iZotope are definitely milking it with this release. Although we should, perhaps, be grateful. Ozone 7 Elements is essentially ‘mastering by presets’. While beginners can benefit from an easy and fast tool, professionals can be thankful it was iZotope behind the presets. A novice is less likely to do more harm than good to a mix with the full version of Ozone or something similar. I guess that ought to be reassuring for both amateur and professional alike.
iZotope Ozone 7 Elements
iZotope have built one of the strongest reputations in the industry when it comes to mastering with software and plug-ins. Even high-end mastering houses with outrageous amounts of hardware probably have a copy of Ozone installed on their machine. I’m a fan myself and reach for Ozone regularly.
Unfortunately, there are people that cut corners with mastering, using online services driven by computer algorithms. While I would still class mastering by presets as a time- or cost-saving measure, I’d rather a beginner did exactly that, applying some natural instinct into the mix rather than signing up to a quick-fix web site. With Ozone 7 Elements we can be even more relaxed, knowing that these presets are probably quite good and that the user can dial in as much or as little processing as they like. We’ve all witnessed what a beginner can do with a regular EQ, and it can hurt.
New markets for basic mastering
The simple truth is that these procedures go on in our world everyday. Therefore, they can’t be avoided and iZotope are just exploiting a new market. I certainly wouldn’t recommend this solution to anyone and you won’t see this plug-in used on any of my work, even demo mixes. However, I’m not going to moan about this release, instead show a slight sense of relief that if someone else was going to offer a ‘basic solution’, thankfully it was iZotope.
I have read on some forums that owners of Ozone 7 and Ozone 7 Advanced would like a copy of Elements included with their licence. What a load of rubbish. No you don’t. Please continue acting as professionals – this product isn’t for you, even on a demo. Please let’s not get lazy. Make your own presets if you must.
There are some basic features I think iZotope have missed with this initial release. Hopefully they’ll come in future updates. Most significantly the ceiling level doesn’t look like it’s adjustable, and the user has no idea about the loudness level they are achieving. With loudness finally now making headway in the right direction, I think there is an onus on brands like iZotope to help educate the next generation.
Visit the Ozone 7 Elements product page on iZotope’s website for more information. They are running an introductory offer of 99 USD which will then rise to 129 USD. Apparently now is a good time to go for any of the Ozone 7 products, with a current offer available of 186.75 USD for the standard version Ozone 7. So if you’re feeling brave enough to take on the real deal, then do it now and take care.
Here’s iZotope’s introduction to Ozone 7 Elements, published on their YouTube channel.