This article lists the top Izotope plugins in 2023 for your mixing & mastering needs.
Izotope is the pioneer of intelligent audio technology. An intro to man-machine interaction, Izotope plugins allow artists to stay at their creative best by eliminating the problems in their mixes while enhancing the final output.
The easy-to-use interface, versatility, and flexibility of the Izotope plugins made them the staple for modern mixing engineers. However, what makes Izotope plugins distinctive is their assistive audio feature based on Machine Learning which can be found in most of their products. This feature was introduced in 2016 and is regularly updated to improve efficiency.
Read on to find out what are our top 10 Izotope plugins.
Top 10 Izotope Plugins 2023 For Mixing & Mastering
1. Ozone 10 Advanced
iZotope Ozone 10 Advanced is a collection of mastering plugins to create cutting-edge industry standard masters.
Ozone has become the gold standard for mastering plugin packs, and iZotope has constantly improved it with regular new updates and features. It has a great collection of plugins with an expansive range of presets to help you get started with them. Everything from the interface to the controllers to the final sound and overall intuitiveness in these plugins is top-notch!
- Equalizer 1
The equalizer 1 is an advanced eq plugin that operates in stereo, mid-side, and left/right modes. There are two modes in the plugin: analog and digital. You can add up to eight bands on the plugin and select their curves as low pass, hi pass, low shelf, high shelf, and bell, so each category has further subcategories of curves.
- Dynamic EQ
Dynamic EQ allows you to set a threshold on the band beyond which the EQ will act in real-time. You can add up to five bands and switch the curves between Proportional Q, Baxendall bass, Baxendall treble, bell, and band shelf. You can choose between analog and digital algorithms for dynamic EQ as well.
- Match EQ
The plugin allows you to capture a reference song, compare its spectrum profile with your mix, and match your EQ curve with the reference song. It’s a great tool for mastering and getting ideas when you are stuck. You can also fine-tune the match EQ using its smoothing and amount sliders. In addition, Match EQ is available as stereo, mid-side, and left/right EQ.
- Vintage EQ
Vintage EQ has the following windows: low, mid, low mids, high mids, high boost, and high cut, such that in each window, you can select a particular frequency and adjust its amplitude.
The plugin has a warm and smooth analog sound without any phase-related artifacts. In addition, its interface is extremely streamlined and intuitive, making its advanced EQ functionalities uncomplicated and easy to understand.
Dynamics is a multi-band compressor plugin that lets you compress the audio in peak, envelope, and RMS levels. It allows you to set up to four bands so that each band can be soloed or muted. The plugin also allows parallel processing and lets you set the compressor using its curve. In addition, it also allows global control, automatic gain matching, and adaptable release settings.
- Vintage comp
The Vintage Compressor operates in Sharp, balanced, smooth settings/algorithms. Other than that, it’s a simple compressor plugin with simple controls like ratio, attack, and release. In addition, it also has a three-band equalizer.
- Vintage Limiter
The Vintage Limiter is a brick-wall limiter with the following algorithms: analog, tube, and modern. It has a simple workflow in which you set a peak and a threshold, along with a character slider for adding the vintage and analog tone to the audio.
Maximizer is the ultimate mastering limiter by Izotope, with Intelligence Release Control algorithms of five types, each offering its own characteristic sound and transient audio processing. In addition, there’s a transient emphasis slider and a stereo independence window with a transient and sustain slider.
Exciter is a multiband saturation/distortion plugin or harmonic processor that allows up to four bands. The harmonic processing algorithms are Triode, Analog, Retro, Tube, Warm, and Dual Triode. You can adjust the amount and mix of saturation in each band.
The Ozone Imager is a multiband stereo imaging plugin with up to four bands and two imaging modes. You can adjust the width of each band individually and monitor the stereo width using a Vectorscope and a correlation meter. The curves on the vectorscope are polar sample, polar level, and Lissajous.
- Low End Focus
This is a low-end (20 – 300 Hz) processing plugin with a simple interface of a band selector and two sliders, and two algorithms (punchy and smooth). It’s great for isolating and processing your sub-bass, bass, and low mid frequencies and has a great collection of usable factory presets.
- Master Rebalance
The Master rebalance plugin allows you to isolate the drums, vocals, or bass and boost it on your master. It’s unbelievable how smart the plugin is, with its precise isolation algorithm and boosting of the elements without any obvious artifacts.
