We’ve been using Ozone for years and have become raving fans of it. Luckily iZotope keeps updating this plugin. The latest version is 7.0.1, but we had stayed on 6 for some time now. But now I wanted to find out what’s different and new in the latest version, so I took some time to check out Ozone 7 for you!
The first thing I noticed after opening new Ozone was a resolution upgrade. The whole interface looks sharper and cleaner – a “retina” update. But it is not an overall UI update like it was from version 5 to 6. It still has a light black/blue look that I personally like. When bypassing a single module, the whole display is now greyed out. I often wondered why a module did not affect the sound, and I hadn’ realized that it was just bypassed. Now that’s not an issue anymore. Good catch guys!
The largest update was the addition of new modules. You will still find the old ones, but Vintage EQ, Vintage Tape, Vintage Compressor and Vintage Limiter were added. Seems as if Ozone has become a vintage tool.
• Vintage EQ
Vintage EQ comes with 5 bands plus low and high cuts. High, High Mid and Low Mid are running as boost bands with switchable center frequencies. The Mid band just cuts the frequencies.
How does it sound?
Due to the mid band the sound definitely will be handled like a “bathtub eq”. It will boost the lows and the highs so you will get kind of a hi-fi sound. By combining the mid cut with the other bands you are able to increase this effect. Another thing is, that this EQ will lower the number of possibilities, compared to the standard EQ. That’s a pleasant point when finding the right sound and you aren’t up for an exact result.
Compared to the dynamics section, the Vintage comp is a single band compressor, with a side chain filter. I won’t recommend it for sharp, cutting results, because it reacts a little slow. But for rich, balanced compression this is a nice tool and you won’t hear pumping effects.
Just in one sentence: The Vintage Tape module simulates tape saturation. You can choose between smooth and dirty saturation, by manipulating the bias level. It is possible to vary the number of harmonics and where they appear: low or high frequencies.
Vintage Tape is the equivalent to the multiband exciter. My feeling was, that the vintage tape acts in a more sublte way, yet more lively at the same time.
In 6.1 the ‚Tube Mode’ was added to the maximizer. And this Mode became a whole new limiter. It was hard to compare Vintage Limiter to the original Maximizer. But all in all I had the feeling that the Vintage Limiter reacts slower with a softer knee.
Additional New Content
Not only some vintage modules were added. When checking the maximizer, you will notice that a new IRC has been added. You can choose between 3 submodes. ‘Transient’ which reacts slower to preserve fast attacks. ‚Classic’ with longer release values. These two will cause pumping effects when pushed to harder levels. ‘Modern’ reacts in an other way: it seems to add kind of a low cut to achieve higher levels without pumping.
I think this is a really nice new feature. In this section you are able to preview the sound when treated with a mp3 or aac codec. This helps to master your production to a specific format. I love this!
Also the Standalone version received an improvement: it is now possible to export directly into different formats.
The new Vintage modules sound more livley and add character, but do not sound as clean as the other modules do. Additionally, you might be faster with these tools because your possibilities are lowered. The new IRC and especially the Codec Preview can be pretty useful and interesting.
But somehow I was not blown away by this update. The ideas behind the new modules are nice and for music production and vintage lovers this really pays off. But from an imaging standpoint this is not a necessary addition. You won’t sit down and decide whether you want this or that EQ because of its sound. You just want a tool to get your mix nice and clean. So from my perspective the plugin has become a bit unclear.
Don’t get me wrong, though: Ozone is still a great tool and one of my favorite Mastering plugins. If you don’t have Ozone yet, give it a try. I’m sure you won’t be disappointed. Concerning the upgrade ($199), I think you’ll have to judge for yourself, whether the upgrade pays off for your individual preferences.