Ozone 8 is available in three bundle sizes, but this month I was lucky enough to give the whole lot a test drive in Ozone 8 Advanced. This package features 12 different mastering tools, all designed to work with you both visually and aurally so you can control your sound in the way that works best for you. A handy feature is the A/B track referencing, which allows you to load up to ten tracks into Ozone for cross reference listening. This enables you to analyse sections of another track from the album you are working on, or a completely different track, already mastered, in a similar genre and compare how it fits against your master. Ozone then helps you bring the two closer together for a better result. This is how all the tools in Ozone are designed to work. You don’t have to be an expert mastering engineer, you just need a pair of eyes and ears and the time to apply some simple processes to get the most from your music.
With so much going on in this new release, I thought it best to just focus on some of the main updates and additions to Ozone. The Tonal Balance plugin is a new step forward that looks at the overall EQ shape and sound of your mix and compares it to a range of tracks and genre reference points from a database of musical style to see how your tracks fit in with industry standards. This then breaks down into several sections of EQ stages, using the included EQ plugins within the Ozone bundle to bring your sound in line with the competition.
Of course, I couldn’t not mention the Maximizer, a feature that has been around in Ozone for some time and still gets me excited every time I open it up. Maximizer now has a couple of extra modes for more modern styles of music to allow even more squeezing of your sound without unwanted pumping. You can get the most of every dynamic level in your track without it hitting the ceiling, gently pushing all your voices into the realm of kick drum subtlety. Maximizer allows you to slam your dynamic range until there is nothing left, or delicately increase the overall volume a touch, depending on your intended audience. It’s one plugin that I just love to abuse and I’m sure you’ll all enjoy it too, along with all the other offerings in this comprehensive mastering suite.