- Vintage Tape
Vintage Tape emulates the sound of a magnetic tape machine and brings that analog warmth and vintage character to your sounds. It’s a great plugin for mastering and adding to the vocals to make them smooth, sweet, and analog, as the harmonics it adds are musical and sound great!
You can adjust the tape speed between 7.5, 15, and 30, adjust input drive, bias, boost harmonics, and low and high emphasis.
- Tonal balance curve
The tonal balance curve allows you to compare your mix’s spectrum and tonal balance with a general frequency balance of different genres like hip-hop/rap, pop, EDM, Jazz, Rock, etc. Based on that, you can reference your mixes and match their width, dynamics, and EQ, with supportive parameters like Stabilizer and Maximizer.
- Stabilizer Module
The stabilizer is essentially an EQ plugin that shapes your frequency spectrum towards a reference or a target mix. Here also, you can select different genres. There are two modes: Shape and Cut, such that Shape will allow you to boost and cut frequencies, whereas Cut will allow you only to subtract frequencies.
Further, you can control the mix and effectiveness of the stabilizer for the low, mid, and high bands.
The Impact module is a dynamic processor that allows you to control the microdynamics of a track, create interesting rhythmic movements, and enhance the track’s feel. It uses four bands, each of which you can control individually and add the required spice to your mix.
iZotope offers this plugin with the purchase of Ozone 10 Advanced, and it is an AI-run tool that compares your mix with reference genres and tracks by listening to them from an audio streaming platform and collects data based on that listening to give you suggestions and inferences on sonic characteristics, by which you can visualize, compare, and match your songs with other songs.
The bundle requires a minimum of macOS Catalina (10.15.7) or Windows 10 operating system and is available in AAX, AU, and VST 3 plugin formats.
The Ozone 10 Advanced is the ultimate mastering suite and may be the only mastering plugin you will ever need, as it has everything from analog-modeled saturators and compressors to tape machines and stereo imagers to reference/match EQs. It’s as elaborate as a collection could get and makes it easy for bedroom producers and in-the-box engineers to get high-quality and industry-standard mix-masters.
2. iZotope Neutron 4
iZotope Neutron 4 is a comprehensive mixing tool suite offering various improvements and additions to previous versions.
The plugin features an Assistant View that provides an easy-to-use and intuitive interface for beginners to change a channel’s sound. Additionally, it includes an Unmask module that allows for easy separation of different sounds and an Exciter module that features new distortion signal mashers.
- Reference with Target Library
This allows you to match the sonic characteristics of your mix to a reference track. It comes with a selection of professionally mixed tracks you can choose from or upload your reference tracks. Once a reference track has been selected, the plugin analyzes its spectral balance, dynamics, and other characteristics and suggests adjusting the mix to match the reference more closely.
- Clear muddy mixes
The Unmask module in iZotope Neutron 4 is a powerful tool for separating overlapping sounds in a mix, allowing you to identify and adjust frequencies clashing with each other easily. This feature works by analyzing the audio of all tracks in your mix and then creating a “masking” profile of each track. From there, you can use the Unmask module to adjust the levels of each track, making sure that each sound is heard clearly and without interference from other sounds.
- Clever Harmonic Processing
You can add warmth, grit, and harmonic distortion to your audio by using Trash Mode. It has four different modes, which allow you to customize the type and intensity of distortion applied to your audio. These modes include “Classic,” “Tape,” “Tube,” and “Warm,” each with its distinct character. You can also adjust the amount of distortion using the Drive and Mix controls.
- Punch Mode
You get a Punch Mode in the plugin’s Compressor module, a transient shaping tool that adds impact and clarity to individual tracks and mixes. It works by emphasizing the initial transient of a sound while reducing the sustain or tail.
That can be useful for punching drums, guitars, and other instruments that need to cut through a mix. It has adjustable Attack and Release controls, allowing for fine-tuning of the transient shaping effect. It can also be used with the Compressor’s other settings for more precise control over a track’s dynamics.
- Comprehensive presets
Neutron 4 has various presets to help you start your audio projects. These preset are designed to provide a range of settings for different types of audio sources, such as vocals, drums, guitars, and more. They can save you time and effort by providing a starting point that you can tweak and customize.
While iZotope Neutron 4’s Compressor module has powerful features like Punch Mode and adjustable Attack and Release controls, it also has some cons. Firstly, the plugin can be expensive, making it inaccessible to some of you. Additionally, the interface can be overwhelming for beginners, with many options and controls that may be difficult to understand.
