What's iZotope playing at?
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Old 10-06-2016, 12:25 AM   #1
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What's iZotope playing at?

Can anyone explain to me in simple terms just what the hell iZotope's new and much hyped [Only registered and activated users can see links. Click here to register]
mixing plug-in all about? I get it's a mixing tool..or set of tools, depending on what package you splash for..but I don't really see the point in any of it, as there's a lot of tools out there that we're already using that does everything this new offering is supposed to do..or, at least, that my current understanding.

I mean, many folks are already using the old mastering tools iZotope offer in the mixing stage of projects and this just seems like a money grab by them to me..just another set of vanity plugs that we don't really need..or do we?

What's your thoughts on this..or do you have any? I'd love to hear what you think.

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Old 10-06-2016, 01:09 AM   #2
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Re: What's iZotope playing at?

There is always a new crop of idoits willing to part w their money is my estimation knowing nothing about it

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Old 10-06-2016, 01:17 AM   #3
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Re: What's iZotope playing at?

Hi Dan,

I guess it's the way of software nowadays... Everyone feels the need to develop something new in order to stay on top of the game. And in reality, stuff that is so called "new" can be just something "old" which is packaged up a bit differently.

And lets face it, a fair few of us suffer from a serious case of Gear Acquisition Syndrome, and I'm am sure the software vendors play on that.

I, for one, am not going to buy into any more of this "new" stuff unless it really does give me something that I haven't already got. And I've got too much unused stuff already.

Thought I'd better watch that Neutron video... Didn't help... Just more jargon to me and I'm maxed out with that stuff.

Melda has some frequency masking stuff in one of their tools (MAnaluzer). I think I even bought it, but I've never bothered using it. Frequency masking is something I deal with when I am mixing and equalising each track. Cut out bass frequencies where they are not expected, for instance, to make "room" for those frequencies where they are expected.

That's my thoughts on the subject anyway

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Old 10-06-2016, 01:24 AM   #4
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Re: What's iZotope playing at?

It looks vaguely improved, is claimed to be less of a CPU hog, have a simplified workflow, and - most important of all - have many, many presets and can make dynamic suggestions of what settings may work best. So you can sound like a pro without any skill required whatsoever. Ain't $300 a steal?

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Old 10-06-2016, 05:36 AM   #5
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Re: What's iZotope playing at?

I have alloy 2 and this doesn't look like a ground-breaking leap forward to me. I get there's probably a lot of stuff going on behind the scenes, but I already have a handful of really great eqs, and a handful of really great compressors, and the limiter from Ozone5, and trash 2 for frequency excitation. And Alloy 2 for when I just need something to come together quick. I'm sure it's an improvement if you don't have a good channel strip already, but then you can still say that about Alloy. I'll wait and see some before/after comparisons before I call this a weak cash grab.
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Old 10-06-2016, 09:51 AM   #6
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Re: What's iZotope playing at?

Yeah, that's the thing that struck me about this new line..that it's not really new at all..kinda "old tools for dummies" if you know what I mean. Granted, there are a few nice tweaks added into the mix, but basically it seems to me this is doing what most of us already do when mixing..only allowing those who don't or can't already do the same themselves.

I'm not trying to do iZotope a disservice here, as I'm sure there is a market for something like this..it's just I really wonder what's the point if you already have their older products..or even other various EQs and the likes?

But yeah, I guess we should give it more time and see what others really make of it once they've had the chance to play with it / them.

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Old 10-06-2016, 11:59 AM   #7
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Re: What's iZotope playing at?

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Originally Posted by A.M View Post
But yeah, I guess we should give it more time and see what others really make of it once they've had the chance to play with it / them.
I agree... And I suppose we should at least demo the tool first. Then, if we like it, and our budgets allow, AND we are able to come to terms with dumping gear that we've paid many hundreds or pounds/dollars/euros for, we could make that purchase
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Old 10-07-2016, 01:26 AM   #8
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Re: What's iZotope playing at?

Izotope is going to come out with a bunch of shit and see what sticks. Nectar is a good example of something that didn't stick, or was done better with other software.

I don't blame them, TBH, and this might prove to be awesome. However, most of their mixing / mastering 'consoles' can be recreated with either freeware or native plugs, depending on what DAW you use. Maybe it is cool, but I'd want to wait and see.
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Old 10-07-2016, 10:13 PM   #9
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Re: What's iZotope playing at?

