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In this video we’ll show you how to level up your next mix or master using the best of iZotope’s popular mixing and mastering bundles across a variety of sessions.
Whether you’re mixing or mastering, knowing what your first move should be is challenging. How do you set up your effects chain? What processing comes first and how much should you apply? Maybe you want to use a combination of effects, but you aren’t sure how to order the modules in your signal chain. That’s where iZotope’s assistive audio technology comes in.
Learn more about the powerful tools included in the Mix and Master bundle.
The Tonal Balance Bundle unlocks Inter-plugin Communication, a framework that lets bundled plug-ins work together as a team to help you accomplish and streamline mix tasks pro engineers tackle every day. The full power of modules like Mix Assistant’s Balance feature is unlocked through this time-saving framework. Mix Assistant gives you a starting point for your mix by automatically suggesting gain levels for all the tracks in your session based on a “mix focus” of your choice.
While analyzing your session, mix elements are bundled into logical groups (Vocals, Bass, Drums, and Musical) to suggest an initial level balance, which then allows you to quickly make broad-stroke adjustments to the initial suggestions. In just a few clicks, you can achieve a balanced mix for even the most complex sessions. Further adjustments can be made on a per-track basis within the Visual Mixer, using instances of Relay or using the faders in your DAW.
Other tools in the Tonal Balance Bundle, like Nectar 3, can help take your mixes to the next level. iZotope’s Nectar 3 is a comprehensive toolset for any vocal mixing project. No matter the genre, the Unmask module in Vocal Assistant will help place your vocal at the forefront of the mix, automatically moving other competing mix elements out of the way.
Use Tonal Balance Control 2 to make per-track adjustments to EQ and gain with any Neutron, Ozone, Relay, or Nectar plug-in. By placing it on your masterbus, it shows you how your track stacks up against a reference target. These targets were built by analyzing thousands of incredible master tracks in popular genres. Or, if you like, you can upload your own reference track, or a whole folder of them.
If you notice an imbalance of energy in one of two helpful viewing modes, like, say, too much or too little low end, you can perform a mixing move by remote-controlling the EQ in Neutron or a mastering move by remote-controlling Ozone.
When you’re ready for masterbus processing, tools like Tonal Balance Control 2, Low End Focus, and Master Rebalance unlock incredible workflows. Low End Focus and Master Rebalance give you the power to reach into a dense stereo mix and carefully accentuate or attenuate track elements. For example, let’s say we wanted to give the low end more warmth and presence using Smooth mode in Low End Focus, increasing the gain gives you the ability to tease out the best parts of kick and bass
Let’s say your vocal isn’t loud enough in the final master, using powerful real-time source separation technology, you can reach into the stereo mix and boost or attenuate vocals. You can also do the same for bass and drums.
Learn more about the powerful tools included in the Tonal Balance Bundle:
Next up is Music Production Suite. This bundle contains even more sonic tools to assist you in every step of the production workflow.
Before you start mixing, you can use RX 8 to clean up vocals or instruments that have unwanted noises incurred at the recording stage, like a clipped or distorted guitar. With Repair Assistant in RX, you can automatically identify and remove the clipping.
RX is also crucial for repairing vocal problems which, if left untreated, will become more audible once you bring up its level with compression and limiting in the mix. That’s why you’ll find it easy to use a module like De-ess for sibilance, De-plosive for vocal pops, Mouth De-click to remove lip smacks and other mouth noises, or even De-bleed to remove metronome bleed that leaked from the singers headphones into the vocal mic. You can also run many of those modules in real time as plug-ins in your session.
RX also has creative applications like Music Rebalance, which allows you to boost or attenuate vocals, drums, bass and more in a mono, stereo, or surround mix—or automatically separate new stems from the recording. Let’s say you wanted to prepare a track for a remix, and remove everything except the vocal so you can bring that vocal into a new session for remixing.
With Music Rebalance, you can easily isolate a vocal. Simply open the module, turn down the Other, Percussion, and Bass sliders, leaving the Voice slider at its default of zero. Choose your separation algorithm (Joint Channel or Advanced Joint Channel), and adjust the sensitivity meter to more strictly define your vocals from the rest of the audio. When you’re ready, press Render. Now you can export the isolated vocal file and prepare it for a remix within an entirely new genre or sonic environment.
Alternatively, use the Separate button to generate independent audio files for each audio element, and scrap everything you don't need!
Once you’ve repaired a vocal track, you can experiment with VocalSynth 2. Vocalsynth allows you to color and shape vocals with five blendable modules like Vocoder, Polyvox, and Biovox—a module modeled after the human vocal not to mention a host of stompbox-style studio effects which you can rearrange. With these modules, you can quickly get the old school sounds you need, or create a new school of vocal sounds all your own. It’s easy to get lost in layers, textures, effects, blending, and morphing a vocal into an experimental vocal playground.
VocalSynth 2 is built to be flexible, giving you three ways to interact and create. In Auto mode, get up and running on any track and apply effects and presets instantly. In MIDI mode, play and automate your production’s effects, harmonies, and other parameters with MIDI input or from any MIDI controller. In Sidechain mode, use any audio signal to drive VocalSynth 2 effects to expand creative horizons.
The latest addition to the iZotope family, Neoverb combines the legendary algorithmic reverb engines of Exponential Audio reverbs with our machine-learning-trained assistive technology. Use Reverb Assistant to let Neoverb listen to your audio and craft custom EQ curves to prevent the reverb from masking your source audio. From there, use the intuitive Blend UI to combine three types of algorithmic reverb—room, hall, and plate—for realistic or dramatic reflections. Finally, open the advanced controls menu to set the characteristics of your space to fit your mix perfectly.
For even more vocal coloration, you can call upon R4 or NIMBUS, two incredible reverb tools that offer deep tweakability and customization over every aspect of the reverberant signal. Each plug-in has thousands of presets and unique controls. Take Tail Suppression and Recovery for instance: this feature elegantly suppresses the reverb tail when a signal is present, meaning the vocalist will be able to cut through the clouds of the reverb tail when they’re singing and sound more intelligible. When they stop singing, the trail comes back up and recovers.
Insight 2 offers detailed, comprehensive metering for your audio available at a glance, from one fully resizable, modular display. The Intelligibility Meter, powered by iZotope DSP, allows you to proactively recognize and resolve dialogue intelligibility issues, giving you a clearer picture of how your audience will experience the dialogue in different environments. Now you can choose a target listening environment of low, medium, or high noise, to check how the intelligibility of your dialogue holds up for listeners in these situations.
The unique, real-time 3D spectrogram in Insight 2 creates a detailed topographical map of audio using iZotope's high-resolution spectrogram capabilities and Inter-plugin Communication framework. Unfamiliar with a spectrogram? Using iZotope Relay (included with Insight 2), you can visualize any individual track’s spectral content against the spectrum of your entire mix. Now you can visualize the frequency makeup of track elements like vocals, bass, and more to see which might be too present or not present enough in the overall composition of your track.
Learn more about the powerful tools included in Music Production Suite 4:
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