The presets can be a useful starting point, but they may not always provide the desired effect and require further customization. Finally, the plugin can be CPU-intensive, which can be problematic for those with slower computers or limited resources.
Capture the magnificence of reverb with Izotope Neoverb, an innovative approach to spatial audio.
Izotope Neoverb is an ‘Artificial intelligence‘ based take on reverberation technology. Neoverb is Izotope’s first proper reverb plugin apart from their tie-up with Exponential audio. It offers a lot of controls that will help you sculpt your own reverb sound.
You are given all the traditional reverb controls such as Pre-delay, Decay & Dry/Wet, and a conglomeration of advanced features such as Pre & Post EQ with auto cut, Modulation section, and Reverb assistant.
Engineers use different reverb types for different purposes, but blending more than one reverb type on a track can give an impression of a composite sounding space, and Neoverb has a fresh take on this by having three reverb engines which we will be discussing in a detailed manner below.
- Three Reverb Engines
Neoverb offers three Reverberation engines, one giving distinct early reflections while the other two provide reverb tails. A smooth triangle in the center offers you the control of blending between each of these reflection engines. Atop the triangle is the Blue engine, responsible for the early reflections. Below are the reflection engines for the reverb tails, Violet and Orange. The maximum decay time and other controls are identical in both, with the main difference being the reflection types and the minimum decay time. Violet has room and plate type reverb while Orange has a hall and chamber.
- Reverb Assistant
Like other Izotope plugins, the Reverb assistant helps shape the reverb parameters in real-time according to the audio signal passing through it. It works on a simple four-step process. First, you get a style fader with the opposite extremes being Realistic & Dramatic, a size parameter linked to the room size of the desired reverb, a dry-wet knob, and four options for the tone. Reverb assistant also creates EQ curves according to the audio sent in.
- Masking meter
As the name suggests, the masking meter helps you determine the cause of muddiness in the mix. In addition, the masking meter communicates with other Izotope plugins used in the project and helps you discover which area and elements in the frequency spectrum are being masked by the reverb, which helps you with the EQ decisions.
- Mod Pad
Mod pad lets you add small and subtle movement to your reverb. It is an X/Y pad with two options. The pitch mode modulates pitch changes which can create effects similar to the ‘Doppler effect’, and the other mode is similar to the chorus effect.
Izotope Neoverb is available for Windows 8 or higher and macOS 10.13.6 El Capitan or higher. It comes in VST2/3, AU, and AAX formats, all in 64 bits only.
Izotope Neoverb provides a level of sophistication, but it is still easy to use with its reverb assistant. Neoverb is versatile and offers a lot of customization, unlike many of the popular reverb units, which can only be used for specific purposes.
In addition, the ability to blend and control each of the three reflections makes it a tensile reverb plugin. This plugin gives some familiar UI like the preset menu while introducing innovations.
4. iZotope Stratus 3D by Exponential Audio
iZotope Stratus 3D is a reverb with 3D Surround support, including Auro and Dolby Atmos.
It is one of those plugins you might need if you’re into film production or want to compose music in more complex formats than stereo.
Surround forms like Atmos, Auro, and others are becoming more popular, so there are now more sound options for movies and television than ever. The Stratus 3D reverb engine works well with these new output forms. Stratus 3D can create reflections with amazing clarity for up to 24-channel surround. It also gives you precise parameter controls that let you reshape and polish an ideal dimensional tone, track by track.
- Surround Options
The plugin can work in stereo and mono and also with a surround that can go up to 7.1 channels, but a little bonus it has is that, as the name says, it has a 3D format that works well with Auro and Dolby Atmos. Every channel is de-emphasized, so if you fold the mix into mono, you don’t have to concern if you make drastic changes.
- Stem Options
Stra is packed with stem options, which means that besides generating a surround from a mono track, you can also create a surround effect from an LCR input. You can also generate a 7.1 output from a 5.1 input, so the plugin is more than ready to give you endless control.
- Warp Function
When you want your reverb to pop well, Stratus 3D has this function that incorporates a reduction, a compander, and an overdrive circuit that gives you timbre and dynamics control of your sound. With it, you can create ambient textures that can’t be created with other plugins on the market.
- Sound-Shaping Tools
You can see an Input EQ with notch filters on reflections and a bandpass. These help you eliminate elements you don’t want included in your reverb.
