Repair, Mix, and Master a Song with iZotope Elements Suite
In this video we repair, mix and master a track using RX Elements, Neutron Elements, Nectar Elements, and Ozone Elements.
You’ve recorded and produced your song, and now it’s time to make it sound polished and professional. Whether you’ve been using virtual instruments in KOMPLETE 14 or you’ve recorded them yourself through your audio interface, you have a pleasant problem to address: you need to mix and master the track.
The problem is, you don’t really know how to do those things, and you want an easy way to finalize your song without getting overwhelmed.
The track we’re using
The track we’ll use today comes courtesy of Pete Mancini, and he recorded it in his home studio. It’s a cut from an EP called “Commonwealth Sessions Volume 1” entitled “Thanksgiving Eve" that will be released on May 5. Check it out on all platforms, but especially Bandcamp, so he can get a royalty north of 1x10-23 cents.
Pete is a scrappy singer-songwriter, and he’s able to get killer tones with tightly controlled budgets in his space. Nevertheless, a home-studio environment presents unavoidable challenges—challenges you’re likely to run into when you record yourself. So it’s the perfect material to show off the cleanup side of things with RX Elements, which we’ll do now.
"Thanksgiving Eve" by Pete Mancini
Audio cleanup with RX Elements
Audio cleanup involves correcting any imperfections in recordings. Unwanted distortion, room noise, and clicks/pops tend to be the most common culprits.
Here’s an example of room noise on a recording.
We loop the noise like so.
We click the learn button on RX Voice De-noise.
And now, when we play the audio, that noise is mitigated:
This recording also happens to have a few random clicks caused by common home-studio issues, such as inexpensive power supplies or degraded cabling. Here’s an example.
Not a problem—putting an instance of RX Elements De-click on the track gets the pop right out.
This makes for a decent teaching tool, as it assists you in generating settings that help de-noise, de-clip, de-reverb, and more.
From here, I can adjust the overall frequency balance, add distortion, change the width of the element, or add dynamics processing like compression or punchy expansion (an enhancement of the dynamic range, rather than a restriction of it).
Here are the different settings you can change in Neutron Elements:
- Tone Match: choose the instrument you’re processing from the menu to choose a target EQ curve for that given instrument. Use the slider to match that target EQ curve.
- Punch: restrict the dynamic range, or enhance it, with easy to use controls
- Distort: add blendable flavors of harmonic saturation or raunchy distortion
- Width: increase or decrease the apparent stereo image
Listen to all three of our instruments in this track before and after processing with Neutron Elements:
Mixing with Neutron Elements
Really, all I did here was move sliders and knobs around until I liked how it sounded—exactly as a beginner would. And this is where we got to.
Still, there’s more we can do. Let’s check out the vocals, using Nectar Elements to help us.
Vocal production with Nectar Elements
Sure, you can process your vocals in Neutron Elements. But you can get a more tailored sound with Nectar Elements, as it’s specifically designed with a complete set of features for mixing, producing, and designing vocals.
Nectar Elements has the same basic workflow: it listens to the vocal and recommends settings that you can tweak.
You can use the different knobs to dial-in your settings:
Shape: Adjusts the amount of tone-matching done to your vocal.
Intensity: Adjusts the amount of dynamics processing applied to the track.
Width: This slider adjusts the stereo spread of your vocal signal across your left and right channels.
FX: The FX pad on the bottom left of Assistant View lets you dial in the Intensity and Mix of any effect. You can add Reverb, Delay, and Dimension which adds chorus, flanger, and phaser effects.
This is what the vocals sound like raw and then processed with Nectar Elements.
Vocals with Neutron Elements
If you want to get extra jiggy with it, you can slap Nectar on after Neutron and give yourself an interesting combination of tonal palettes to work with.
Vocals with Neutron and Nectar Elements
Mastering with Ozone Elements
After your done here, just balance and pan the tracks to taste, like so.
Mix, Balanced and Panned
And you’re ready to get the tune up to level. Like other Elements plug-ins, Ozone Elements starts by listening to your track and making intelligent decisions. Here’s a video of it processing our mix in real time.
You can see how it automatically chooses Folk from the Targets menu, and easily allows me to adjust the EQ curve, width, and dynamics. I can choose a loudness target to shoot for (streaming for Spotify, DJ/Player for the old-timey and exceedingly loudness-war influenced standards).
With a simple application of Ozone Elements, we go from the balanced mix to a loud, well-rounded master.
Mastered with Ozone Elements
Get started using iZotope Elements Suite
iZotope Elements Suite is a powerful tool for repairing, mixing, and mastering your music. With its user-friendly interface and advanced features, you can easily polish your tracks to professional-level quality. The suite offers a range of tools to suit your needs, from repairing clicks and pops to enhancing your sound with EQ, compression, and more.
If you haven't already, start using it today to get pro-sounding tracks.