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Did anyone already upgrade to Ozone 9? I am quite happy with version 8 and would like to hear from other users whether they feel the money for the upgrade is well invested.
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Master Certificate from Berklee College of Music Online - Producing Music with Pro Tools
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It looks like to me that the automation/AI/bass balance features Ozone 9 will let you work more quickly to the end goal. I WANT to love Ozone as I like the ideas behind it - but if you don't prefer their outcome...
I'd rather mix into a hyper fast compressor plugin, like an 1176 to manage my peaks, followed by a Vari-Mu type compressor plugin like a Fairchild 670. (Pick you favorite vendors) Something like Ozone 8 elements is maybe okay to me after that as a measurement tool and last resort problem catcher. Way more game changing for me is Sony's Reference 4, because when I can trust what I hear I work way faster and I don't necessarily need to rely on a visual display of tone or an AI's opinion.
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As for the Ozone question, I was interested in the improvements in the AI-related assistant stuff, as well as some of the new tools like for rebalancing a mix when you don't have the original tracks or stems. It remains to be seen how much I'll end up using all that since I am mostly working on my own projects, and, even for older projects, I usually have enough of the raw ingredients (and often am replacing parts of those), so it's not a straight mastering job from a stereo mix (or older master).
In practice, while I almost always use the Ozone Maximizer at the end of my mastering chain, specifically because it makes it easy to set a target LUFS figure and peak level, which can be helpful for trying to have some consistency between project master levels, I don't use Ozone anywhere near as much as I used to for the mastering side of things. I find myself using Waves AR TG Mastering most often lately -- I just like the sound of that (and a few presets that get me in the ballpark on certain types of projects). I've also got IK's Lurssen Mastering Console, which can be about as near to instant gratification as I've found for quick one-offs, though it is a real hog on the performance (and I'm also mastering from within my mixing projects). I've used other tools at times, as well, both other one stop mastering programs (e.g. T-RackS) and just combinations of plugins (e.g. from PSP Audioware). It's not that I don't try Ozone on my projects, but usually I'm not finding what I want compared to whatever I end up using quickly enough (and I'm decidedly not a mastering pro) and just go with what sounds best to my ears in the context of the project. I did use it very frequently a few years back, though. It's really only since I got the one Waves plugin that things changed.
I do occasionally use Ozone components, such as the Vintage Tape plugin (though I also use other plugins for that function), among others, so it's not like I'm not using Ozone components at all. As for other iZotope stuff, I've got most of their products other than on the esoteric side of things. I actually did one mix using only Neutron and its calculated settings, but that was a project pretty different from my norm. It happened to work well on that one, but hasn't worked for much for me since then. I try it from time to time, and sometimes I use it here and there, but, much more frequently, I am using other plugins instead.
I have yet to actually use the new reverbs in a real project. They have so many presets they are truly daunting (and their UIs have a lot in them, too).
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I have Ozone 9 advanced upgraded from Ozone 8 elements. There are great tutorials/videos on Groove3.com that goes throught new features and how to implement. Been very very helpful for me.
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