When you want to bring more clarity to your mixes, the plugin has a Dynamic control with a tail suppression that will help you achieve this. Also, if you want to blend the effect with your track more easily but not overcomplicate it, you get tempo control of the pre-delay and reverbs, and they are designed so that anyone can use them easily.
iZotope Stratus 3D is available in VST, AAX, and AU formats (32-bit and 64-bit) for Windows 10,8,7 and macOS 10.12 – 10.15.
Indeed, Stratus 3D does what it sets out to do. It is much cleaner, but it also offers much more open reverbs. It’s natural and works well on fx and dialogue, but also if you want to do a big ”dream verb” effect. It also works great with music, and if you’re not sure how you would do it, it has plenty of presets that will help.
5. iZotope RX 10 Advanced
In order to rapidly and reliably prepare audio for professional release, top post-production engineers rely on the award-winning RX 10 Advanced audio repair suite.
iZotope RX 10 Advanced is the ultimate audio post-production tool powered by decades of research and machine learning. RX 10 streamlines editing processes, fix previously unsalvageable audio takes, and provides consistent audio by analyzing problems with audio capture and production and delivering processing solutions.
Let’s take a look at the plugin’s screenshots and quickly go over what it can do:
The purpose of Repair Assistant is to automatically identify typical audio issues within a recording and recommend appropriate adjustments for fixing them. The RX Audio Editor has a module for Repair Assistant, and the plugin is compatible with other modules. Experience-wise, the Repair Assistant Plugin is quite similar to the Audio Editor; the main difference is that the plugin analyzes audio as it is being played rather than all at once.
By learning a profile of the unwanted noise and eliminating it from the signal, Spectral De-noise can eliminate tone noise and broadband hiss that are either static or slightly varying pitch. When a signal’s amplitude falls below a user-specified threshold, Spectral De-noise learns the profile of the surrounding noise and subtracts it.
Voice De-noise is a user-friendly, zero-latency de-noise that produces professional-grade results from various sources. Smart analysis of voice signals allows Voice De-noise to recommend the optimal noise threshold for each signal. If you need to adjust the noise threshold in a DAW manually, you can use this function to create automation and bypass the default settings.
With de-reverb, you can adjust how much room sound is included in a recording. It can transform massive churches into intimate concert halls and make open recording spaces sound like you modified them for vocals. When applying de-reverb, the signal is altered based on reverberant to direct energy ratio. It can analyze your music and make educated guesses about frequency and decay time.
When an A/D converter is overworked or magnetic tape is saturated, clipping artifacts appear in the digital and analog domains; de-clip corrects these issues. In addition, it’s a great tool for saving one-take recordings like concerts and interviews and “perfect takes” that were clipped for a split second and otherwise cannot be redone.
The purpose of de-hum is to eliminate constant tonal noise such as AC noise, electrical buzz, or electromagnetic fields. De-hum features two different settings: a Static mode, which is ideal for ground noise or simple hums with a few harmonics, and a Dynamic mode, which is ideal for complex hums or buzz.
Guitar De-noise is a tool to quiet down distracting sounds made by acoustic and electric guitars during performances. This includes squeaks, picking sounds, and hums or buzz from guitar pickups and amplifiers. Adjusting or getting rid of these noises will be a breeze with Guitar De-noise. Guitar De-noise is divided into three parts, each of which eliminates a certain kind of artifact.
Some DAW’s prevent RX from playing audio through the same output device when the RX Connect plugin is active. Instead, using the host application’s audio driver output, you can listen to the results of the RX Audio Editor thanks to the RX Monitor plugin. This comes in handy when the host application must be closed for the RX Audio Editor to gain access to the output driver.
Clicks and lip smacks are two of the many mouth noises that Mouth De-click can identify and dampen. It works best on longer audio segments but can be used to get rid of single clicks if necessary. It is possible that running Running Mouth De-click twice will yield better results than running it once. This is because you may miss the more subtle clicks during the first run due to the dominance of the louder clicks.
A clip, or numerous clips, can be sent to the RX 10 standalone application for editing and repair via the RX Connect plugin. As a result, you may use the offline processing and graphical user interface that are hallmarks of RX 10, which are now easily accessible in a centralized location.
The breaths in recorded dialogue or vocals are automatically detected by the Breath Control module and muted. Dialogue editors and music producers alike may find the process of removing and reducing breaths in recordings to be tedious. However, Breath Control can significantly reduce the time spent editing without compromising the quality of your dialogue or vocal recordings.
