Izotope Ozone 7 Advanced – Gearjunkies review

With the major GUI overhaul of Ozone 6 Izotope took a step back at their innovation. By adding vintage type of emulations that is. So you can add some coloring to the sound to your taste and have more options to get a result you are looking for. You even can check the sound of lossy encoding so you check the results as they would be applied to online stores like iTunes. Another cool feature is the ability to bypass the effects and automatically retain same gain so you will not get distracted by loudness differences.

Standalone application
The standalone application is a basic application to load audio files and apply your mastering magic on that. You then can save the result as a PCM, mp3 or AAC file. You even can check the sound of the mp3 or AAC encoding real-time and change parameters.
Being very basic that is pretty much all you can do which is perfect for a quick run to give your track a first pass. As to another pass I would recommend using a DAW and use Ozone 7 in that environment with all its extras including the ability to bypass the 6 unit limit of the standalone application.

With the new vintage modules which you also can load as separate plugins in your DAW you also gain more mixing plugins as well. With some tricky mixes it is not uncommon to use Ozone to fix stuff in the mix. With this new modules you also can use the separate modules more efficiently.

The vintage tape unit is a fairly straight forward emulation of a Studer A810. It can sound very subtle and add some harmonics to warm up the sound or you can go full gritty if you so desire. This unit is not as elaborate as its competitors but in it fairly simplicity it delivers the warm sound.

The vintage EQ is a emulation of a Pultec style EQ. A high, mid and low cut and 3 EQ boosts. For basic EQing this seems adequate. But as to coloring with a vintage EQ I do feel they could have looked at different EQs and looked more closely at the average 4-band mastering EQs there which seem way more versatile in this situation to me.

The vintage compressor is a emulation of a vintage gluey compressor to glue the mix. Also fairly straightforward and easy to use. Sound wise it is like any other decent vintage compression emulation out there. The ability to EQ the side chain allows you to tweak the compression even more.

The vintage limiter is a emulation of a Fairlight 670 hardware. A continuation of the tube mode of the Ozone 6 limiter. When applied subtle it seems to be a nice way to cure digitis. If you push the limiting too hard you can hear several artifacts to that extend the emulation doesn’t hold up in extremes. Luckily the maximizer is quite adequate at handling extremes though.

The other modules are pretty much the same as with Ozone 6. The maximizer has a new fourth algorithm (IRC IV) which is tailored to multiband operation to get mixes louder with less apparent artifacts. Maximizer has been one of the best limiters out there for quite some time. Personally I prefer to use real analog compression and a limiter as a small gain stage so you do not push the limiter too hard.

Ozone 7 a good iteration of an already good mastering suite. The vintage additions are helpful creating color on the mix even though you have just one type of emulation. The vintage EQ seems to lack some options. The standard version is nice for some DIY mastering. The advanced version is a good tool in the toolbox of a mix or mastering engineer. 10 plugins for $50 a pop seems a decent deal to me.

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