements will make the roll-off below 40 Hz more pronounced, which could help you get a louder master without extra limiting.
The Dynamics module is set in multiband mode, with low ratios across the bands and thresholds that gradually get lower at the higher ends of the spectrum. This allows high-frequencies that could sound harsh to be attenuated without losing the detail and nuance of the bass and mid-range. The Dynamics Amount macro control in Ozone 7 Elements will turn this into a parallel multiband compressor, where the percentage amount determines how much of the uncompressed signal is blended with the compressed version.
This preset also uses the Imager to help push the sound beyond the speakers and give the drums and guitars extra dimension.
Using this preset to master this track by electronic producer Psymbionic, we adjusted the Maximizer threshold amount, and also intensified the EQ curve by raising the amount control to 34% for some extra roll-off at the sub frequencies. We also adjusted the parallel blend of the multiband compression to 71%. This maintains some gentle compression across the spectrum while also letting some of the original dry signal through to preserve the transients that give the drums and bass impact and energy.
This Ozone 7 Elements preset "Smooth Hip-Hop" combines multiband parallel compression with the Imager and Vintage Limiter to tighten the low-end, open up the stereo field and raise the overall level of the track without pumping.
The Dynamics module is set with four separate bands each with different amounts of parallel compression. It actually attenuates the high and low frequencies more that the midrange, which can help counteract “smiley face” EQ curves by smoothing out any peaks in these areas before they hit the limiter.
The Imager also helps accentuate the midrange by spreading frequencies between 2-10 kHz slightly, while also reigning in some of the low-end below 200 Hz.
When using the preset to master this particular track by STL GLD, we activated the Maximizer as a second stage of limiting after the Vintage Limiter to a few extra decibels of loudness out of the track, and adjusted the dynamics control inside of Ozone 7 Elements to 79% for a more modest parallel blend.
This preset uses the analog filter mode of the Ozone 7 Equalizer to add a very gentle lift to both the low and high ends with Baxandall style shelving filters.
That’s followed by a multiband compressor, with one band set to work with the low-end (crossed over at 140 Hz), and a second band addressing all the frequencies above 140 Hz, both with very low ratios, a soft-knee, and 50-60% parallel blend for a very sublte amount of dynamic sculpting.
Finally, the Vintage Limiter is enabled in Tube mode, to bring the enigmatic analog warmth of Vari-Mu style compression to the entire mix.
Using the "Simple Glue" preset to master this song by Stina, we adjusted the limiter threshold amount to suit the style of the music, changed the EQ amount to 48% to accentuate those low and high frequency lifts, and left the compression setting at 100% to maintain that “glue” that helps connect all the acoustic instruments across the recording.
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