It all depends on whether or not the new automatic features are a big time-saver or no help at all imho. I can't imagine that all that stuff really works at all if you are going for more complex mix situations, a specific sound or specific combinations of sidechaining and EQing to clean up your mix. Like with using EQ or compressor presets, you might end up spending more time adjusting the settings then doing it from scratch - but I could be very wrong, of course. Since I like some of the iZotope products, maybe I give the demo a try before all the crossgrade deals are over.

Any experience on using these automatic features, especially in more complex or experimental settings where categories like "Drums / Bass / Guitar / Vocals" are not much help?

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Old 10-08-2016, 01:28 AM   #10
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Re: What's iZotope playing at?

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Originally Posted by Metaside View Post
It all depends on whether or not the new automatic features are a big time-saver or no help at all imho. I can't imagine that all that stuff really works at all if you are going for more complex mix situations, a specific sound or specific combinations of sidechaining and EQing to clean up your mix. Like with using EQ or compressor presets, you might end up spending more time adjusting the settings then doing it from scratch - but I could be very wrong, of course. Since I like some of the iZotope products, maybe I give the demo a try before all the crossgrade deals are over.

Any experience on using these automatic features, especially in more complex or experimental settings where categories like "Drums / Bass / Guitar / Vocals" are not much help?
Nope..as I understand what you said, I'd have to say I agree with you regarding using presets in general, when it comes to EQ / Compression. Take EQ for example: I have only one preset I use as a default starting point whenever I first load my workhorse EQ and you can see those settings in the image below..



The above is my starting point, which is pretty much a blank EQ canvas I add or take away from, depending on the project. Stock presets that come with programs / plugs usual sound good on some tracks, but not on others..and they all should be just taken as starting points for a given genre, not an "out-of-the-box" treatment for your track.

But yeah, guess we need to play with the demo to be fair and see what it can or can't do..but I still don't really see much point in it myself tbh..but I guess that's just me. I'm not saying it's shite or not worth the money..just I think I can already do what it's offering to do for me.

That said, I guess that there is the exact appeal it holds for some who can't do those things themselves..or couldn't be bother learning how to do them.

Horses for course I guess.

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Old 10-08-2016, 05:07 AM   #11
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Re: What's iZotope playing at?

So, I'm going to embarrass myself here. I often end up using only the Ozone presets for the final master. I can tell myself that I can tweak them, but in all truth the changes are often so subtle, that I frequently cannot tell the difference. Then, again, shouldn't a proper mix not be ok with some minor polish? A tinge of compression, a touch of tape saturation, and some subtle EQ?

TBH. this product actually appeals to me. Sad to say. I need to read up on mastering again. But it's a scalpel task and all I have in my toolbox are several broadswords and a machete.

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Old 10-08-2016, 11:53 AM   #12
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Re: What's iZotope playing at?

I don't understand why it's hard to figure out that izotope want a piece of this market just as much as any other they've entered?
They make software and they have the ability to develop and market this plug-in in the hope that it will return profit.
It's a bit like asking why Ford decided to start selling SUV's or whatever.

Had a quick look at it last night and I thought it looked like it could be quite a useful tool for pointing out issues that you might not immediately be aware of, even if you would maybe prefer to fix them yourself with other tools rather than using Neutron presets.
Yeah, familiar concepts presented in a new(ish) way.
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Old 10-09-2016, 12:16 AM   #13
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Re: What's iZotope playing at?

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I don't understand why it's hard to figure out that izotope want a piece of this market just as much as any other they've entered?
They make software and they have the ability to develop and market this plug-in in the hope that it will return profit.
It's a bit like asking why Ford decided to start selling SUV's or whatever.

Had a quick look at it last night and I thought it looked like it could be quite a useful tool for pointing out issues that you might not immediately be aware of, even if you would maybe prefer to fix them yourself with other tools rather than using Neutron presets.
Yeah, familiar concepts presented in a new(ish) way.
It's more like asking if it's really worth buying this new SUV from Ford, when the old one you have still works and works well.

I'm not bashing iZotope or saying there's anything wrong with offering something like this..I'm merely wondering if the likes of us really need it? It is worth the cost, given we can do the same thing using tools we already have?