The De-click module uses an advanced algorithm to detect and correct amplitude fluctuations in the input signal. This means you can use De-click to remove a variety of short impulse noises, such as clicks caused by digital errors, mouth noises, and interference from cell phones.
Crackle is the term used to describe the low-volume, closely-spaced clicks you can hear in an audio signal. After the most egregious clicks have been removed with De-click, running De-crackle can be an even more effective means of fixing the audio.
With de-ess, sibilance in recorded voices is greatly diminished. Microphones tend to amplify the “f,” “sh,” and “s” sounds because they are high in frequency. Moreover, the spectral mode of iZotope’s de-essing plugin guarantees that the rest of the voice is unaffected by the processing, unlike many other similar tools.
A plosive is a type of consonant sound produced in a speech by temporarily stopping airflow. A plosive is an audible release of pressure that occurs when a blockage in the vocal tract is cleared; when recording vocals or dialogue, pop filters or wind filters are often used to lessen the “popping” effect caused by the higher pressure plosive signal making contact with the microphone’s diaphragm.
- Text Navigation
New and intriguing capabilities in RX 10 include speech recognition and text navigation. After importing audio files into RX, we can begin training by clicking on the Speech Recognition Word Lane icon in the program’s toolbar’s lower right corner. The time it takes to generate word tabs from audio transcripts is minimal. In addition, we can select a time range in the spectrogram by clicking on the tabs corresponding to the words.
- Repair Assistant
Now that RX 10 is out, iZotope has taken the chance to rethink the audio restoration assistant, including new analysis, processing, and a streamlined user interface.
Better even, a new plugin version is available, making it possible to use iZotope’s AI tool directly from your preferred digital audio workstation for the first time. You’ll notice that the modules evolve in response to your editing content. Pick the one that most closely resembles the material you’ll be using.
- Dynamic Adaptive Mode
De-hum’s Dynamic mode allows it to handle more complex noises and electromagnetic fields (EMF) than before, as well as more harmonics than simple static noise. As a result of these enhancements, this module is now more potent than ever.
In addition, de-hum’s new Dynamic Adaptive mode allows us to tailor its notch filters to the evolving environment by letting us choose the frequency range we wish to address, adjusting the sensitivity, the number of bands, and the Filter Q. This function is most effective with time-varying noises like hums and buzzes in audio.
- Selection Feathering
The feathering selection option has been moved to the main editor, where you can access it by clicking the feather icon, making it easier to interact with the editor overall. We can now experiment with different time and frequency settings. To lessen the abruptness of the changes between processed and raw sound, you can use selection feathering.
- Spectral Recovery
There have been major improvements made to Spectral Recovery. With the growing need for recording and editing phone and VoIP calls, there’s a need to get more intelligible audio.
When music is compressed for real-time streaming, frequencies above 4 kHz are typically lost. The new Spectral Recovery feature can help recover such frequencies. The resynthesis quality at higher frequencies is enhanced over the previous version, and you can now restore low frequencies.
iZotope RX 10 Advanced is available for Windows 10 or higher and macOS 10.14.6 or higher, both 64-bit only. It comes in VST 2/3, AU, and AAX formats.
The new version of RX improves upon its predecessor by increasing the use of its basic features, bolstering select modules, and streamlining the overall development process. While you may improve some modules, it does not add any new ones.
While the Word Lane and Text Navigation features are an excellent upgrade, they still need work before you can widely use them with a wider range of professionals. With its vast improvements over its predecessor, the new Spectral Recovery is a reliable companion for audio and video chats.
6. Insight 2
Insight 2 is an intelligent metering suite from Izotope which provides comprehensive and accurate metering.
Izotope Insight has a distinctive approach to spectral, loudness, correlation, and several in-depth meters. It also has a Relay plugin bundled with it that you can use to route any aux or tracks into Insight for complete audio analysis.
All the meters in Insight 2 can be customized according to different broadcast standards that are globally accepted. It is also one of the few Multi-metering plugins with surround capabilities. Let’s break the features down.
- Level meters
The Levels section has Peak + RMS format. You can choose between K-weighted and RMS formats, and you can set your peak target level. Peak hold time and Meter color are fully customizable. It is compatible with surround sound formats and gives you separate readings for L, C, R, Ls, Rs, and LFE.
- Loudness meters
The Loudness section helps you reach industry-standard perceived loudness values. You can choose between ITU-R BS.1770-1/2/3/4 and EBU R128 standards according to which Momentary loudness, Short-term, Integrated, and Loudness range will be calibrated.
