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19 January 2012

IZOTOPE OZONE 5 ADVANCED | £669 (€799/$999)

Ozone 5, also available as Advanced
It’s long been held that iZotope Ozone is a tool of the mastering engineer, a person steeped in arcane audio lore who exercises some kind of voodoo over final mixes in order to take them from passable to ear-gasmic. In doing so, obscure outboard (kit you could never afford) and in-box esoterica is brought to bear, its function beyond the ken of mere mortal project studio pilots. Mastering is, after all, the domain of an elite breed of engineer, scientist and audio wizard who, in another life, was a bat. What use, therefore, is a suite of mastering tools in the creative pursuits of tracking and mixing? The answer, in the way iZotope has engineered things, is: Lots.

Ozone 5 Advanced breaks down into six processing components, each of which is as legitimately employed in the composition, arrangement, recording and mixing stages of music production as in the final meltdown prior to publishing. At launch, announced last October 2011, iZotope’s Nick Dika spoke of Ozone 5 Advanced as offering: “…mixing and mastering engineers an even higher level of flexibility, precision and control.” Nick did not, however, mention we muzos who are never happier than when appropriating whatever comes to hand and slapping it capriciously onto the audio canvas, our muses to indulge. Before a blow-by-blow account of each item in Ozone 5, let’s settle back for video overviews of the standard and Advanced products…