Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Posted (edited)

I thought I'd share - perhaps it is something you already do, but in case it's a new idea to you, it may be helpful.

Up until recently, I would get the mix sounding balanced in Cakewalk and use iZotope Ozone, Tonal Balance 2 and Insight 2 on the master track to help me.  I'd use the mastering assistant and then export without dither at 24bits to a wav file.  Then I would load up the same plugins outside of cakewalk to master the track.

The mastering assistant within iZotope will set the maximizer based on a small segment of the song.  They say to take the loudest part and use that while the mastering assistant does its work.

Recently, I tried to use the W feature in Cakewalk to allow me to change EQ and Maximizer level, but of course my machine is not quite powerful enough to do that.

So now, I will get the Cakewalk track close using my old method stated above and export the wav file.  Then I will start up a new Cakewalk file and load in the wav track only.  I put the iZotope Ozone, Tonal Balance and Insight onto the master track and use the Cakewalk W to record actions related to the Ozone equalizer and Maximizer.

I may have to do this on more than one pass if it gets complicated...each time saving off a wav and loading it into Cakewalk for more processing.

When I get to a good point, I output the final wav file and then do a pass through Ozone standalone with Tonal Balance and Insight plugins.

This allows me to get the proper volume levels throughout the song and adjust any frequency ranges that need it at individual parts of the song.

You may have simpler methods, but this one seems to work really well for me.  At the end of the last iZotope process, I have a master that I generally like.

Edited by steve@baselines.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

interesting. i had seen a old mastering video (like back in the early 2000's) where the engineer using outboard gear use the automation in SAW (an older DAW product) to do several iterations where each pass has some different tweaks to the gear. so maybe some EQ and light compression, then more EQ, then some more compression and some reverb, then more EQ and limiting. today i just get a really clean output on the CbB WAV export, then run it through a chain of Izotope Ozone 9. if the master is not balanced, and i can't tweak it with MB compression or dynamic EQ, i go back to the mix and correct it, then repeat export and Ozone.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also consider using the standalone executable of Ozone. I haven't done it in a while, but IIRC it was quicker than creating a new project. It can also serve as a VST host, so you can add in other non-iZotope plugins if needed.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, bitflipper said:

Also consider using the standalone executable of Ozone. I haven't done it in a while, but IIRC it was quicker than creating a new project. It can also serve as a VST host, so you can add in other non-iZotope plugins if needed.

Yes, that is what I normally do at the very last stage.  I master in the Ozone standalone.  You only have to be careful about the output fader, because it is after the plugins in the chain.  So if you have Insight as the last plugin, it is measuring pre output fader.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess that's one advantage of Ozone as a plugin over the standalone exe, being able to place other processors after it.

Still, for as long as I've been using Ozone (c. 2007, IIRC) I can't recall ever touching the output fader.

Another benefit to using your method of mastering in Cakewalk is that when doing an entire album you are able to easily create gapless CD masters with crossfades between tracks. Although I've successfully done that with CD Architect, it was more trouble than it was worth.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, bitflipper said:

I guess that's one advantage of Ozone as a plugin over the standalone exe, being able to place other processors after it.

Still, for as long as I've been using Ozone (c. 2007, IIRC) I can't recall ever touching the output fader.

Another benefit to using your method of mastering in Cakewalk is that when doing an entire album you are able to easily create gapless CD masters with crossfades between tracks. Although I've successfully done that with CD Architect, it was more trouble than it was worth.

The standalone version of Ozone 9 can use third party VST plugins. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes. I'm on Ozone 7 here and it does that, too. What Steve was saying is you can't put anything after Ozone. So any metering plugin hosted within it will be showing what's happening before the master volume sliders. I don't think that's a problem, though. Why would you want to fiddle with your mastering limiter's output levels, Ozone or otherwise?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/28/2021 at 12:08 PM, bitflipper said:

I guess that's one advantage of Ozone as a plugin over the standalone exe, being able to place other processors after it.

Still, for as long as I've been using Ozone (c. 2007, IIRC) I can't recall ever touching the output fader.

Another benefit to using your method of mastering in Cakewalk is that when doing an entire album you are able to easily create gapless CD masters with crossfades between tracks. Although I've successfully done that with CD Architect, it was more trouble than it was worth.

