gives you the tool to get “that sound” and this guide shows you how to do it.
· If you have Ozone and know the basics of mastering, this guide will still show
you tricks or techniques that are possible in Ozone. Just say “yeah, I already
knew that” when appropriate for the other parts.
· If you don’t know anythingabout mastering and don’t have Ozone, we still
hope this guide will help you. Sure, we think you should use Ozone. But we
learned a lot about mastering from “the online audio community” and we
want to give something back in return (in addition to iZotope Vinyl2). This
guide can be freely copied or distributed for noncommercial purposes for that
2http://www.izotope.com/products/vinyl/vinyldx.html Analog modeling plug-in for lo-fi destruction. That
pretty much sums that up.
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WHAT IS MASTERING?
Although there are many definitions of what “mastering” is, for the purpose of this guide we
refer to “mastering” as the process of taking a mix and preparing it for manufacturing. In
general, this involves the following steps andgoals.
The “Commercial Sound”
The goal of this step is to take a good mix (usually in the form of a stereo file) and put the
final touches on it. This can involve adjusting levels and in general “sweetening” the mix.
Think of it as the final coat of polish, or the difference between a good sounding mix and a
professional sounding master. This process can involve adding broad equalization,multiband
compression, harmonic excitation, loudness maximization, etc. This process is often actually
referred to as “pre-mastering” but we’re going to refer to it as mastering for simplicity. Ozone
was created to specifically address this step of the process: to put that final professional or
“commercial” sound on a project that’s been mixed down to a stereo file.
Consistency across the CDConsideration has to be made for how the individual tracks of a CD work together when played
one after another. Is there a consistent sound? Are the levels matched? Does the CD have a
common “character”? This process is generally the same as the previous step, with the
additional consideration of how individual tracks sound in sequence. This doesn’t mean that
you can make one preset in Ozone andjust use it on all the tracks so that they all have a
consistent sound. Instead, the goal is to minimize the differences between tracks, which will
most likely mean different settings for different tracks.
Preparation for Duplication
The final step usually involves preparing the song or sequence of songs for manufacturing and
duplication. This step varies depending on the on the intendeddelivery format. In the case of
a CD it can mean converting to 16 bit/44.1 kHz audio through resampling and dithering, and
setting track indexes, track gaps, PQ codes, and other CD specific markings. Ozone is not
designed to address these functions by itself, but instead meant to work within dedicated
applications such as Steinberg’s Wavelab, Sonic Foundry’s Sound Forge, Syntrillium’s Cool Edit
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WHAT IS OZONE?
A System of Mastering Effects
Technically, Ozone is a DirectX plug-in, although it really encompasses several modules to
provide a complete system for mastering (or technically “pre-mastering” as it addresses the
processing but not the CD layout, file conversion, etc.) In addition to providing audio
processing, itprovides meters, tools for taking snapshots of mixes, comparing settings, and
rearranging the order of the mastering modules within the system.
64-bit Audio Processing
When processing audio, Ozone can perform hundreds of calculations on a single sample of
audio. In a digital system, each of these calculations has a finite accuracy, limited by the
number of bits used in the calculation. To...