How often do you think to yourself “I’ve got a plugin for that“!? Well how about a plug-in that can apparently create more space and add clarity to your mix, by itself? iZotope say Neutrino is for adding “that special something to each of your tracks”. Mixing can’t be that simple can it? Let’s hope it’s not another useless ‘one-knob’ plug-in, or even a ‘DFA’ button.
iZotope Neutrino | Free Spectral Shaping Plug-in
Delving a little deeper, there are clearly two ways you can read into this plug-in. The initial reaction is this tool will magically create space in a mix and generally enhance your work. Whilst this might be one outcome, I don’t think it’s quite as far fetched as that. After-all, that wouldn’t be in-keeping with the professional brand that is iZotope would it?
I much prefer the more engineer-friendly explanation, which is to implement Neutrino as you might an analogue summing emulation. By adding Neutrino on every channel and mix bus, it will perform some subtle enhancements to sonically present your source material more clearly. As the user, you simply choose from a selection of 4 modes (Vocal, Instrument, Bass and Drums) and dial in the amount and a ‘detail’ setting. Neutrino then analyses the incoming signal in real time and applies ‘some’ subtle processing. In a recent press release, the following explanations were given for each mode:
- Voice Mode focuses processing on mid and high frequencies for adding clarity and detail that helps vocals sit on top of the mix without becoming harsh or strident.
- Instrument Mode smoothes resonant frequencies while preserving the authentic character of the instrument.
- Bass Mode is designed to attenuate notes that stick out while adding punch and weight to electric, acoustic, and synth basses.
- Drum Mode emphasises transient detail across the spectrum while minimising frequency build-ups that can sound “muddy” or “flabby.”
This looks great and for me the key here is real-time analysis. If the algorithms are as good as they should be from the likes of iZotope, then this should be a really interesting plug-in. Supposedly this plug-in should be able to do stuff that you can’t achieve with a straightforward EQ or compressor. Naturally however, it feels uncomfortable to let a plug-in do work for you, when you’re not really aware what it might be doing. I look forward to trying it and suspect I could be quietly impressed.
For more information, or to simply download this plug-in for free, head over to iZotope’s webpage for Neutrino. This free plug-in can be used with most DAW’s on Mac and PC systems, in VST, AU and AAX formats. See this separate webpage for more detailed system requirements.
Here’s a very short promotional video featuring the Neutrino plug-in. This video is by iZotope on their YouTube channel.