- Sound Field
The Sound Field section comes in two forms – Stereo vectorscope and Surround scope. The vectorscope lets you figure out phase issues between the signal’s mono and stereo portions. It also helps you understand the balance between the left and the right channels. The surround scope displays up to 7 channels with a 360-degree display. In addition, there is a correlation meter that helps identify phase issues when summed to mono.
- Intelligibility meter
The Intelligibility meter will help you identify whether or not the rest of the mix will overpower the dialogue. This meter is a relatively new addition to Insight and should be used along with Relay by Izotope for inter-plugin communication. In addition, Izotope has given a feature that can be used to set the intensity of noise in the environment of the listeners to check further if the dialogues are clear in the mix.
Izotope Insight 2 is available for Windows 10 or higher and macOS High Sierra (10.13.6) or higher on Intel Macs & Apple silicon Macs (Apple M1 chips) in Rosetta 2 and native. It comes in VST2/3, AU, and AAX formats, all in 64 bits only.
Insight 2 is a must-have tool for anyone who requires detailed analysis. It supports Dolby Atmos 7.1.2, making it an excellent choice for engineers and designers working in film audio.
In addition, it has a very intuitive and customizable UI and a Loudness history that plots Short Term, Momentary, and Integrated Loudness values over time.
7. VocalSynth 2
Evolve your vocal melody into something complex and powerful with Izotope VocalSynth 2.
VocalSynth 2 is a hybrid between enhancement and creativity, very few plugins offer this kind of weird sound processing. This FX plugin has 3 different modes with which you can modify your signal.
VocalSynth 2 opens up a world of possibilities with guitar pedal-style processors and five bizarre audio effects. In addition, it has an interactive and pleasant visualizer where you can blend the weird vocal effects. Let’s talk about it all in more detail
- Biovox, Vocoder and Compuvox
Biovox is scientifically modeled after a human tract with control over clarity, nasal tone, breath, and formants. This module can enhance the vocal performance or be creatively used as a special effect. Vocoder gives you the classic talking robot effect with controls to smooth the audio and enhance or diminish the intelligibility. Compuvox can digitally crush your sound, similar to the “80s speaking toys” sound. When pushed to extremes, it can obliterate your sound into digital oblivion.
- Talkbox and Polyvox
Talkbox is that famous funk sound you would hear in many Bon Jovi tracks. VocalSynth makes it easier to use without the hefty learning curve, unlike the original talkboxes. Polyvox is the polyphonic pitch shifter that can generate computerized harmonies that provide backing to the dry signal. You can modify the formant & timbre and humanize the generated harmonies.
- The Stompbox effects
VocalSynth 2 provides seven effects that you can rearrange in any required order. Shred, Filter, Transform, Distort, and Delay were updated in this version, and two new effects – Chorus and Ring Mod– were introduced. All the effects have parameters that you can modify.
- Three modes
VocalSynth 2 is built to be pliable, offering you three ways of using it – Auto, Midi, and Sidechain mode. In Auto mode, VocalSynth does the processing and pitch correction by itself. Midi Mode uses Midi data to correct the pitch and create the harmonies, and with Sidechain mode, you use a carrier signal to turn it into vocalized sound.
Izotope VocalSynth 2 is available for Windows 10 or higher and macOS High Sierra (10.13.6) or higher on Intel Macs & Apple silicon Macs (Apple M1 chips) in Rosetta 2 and native. It comes in VST2/3, AU, and AAX formats, all in 64 bits only.
VocalSynth 2 has 12 customizable modules, and with three different modes of using it, you get endless possibilities for modifying your vocal and other sounds. You can fiddle around with the layers, effects, blending, and morphing.
8. Tonal Balance Control 2
Check your mixes with confidence using Izotope Tonal Balance Control 2.
“Trust your ears” is always a piece of good advice, but sometimes you still need tools to help analyze your mix against the best mixes in the world. Tonal Balance Control gives you an understanding of the tonal aspect of your mix.
Tonal Balance Control 2 lets you reference your mix against 12 genre frequency targets and balance accordingly to get a similar frequency spectrum. And It comes bundled with Izotope Relay.