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Old 10-09-2016, 04:31 AM   #14
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Re: What's iZotope playing at?

OK, so I did a quick "blind" test, adding Neutron to all group channels in 2 projects, only using the track assistant to get the starting points, switching "false positives" to the correct category in neutrino (bass instead of drums and so on) and rendering the project, completely without listening... Without correcting anything, the results are still not that bad. As far as I can tell from listening to both projects tested with and without Neutron: somewhat cleaner, especially in the low end (as could be expected), the transient treatment is ok, but the mid-low and midrange is a bit weak now and lost some character and some a bit distressing exciting (I guess from listening to it now without checking the project) in the mid and high range.

What I like about Neutron (as compared to Alloy and other channel strips):
- undo history
- masking meter and seeing multiple EQs in the same window, being able to compare different tracks with just 1 or 2 clicks is really helpful - I like Pro-Q and Spline EQ better in general, but having to switch between tracks and/or windows can be time-consuming
- automatic detection features may really be of some help
- not CPU intensive at all

What I don't like:
- still only 3 bands for all the multiband stuff and only 8/12 bands for EQ (I prefer Pro-MB, Pro-Q or Spline EQ and Transify over the Alloy and Neutron modules)
- roughly the same features as Alloy in the individual modules (for instance, the exciter x/y field)

I think it's an improvement over Alloy but if you already have Alloy and do not want to use the automatic features, or if you mix like 1 track a month and/or see your mixing as an important part of your creative process that you don't want any starting points for, this plugin is probably not for you. But if you mix a lot of tracks and want to do it as fast as possible - either quick and dirty or just by using good starting points - you might like it. As a free update to Alloy, this would be fantastic, 80 euro for the crossgrade to the normal version (advanced version only offers surround support and 4 single plugins I have better options for) still seems alright, I guess... I think I'm gonna test the automatic features some more and see how well I get along with masking meter and the iZotope EQ as compared to Pro-Q and Spline EQ...

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Old 10-09-2016, 10:08 AM   #15
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Re: What's iZotope playing at?

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Originally Posted by A.M View Post
It's more like asking if it's really worth buying this new SUV from Ford, when the old one you have still works and works well.

I'm not bashing iZotope or saying there's anything wrong with offering something like this..I'm merely wondering if the likes of us really need it? It is worth the cost, given we can do the same thing using tools we already have?
Sure, but that's not what you were saying.
What you need and what any company wants to put out are not mutually exclusive.
If you're happy with your setup, there's no need to be disappointed with new products you don't require, quite the opposite, think of it as they just saved you spending more money.
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Old 10-09-2016, 10:44 AM   #16
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Re: What's iZotope playing at?

"Plugins terk er jerbs!!!"

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Old 10-09-2016, 01:12 PM   #17
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Re: What's iZotope playing at?

i tried it yesterday and i love it myself.
it is pretty much just alloy, so a great channel strip, only it has a meter tap built in, which will show you where two sounds are fighting with some really useful graphs. the great thing is that no routing needs to be done, you just slap it on both the tracks and youre ready.

i admit it is nothing that you cant do already, but it does save a whole lot of messing around.

they have also re-invented presets. it scans your audio and builds the presets based on that, then you tweak them from there. not the most useful of tools, but good for learning

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Old 10-12-2016, 08:42 PM   #18
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Re: What's iZotope playing at?

Hey guys, [Only registered and activated users can see links. Click here to register]
is an archive of a webinar iZotope did on the new software.

I still haven't gotten the demo yet. I'm thinking about it. I've been doing a lot of post stuff lately and wanted to get RX5 and the demo install corrupted a bunch of my izotope preference files. Had to reinstall everything to get them to work in Logic again. The AAX were fine for some reason. Anyways, needless to say, I'm hesitant to go through that mess again.
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Old 10-13-2016, 06:54 AM   #19
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Re: What's iZotope playing at?

I understand all the sceptsism in this thread, and it may be the case that this particular piece of software is a load of crap. However, I think this type of thing will become more and more prominent. It's the logical progression of things. Despite the fact that mixing is an art form, there are aspects of it that a computer will be able to outdo us in eventually.

I went through a phase of reading about quantum computing, insterearingly, this is the type of task that quantum computing will be many magnitudes more effective than digital computers. If you're interested you could prolly search for something like "quantum computing querying a database." Pretty interesting stuff.

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