Bitflipper you are correct - the output fader doesn't play a part in my process.  I've been using Ozone since 3.0 and I have to tell you, it has been a great ride (with all of iZotope's tools except maybe their earlier reverb offerings)  - I love Nectar - it makes me almost sound like I know how to mix vocals properly.  I also find Melodyne indispensable - but I promise to try diligently not to overuse it. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/28/2021 at 4:51 PM, bitflipper said:

Yes. I'm on Ozone 7 here and it does that, too. What Steve was saying is you can't put anything after Ozone. So any metering plugin hosted within it will be showing what's happening before the master volume sliders. I don't think that's a problem, though. Why would you want to fiddle with your mastering limiter's output levels, Ozone or otherwise?

I'm not sure that is an issue. In Ozone you can place a VST of your choice at the end of the module chain or anywhere else. That is not all that different to what Cakewalk does. I don't think you can "put anything after" Cakewalk either. Though, it is true that Cakewalk offers far more options as to how you insert a plugin and where.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
49 minutes ago, John said:

I'm not sure that is an issue. In Ozone you can place a VST of your choice at the end of the module chain or anywhere else. That is not all that different to what Cakewalk does. I don't think you can "put anything after" Cakewalk either. Though, it is true that Cakewalk offers far more options as to how you insert a plugin and where.

The issue comes when you put metering tools like insight and tonal balance control in your chain to determine loudness.  If you use the iZotope output fader, you are changing what you measure.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just purchased Ozone 9 a week ago on the summer sale and I've been using the standalone version heavily the last few days against a collection of CW WAV output files for the Mastering step. After reading the above posts, I'm confused as to how accurate the "loudness" LUFS metering in the Maximizer module is as compared to other metering products like YouLean et al, prompting the addition of metering plugins into the Ozone chain. 

Would the recommendation be to insert the Youlean (or other similar) plugin into the standalone Ozone 9 sequence because the Maximizer metering is not accurate?  Trying to learn the best approach from y'all experienced Ozone users.

Note: I've been using the free YouLean product in CW, so I'd need to purchase the upgrade if the suggestion is to drop the mastered WAV file into YouLean and compare the results.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

TBProAudio make a freeware loudness meter that is a powerhouse, dpMeter5. There's also one in the Meldaproduction FreeFX Bundle.

I'm trying to understand this process. When you say you tried using the "W" feature, do you mean you tried to write automation for EQ and Maximizer parameters in real time, but your computer couldn't handle it?

It sounds like you're doing might also be accomplished with track freezing? Maybe not, I'm not sure exactly why you need to take the files outside Cakewalk then bring them back in to do this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Starship Krupa said:

TBProAudio make a freeware loudness meter that is a powerhouse, dpMeter5. There's also one in the Meldaproduction FreeFX Bundle.

I'm trying to understand this process. When you say you tried using the "W" feature, do you mean you tried to write automation for EQ and Maximizer parameters in real time, but your computer couldn't handle it?

It sounds like you're doing might also be accomplished with track freezing? Maybe not, I'm not sure exactly why you need to take the files outside Cakewalk then bring them back in to do this.

Yes, I am talking about write automation to manipulate various Ozone functions.  The Master Assistant will only listen to a portion of the song to make its decisions.  They say to use the loudest part of the song to do this.  But that kind of skews the softer parts.  I could use track freezing, but my guess is that it would still be pushing the limits.  I've gone to an alternate strategy of creating an intermediate wave file of the whole mixed track, bringing that single track into cakewalk and doing automation on that during a second pass.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, NOLAGuy said:

Just purchased Ozone 9 a week ago on the summer sale and I've been using the standalone version heavily the last few days against a collection of CW WAV output files for the Mastering step. After reading the above posts, I'm confused as to how accurate the "loudness" LUFS metering in the Maximizer module is as compared to other metering products like YouLean et al, prompting the addition of metering plugins into the Ozone chain. 

Would the recommendation be to insert the Youlean (or other similar) plugin into the standalone Ozone 9 sequence because the Maximizer metering is not accurate?  Trying to learn the best approach from y'all experienced Ozone users.

Note: I've been using the free YouLean product in CW, so I'd need to purchase the upgrade if the suggestion is to drop the mastered WAV file into YouLean and compare the results.

I haven't noticed the maximizer not being accurate, but I don't use that to determine the LUFS anyway.  I use Insight 2 which gives me the accuracy I need.  Incidentally, RX8 also has a nice utility to assess all of the volume levels of a whole track quickly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...