- Target Curves
Izotope has analyzed masters released over decades, covering various genres and styles. Based on this analysis, they have made 12 ready-made target curves that can be used to fix balance and tonal issues in your mix. In addition, they have provided two types of frequency analyzers – a broad view that focuses on the overall energy levels between low,low-mid,hi-mid & hi bands, and a fine view that you can use to get a more detailed picture. You can also load a custom reference track to generate your own target curve.
- Fix problems using a single plugin panel
Using Izotope Relay, you can fix any problems in the mix using a single window, provided you have to change parameters in the tracks which already have Neutron or Ozone Plugins. In addition, you can use the option/alt key to solo the frequency range, which can be useful in identifying the elements contributing to the build-up or dip in the particular frequency area.
Izotope Tonal Balance Control 2 is available for Windows 10 or higher and macOS High Sierra (10.13.6) or higher on Intel Macs & Apple silicon Macs (Apple M1 chips) in Rosetta 2 and native. It comes in VST2/3, AU, and AAX formats, all in 64 bits only.
Tonal Balance Control is not just a meter; using the included relay plugin, you can visualize and compare the frequency content of your individual tracks against your mix and reference.
Get authentic vintage vibes using Izotope Vinyl.
With the growing popularity of synthwave, producers have been trying to recreate the sound that defined the 80s, and Izotope recreated that old-school sound with Vinyl.
Izotope Vinyl is designed to add retro color, noise, and crackles to your instrument with minimal steps and controls. Let us have a closer look.
- Modern application support and Light Cpu usage
Most tape and vinyl emulations take up plenty of CPU processing and don’t function smoothly, while Vinyl runs smoothly even with heavy productions. Vinyl also has integrated support for Modern Host Applications.
- Controls and easy UI
Vinyl has six “year settings” – 1930, 1950,1960,1970,1980 and 2000. You can also find in the right side section the options to modify the texture of the crackle and noise.
Izotope Vinyl is available for Windows 10 or higher and macOS High Sierra (10.13.6) or higher on Intel Macs & Apple silicon Macs (Apple M1 chips) in Rosetta 2 and native. It comes in VST2/3, AU, and AAX formats, all in 64 bits only.
With easy-to-use UI, Izotope Vinyl is an excellent choice for crafting vintage effects quickly and effectively. Moreover, it is free.
10. Imager 2
Control the Width/Stereo Image using the free Izotope Ozone imager 2
The free Ozone Imager 2 offers simple controls and methods to modify the stereo image of any given track. The width can also be easily automated, which makes it an ideal Mixbuss imager.
- Modify the Width
Widen or narrow the sound using the width control to make them sit in the mix. Stereoize has two modes option, which converts the mono signal into a stereo without the use of modulation effects or reverb. In addition, the imager that comes with the Ozone bundle has a multi-band mode.
- See the information on the sides.
Imager has three vectorscopes which help understand the information on the left and right channels. The Vectorscopes will help you understand the stereo-phase coherency of your track better.
Izotope Imager is available for Windows 7 or higher and OS X 10.11.6 (El Capitan)–macOS 10.15 (Catalina) on Intel Macs only. It comes in VST2/3, AU, and AAX formats, all in 64 bits only.
Controlling the imaging is one of the best benefits of digital audio, and the Izotope imager has a simple but elegant way of doing that with stereoize and width control.
Get the natural doubling effect on your vocals using the Izotope vocal doubler.
Often lead vocals are layered and doubled to add intensity & emotion; similar to this, Izotope vocal doubler enhances the vocals and adds richness.
- Simple UI
Izotope Vocal Doubler has an easy-to-use UI with just a single interactive visualizer, which changes the separation amount by dragging it in or out and changes the human variation amount if you drag it around. In addition, the GUI shows the effect’s real-time intensity, and you can modify the dry/wet ratio.
- Modern host support and Low CPU usage
It has integrated support for Modern Host Applications and is very light on CPU resources, even with heavy productions.
Izotope Vocal Doubler is available for Windows 7 or higher and OS X 10.8.5 (Mountain Lion) – macOS 10.15 (Catalina) on Intel Macs only. It comes in VST2/3, AU, and AAX formats, all in 64 bits only.
With Vocal Doubler, you don’t have to fiddle with knobs and faders to get a good sound. Just a simple mouse gesture is enough. It is free, sounds different from other doubling plugins, and has a simple UI.
Visualize your tracks in a virtual space using Izotope Visual Mixer.
A new method of mixing in which the Visual Mixer automatically adjusts the balance of the mix according to where we place it in the Visual Mixer.
