Review of Audiolens and Ozone
I just got Ozone and Audiolens. These are truly God-given tools for bedroom producers, I believe there is a lot of us here. Read on if you’re interested in my experience with this fantastic combination. 🤩
Simple and quick workflow breeds creativity
I opened AudioLens and Spotify (volume cranked all the way up) and it just worked. In my DAW the newly captured “targets” just shows up in Ozone (no need to reload the plugin). I didn’t expect less of course, but I was still impressed. Prior to Audiolens I’ve recorded references and imported them into the project. As many of you know it can be a hassle with audio routing, sample rate, gain matching and arranging. This process definitely throws me out of the creative zone, and because of this I often stick with my old references although I realize it’s not optimal.
Because Audiolens is so simple the threshold is lowered for using way more references. Not only different tracks, but also different sections in the track. Of course, my initial intention was to use the loudest part to generate a preset for mastering, but because it’s so simple (takes only 8 seconds), it was interesting to compare for example stereo image and tonal balance for verse vs. chorus. This gave me some ideas of how things could me automated to get a similar feeling as the reference track. There are other tools to study these things, but for me at least, this is the only workflow that has been quick enough so that it was actually feeding the creativity rather than killing it.
Informed decisions = Better results
It is truly a dream to extract targets from the top of billboard and getting a “state of the art” master preset with such ease. Some master engineers would probably call this cheating, but as long as it sounds good it really doesn’t matter. However, these tools are not encouraging to copy the sound of the reference track, it’s rather on the contrary. Audiolens is only capturing tonal balance, dynamics and stereo width. Focusing on these parameters instead of audio entails finding the processing that enhances your track, rather than copying a specific sound. These tools are also highly educational as they have very intuitive controls and are simple to tweak.
If you’re lucky you might have some professional stems laying around (typically obtained from remix competitions), at least you can capture a “target” with Audiolens in a section where there is only one instrument playing. These targets turns out to be very interesting to play with for busses etc. For instance on percussion or the bass bus it gives more than a simple eq match – the imager and especially the impact module can really introduce some subtle changes that makes a big difference in the mix (make sure to remove the unused processing to save CPU).
The targets are also useful when producing and mixing to get as good tonal balance as possible before mastering. Although the ears should be the final judge it’s good to get some suggestions, especially when the acoustic treatment in the room is suboptimal or the ears are fatigued.
The secrets of the best mixing and mastering engineers is somewhat exposed in their released music, but for most of us, who does not have “golden ears”, it’s hard to identify and understand exactly how these sonic masterpieces are achieved. Audiolens is the perfect tool to capture some of these secrets and Ozone reveals them in a very educational way.
I assume a lot of us have Komplete instruments in here, so we already have world class sounds at our fingertips; both digital and authentic acoustic instruments (that would require a lot of resources/skills to record before Kontakt). With Audiolens and Ozone, we also get world class processing at our fingertips (that also would require a lot of resources/skills to achieve before Ozone). What a time to make music! 😁
Thank you iZotope, and all of Soundwide, for developing these fantastic tools that enables bedroom producers to sound professional.
And thank you for reading my review! 😊
I was one of the lucky guys who got Ozone for free in exchange for a review. However, we were not given any guidelines and I can guarantee you that I’m 100% sincere. If you’re in doubt, get a free trial and see for yourself!
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