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Learn Music and Audio Production | iZotope Tips and Tutorials

Get Started Mixing with Neutron Elements

by iZotope Team November 22, 2022

Equip yourself with essential mixing tools:

Neutron Elements

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Whether you’re just starting to create your own music at home or you’re a professional looking for some new mixing tools, Neutron Elements has the assistive technology you need to get a professional-sounding mix quickly. 

The brand new Neutron 4 Elements delivers a powerful control center to perfect your sound in one affordable package. Learn more about its easy, step-by-step workflow that will help you mix smarter and faster while staying in your flow.

Hear how Neutron can quickly add polish and clarity to your mix:

Get your copy of the new Neutron 4 Elements, the easy all-in-one mixing tool. 

Getting started with Neutron Elements

1. Use the Assistant tool

Add Neutron 4 Elements to your individual tracks in your DAW. You will see a new button at the top of the plug-in that is shaped like a circle. This is the new Assistant button. 

Neutron 4 Elements Assistant Button
Start Neutron Elements with the Assistant button

Once the button is selected, Neutron waits for audio to be played. Play a portion of the audio where the track is at its loudest (like the chorus). Neutron will then begin its AI-powered analysis and set up your signal chain. 

When you activate the Assistant, you’ll notice you no longer have to click through a series of questions for the Assistant to generate results. As soon as you press play, the Assistant is ready to analyze your audio. 

Neutron Elements will build you a personalized signal chain
Neutron Elements will build you a personalized signal chain

You will then be presented with a new Neutron Elements interface, complete with target-oriented processing, reference matching technology, and intent-based controls that will help you get your desired sound faster. 

Neutron Elements interface
Neutron Elements interface

2. Choose your target sound

On the left hand side you’ll also see the new Target Library. This section gives you the ability to teach the assistant the spectral profile you want for your track so it can produce recommendations based on your intentions. 

New Targets section in Neutron Elements matches your audio to target curves of popular instrument sounds
New Targets section in Neutron Elements matches your audio to target curves of popular instrument sounds

You can choose from any of the target presets available in Neutron or you can import your own samples or stem audio as references for the Assistant to match. 

Love the tonal qualities of a certain bass guitar, kick drum, piano, or synth track? Load it into your Target Library to enable the Assistant to match your track to that reference. 

You can also automatically import references captured with iZotope Audiolens, a new, groundbreaking tool that allows you to analyze audio from any streaming platform or audio source, without the need for downloading media files or setting up tedious audio routing setups. Learn more in our recent Audiolens overview

3. Control your tonal balance with Tonal Balance Target Curve

Once you have a tonal balance target curve selected for your track, the Tonal Balance Target Curve in the center of the plug-in will display the spectral balance of your audio against the target. 

The orange line represents the spectral profile of the preset or reference you selected, while the thinner line represents your audio. So at a glance, you can see how your audio compares to the target and you can use the new Intent Controls to push your audio closer to that target.

Tone Matching

You’ll note the Tone Matching slider that we mentioned earlier when looking at Target Library, which pushes the sound more towards the target curve. ​​As you slide it upwards, you should see your audio in the spectrum adjust towards the intended tonal target. 

This macro borrows processing from Neutron 4’s Sculptor module which controls much spectral processing that is being applied to the signal towards the target that’s been selected. The slider also adjusts pre EQ.

The orange line represents the spectral profile of the preset or reference you selected, while the thinner line represents your audio
The orange line represents the spectral profile of the preset or reference you selected, while the thinner line represents your audio

4. Punch, distort, and widen your sound 

Neutron Elements doesn’t just give you a bespoke preset—it gives you the ability to tweak the sound easily and quickly, thanks to a few macro controls.

Punch and Distort

You’ll also see the Punch and Distort sections. Punch is designed to add more snap and impact to a sound, not like a transient shaper, but more like an old-school aggressive compressor giving you classic smack and attack. 

In the Distort section you can excite your mix with processing borrowed from Zotope’s Trash 2 distortion plug-in. The Distort section has an X/Y pad you can use to blend between four different Trash algorithms: clip, overdrive, scream, and scratch. 

Add snap and impact with Punch or add distortion in Distort with four different tonal qualities
Add snap and impact with Punch or add distortion in Distort with four different tonal qualities

Width

A width control helps center your stereo image or stretch your sound as wide as you want.

Control your stereo image with Width in Neutron Elements
Control your stereo image with Width in Neutron Elements

Additional Neutron Elements Controls

Relearn your audio

Would you like to analyze a different section of your track? Select Relearn to do another AI-powered listening pass of your audio selection. 

Select Relearn to do another listening pass of your audio with the Assistant
Select Relearn to do another listening pass of your audio with the Assistant

Additional Neutron Elements improvements:

Improved performance

Neutron 4 Elements is compatible with Apple silicon native chips for faster processing.

Improved UI look and feel

A refreshed look and simple interface helps to jumpstart your mixing process by keeping you in your flow.

Start mixing your tracks with Neutron Elements

Perhaps now you see why Neutron Elements is valuable to all sorts of engineers. People who are still trying to learn how to mix music as a beginner can get a helping hand with AI-powered assistance, and professionals can get a good result quickly. Start getting professional-sounding mixes in your DAW today! 

Learn more about mixing

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