- Intelligent Mixing
Automatically adjusts the gain, pan, and other parameters of the tracks using inter-plugin communication with any tracks having Neutron 3, Ozone 8, VocalSynth 2, Insight 2, or Relay plugin based on the placement in the virtual space. You can use Izotope Visual Mixer to start the mix assistant and get a good starting point.
- Low CPU usage
Visual Mixer is light on CPU resources; hence using it in conjunction with other inter-plugin communication enabled plugins won’t hog the CPU.
Izotope Visual Mixer is available for Windows XP – Windows 10 and OSX 10.13.6 (High Sierra) – macOS 11 (Big Sur) on Intel Macs only. It comes in VST2/3, AU, and AAX formats, all in 64 bits only.
The elements in the virtual space can be moved around, which in simplest terms means the panning and width can be automated, but with a visual aspect to the automation, it provides many sound design options.
iZotope’s AudioLens Reference plugin is a tool that allows audio engineers and music producers to analyze and compare the sound of different tracks or recordings.
It features a visual representation of the frequency spectrum and the ability to synchronize multiple tracks and perform A/B comparisons. Additionally, the plugin allows for detailed measurement of the stereo field and phase correlation, which can aid in the mixing and mastering process.
- Frequency Spectrum Display
The plugin provides a visual representation of the frequency spectrum of the audio, which can be used to identify and address issues such as frequency masking and imbalances in the mix.
- Comparison Metrics
The plugin provides detailed measurements of the stereo field, which can be used to ensure that the sound is properly balanced and positioned in the stereo field. It also allows you to analyze the phase relationship between different tracks, which can be useful for identifying and addressing phase issues in the mix.
- Target Library
The plugin’s target library is a collection of audio recordings that can be used as a reference when analyzing and comparing other recordings. The library is designed to provide a wide range of different sounds and styles, including popular music genres such as pop, rock, hip-hop, and classical, as well as various instrument types and recording environments.
The library is intended to be used as a tool for you to compare the sound of your own recordings to that of professionally produced tracks.
- Ozone compatibility
The AudioLens plugin can be integrated with iZotope’s Ozone mastering software, which allows you to analyze and compare the sound of your recordings in the context of a mastering workflow and in the context of a mastering chain, which can be useful for identifying and addressing issues in the sound of a recording before it is finalized.
Additionally, Ozone includes a mastering preset, which is already tailored to the industry standards, and you can use it as a reference while mastering their tracks.
- Neutron integration
Integrating the Reference and Neutron allows you to perform a detailed analysis of their recordings and adjust them in a single, streamlined workflow, making it a powerful tool for audio engineers and music producers. Neutron also includes a Mix Assistant feature that can analyze your track and provide suggestions for balancing the mix.
It is compatible with Windows 10 and macOS Big Sur (11.0) and later and is supported by almost all popular DAWs such as Pro Tools, Logic Pro, Ableton Live, and any DAW that hosts AAX, AU, and VST plugin formats.
The plugin provides a wide range of features and tools, including a frequency spectrum display, A/B comparison, stereo field analysis, phase correlation, and synchronization. Additionally, it can be integrated with iZotope’s mastering and mixing software and used with industry-standard references in the target library.
We have mentioned our selection of Izotope plugins for your mixing-mastering and production needs that may not be natively available in your DAW. Izotope keeps surprising us all with their innovative plugins every time. They have successfully incorporated machine learning into audio and are reputable among engineers and producers for their constant improvement and evolution.
I tend to use a lot of RX De-mouth click during vocal production as it cleans up the vocals and gives some wriggle room when compressing. However, even the RX De-ess module retains the presence of the vocals while removing the sibilance unless pushed to extremes.
If you are a fan of Analog warmth, then you should definitely try the Ozone Vintage plugins. They provide different kinds of analog flavors while providing a level of control that is not found in hardware units. Apart from that, I enjoy using VocalSynth for experimenting with sound, and Insight 2 is an excellent choice for “All-in-one” metering.
The level of sophistication and options might seem a little exasperating but the presets and track assistant options are genuinely useful.
Shaurya Bhatia, is an Indian Music Producer, Composer, Rapper & Performer, who goes by the stage name MC SNUB, and is also 1/2 of the Indian pop music duo, called “babyface”. A certified Audio Engineer & Music Producer, and a practicing musician & rapper for more than 6 years, Shaurya has worked on projects of various genres and has also been a teaching faculty at Spin Gurus DJ Academy.